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Most popular 6-string acoutic strings?


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Poll: Most popular 6-string acoutic strings? (8 member(s) have cast votes)

What strings do you use on your steel 6-string acoustic?

  1. D’Addario - lights or mediums, P/B (3 votes [37.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.50%

  2. Elixir - lights or mediums, P/B (1 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

  3. Martin - lights or mediums, P/B (2 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  4. Another brand - lights or mediums, P/B (2 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

Do you use coated steel strings on your 6-string acoustic

  1. Yes (5 votes [62.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.50%

  2. No (3 votes [37.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.50%

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#1 OFFLINE   OldManGuitarNewbie

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:48 PM

Sort of curious.......I have a couple of 6 string acoustic guitars, and I generally just replace what's on them with the same thing when it's time for string replacement. But I'm wondering if there are any favorites among others on this forum. Martin, Elizir and A'Addario seem to be the big hitters, at least from my experience just walking through music stores. I think I've used 80% Martin strings and a couple of sets of A'Addario in the past 2 years. My guitars have been Martin dreads and a Seagull dread.

I've never tried the coated strings, but someone at a store recently said I was "really missing out". Comment on that?

Any commonts are appreciated. Just curious if I'm really missing out on the best available! :online2lo
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#2 OFFLINE   eddiez152

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:12 PM

Elixers are great coated strings. I have used them for quite some time. I have currently come back to Addario due to specific type and size available.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

#3 OFFLINE   gasbag

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:19 PM

I use D'Addario pb light .011-.052 . I use lights because I have older hands and they are a bit easier on them and their tone is pleasing to me.
I also use D'Addario light .012-.053 Flat Tops on one guitar. They remove almost all of the string squeak and for some songs it helps a lot.
The lights go on my Breedlove and the Ovation.
The Flat Tops are on my old Fender. They have a much warmer tone to them.
If it's tourist season why can't you hunt them?

#4 OFFLINE   GotDeeBlues

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:05 AM

DR (M) Rare P/B 12-54's on my Yairi acoustic dread ,D'Addario (L) P/B 12-53 on my Guild A/E.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
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#5 OFFLINE   OldManGuitarNewbie

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:45 AM

Thanks for the replies, ya'll. Just about what I expected, no real consensus on what's best overall. Since I have the Martin P/B lights (MSP 4050s) and mediums (MSP 4200s) on hand, I'll continue to use them up; the mediums on my Martin D-16A and the lights on the Seagull SWS Q1.

I also found a box of Bronze mediums (M150) in the stack; not even sure how I got those. Anyone prefer straight bronze strings? I seem to recall they don't last as long as the P/B combination material.

I know the lights are easier on my fingertips, so I will likely always use lights on the Seagull, as the company recommends lights on this model. On the Martin, I THINK they recommend medium gauge, but I'm not sure, it's just what I've always used. But I have only had the Martin for maybe 2-3 years, this Seagull is new. On my old Seagull acoustic rustic jumbo I used Martin mediums; didn't keep the guitar but about 6 months, no particular complainst other than I didn't like the finish on it.

I suppose I will try some D'Addarios or Elixirs when my Martin stockpile runs out in about 6 months. I'm not sure about trying coated strings - I think they cost a little more and last a little longer; anyone other benefit or drawback?

Anyone found a good source for strings on line with a good price? I don't mind buying a dozen or so sets at a time.

I'm trying really hard not to obsess on strings, and would rather PLAY, but you know how it is......... :clap:

Thanks!
Eastman AC412 (K&K Pure Mini), Eastman ETG1,Eastman E10-OM AE, Eastman AC122 CE, Eastman AC 420CESB, Taylor 320 (LR Baggs Lyric)
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#6 OFFLINE   OldManGuitarNewbie

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:55 AM

View Postgasbag, on 24 November 2011 - 11:19 PM, said:

......
I also use D'Addario light .012-.053 Flat Tops on one guitar. They remove almost all of the string squeak and for some songs it helps a lot.
The lights go on my Breedlove and the Ovation.
The Flat Tops are on my old Fender. They have a much warmer tone to them.

I have not heard of the D'A "Flat Tops" model. Are they wound differently or something to reduce sqeaking? Other than reducing the squeaking, is there any other benefit? And you say they sound "warmer" than the regular D'A strings on your other guitars. How do they compare cost-wise to the regular D'A lights? I see they are a little thicker gauge (e at .012 vs .011). Might that account for the increase in "warmth"?

Your comments on easier on the fingers is important to me, as my old fingers seem to get more tender the older I get! I used to think it was smart to use Medium gauge as that's a good compromise. Sounds logical anyway. And I understand the lighter gauges tend to play "softer" and with "less volume". But with the Seagull, since it's an AE, if I want more volume I can easily increase that via the guitar/amp. (By the way, this Seagull sounds wonderful and even better with the amp......first AE I've had that had such a difference between plugged and unplugged).

Thanks.
Eastman AC412 (K&K Pure Mini), Eastman ETG1,Eastman E10-OM AE, Eastman AC122 CE, Eastman AC 420CESB, Taylor 320 (LR Baggs Lyric)
Pono ATDC-Ce (tenor ukulele), Oscar Schmidt OU53 (baritone ukulele)

#7 OFFLINE   gasbag

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 04:08 PM

View PostOldManGuitarNewbie, on 25 November 2011 - 08:55 AM, said:

I have not heard of the D'A "Flat Tops" model. Are they wound differently or something to reduce sqeaking? Other than reducing the squeaking, is there any other benefit? And you say they sound "warmer" than the regular D'A strings on your other guitars. How do they compare cost-wise to the regular D'A lights? I see they are a little thicker gauge (e at .012 vs .011). Might that account for the increase in "warmth"?

Your comments on easier on the fingers is important to me, as my old fingers seem to get more tender the older I get! I used to think it was smart to use Medium gauge as that's a good compromise. Sounds logical anyway. And I understand the lighter gauges tend to play "softer" and with "less volume". But with the Seagull, since it's an AE, if I want more volume I can easily increase that via the guitar/amp. (By the way, this Seagull sounds wonderful and even better with the amp......first AE I've had that had such a difference between plugged and unplugged).

Thanks.

First, here is D'Addario's description of them:
"D'Addario Flat Tops are round wound, then precision ground, leaving the outer surface smooth and "semi-flat." This produces a smooth, flattened playing surface, but does not sacrifice the superb tone and sustain associated with phosphor bronze strings. Flat Tops greatly reduce finger noise and are excellent for recording and flatpicking."

As far as gauge, they have extra lights 10-47, lights 12-53, medium 13-56 and another medium at 16-56 so you can basically pick the feel and the tone you like best.

Yes, I do have old hands with arthritis that flares on occasion so I use lights on all my guitars and even tune down one full step and then capo it on the 2nd fret if the hands get extra grumpy on me. Of course I also do a lot of work on set-up to get the easiest action I can.

"Warmer" is the word I use to describe what I hear. Some might use "fuller" "more mellow" I guess and yes the volume is not as loud.
However all my guitars are A/E so when I want to make noise I just plug in to my amp.
When I record I use a mic and it works fine for my limited skills.

Where I buy my equipment the Flat Tops are the same price as the regular PB strings.
The Flat Tops I use are #EFT16(light) and the regular PB's I use are their #EXP26(custom Light)

This isn't a recommendation for the strings, it is just an explanation of why I use what I use.
If it's tourist season why can't you hunt them?

#8 OFFLINE   OldManGuitarNewbie

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:16 PM

View Postgasbag, on 25 November 2011 - 04:08 PM, said:

First, here is D'Addario's description of them:
"D'Addario Flat Tops are round wound, then precision ground, leaving the outer surface smooth and "semi-flat." This produces a smooth, flattened playing surface, but does not sacrifice the superb tone and sustain associated with phosphor bronze strings. Flat Tops greatly reduce finger noise and are excellent for recording and flatpicking."

As far as gauge, they have extra lights 10-47, lights 12-53, medium 13-56 and another medium at 16-56 so you can basically pick the feel and the tone you like best.

.....I use lights on all my guitars and even tune down one full step and then capo it on the 2nd fret if the hands get extra grumpy on me. Of course I also do a lot of work on set-up to get the easiest action I can.

Where I buy my equipment the Flat Tops are the same price as the regular PB strings.
The Flat Tops I use are #EFT16(light) and the regular PB's I use are their #EXP26(custom Light)



Thanks for the good info on the strings. Can you describe what you mean by tuning down and using a capo? That that mean you tune the guitar to one half tone lower (than the normal E A D etc), then capo the first fret to "tune" it one half tone higher? How does that help? And what does it do? I have seen references to doing that, but I have never understood why. I use my capos a lot, but my guitars are all tuned in the normal way.

Can you tell I'm a little ignorant about tuning, notes, strings and the like? <g>

I have to order strings soon. I replaced the ones on my new Seagull AE with Martin lights I have on land, then replaced the strings on my daughter's Washburn guitar. So with only one set of lights left it's time to re-order. I will probably mix an order with D'Addario regular light strings, but also a set or two of the Flat Tops.

Thanks.
Eastman AC412 (K&K Pure Mini), Eastman ETG1,Eastman E10-OM AE, Eastman AC122 CE, Eastman AC 420CESB, Taylor 320 (LR Baggs Lyric)
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#9 OFFLINE   gasbag

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:43 PM

View PostOldManGuitarNewbie, on 26 November 2011 - 12:16 PM, said:

Thanks for the good info on the strings. Can you describe what you mean by tuning down and using a capo? That that mean you tune the guitar to one half tone lower (than the normal E A D etc), then capo the first fret to "tune" it one half tone higher? How does that help? And what does it do? I have seen references to doing that, but I have never understood why. I use my capos a lot, but my guitars are all tuned in the normal way.

First, like I said my hands hurt sometimes so I do anything to help them work less. I tune my guitars down one full step, so instead of it being tuned to E-A-D-G-B-E it is tuned to D-G-C-F-A-D. That puts less tension on the strings and is easier for me to play.
If I am playing along with a recording or with a Guitar Pro tab I put the capo on the 2nd fret, raising it back up one full step to E-A-D-G-B-E so I am in tune with the recording.

The only thing I have to be careful of is to watch my setup on the neck much closer as the strings move around a lot more. I had my frets dressed by someone who knows how to do it and I may have to give the truss rod a tweak once in a while with humidity changes where I wouldn't normally have to.

I have a feeling we are quite a bit alike. I am probably about 5 years older than you, although much better looking :yes:, and we are probably fairly close in skill level. I didn't start playing much until I retired and am trying my best to catch up to the years I wish I had been playing. The skill some of the people in here have amazes me. Also ticks me off too........... :brickwall:. Darn kids anyhow.

Anyway, I am sure a few in here will shake their head at what I do with my guitar but it works for me and I also think you may get some good suggestions from someone who actually knows what they are talking about. Hopefully they will correct any errors I may have made and help both of us in the process.
If it's tourist season why can't you hunt them?

#10 OFFLINE   OldManGuitarNewbie

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 07:31 AM

Gasbag, thanks, that answers my questions about the "tuning down" and how that helps and things related. I suspected that's about how it went. I might have to try that at some point, but right now my difficulty with playing is mainly the inability to use barre chords, and the difficulty of doing some of the other more "complicated" chords. Get the dreaded "trigger finger" sometimes. When I played as a kid in HS and college, I pretty much stuck with 5-6 chords I think, and made up for that limitation with imagination and enthusiasm. <g> Now I use about 2-3 times that number of chords, and also the capo a bit. Most of the songs I do use the first 3 frets. I have learned how to change the key without using a capo by using those wonderful online "transpose key x to y". Those are sure helpful!

You are undoubtedly better looking, and I've just received my Medicare card in the mail. I think that means I am now officially old. <g>

"....Anyway, I am sure a few in here will shake their head at what I do with my guitar but it works for me....". I could not have said that better......probably a few think that when they hear me sing also! <g>
Eastman AC412 (K&K Pure Mini), Eastman ETG1,Eastman E10-OM AE, Eastman AC122 CE, Eastman AC 420CESB, Taylor 320 (LR Baggs Lyric)
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#11 OFFLINE   gasbag

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:11 PM

Oh dear, the dreaded arrival of Medicare.
Someone in here should write a song about that.................. :punk:
If it's tourist season why can't you hunt them?

#12 OFFLINE   eddiez152

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:07 AM

Oh my,
I see we got another Old Man and a scooter. Bless our souls. Happy guitar playing and riding. :wheelchai We never get too old for that.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

#13 OFFLINE   OldManGuitarNewbie

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 07:27 AM

View Posteddiez152, on 28 November 2011 - 12:07 AM, said:

Oh my,
I see we got another Old Man and a scooter. Bless our souls. Happy guitar playing and riding. :wheelchai We never get too old for that.

That's the plan my friend! :clap:
Eastman AC412 (K&K Pure Mini), Eastman ETG1,Eastman E10-OM AE, Eastman AC122 CE, Eastman AC 420CESB, Taylor 320 (LR Baggs Lyric)
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#14 OFFLINE   gasbag

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:16 PM

Hey, riding our bikes is what keeps us young.
Or at least alert for brief periods. :escape:
If it's tourist season why can't you hunt them?





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