Item #10: I have tried a lot of strings and finally settled on D'Addaio Pro Arte (though I'm always experimenting). I use hard tension for my Kenny Hill and mediums for my Ramirez. My question is regarding the extra G string provided in these string sets. One G string is the regular plastic but the second is the composite (I think it might use some type of metal blended with the plastic). I found that when I use the composite G string (the one that is a tan color), my Hill guitar's intonation is adversely affected. That is, the G string when tuned at the open position is very sharp in the upper frets. When I replace that string with the clear, regular, G string the intonation is once again spot on (or as close to it as can be expected). I suspect it's because the composite string is harder and when fretted it raises the pitch because of its increased tension. I don't have this problem with the medium tension strings; actions are the same of both guitars. Do you have experience with these strings? If so, have you had the same problem? Do you think my diagnosis is correct?
It's mostly the increased stiffness of the composite string that causes the intonation problem. The amount of compensation required for each string depends on both the amount the tension changes when it is fretted (which is largely dependant on the action), and on the stiffness of the string. It should be possible to adjust the compensation at the saddle to correct it, but it will never be perfect for both types of string.
MichaelBo wrote:Item #15: I really like my Kenny Hill Hauser '37 but something he wrote about them on his website makes me curious. This guitar is finished via the French polish method and he states that he puts "hundreds or thousands" of coats of lacquer on the guitar. I've always thought that would be a lot of coats and reckoned he meant each swirl of a circular pattern constituted one coat. Maybe that would explain it. But now I see where you wrote that each coat must be dry before the next is applied. Maybe this is a dumb question, and maybe Kenny is jokingly exaggerating and trying to make the point that he spends a lot of time doing this finish, but how can you put hundreds or especially thousands of coats on a guitar and still get it out the door to the customer within 1-3 months?
There has always been some confusion when describing the amount of Shellac applied to a guitar in the French polishing process. I tend to try to talk about sessions these days - I might spend about an hour on one session to do the whole guitar, and the drying time required is between sessions. I can only assume that Kenny is (as you suggested) talking about the total number of passes over each part of the guitar, and this is something I've never tried to estimate, but it would certainly be many hundreds (not sure about thousands though).