String questions.

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

String questions.

Postby papaslide » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:17 pm

I just last week picked up a nearly new Washburn hb-15 (hollwobdy/single pickup/single cutaway) and new Fender Vibro Champ XD 5 watt tube amp. Tuned to open D and probably sometimes open G for slide and finger pickin blues.
I read in one of the reviews on Harmony-Central that there have been issues with neck attachment using heavier strings, I had a set of Gretsch electric (nickle) flatwound(13-56). They sound good but I am curious if anyone has had any problems with this gauge or if anyone had tried any Phosphorus (excuse my spelling I am to lazy to go in a find a dictionary) bronze acoustic in the 12 or 13 size amplified. I am novice as far as the technical advantages of one string gauge or purpose pr style over another. any help woild be greatly appreciated.
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Re: String questions.

Postby ricochet » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:09 pm

13-56 should be fine for those tunings, which are tuned down a bit from standard.

Stick to the nickel electric strings. The phosphor bronze windings are nonmagnetic, so only the skinny core wires excite the pickup. As a result, the strings sound unbalanced when you use strings with nonmagnetic windings.
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Re: String questions.

Postby kiwiblues » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:21 pm

This means that PB strings on my National with a hotplate should sound thin when amplified and nickels would be better, but I haven't noticed this to date.

ricochet wrote:13-56 should be fine for those tunings, which are tuned down a bit from standard.

Stick to the nickel electric strings. The phosphor bronze windings are nonmagnetic, so only the skinny core wires excite the pickup. As a result, the strings sound unbalanced when you use strings with nonmagnetic windings.
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Re: String questions.

Postby Bournio » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:51 pm

How is your reso amplified though? if it's a piezo it won't sound thin, as it will pick up the guitar sounds, if it's purely magnetic(or ceramic, but I dunno about reso's using them) it will probably sound nowt like a reso, and just like an eleccy, but then I've never heard a reso with just a leccy pickup...

(Guess who's had to revise summat like this for his course!)
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Re: String questions.

Postby Rick-e » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:20 pm

That's like the gibson es-165. You can probably get some good George Thorogood sounds from it. You may get some feedback at higher volumes, but you can use that to your advantage. Feedback can be your friend. :twisted:
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Re: String questions.

Postby kiwiblues » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:30 pm

It has a National hotplate as I said earlier. As far as I can see, this is a simple single coil magnetic pickup similar to a Strat.
In contrast to what many have said on this board, I find that in this case even with PB strings it amplifies the reso sound magnificently with deep base and great treble.
Doesn't that kind of blow the Nickel string theory out of the water? :roll:
Bournio wrote:How is your reso amplified though? if it's a piezo it won't sound thin, as it will pick up the guitar sounds, if it's purely magnetic(or ceramic, but I dunno about reso's using them) it will probably sound nowt like a reso, and just like an eleccy, but then I've never heard a reso with just a leccy pickup...

(Guess who's had to revise summat like this for his course!)
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Re: String questions.

Postby Bournio » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:26 am

It doesn't blow any theory I have about reso's as I've never actually heard one in person... I was simply applying what I know to a different situation... it may've been wrong but how else do we learn!

But thats cool, I'd love to find out a bit more of the ins ands outs in a physics/acoustics kinda way if anyone out there knows?
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Re: String questions.

Postby ricochet » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:34 am

There's no question that the bronze wound strings will generate a lower signal voltage in the pickup than the nickel wound ones. Whether one hears it as a "thin" sound is highly subjective. Apparent volume is logarithmic. Takes a big change in signal power to be very noticeable. Also, what you hear depends heavily on the operating conditions of the amp and whether the signal's run through any effects, especially overdrives and compressors.

Aside from electromagnetic issues, I like the sound of nickel strings on resos and acoustics. They also last far longer, and are cheaper to boot.
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Re: String questions.

Postby DaveG » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:03 pm

Maybe this should be in a new thread, but do string materials really make that much difference on a reso? I haven't expermented much, but I would thing that you get most of the sound from the cone, and that guage and tension would matter more.
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Re: String questions.

Postby leftyguitarman » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:40 pm

DaveG wrote:Maybe this should be in a new thread, but do string materials really make that much difference on a reso? I haven't expermented much, but I would thing that you get most of the sound from the cone, and that guage and tension would matter more.


Yeah, they do make a big difference. Just experiment with different ones and see what you like and what you dislike.

Also, I see you're from Redmond. I'm from Lake Stevens, though I don't live there anymore.
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Re: String questions.

Postby DaveG » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:22 pm

leftyguitarman wrote:Also, I see you're from Redmond. I'm from Lake Stevens, though I don't live there anymore.


Yeah, I'm up here in Microsoft country. I see you are in Arizona now. That's quite a switch. You must be missing all of this wonderful cold sloppy weather we're having right now.
Last edited by DaveG on Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: String questions.

Postby leftyguitarman » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:24 pm

DaveG wrote:You must be missing all of this wonderful cold sloppy weather we're having right now.


Oh yeah, you know it. :lol: I'll be back in a couple weeks. I'm not looking forward to the weather one bit.
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Re: String questions.

Postby ricochet » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:21 am

The cones just amplify what comes from the strings. They're more "transparent" to string harmonics than the top of an acoustic guitar is.
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Re: String questions.

Postby DaveG » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:48 pm

ricochet wrote:The cones just amplify what comes from the strings. They're more "transparent" to string harmonics than the top of an acoustic guitar is.


That makes sense. Thanks.
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Re: String questions.

Postby 112inky » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:35 pm

I agree..Generally pure nickel wound electric guitar strings are made by winding pure nickel wire on to a hex-shaped, tin-plated, high-carbon steel core. Pure nickel has a slightly warmer tone than nickel plated steel and is preferred by many blues artists. Nickel strings will work better with a magnetic pickup than bronze strings. I use nickel strings on my Donmo resonator that is fitted with a P 90 pickup. They work well. Bronze strings also work okay, but not as well.
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