Less common strings for an 8 string

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Conall
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Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by Conall » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:11 am

I have had an inexpensive 2nd hand 8 string Orfeo for a while now.
When I received it it had 2 very thick 7th & 8th strings on it so I tried tuning them C and G below E and liked the result & found it very resonant.
I subsequently bought the strings most often mentioned with relation to the Orfeo and other non Brahms 8 string guitars.
I put these Hannabach (7=D, & 8=C) on and notice more fret buzz than previously (why?).

But my main questions, are do any experts know:
- where do I buy a low G & what gauge / tension should it be (preferably in UK or EU)
- what brand?
- what long term negative impact if any will this low G (& the C moved to the 7th slot) have on the integrity of the guitar? It looked OK & sounded well when I previously had the very thick strings but I suspect they might have eventually bowed the neck / warped soundboard / started pulling off the bridge / caused intonation problems.

Any help appreciated!

soltirefa
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Location: Southern California

Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by soltirefa » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:31 pm

But my main questions, are do any experts know:
- where do I buy a low G & what gauge / tension should it be (preferably in UK or EU)
- what brand?
Not sure about buying the strings in UK or EU, but at stringsbymail dot com you can buy individual basses by going to classical guitar strings>D'Addario>Specialty strings>silverplated wound. Typically a 056W is meant for low A. You will see they have a 058W and a 060W. Probably one of those would be good for a low G.

La Bella has even larger diameter individual basses going down to 080W. That is astonishingly thick. I can't imagine what they'd be used for, perhaps low E or even lower.

Savarez (under 7-13 string) has even larger diameter, down to 086W, and it even says for the note E. I had mentioned that a 056W is typically meant for low A, but under Savarez they say the 066W is for A.

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joachim33
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by joachim33 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:03 pm

Conall wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:11 am
I have had an inexpensive 2nd hand 8 string Orfeo for a while now.
When I received it it had 2 very thick 7th & 8th strings on it so I tried tuning them C and G below E and liked the result & found it very resonant.
I subsequently bought the strings most often mentioned with relation to the Orfeo and other non Brahms 8 string guitars.
I put these Hannabach (7=D, & 8=C) on and notice more fret buzz than previously (why?).

But my main questions, are do any experts know:
- where do I buy a low G & what gauge / tension should it be (preferably in UK or EU)
- what brand?
- what long term negative impact if any will this low G (& the C moved to the 7th slot) have on the integrity of the guitar? It looked OK & sounded well when I previously had the very thick strings but I suspect they might have eventually bowed the neck / warped soundboard / started pulling off the bridge / caused intonation problems.

Any help appreciated!
Not sure what you call fret buzz, but Hannabach strings (I have experience with 815MT a year ago and 815LT now) can be somewhat sensitive to precise fretting. Anywhere in the middle of the box will not do. Also in the past I noticed the 815MT basses to be pressure sensitive. Pressing to hard/to little was not good and gave strange sounds. These issues have been reported by others to ease with time (I didn't have mine long enough), which might be the explanation why you didn't notice that so much with oldish strings that came with the instrument.

How long did you allow the Hannabachs to settle? I allow strings 2 weeks, on the instrument before I regard them as settled = reaching their "final" properties. In particular bass strings can require some stretching to stop the windings touching each other.

Did you change the other strings (1-6) as well? Do they also have issues?

Conall
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Location: Scotland

Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by Conall » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:22 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:31 pm
But my main questions, are do any experts know:
- where do I buy a low G & what gauge / tension should it be (preferably in UK or EU)
- what brand?
Not sure about buying the strings in UK or EU, but at stringsbymail dot com you can buy individual basses by going to classical guitar strings>D'Addario>Specialty strings>silverplated wound. Typically a 056W is meant for low A. You will see they have a 058W and a 060W. Probably one of those would be good for a low G.

La Bella has even larger diameter individual basses going down to 080W. That is astonishingly thick. I can't imagine what they'd be used for, perhaps low E or even lower.

Savarez (under 7-13 string) has even larger diameter, down to 086W, and it even says for the note E. I had mentioned that a 056W is typically meant for low A, but under Savarez they say the 066W is for A.
Thanks! - I'll check out the Savarez speciality range.
Still a bit worried about possible extra tension from such a heavy string though!

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mikfik
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by mikfik » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:17 am

Strings tuned this low need to have less tension than you might guess. If unsure about thickness, buy a range of single strings, perhaps .050 thru .060 in .002 increments and begin with the smallest string, put it on and tune it up. check it out and proceed.
To much tension for 7th and 8th string can cause horrible problems down the road if left unchecked. Be careful and be conservative.
Strings meant for these very low frequencies normally have a much longer scale length and are not much larger than your normal low E string.
On my Dresden the low G is a .052 Saverez but the string length is about 85cm.
On my 8string Kakos (65cm scale) I sometimes tune my 8th string to G. I use a .056 Saverez.

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Steve Ganz
Luthier
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by Steve Ganz » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:45 am

Suggestion: check out the d'addario string tension chart (http://www.daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf) ... it's a pdf that has lots of data on how all their strings tune at different tensions, with a given string length. I've used it when I made custom 8, 10, and 11 string instruments. The chart is very helpful.
For instance, if you search the chart for NYL052, you can see that string has about 10 lbs of tension when tuned to G on a 25.5 inch scale.
The chart is a nice resource for non-standard guitarists. Of course, all the strings they sell there are their own. But they give the formulas that they use to calculate tensions, and those formulas can be applied to other makes.
Steve

Conall
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Location: Scotland

Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by Conall » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:10 pm

Thanks for all the info guys.
I'm thinking of buying the Savarez 5211r from stringsbymail since it mentions "G" i.e. lowest string of an 11 string. The second hand Orfea 8 string I bought originally had 2 very thick lowest strings on it from the previous owner and the lowest sounded pretty well as a G below 6th E. It should be useful for Weiss etc. I'm still a bit worried though about the tension and whether the string length is right for a low G. My very rough measurement from saddle to nut (point at which string is free to vibrate) of the 8th string is c.63.75cm or just over 25 inches. I have no idea what the normal string length is of the 11th string of an 11 string guitar is or whether this Savarez string will sound well & not damage the guitar!

soltirefa
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by soltirefa » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:19 pm

I have no idea what the normal string length is of the 11th string of an 11 string guitar is or whether this Savarez string will sound well & not damage the guitar!
Be sure you're not talking about an 11-string alto guitar. In that case you "think" of the 11th string as G and read it as G on the music, but in reality it sounds up a minor 3rd to Bb. It's like putting a capo on the 3rd fret of a regular guitar.

Conall
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by Conall » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:17 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:19 pm
I have no idea what the normal string length is of the 11th string of an 11 string guitar is or whether this Savarez string will sound well & not damage the guitar!
Be sure you're not talking about an 11-string alto guitar. In that case you "think" of the 11th string as G and read it as G on the music, but in reality it sounds up a minor 3rd to Bb. It's like putting a capo on the 3rd fret of a regular guitar.
I'm only quoting what it says on the sleeve:

https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-5 ... -3395.html

I doubt they would mention "G" if they meant "Bb". But if the intended string length is a good deal longer or shorter than that of my 8th string then I presume it's not ideal or would have to be tuned to another pitch?

soltirefa
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by soltirefa » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:18 pm

0.075 Silverwound Copper on Nylon core

Yes, they mean low G.

Conall
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by Conall » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:43 am

soltirefa wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:18 pm
0.075 Silverwound Copper on Nylon core

Yes, they mean low G.
So would you reckon it should be safe enough to use on a guitar with my string length?
It will probably be left on long term as 8th string and I'd like to use my current 8th as 7th (C, from Hannabach 8 string set where 7th & 8th are specified as D & C below 6th E respectively). I gather that some 8 string guitars are tuned down to low A or F# / any number of different pitches on the lowest 2 strings!
Would I be safe enough to presume that as long as I don't tune any of these Savarez speciality strings above the suggested pitch my guitar's structural integrity should not be compromised? In which case I could use any of Savarez 7th (D) - 13th (E below E 6th) provided they are tuned to their suggested pitch?
I read in another similar thread that someone said that tuning down to low E will sound poor & too loose on a 650mm scale length guitar. I'm not looking to go that low but low G would suit my needs well if is safe on my guitar and sounds well enough (the strings that were originally on the guitar sounded well but looked too thick to me).

Cheers,

C.

soltirefa
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by soltirefa » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:53 pm

So would you reckon it should be safe enough to use on a guitar with my string length?

I don't know your guitar and the largest diameter string/low note I have experienced is a 056W for low A. So you're venturing into unknown territory for me. I wouldn't want to be responsible for damaging your guitar. That having been said, it's probably okay. However, you might want to try a smaller diameter string for that low G first. If it feels too loose or sounds weak, then move up in diameter. There's some trial and error in trying different strings for a multi-string guitar.

I'm not sure why the quote mechanism didn't work with this post.

Conall
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Re: Less common strings for an 8 string

Post by Conall » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:37 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:53 pm
So would you reckon it should be safe enough to use on a guitar with my string length?

I don't know your guitar and the largest diameter string/low note I have experienced is a 056W for low A. So you're venturing into unknown territory for me. I wouldn't want to be responsible for damaging your guitar. That having been said, it's probably okay. However, you might want to try a smaller diameter string for that low G first. If it feels too loose or sounds weak, then move up in diameter. There's some trial and error in trying different strings for a multi-string guitar.

I'm not sure why the quote mechanism didn't work with this post.
Thanks for that.
I wouldn't dream of blaming anyone other than myself for damaging my guitar through poor string choice. Perhaps if I was paying someone for advice or for stringing the guitar I might seek recourse. I can't even blame Savarez if the low G damages my guitar because it mentions 11 string guitar not 8.
Ok so maybe I'll try what you suggest, something less thick first. I'll maybe order 3 or 4 of different diameter & try the thinnest first.
Cheers!

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