Well...an update on strings. This could go in the strings forum, however I think it bears more on the purchase and assessment of the GC82S:
I received a set of Hannabach SS 815 HT strings from the dealer with my instrument, so I decided to give them a good plucking. It has been about two months with them, so I can speak to the results with extended use.
First, the good: even, balanced and somewhat mellow tone, easy to dig in or play lightly.
Second, the bad: less colour, life and tone colour variation than I would like, harder to play, less resonant vitality and although I couldn't say the top is being choked off, it certainly seems to be tending in that direction.
Altogether, as Snoopy would say:
I have gone back to the Augustine Regal/Blue (came on the GC82S from Yamaha) and instantly, a smile came over my face and my fingers said, "Yes!" The guitar came alive, the lovely resonant colour was back, projection increased, tone colour and dynamics increased and playing was noticeably easier.
So, why such a difference? Well, Yamaha GC82S has (I believe) a thinner and more lightly braced top than my GC-10 (which doesn't show such large variations with different strings) and the Hannabach strings are higher tension in the basses than the Augustine Blues. Overall, the Hannabachs have a total tension of 96.13 lbs compared to 94.76 lbs for the Augustines. This is not a large difference, however in the basses the difference is significant. In addition the Augustine strings are thicker (except for the A string). Here are the numbers:
e: 16.53 e: 18.81
b: 13.67 b: 14.12
g: 14.77 g: 13.78
D: 17.2 D: 16.41
A: 16.76 A: 15.75
E: 17.2 E: 15.89
The Hannabach basses have an average tension of 17.05 lbs, compared to 16.02 for the Augustines. I can definitely feel that and the playability is affected. The Hannabach trebles have an average tension of 14.99 lbs compared to 15.57 for the Augustines. With the trebles the difference is in the opposite direction, but only about half as large. The one string that stands out is the Augustine top e at 18.81 lbs. Actually that string really sings out and although I do not notice any playing issues, I may try an Augustine Imperial e.
I think Yamaha used the Augustine strings to adjust and compare design variations on the GC82S and to voice the instrument. Given that it was designed using the tone references of Santos Hernandez and Hauser I, following on Segovia's advice for the GC71, that makes sense. Segovia did like the Augustine strings on his 1937 Hauser.
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1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)