"Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

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kertsopoulos
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"Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:44 pm

By: Yorgos Kertsopoulos
It’s a reality. The guitar plays successfully in the tuning range of the violin and even more.

At 32.5 cm. (usual) string length, the violin gets its strings tuned an octave higher than the guitar and Don Antonio de Torres Jurado eventually settled for a 32.5 X 2 = 65 cm. for the guitar’s string length. Modern guitars range from 64 to a 66.6 or even 67 cm. string length but the 65 cm. established by Torres is a very often used standard.

If one takes the violin string as a standard and doubles the string length, it is acoustically natural and evident to end up with an octave lower tuning under the same - as the violin’s - applied tension. So, we end up naturally with our known guitar tuning, with parallel string tension approximations existing there.
The how and the why in strings.jpg
The “Kertsopoulos” nylon, metalonylon, metalonymatic strings for normal, high and re-entrant tuning with multi-tuning & multi-timbre possibilities.

The violin bridge has a sound post underneath it, which sits tight in-between the top and the back plates, providing extra support to the bridge, which however is under a vertical applied force exerted by the tension of the strings.

This does not exist in a guitar (the top - soundboard and the back do not bond with any sound post) and the guitar’s bridge is under different torque tension vectors exercising synthetic forces on the bridge and the soundboard (in turn) and in various other vertically inclined directions in regard to the position of the saddle.

Youtube

The tuning is 9 semitones higher than normal to aim for a harpsichord related interpretation.

All these peculiarities make it quite an extremely difficult task to construct guitar strings, which will be capable to be tuned an octave higher than normal, meaning to play in the range of the violin possessing however, a doubled string length. Theoretically and practically, it has seemed impossible, if one considers also the synthetic forces that are applied to the saddle and the bridge of the modern classical guitar.

Additionally to the above, we would like to be able to obtain this high tuning on the guitar without increasing the overall tension more than what the normal tension of the strings is expected to be and also, to provide a considerable mass for each string gauge so that the sound has the appropriate body, volume, sustain, attack and desirable timber.

So, one needs to have quality high-tuned strings in order to produce a high-pitched guitar.

It has been done successfully - first presented worldwide in 1994 - through a very especially applied technology by the author and the acoustical and musical results are shown through the different interpretations in the videos presented.

Youtube

S.Gregoriadou interpreting on a high tuning 5 semitones higher than normal – a keyboard (true to the period/harpsichord) aimed timber and sonority interpretation.


Attention: Please do not attempt to tune your guitar strings higher than normal because there is a danger of damaging your instrument. To get the high-pitched tunings for your guitar, it is necessary to use especially designed and constructed strings for this purpose.

To be continued...
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ashepps
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by ashepps » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:49 am

Don Antonio de Torres Jurado eventually settled for a 32.5 X 2 = 65 cm. for the guitar’s string length. Modern guitars range from 64 to a 66.6 or even 67 cm. string length but the 65 cm. established by Torres is a very often used standard.

Hi,

A lot of work has gone into this post. I can't say I have read it completely as it is late at night, but I have read some interesting material and have heard some great playing. Being late I am just going to get into your quote above on string lengths.

Over the past number of years the accepted "normal" scale length has been 65cm for the classical guitar. My understanding or my experience was that the longest scale lengths were in the 660-664mm range during the 1960s and 70s. I am curious about the time frame when the norm for the classical guitar was an amazing 70cm long!

I purchased what I thought was a normal guitar, 663mm, in the mid 70s only to find out a few years ago that the scale length was far too long for my stature, thus had trouble playing it and I gave up guitar for many years, mostly because of my difficulty playing the 663mm.

I picked up the guitar again about 3 years ago only to realize, because of this forum, that my 663mm was too big for me. I sold it and purchased a more playable and enjoyable full body 630mm!

Cheers
Alan Sheppard
1986 630mm Asturias JM-15 Spruce
1955 650mm Framus SL-32R
2015 650mm Yamaha SLG110N

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kertsopoulos
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:24 pm

ashepps wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:49 am
Over the past number of years the accepted "normal" scale length has been 65cm for the classical guitar. My understanding or my experience was that the longest scale lengths were in the 660-664mm range during the 1960s and 70s. I am curious about the time frame when the norm for the classical guitar was an amazing 70cm long!

I purchased what I thought was a normal guitar, 663mm, in the mid 70s only to find out a few years ago that the scale length was far too long for my stature, thus had trouble playing it and I gave up guitar for many years, mostly because of my difficulty playing the 663mm.

I picked up the guitar again about 3 years ago only to realize, because of this forum, that my 663mm was too big for me. I sold it and purchased a more playable and enjoyable full body 630mm!

Cheers
Hi ashepps and thanks for your comment.

Speaking of norms concerning the 70 cm scale length, I would like to add that it was only an experimentation that was applied in very few guitars compared with the whole guitar production and of course, it proved as an experimentation that it is not such a comfortable scale length of strings, even for long handed guitarists.

Before the work of Don Antonio de Torres Jurado, the 620, 630, 635, 640 mm etc. scale legths were some of the common scale lengths of the luthiers of the time, excluding some exceptions. Torres tried himself different scale lengths, since he was a great experimenter and inventor but however, he settled with great insistance on the 650 mm scale length in most of his concert and other cheaper models he produced.

This stabilization of the string length scale to 650 mm by Torres was not at random or luck or even obsession. Torres had found the ideal string length that would give him the best acoustical results, exactly because of the fact that Torres had invented the Mathematical Model of the Guitar (that I found, published and presented internationally in 1982), that is built according to the scale length of the string. If the scale length of the string changes then every other dimension of the body of the guitar changes in a mathematical analogous manner, in the Mathematical Model.

However, out of the numerous equations that are formed within the Mathematical Model, 8 (eight) of these equations happen to be exact by
+ or - 0.125 of a cm only when the scale length is exactly 650 mm. If the scale length is up or down 1 mm from 650 mm the eight equations lose completely the approximation of +or - 0.125 cm and these equations do not exist as functional. So, Torres did not find the 650 mm as a magical or mysterious number that really functioned acoustically but he had concrete mathematical proof that 650 mm was the ideal scale length of strings so that the Mathematical Model of the Guitar (that he also invented to form the whole planntilla/outline of the body of the guitar) included the most possible functional equations.

However, many guitars are built which are more than 650 mm or less, as your last guitar as you write, which is 630 mm and you are happy with it, which makes me also glad. So, when one designs and constructs strings, one must take into account in the string design and construction that one fabricates for guitars that have a range of scale lengths from 630 or 640 mm to 670 mm at least and this is where there is an added difficulty in the string designing and constructing stage and process. My strings have a range of 620 to 668 mm, where the 668 mm becomes 670 if one adds the 2 mm approx. compensation of the bridge saddle.

Best regards,
Georgios (Yorgos)

ashepps
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by ashepps » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:35 pm

Georgios,

Thanks for the in depth reply and reasoning of why the 650mm became the today's standard. I knew nothing about scale lengths when I purchased my first new classical guitar in the mid 70s, but I don't believe the salesman new any better. It makes me think,what was the length of my 70's Gibson J-45 or my D-28 Martin? Perhaps I had no problems with the chords and strumming However, with the 663 classical guitar something was telling me that I had a problem and that it felt too big, not the body just the feel of the left hand over the strings. If I had only known then what I do now, I would have purchased a shorter scale guitar back then and perhaps not quit playing in the early 80s. I did have a slight overuse injury, but the overall situation was enough to pack it up.

After restarting a few years ago I did not have the excuse of the injury anymore and was lucky enough before I got discouraged again I realized from this forum that a shorter scale may be the way to go and it certainly was. In fact, if I could afford it I would love to have a 615mm.

Regarding your mathematical equations I am sure that they are all good, but that's way above my head, but I do appreciate the time you have taken to explain it. Classical guitars now have cut-outs, I would assume then that's where you equations would enter the picture.

One thing in your reply indicated that strings should be made for the scale length. Is there something you can suggest for my 630 range or does it really matter? I have been using good standard tension strings and are working out well, no buzzing, is there something better?

Thanks again for the response and I do hope you get more responses on your initial post. When I glanced at it last night at 2am (AST) or so was too late to really take it in and have not re-read it. Hopefully I will!

Cheers,

Alan
Alan Sheppard
1986 630mm Asturias JM-15 Spruce
1955 650mm Framus SL-32R
2015 650mm Yamaha SLG110N

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kertsopoulos
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:03 pm

ashepps wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:35 pm
Georgios,

...One thing in your reply indicated that strings should be made for the scale length. Is there something you can suggest for my 630 range or does it really matter? I have been using good standard tension strings and are working out well, no buzzing, is there something better?

Thanks again for the response and I do hope you get more responses on your initial post. When I glanced at it last night at 2am (AST) or so was too late to really take it in and have not re-read it. Hopefully I will!

Cheers,

Alan
Alan,

Thanks for your answer and kind wish for the initial post. I am glad you are in harmony with your scale length and the standard tension strings that you are using without having any buzzing. Since, you ask me if there is anything better, I would answer you easily that there is nothing better than what one finds as the best solution. If you feel you have found the best solution, then, there is nothing better, compared to the best solution found already.

One tries to find another solution, only when the acoustical demands that one has, overpasses the already found solution. For instance, most string companies when they say the strings are normal tension, hard tension or extra hard tension they have tested their strings tension (which is force applied in pounds per square inch or Kg in square cm in the bridge area) using as standard string length the 650 mm scale length. So, at 630 mm which is 20 mm less from the common standard (650 mm) used for testing string tension, when you tune your guitar at normal known tuning, the standard tension strings that you use, are less than standard tension, they are low tension strings on your guitar, not standard tension.

Of course, if they do not buzz you are OK, but if you use hard tension strings on your 630 mm guitar, they will behave like standard (normal) tension. Likely, if you use extra hard tension, these will behave like hard tension strings. The 20 mm difference makes all the difference and if you try to use hard tension strings or extra hard tension strings, it would only be for a necessity factor that will be born from an acoustical need from you, to get a different response in attack and sustain from your instrument. However, the feeling of the increased tension on the strings will have to be as much comfortable for the left and right hand as you already have accomplished up to now with the standard tension strings. So, it's a matter of your own choice of preferences but the different tensions of the strings applied to the bridge area are influenced by the scale length and it is helpful to know that a 630 mm scale length produces a low tension on a standard (normal) tension set of strings. Hope that this helps in some way.

Cheers,

Georgios

ashepps
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by ashepps » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:25 pm

Thanks Georgios, I will stick with the strings I am using then.

Cheers,

Alan
Alan Sheppard
1986 630mm Asturias JM-15 Spruce
1955 650mm Framus SL-32R
2015 650mm Yamaha SLG110N

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kertsopoulos
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:31 am

ashepps wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:25 pm
Thanks Georgios, I will stick with the strings I am using then.

Cheers,

Alan
You are welcome Alan, all best to you.

Cheers,

Georgios

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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:11 am

Continuation from the initial post

...Additionally to the above, we would like to be able to obtain this high tuning on the guitar without increasing the overall tension more than what the normal tension of the strings is expected to be and also, to provide a considerable mass for each string gauge so that the sound has the appropriate body, volume, sustain, attack and desirable timber...

(We will continue below from the above paragraph, which is found in the initial post).

Apart from the special mass distribution and unique molecular structure, these high tuned strings have an extremely balanced coefficient of elasticity, to control favorably the tension required for tuning them high and provide them also, with rich vibration qualities for producing sustain, roundness in the attack and added warmth within their brilliance. Without these especially designed high tuned strings the high-pitched guitar would never have been a reality for guitarists but only a transcendental fantasy for unrealistic dreamers. It is however, a reality for guitarists that can interpret works of many different styles in various alternative ways of tuning ranges.
THE KERTSOPOULOS STRING CONSTRUCTION.jpg
The “Kertsopoulos” string construction is shown in a special application where all the strings apart from the first are wound on the instrument itself resembling the wound gut tradition of the past, with the exception that the material quality of the strings is made with modern technological methods.

The strings can be used on any guitar having the string length ranging from 62 to 67 cm. and all possible tunings from 0 (open strings) = -3 fret to 0=14th fret can be accomplished so, the outermost high pitched possibilities of a guitar today are even surpassing the octave range by one tone.

An open architectural scheme is achieved because a guitarist might want to play a work in 0 (open strings) = 4th fret and play the same or another work at 0 = 9th fret or 0 = 12th fret (violin’s tuning).

Each set of strings can be used for tuning the guitar in 3 different tunings. For example: the set of strings used for 0 (open strings) = 12th fret will provide successful tunings at 0 = 10th or 11th fret tuning etc. The other sets are the known tuning of 0 (open strings) = 0 fret tuning (typically known) to -3 fret, 3d to 1st fret tuning range, 5th to 3d, 7th to 5th, 9th to 7th, while the 12th to the 14th fret range is the outermost high range set.


Youtube

The guitar is tuned 9 semitones higher than normal and the interpretation resembles a mandolin and a harp playing, which agrees with F.Tarrega’s vision of the specific work.

To be continued...
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:36 pm

Below is a continuation from the above post.

Since, at the beginning in the initial post ,we referred to the violin, it is within our scope to ask:

Why is the violin the leading instrument in an orchestra or even why is the violin the leading stringed instrument in its own family of instrument?

Even more, what makes the high pitched instruments in every category of instruments to possess the lead?

Why is the soprano the leading part of all the types of voices?

Everyone can give her/his own answer –usually - in the general scope that the listener gives always more attention and prevalence to the higher notes in any situation. Ok! So it is, but then the second important question arises:

Why is that happening? What are the actual reasons for this?

The answer lies somehow, in the ability of the humans to comprehend the wider content of harmonic partial spanning range existing in higher sounding instruments, in contrast with the limited content of the harmonic partial spanning range of the lower sounding instruments. Making this simple in guitar language:

A guitar tuned at the normal tuning has its 6th string E (Helmholtz pitch notation) at a frequency of 82.4 Hz and the 1st string at the 12th fret e’’ at 82.4 x 8 = 659.2 Hz. The 12th harmonic partial of the first string’s twelfth fret e’’ will be (theoretically, because in practice there is always an approximation occurring) 659.2 x 12 = 7,910.4 Hz.

In contrast to the above, a high - pitched tuning of an octave higher than normal on a guitar has its 6th string e at a frequency of 82.4 x 2 = 164.8 Hz and the first string at the 12th fret e’’’ at 164.8 x 8 = 1,318.4 Hz. The 12th harmonic partial of the 1st string’s twelfth fret e’’’ will be around
1,318.4 x 12 = 15,820.8 Hz.

Let’s make now the comparison: the normal tuning from the lowest fundamental note of the 6th open string to the 12th harmonic partial of the 1st string at the 12th fret gives a range of 82.4 Hz to 7,910.4 Hz, whereas for the same criteria the high - pitched tuning gives 164.8 Hz to 15,820.8 Hz.

The high – pitched tuning loses a lower octave within the range of 82.4 Hz to 164.8 Hz but it gains a higher octave not existing (as a whole) in the normal tuning with an extremely wide span of harmonic partial content ranging from 7,910.4 Hz to 15,820.8 Hz. The gain in provided frequency information is in a great increase in regard to the loss of it, for the high – pitched tuning.

A wider and in turn greater span of the harmonic partials (existing mainly from the overall harmonic spectrum perception of fundamentals as they are related to overtones) provides a much richer platform of information for the conception; hence more musical interest is promoted in the reasoning and understanding processes of the mind.

This mainly accounts for the fundamental how and why of the high frequency lead that characterizes many if not all of the high – pitched instruments from an acoustical and psycho – physiological aspect and of course there are also, other additive reasons.


Youtube

The guitar is tuned 14 semitones higher than normal, which is one tone over the violin tuning range.

A poly-stylistic platform is at hand today and many combinations of modern arrangements, compositions (incorporating also, musical scopes of preserving authenticity in timbre or the original keys in transcriptions) can be done successfully, overcoming many interpretational obstacles and problems existing in the interpreter’s sphere.

The above is a “Kertsopoulos aesthetics” strings invention - construction using all the modern technological means to incorporate the rich historical tradition of the guitar - in all its aspects (past and present) – and combine them to form an open architectural platform of a versatile all-frets system of guitar tuning, initializing a realizable future evolution for the instrument that will do justice to the music and enhance the role and interpretational capabilities of the guitarists themselves.


Youtube

In "Greensleeves" it is a guitar duet where the guitars are an octave apart.In the "Romance" it is solo guitar with double courses, where the strings of each course are an octave apart.

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kertsopoulos
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:54 am

We can obtain the following SEVEN different tunings on the open six strings of the guitar, with seven different sets of strings, starting with the normal typically known tuning:

1) 0 fret tuning=0 fret tuning (typically known, where 6th string to 1st string is E,A,D,G,B.E), where the guitar is tuned in the typically known manner. (With the same strings you can also successfully tune one semitone lower, one tone lower or even three semitones lower). It contains: three silver wound basses and three metalonylon treble strings. It also contains 2 replacement nylon first strings especially designed to match and work with the 2nd and 3d metalonylon strings.The set is named:
0 fret tuning=0 fret tuning (typically known).

Youtube


Youtube


2) 0 fret tuning=third fret tuning, where the guitar is tuned a minor third higher than normal (With the same strings you can also successfully tune to the second or first fret tuning). It includes: 6th and 5th are silver wound basses, 4th, 3d, and 2nd are metalonylon and 1st string is nylon. The set is named:
0 fret tuning=third fret tuning.

Youtube


To be continued with 5 more higher tunings...

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kertsopoulos
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:12 pm

Continuation from exactly the previous post...

3) 0 fret tuning=fifth fret tuning, where the guitar is tuned a perfect fourth higher than normal.
(With the same strings you can also successfully tune to the fourth or third fret tuning). It includes: 6th and 5th are silver
wound basses, 4th and 3d are metalonylon and 2nd and 1st strings are nylon. The set is named:
0 fret tuning=fifth fret tuning.

Youtube


Youtube

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kertsopoulos
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:45 am

Continued exactly from the previous post.

4) 0 fret tuning=seventh fret tuning, where the guitar is tuned a perfect fifth higher than normal.
(With the same strings you can also successfully tune to the sixth or fifth fret tuning). It includes: 6th and 5th
are silver wound basses, 4th and 3d are metalonylon and 2nd and 1st strings are nylon. The set is named:
0 fret tuning=seventh fret tuning.

Youtube


5) 0 fret tuning=ninth fret tuning, where the guitar is tuned a major sixth higher than normal.
(With the same strings you can also successfully tune to the eighth or seventh fret tuning).It includes: 6th
is silver wound bass, 5th 4th are metalonylon and 3d, 2nd and 1st strings are nylon. The set is named:
0 fret tuning=ninth fret tuning.

Youtube

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kertsopoulos
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:22 pm

Continued exactly from the previus post.

6) 0 fret tuning=twelfth fret tuning, where the guitar is tuned an octave higher than normal.
(With the same strings you can also successfully tune to the eleventh and the tenth fret tuning). It includes:
6th is silver wound bass, 5th 4th are metalonylon and 3d, 2nd are nylon and 1st string is nymatic. The set is named:
0 fret tuning=twelfth fret tuning.

Youtube

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kertsopoulos
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by kertsopoulos » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:00 pm

Continued exactly from the previous post.

7) 0 fret tuning=fourteenth fret tuning, where the guitar is tuned an octave+a tone higher than normal.
(With the same strings you can also successfully tune to the thirteenth and the twelfth fret tuning). It includes:
6th and 5th are metalonylon, 4th, 3d and 2ndare nylon and 1st string is nymatic. The set is named:
0 fret tuning=fourteenth fret tuning.

Youtube

marusanek52
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Re: "Kertsopoulos Aesthetics" strings in normal & high tuning-The how and the why

Post by marusanek52 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:03 pm

Hello Yorgos,
These strings look (And sound brilliant)
Will they be available in mass production?
And where could we buy these strings?

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