Comments on several string sets

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Flapjack
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Comments on several string sets

Post by Flapjack » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:19 am

I have been experimenting with different strings for a while and thought I would post my perceptions of them in case it might help others. I have learned a lot by reading what others have had to say and this message serves as a feeble attempt to give a little back. I am an experience guitar player but relatively new (last year or two) to playing classical. My guess is that I am an advanced beginner to weak intermediate. The guitar I play is a Cordoba C9 with a cedar top. I have left each set of reviewed strings on for at least a month, most of them longer, and I am listing them in the order I tried them. Intonation on all of them up and down the neck was great. It is never easy describing sound, but here goes...

1) Savarez 500CJ - bass strings are bold sounding and do not feel very stiff considering their published tension, treble strings are loud, punchy, percussive, bright, and perhaps a bit cold sounding.

2) D'Addario EJ44 - bass strings are warm and deep, not very loud, and slightly floppier feeling that the 500CJ, treble strings are warm, a bit thuddy, and not very loud.

3) Savarez 500CR - bass strings are bold/bright sounding and just a little less stiff feeling than the 500CJ, treble strings are also less stiff feeling than the 500CJ and a bit less percussive. Overall, these strings sound a lot like the 500CJ with less tension and not much perceptible loss in volume.

4) La Bella 2001 Hard - bass strings are warm, feel floppy compared to any of the above sets, and are a bit dull sounding even when fresh, treble strings are bright but less cold sounding than either Savarez set. Very musical sounding to these ears.

5) D'Addario EJ45 - bass strings are deep sounding but have a nice punch and brightness to them when needed. They are maybe just a bit stiffer feeling than the La Bella's, but easier to fret than the other sets, treble strings are warm, velvety, and sweet sounding (similar to the La Bellas), but are also punchy when needed with some brightness. Also, more than any other trebles, these seem dynamic in that can be quite quiet or loud when you dig in. The Savarez sets were the opposite by comparison, loud but not much variation in volume whether you played gently or hard. The EJ45 are still on the guitar. Overall, they are my favorite so far.

Next up...I have a set of EJ46 and Augustine Red Classic, not sure which I will try first.

Guero
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Guero » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:26 am

It always amazes me how many people here like the EJ45.
Maybe the string formula differs from country to country and continent to continent? :)
I don't say they're bad string but everytime I tried them I prefered the set before and the one after them.

But - like so many other things- it's just a matter of taste.

DevonBadger
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by DevonBadger » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:13 am

Guero wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:26 am
It always amazes me how many people here like the EJ45.
Maybe the string formula differs from country to country and continent to continent? :)
I don't say they're bad string but everytime I tried them I prefered the set before and the one after them.

But - like so many other things- it's just a matter of taste.
I agree. I find them dull and uninspiring.

The one good thing I can say though is that the bass strings never need retuning, they just stay back on all the time. Sadly not a sufficient reason to use them!

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:01 am

Flapjack wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:19 am
...

Next up...I have a set of EJ46 and Augustine Red Classic, not sure which I will try first.
You will like the EJ46FF, I'm sure. I'm using them on my Aria A558. But you should add to your list the Konobloch Actives Carbon CX, High Tension strings. I haven't tried that many strings so far, but I'll stay with high tension ones and the Konobloch Actives are the best I've had so far. The sound they produce in my Hermanos Camps Master, both the profound basses and bright trebles, are truly amazing.
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, RW B&S, Tokio, JPN (under repair)
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40
1987 - Aria A558, 650/51, Ced, lam RW B&S, Nagoya, JPN
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CAN Ced, MDG RW B&S, Banyoles, ESP

MrF1
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by MrF1 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:29 am

Thanks so much for the reviews....I appreciate how you evaluated the same qualities/characteristics of each string set. I'm also a steel-string guy who transitioned to classical guitar about ten years ago. After a lot of string experimentation, I'm one of those folks who always returns to the good old EJ45s. I do swap the third string out with a Savarez Alliance, but that's my only adjustment. Thanks again for the reviews!

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souldier
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by souldier » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:26 pm

My personal fav combo is probably Savarez Corum bass strings with La Bella 2001 MT Trebles. EJ45's I found boring in the past, but I recently revisited them a few months ago and honestly were quite good.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

Flapjack
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Flapjack » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:01 pm

I too was surprised at how much I liked the EJ45 because of what I have read in this forum. I forgot to mention that I am also able to get a better sounding, more controlled vibrato out of them than the others. Again, I remind all of you that I am not an advanced classical guitar player, so my perceptions/opinions perhaps should not carry much weight. I can understand why others find them boring as they are relatively mellow sounding, but I also think there is a richness/depth and sweetness to them that comes with this that is pleasing to these ears.

mts132
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by mts132 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:09 am

Does anyone else use the composite EJ45C?

Flapjack
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Update: Comments on several string sets

Post by Flapjack » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:26 pm

I have been experimenting with different strings for a while and thought I would post my perceptions of them in case it might help others. I have learned a lot by reading what others have had to say and this message serves as a feeble attempt to give a little back. I am an experienced guitar player but relatively new (last year or two) to playing classical. My guess is that I am an advanced beginner to weak intermediate. The guitar I play is a Cordoba C9 with a cedar top. I have left each set of reviewed strings on for at least a month, most of them longer, and I am listing them in the order I tried them. Intonation on all of them up and down the neck was great. It is never easy describing sound, but here goes...

1) Savarez 500CJ - bass strings are bold sounding and do not feel very stiff considering their published tension, treble strings are loud, punchy, percussive, bright, and perhaps a bit cold sounding.

2) D'Addario EJ44 - bass strings are warm and deep, not very loud, and slightly floppier feeling that the 500CJ, treble strings are warm, a bit thuddy, and not very loud.

3) Savarez 500CR - bass strings are bold/bright sounding and just a little less stiff feeling than the 500CJ, treble strings are also less stiff feeling than the 500CJ and a bit less percussive. Overall, these strings sound a lot like the 500CJ with less tension and not much perceptible loss in volume.

4) La Bella 2001 Hard - bass strings are warm, feel floppy compared to any of the above sets, and are a bit dull sounding even when fresh, treble strings are bright but less cold sounding than either Savarez set. Very musical sounding to these ears.

5) D'Addario EJ45 - bass strings are deep sounding but have a nice punch and brightness to them when needed. They are maybe just a bit stiffer feeling than the La Bella's, but easier to fret than the other sets, treble strings are warm, velvety, and sweet sounding (similar to the La Bellas), but are also punchy when needed with some brightness. Also, more than any other trebles, these seem dynamic in that can be quite quiet or loud when you dig in. The Savarez sets were the opposite by comparison, loud but not much variation in volume whether you played gently or hard. The EJ45 are still on the guitar. Overall, they are my favorite so far.

6) Augustine Classic Red - bass strings are warm and smooth sounding, not as bright or punchy as the EJ45 or Corum, the Classic trebles are a bit firmer feeling that the EJ45 and are very sweet sounding with a bit more brightness than the EJ45, but not as bright at the Cristal trebles, The Classic trebles sound great with vibrato and sustain better than any other sets I have tried. To date, they are my favorite trebles by far, though I prefer the EJ45 basses.

6) Augustine Classic Blue - Bass strings feel noticeably stiffer/firmer than the Red basses, and squeak a lot more. They might have a bit more punch than the Red basses, but they are not as bright or punchy to these ears and the EJ45 or Corum. Smooth and deep tone with not a lot of definition, like the Red basses. I already commented on the Classic trebles (above).

So far, EJ45 basses with Augustine Classic trebles are my favorite combination. I am very happy with the tone, sustain, vibrato,volume and feel of the strings, but will keep experimenting.

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petermc61
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by petermc61 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:00 pm

I can only recommend the OP be a bit more adventurous with brands.

Savarez - in my view makes better bass strings than treble, but you don’t seem to have tried the Cantiga (you should).

Augustine Classic trebles - definitely better than EJ45 and Cristal. Many regard the Imperial as superior to the Classic. They are worth a go, particularly paired with the Cantiga.

When you want to get more adventurous there are many possibilities.....

Peter

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Jacek A. Rochacki
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:31 pm

I belong to these who like combination: Black/Imperial of the Augustine strings; before I was playing Jose Ramirez Medium, all nylon set.
Antonio Picado, model 60, 2015, Cedar/IRW. Scale 640 mm.

Flapjack
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Flapjack » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:29 am

petermc61 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:00 pm
I can only recommend the OP be a bit more adventurous with brands.

Savarez - in my view makes better bass strings than treble, but you don’t seem to have tried the Cantiga (you should).

Augustine Classic trebles - definitely better than EJ45 and Cristal. Many regard the Imperial as superior to the Classic. They are worth a go, particularly paired with the Cantiga.

When you want to get more adventurous there are many possibilities.....

Peter
I am willing to try anything. The strings I listed are those I have tried in my relatively short time playing classical guitar. I was planning to try Imperial trebles next and might try the Cantiga basses as well.

Flapjack
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Flapjack » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:33 am

Jacek A. Rochacki wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:31 pm
I belong to these who like combination: Black/Imperial of the Augustine strings; before I was playing Jose Ramirez Medium, all nylon set.
I have considered trying Augustine Black basses, but I have not because of my experience with the Red and Blue basses. I can see why some might like them as they are smooth and deep sounding, but I seem to prefer the slightly brighter, more defined sound of the EJ45 basses. I assumed that the Black basses would be even more mellow/gentle/less punchy sounding than the Red basses, but maybe I should give them a go. If anyone has tried the Black and Red basses and is willing to share their experience I would appreciate it.

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petermc61
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by petermc61 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:01 am

I prefer the Black to the Red, and don’t much like the Blue. From what you have said I really do recommend you try the Cantiga, probably with the Imperial. However, since the nylon trebles will last longer than any of the bass sets leave the Classic trebles on and install just the basses. After say 10 hours play when you have that combination saved in your auditory memory change the Classic trebles to Imperial.

If you report how both those sets go and what you do and don’t like relative to say EJ45 I can probably offer some other suggestions since I will have been able to partly calibrate your guitar/your likes against my rather bizarrely deep experience trying different strings.

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Charles Mokotoff
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:42 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:01 am
...my rather bizarrely deep experience trying different strings.
+1

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