Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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Gorn
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Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Gorn » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:52 pm

Hello to all,
I'm new on this board and I'm playing Jazz on a classical guitar (just vocals+guitar+percussion, no bass). Swing forces me to some techniques, which inevitably produce squeaking, otherwise there's no groove (full barrée slidings, walking bass + chords etc.).
My favorite strings until then were (low-cost) D'A EXP46-clones by T..., after having tested several other types of strings (e.g. Savarez & Pyramid carbon strings and several Nylons). I once bought D'A EJ51 "recording strings" which were the only strings, that broke (!),

When I was surfing the web for better "Low-noise" strings for recording, I stumbled on GHS 2500, which are nickel wound / compressed roundwound. GHS classical strings are nearly unknown in Germany, so you'll never find it in a local shop. Some guitarists might think of nickel as blasphemy, but for me, it's a challenge to test it. And I'm very interested, what classical or flamenco guitarists say.

So let's start my personal impressions:
The bag is transparent PVC, but not vacuum sealed, the strings are in single paper bags. The first indication of being US-made: there is a warning notice on the back of every pack "String may unwind when opened". No tension indication at the package, but the GHS website says, it's hard tension.

The basses are a little bit thinner than usual silver coated strings, the surface is less brilliant, very little yellow and it feels smoother than silver strings. When winding it up, the E is sort of balky, A and D are better to handle. The basses are obviously stiffer than silver strings. The trebles are very normal nylons.

First impression: when in tune, the strings feel like a regular set of strings. The stiffness seems to be compensated by the lower diameter. The set feels like usual hard tension strings, as e.g. EXP46. Not as hard as Pyramid's Super Classic Hart, but harder than usual medium tension strings. They even allow string bending easily, because they do not tend to roll away. And: the fingers don't get stained.

Sound: Well, for me, it's the best sound, I've ever played. The basses are not as super-brilliant as e.g. Savarez but nevertheless the sound contains "wire" (you can say that in English?). The "roundwound sound" is in a lower frequency spectrum than e.g. Savarez. Maybe around 2 kHz instead of 4-5. This makes the string sound very assertive when playing together with other instruments/vocals. The low basses are present enough, but not overemphasized. The treble strings are very normal nylons. They are not better or worse than good standard strings. Very good for Jazz/Latin.

Noise: The finger noises are reduced, but not totally gone. The remaining noises sound very naturally and do not disturb, even on recordings. It's a very good compromise between roundwound-sound and low noise.

Tuning: GHS 2500 stay in tune very quickly and they keep it. Far better than most carbon strings and the EXP-clones.

Stability: As a matter of fact, a set of GHS 2500 keeps its brilliance for more than 50 intense playing hours. I estimate to last them nearly twice the time of my formerly favorised (coated) EXP46-clones. I'm playing very much on the bass strings (walking bass lines, additional intermediate licks etc.), maybe lots more than in classical music, so it's possible, that classical players use the strings even longer. I've recently wound up the 3rd set after 7-8 months, because I had the impression that the trebles (not the basses) loose their brilliance.

Specials: GHS asserts that compressed roundwounds preserve your fingernails. I cannot confirm, because I never had problems with that, but, when playing 2-3 hours with silver strings, my thumb will hurt at the spot, where I hit the strings. GHS 2500's are smoother, it hurts less :).

Conclusion: GHS 2500 or 2510 (wound G) might be a good choice as long as your guitar sounds well-balanced and you do not need additional super-brilliance or extra-low basses and you want to avoid accidental squeaking and/or you're simply looking for strings that last longer.
I've tested it on a Hanika SF 59 Custom (Spruce top, Ziricote Body, Cutaway. On Stage: L.R.Baggs Piezo+L.R.Baggs Venue D.I.)

What experiences do you have? Does anybody play classical music on GHS 2500 - or Folk or even Flamenco?

MessyTendon
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by MessyTendon » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:32 am

I used GHS flatwound bass strings and enjoyed them. GHS is pretty good for the price. Can you compare them to them to other polished strings. Most of the polished strings cost considerably more, but the GHS is about half. I'd like to know your impressions.

es335
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by es335 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:53 am

I fully second your review. They are IMO the best compromise to reduce finger noise without scacrificing too much of sound ... and they are dirt cheap compared with all other flat ground version! The cheapest supply source in Germany lists them for 8,40€ which is even lower than the average market price for standard Pro Arte Nylons! :D

But they are a bit on the high side of the tension spectrum. Unfortunatelly too high for my guitar which made me stop using them some time ago ... and you should of course not be threatened with nickel allergy as they feature a pure nickel wrap, the neighbor element of copper with almost identical density but better hardness. This actually makes them last them so longer because 50 h of (excessive) playing hours exceeds the lifespan you will get out of most silver plated copper wound basses! :wink:

Arker
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Arker » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:19 am

Thanks for your review. I actually had a set of these ordered but did not receive them and your review is helpful. I expect I'll actually have a set to try out myself eventually and I'll post my own impressions then.

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Gorn
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Gorn » Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:51 pm

es335 wrote:The cheapest supply source in Germany lists them for 8,40€ which is even lower than the average market price for standard Pro Arte Nylons! :D
I bought a year's requirement for EUR 7,65 at Maydrums :D - and I didn't clear the stock: It's still the same price. Just try the "Ciuvo Preisvergleich" plugin for firefox.
es335 wrote: This actually makes them last them so longer because 50 h of (excessive) playing hours exceeds the lifespan you will get out of most silver plated copper wound basses! :wink:
Yes, I never managed to get more than 20-30 h without loss of brilliance out of conventional strings before (EXP 46, "Big T's" clones, Savarez ARJ, Pyramid Super Classic, Some La Bella [2... forgot the number], D'A EJ51 and Augustine blue). The worst result for me was Savarez: 5 h until they do no longer cut your ear drum by aggressive brilliance, 10 h o.k. and then, as soon as the trebles begin to stay in tune, dull.
Last edited by Gorn on Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gorn
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Gorn » Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:59 pm

MessyTendon wrote: Can you compare them to them to other polished strings. Most of the polished strings cost considerably more, but the GHS is about half. I'd like to know your impressions.
I've used D'Addario EJ51 "Recording Strings" for recording. The sound is good, but loses brilliance early. The finger noises are nearly completely eliminated. But it were the only strings, that ever broke (in the guitar case!). And they are expensive!

Butch Alan
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Butch Alan » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:17 pm

Has anyone tried the 2510's with the wound G string? I've read reviews and they are mixed.

Arker
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Arker » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:24 am

I'm also wondering if anyone has tried both the 2500/2510 and the 2390s to compare and contrast. From the description the 2390s sound like the 2500s with conventional 'winter silver' wrap material, but still ground/polished.

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Dave
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Dave » Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:25 pm

Years ago I tried the wound third 2510 and I think the thin diameter of the g string felt odd at the time. I was using the 2390 set frequently back then. I do remember the feel of the basses were a little different in the 2510, probably the nickel.

These sets are availible at SBM, and the prices are very close, less than $9 a set. I'd try them all to see which is best for you. ;)
Dave

Butch Alan
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Butch Alan » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:33 pm

Thanks Dave.

Arker
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Arker » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:35 pm

Well I now have a set of 2500s on and they are interesting. The 'normal' trebles should be the same size but somehow seem much thinner than my previous strings. The basses are also quite a bit thinner than my previous strings, which is interesting, as one tends to expect higher tension to equal thicker strings but obviously that doesn't have to be the case - denser materials works.

Being thinner is not really good or bad though, it's just different. How do they sound? Well I definitely don't hear finger squeaks, so they delivered what they promise in that regard. Of course I wasn't so well organized as to measure dbs, but the guitar does seem slightly quieter, and the frequency response seems ever so slightly muted. This is not bad it's just different, with a little time I might come to prefer these basses.

But I am still not sure what to think of these trebles. Why do they feel thinner?

Butch Alan
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Butch Alan » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:30 pm

Seek and ye shall find. Yeah, but when?!

Arker
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Arker » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:30 am

After pulling the old ones back out and looking them over carefully I think it's an optical illusion - these are transparent and my old trebles were cloudy - the cloudy ones look bigger but they are not.

The GHS set seems to be breaking in more easily, or more slowly, however you want to look at it - they came right up to standard pitch the first day and have come very close to holding it right from the start.

dhd

Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by dhd » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:42 pm

I'm new here and have no experience with nylon strings.
The discussion on the GHS 2500 string set is very interesting and I like the idea of less finger noise on 4, 5 and 6 strings.
Also noticed the GHS 2390 was mentioned as a good candidate for less finger noise, and just prior to ordering a set of 2390s,
the GHS MA2390 caught my eye, (Muriel Anderson Signature Series).
I really admire Muriel Anderson's guitar playing and ended up with a set of MA2390 strings instead of the 2390s.
To my dismay, the MA2390 are a Round Wound string set, not Smooth Round like the regular 2390s.

The MA2390 set sounds very nice (except for the finger noise on 4,5 and 6 strings), and I like the treble strings which are made of a Titanium Alloy.
Just thought I'd mention the differences between these two sets, in case anyone else was thinking about ordering some. :)

Arker
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Re: Testing GHS 2500 " -Low noise strings" - - Your experiences?

Post by Arker » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:34 am

Although they shocked me how easily they came up to tune and held it, there is still clearly a breaking-in process going on with the sound getting subjectively fuller particularly in the last two days. Also I just tuned down to an open G and they really seem to like that.

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