Marvel Over String Tensions

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Chuah Hui Hsien
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Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:08 am

It got me marvelled over a selection sets of strings that I have been working on to match my 64cm spruce top guitar.

Apart from looking for desirable tone and colours on various brands,are the overall string tensions more important criteria that I overlooked?

First it came with 98.44 lbs hard tension set per lutheir's recommendation.I dislike the rather stiff feeling trebles and I moved on to 79.97 lbs set then 82.23 lbs set,apparently these medium tensions have not enough strength to drive the soundboard.As curiousity stepped in I put on 105.6 lbs set and this time the bass side got choked,trebles were fine because of lesser tension.

Should I then keep the string tensions between 85 lbs to 95 lbs in order to make the guitar stay alive?Or should I get different bass and treble sets?
Last edited by Chuah Hui Hsien on Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

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Michael.N.
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:15 am

You can mix strings anyway you like, even different makes between the wound strings, same with the trebles. Some even choose a completely different material for one string i.e. a carbon G. The combinations are endless.
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Rognvald
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Rognvald » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:37 pm

Chuah,
It's all part of the magical madness of being a musician. Enjoy the ride! Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Beowulf
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Beowulf » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:20 pm

Augustine strings are provided in sets which make it easy to select your preferred treble tension with your preferred bass tension. For example, if you like the high tension trebles (Regal) you can pair them with Black...Red/Gold...Blue basses, from low to high tension. The Gold basses are warmer.
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:15 pm

Yes Beowulf,I am actually planning to order the Augustine Imperial trebles set = 45.73 lbs.Now could not decide wether to pair with 48.05 lbs Blue basses or 45.88 lbs Red basses,both are ideal candidates.This would take the total tensions to 93.78 lbs and 91.72 lbs respectively.

I have heard good reviews about Augustine lately and Peter's recommendation on Imperial trebles.How do you find the Regal Blue on your Yamaha so far?
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

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Beowulf
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Beowulf » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:51 am

Chuah Hui Hsien wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:15 pm
Yes Beowulf,I am actually planning to order the Augustine Imperial trebles set = 45.73 lbs.Now could not decide wether to pair with 48.05 lbs Blue basses or 45.88 lbs Red basses,both are ideal candidates.This would take the total tensions to 93.78 lbs and 91.72 lbs respectively.

I have heard good reviews about Augustine lately and Peter's recommendation on Imperial trebles.How do you find the Regal Blue on your Yamaha so far?
Very nice...resonant, responsive, colourful and well balanced. Check here for an example: viewtopic.php?f=107&t=108170&start=255#p1334006
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Location: Penang, Malaysia

Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:57 am

Thumbs up for your playing,Beowulf!

Congrats on your purchase of Yamaha 82S.The Regal trebles sound more pronounce than the basses,but anyway they accompany each other in a balance manner.
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

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Beowulf
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Beowulf » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:34 am

Chuah Hui Hsien wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:57 am
Thumbs up for your playing,Beowulf!

Congrats on your purchase of Yamaha 82S.The Regal trebles sound more pronounce than the basses,but anyway they accompany each other in a balance manner.
Thank you very much for the compliment.

The trebles can be bright and penetrating or sweet and delicate. It all depends on my touch and use of nails. The top e can really sing out. I am still getting used to playing such a responsive instrument. After playing only my GC-10 for 45 years I had become accustomed to a relatively powerful stroke and this I am now learning to moderate as it is not necessary with the GC82S. I will post some further examples in the next few weeks which should (I hope!) demonstrate the range of sound available with the Regal/Blue strings.

Also, keep in mind that the frequency balance will be a function of the speakers/headphones you use to listen to recordings. The low E on a classical guitar (tuned to A=440Hz) is 82.4Hz. My computer speakers cannot get that far down in the bass and the sound is very midrange/treble emphasized. When I play the same recording on my full range system (which will reproduce the lowest note on a piano: 27.5Hz) the balance is excellent as the bass register is full and powerful. It is more difficult to get good treble response than bass in a classical guitar.
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Location: Penang, Malaysia

Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:44 am

For those who are still puzzled by variuos brands and different string tensions across the sets.I selected the most commonly used NYLON sets favoured by students and teachers alike,so you can compare the total tensions for each set,and put the suitable one on your guitar.The tone colors go from dark to bright for your preference.

I hope the numbers all in lbs are up to date (from SBM site) :

D'Addario
EJ 45 = 85.85 lbs
EJ 46 = 89.94 lbs
EJ 44 = 91.54 lbs

Hannabach
815 SLT = 86.42
815 LT = 89.06
815 MT = 92.14

Augustine Classic
Black = 84.14
Red = 88.22
Blue = 90.39

La Bella 2001
MHT = 79.97
HT = 85.36
Extra H = 90.75

Savarez
510 cr (Cristal/Cantiga) = 85.2
500 cr (Cristal/Corum) = 87.36
510 cj (Cristal/Cantiga) = 90.5

All the nylon strings of different brands are not similar in stiffness and feels as they are not made from the same material and density.Each manucfacturer has their own formulae,so it is useless for us to debate and argue why EJ46 is easier to play than La Bella MHT or Augustine Black.Just experiment and have fun trying!
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

Dartez82
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Dartez82 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:43 am

It took me a year to find out that La Bella 10ph basses were the perfect match for my guitar. I tried them early on and liked them but didn't trust my ears because nobody else advocates for them and they are very cheap. So I spent a lot of money and changed strings many times, and after a year l knew they were the best basses for my guitar. Unfortunately, I don't think tension charts are helpful. I recommend methodically testing strings and trusting your ears.
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2018 Alejandro Cervantes Signature Rodriguez
2017 Alejandro Cervantes Signature Master Millenia
2013 Alejandro Cervantes Studio Millenia PE

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:48 am

To me,tension chart is definitely useful when people ask me how tight or how loose the strings feel on certain set of certain brand.I just couldn't answer them by saying : "um....I think it's ok, quite playable, I presume" or " arrggg.... it's so damn hard to play,it broke my nails" or "not too hard, not too loose, just nice".

Of course, exotic tonal colours cannot be measured by numbers.This is the second phase on selecting the desirable voicing for our guitars.You have a good point here.

Anyway, thanks for your feedback!
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

Chuah Hui Hsien
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:27 am
Location: Penang, Malaysia

Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:59 am

Hi, Dartez82,

I wish to know what are the trebles that you pair with La Bella 10ph?Do you change the trebles choice ocassionally or you have selected a permanent trebles set to suit your guitar?
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

Dartez82
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Dartez82 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:16 pm

Chuah Hui Hsien wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:59 am
Hi, Dartez82,

I wish to know what are the trebles that you pair with La Bella 10ph?Do you change the trebles choice ocassionally or you have selected a permanent trebles set to suit your guitar?
The guitar I was referring to is lattice braced. I really like mari 200 pH trebles with the LA Bella 10 pH basses. Perfect match for this guitar.
_______________________________________
2018 Alejandro Cervantes Signature Rodriguez
2017 Alejandro Cervantes Signature Master Millenia
2013 Alejandro Cervantes Studio Millenia PE

Dartez82
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by Dartez82 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:20 pm

Chuah Hui Hsien wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:48 am
To me,tension chart is definitely useful when people ask me how tight or how loose the strings feel on certain set of certain brand.I just couldn't answer them by saying : "um....I think it's ok, quite playable, I presume" or " arrggg.... it's so damn hard to play,it broke my nails" or "not too hard, not too loose, just nice".

Of course, exotic tonal colours cannot be measured by numbers.This is the second phase on selecting the desirable voicing for our guitars.You have a good point here.

Anyway, thanks for your feedback!
I don't think posted tensions tell the whole story with regards to playability. For example Augustine trebles are high tension, but I like their playability. LA Bella 2001 hard trebles are medium tension but I find it more difficult to execute slurs.
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2018 Alejandro Cervantes Signature Rodriguez
2017 Alejandro Cervantes Signature Master Millenia
2013 Alejandro Cervantes Studio Millenia PE

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fast eddie
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Re: Marvel Over String Tensions

Post by fast eddie » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:07 am

Just as tension does not tell the whole story, remember that the brand name of the guitar also plays a role. I have found that on both of my Cordobas (c-10 spruce and c-10 cedar) sound great with Savarez basses and Dougal Diamente trebles. I have not bought Hard Tension for a couple of years after reading a few post on this forum about this.
Fast Eddie
Cordoba C 10 Spruce
Cordoba C 10 Cedar
1974 Hernandis

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