Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Jeffrey Armbruster
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Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:56 pm

I've been trying different strings but this last change I put back on my usual standard D'addario ej45's just to see. They seemed fine, but I liked them less than everything else that I'd been trying. Then I was away from my guitar for a week. When I came back, I really didn't like the sound of the ej45s, so after another day, and only half way through the life span of the 45's, I put on Savarez cantiga basses and Mari trebles. Much much better! And the fact that the D'addarios still had life in them lent credence to my just preferring other strings (that is, I wasn't comparing dead strings to new lively strings.)

Now, I assume that I ordered normal tension Mari strings...but there's nothing to indicate gauge on the package! (I still have a full set of Maris). on the Ostrie site, it looks like the light gauge strings have an added stamp on the cover and slightly less red cover too, but it's hard to tell if this is just photography. The trebles that I have on are plenty light as it is, and makes me wonder if I didn't get light gauge. In any case they're out of medium gauge trebles. Can anyone advise on telling light from medium gauge?

edit: and now I have an answer, from Bill Ostrie: the light gauge has an "L" hand inked next to the 100P on the cover slip that comes with these strings. I didn't notice it with my remaining set, but there it is. So I got the light gauge after all. Sadly, the medium trebles won't be available for 4-6 weeks. Apparently, a factory closed for the summer. Bummer. My guess is the mediums will have better volume.
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petermc61
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Re: Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by petermc61 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:07 am

Jeffrey

Congratulations on finding the Cantiga/100p combination. It's a beauty!

I have used normal tension Mari 100p and light tension 100pL. Frankly I don't tell much difference between them sonically. So much so that I almost use them interchangeably. There's no need to rush into the normal tension set, just enjoy what you have now.

Regards
Peter

chrisW3
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Location: London, UK

Re: Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by chrisW3 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:53 pm

Just some thoughts on the EJ45 as I've just put a set on my burguet 2m cedar top. Since I bought the guitar a couple of months ago I have used two different types of Savarez (Alliance Corum 500AR Normal Tension and some other "standard" Savarez nylon strings that came with it).

I have only just put the EJ45s on today so perhaps they will change over the coming days but essentially I feel they fall well short of both Savarez sets in several ways. They sound dull and quiet and lack warmth or quality of tone. The D in particular is noticeably thinner, and the G has no real tone or projection. Positives are that they are consistent and well balanced, stay in tune, are easy to play (for both hands) and there is relatively little squeaking from the basses. But the lack of a decent quality of sound means I am already thinking of what to replace them with (and will definitely need to change the G).

Both sets of Savarez had warm, full basses with lots of tone colour and projection and sustain. They were much louder generally, with the Alliance trebles in particular very bright (to the point where it was almost difficult to play quietly when I first put them on). The Corum basses had quite a bit of squeaking but at least they had good tone. Not sure what the basses were in the other set of Savarez but they were probably the best basses I have ever used.

astro64
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Re: Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by astro64 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:56 pm

Every time you go from a carbon set, such as Alliance, to a nylon set, the first reaction will be that you lost a lot in volume and brightness. But once the strings settle and you get used to playing them again, the difference seems smaller and in many ways the nylon sound better, for vibrato, for color, and less harshness, especially on the 1st string. I made the switch many times...But it does also depend on the guitar. A 3rd carbon works pretty much well in all cases, but I do have guitars where the 3rd nylon is fine too.

chrisW3
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Location: London, UK

Re: Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by chrisW3 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:03 am

Thanks. After a few hours playing they are beginning the settle a bit and open out slightly in terms of sound. Perhaps my perception and style of playing is beginning to change too. They do require a bit of effort to change the dynamics. I have ordered a carbon g though.

In relation to basses I still prefer the Savarez I think, much fuller and richer. I think it was the Savarez 520R that were on the guitar when I bought it which I liked the best, so have ordered a set to put on next.

Overall, I think the string that lets you play dynamically and musically with the greatest ease is the best, and for me I don't think that's the EJ45.

astro64
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Re: Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by astro64 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:44 pm

chrisW3 wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:03 am
Overall, I think the string that lets you play dynamically and musically with the greatest ease is the best, and for me I don't think that's the EJ45.
Absolutely, it is good we have choices.

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joachim33
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Location: Skåne

Re: Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by joachim33 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:00 pm

chrisW3 wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:03 am
Thanks. After a few hours playing they are beginning the settle a bit and open out slightly in terms of sound. Perhaps my perception and style of playing is beginning to change too. They do require a bit of effort to change the dynamics. I have ordered a carbon g though.

In relation to basses I still prefer the Savarez I think, much fuller and richer. I think it was the Savarez 520R that were on the guitar when I bought it which I liked the best, so have ordered a set to put on next.

Overall, I think the string that lets you play dynamically and musically with the greatest ease is the best, and for me I don't think that's the EJ45.

Savarez 520 R trebles are rectified, meaning ground to shape. Their surface is rough and many people complain about them being noisy when e.g. moving your left hand up-n-down the fret board. If your guitar came with them you would know from my description. In my view their sound is really nice. They are a classic. Though I believe very few would sell their guitar with 520R these days. They are s bit special and more demanding on the technique if the player.

In my experience Savarez New Cristal trebles are very smooth and the Alliance in the middle, slightly rough. Alliance are much thinner than the others.

chrisW3
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Location: London, UK

Re: Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by chrisW3 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:59 pm

This is useful thanks. Your description of the 520R trebles fits with how I remember them. There was definitely a slight noise when moving around on the trebles, although I didn't mind it. It was far less than wound bass string noise.

Yes, I found the Alliances quite thin (in diameter). That combined with what felt initially like a metallic sound was quite reminiscent of a steel string. I quite liked them especially for certain music where you needed separation of voices.

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joachim33
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Re: Goodbye ej45, hello Mari

Post by joachim33 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:19 am

Yep I was referring to diameter not to sound when I was writing "thin".

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