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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink The String thread

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XLNT! Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to post this information as requested. I'm grateful to you, and as I said earlier, I had no idea that this sort of difference in tension even existed. I just assumed that tension was uniform across all brands for a given gauge, but this is clearly NOT the case.

I am going to enjoy looking over this data and making some better choices on strings in the future.

Thanks again.

"Heavy is good. Heavy is reliable. If it doesn't work, you can always hit them with it." - Boris the Blade

O.K., so I've looked over these various string tension charts, and I'll be honest, its awfully tough to make much sense of any of it. There's little difference in 'complete set tensions' between sets of comparable gauges, regardless of brand, and I just don't see a huge difference in string-to-string variability by brand either.

Moreover, some of the numbers appear to be flat-out erroneous or testing anomalies. For example, the D'Addario chart lists the tension of an .048" string as being LESS than that of an 0.050" string, and an 0.038" as being LESS than that of an 0.020"? And on the TI string chart, their unwound 0.014" has roughly the same tension as their 0.031" wound string, yet MORE than any single one of their other strings?

All of that seems completely non-sensical to me. I understand that its possible for a wound string (of higher diameter) to have LESS tension than an unwound string of lesser diameter. I get that, but why would the TI 0.014" string (at a whopping 31.0 lbs., compared to only 17 lbs. for the comparable D'Addario), have MORE tension than any other single TI string that they make, from 0.012" all the way up to 0.055"??

And its important to note that that same phenomenon is apparently NOT true with the D'Addario's. In other words, the D'Addario 0.014" (at just 17.85 lbs.), is expectedly LESS than all other higher-gauge strings. That disparity between the two brands and the two charts is a bit puzzling!

"Heavy is good. Heavy is reliable. If it doesn't work, you can always hit them with it." - Boris the Blade

Last edited: Mar 04, 2019 13:38:02

Ive been toying with different brands of “vintage” strings.
More precise “round core, pure nickel”
Ive tried
Pyramid
DR
GHS
La Bella

The DR for regular plain unwound G sound the best and feel lighter tension wise although im using 11-50s

Hey! I'm still loving the DR Zebras for the bottom four strings, but those unwound strings are just so damn screechy!

Can anyone comment on the "least screechy" High E (.13) and B (.17) strings out there?

Daniel Deathtide

whats everyones take on stringjoy strings. ive used em before and they are good. ive been trying different brands for a while now to see which ones i like

So uh. I just got back into guitar playing a year ago, and I've always used super slinkys or whatever they're called and I want to change to something heavier, I know how to change strings but I've never done a setup myself (outside of lowering the bridge on the Fender when I got it used), what kind of strings should I use and how complicated is it to set up?

Bluefeather42 wrote:

So uh. I just got back into guitar playing a year ago, and I've always used super slinkys or whatever they're called and I want to change to something heavier, I know how to change strings but I've never done a setup myself (outside of lowering the bridge on the Fender when I got it used), what kind of strings should I use and how complicated is it to set up?

If you're going to up to heavier gauges, it can be a little tricker than going down because the nut slots will likely need to be filed wider to accomodate the thicker strings.

That issue aside, the rest can be a little time-consuming, but it's do-able with a few tools that you're likely to have around the house...

https://the-birdcage.bandcamp.com/

Really interesting to read about people's experiences of flats and half-rounds....and reeeallly heavy gauges....

I've been using Ernie Ball "Beefy" Slinky's 11-54.

They're 11, 14, 22, 30, 42, 54, but I replace the 22 with a 20 because I find it beyond hard to bend.

(I'm using a japanese Fender Jazzmaster)

https://the-birdcage.bandcamp.com/

I have a J Mascus Squier Jazzmaaster with roundwounds. I would like to put on flatwounds for a better "surf" (50's sound). Back in the early "60's I played guitar and really did not like light guage (slinky's) I'm a bass player and have no intention of playing the JM out; just at home along with YouTube and MP3's. I can play some simple Surf lead, Let's Go Trippin', Wipeoout, Honky Tonk, Bulldog, etc. Since I play bass with flatwounds i feel I can handle a thicker guage, so what guage do you guys suggest; I'm looking at 12's but may be able to handle 13's. I looked on this and other sites but found no answers

Daddy wrote:

I have a J Mascus Squier Jazzmaaster with roundwounds. I would like to put on flatwounds for a better "surf" (50's sound). Back in the early "60's I played guitar and really did not like light guage (slinky's) I'm a bass player and have no intention of playing the JM out; just at home along with YouTube and MP3's. I can play some simple Surf lead, Let's Go Trippin', Wipeoout, Honky Tonk, Bulldog, etc. Since I play bass with flatwounds i feel I can handle a thicker guage, so what guage do you guys suggest; I'm looking at 12's but may be able to handle 13's. I looked on this and other sites but found no answers

You JM probably came with 10s. Going to 13s would be a big jump. I would start with 12s and then go to 13s if you want next time you change. It will let your hands build up to the heavier gauge.

Be advised that you are going to need to tighten the neck truss rod to accommodate the strings, and possibly have to file the nut. It's a pain because you need to remove the neck on a JM to adjust the truss rod. You generally will have to make several adjustments to get it right. Unless you are real comfortable working on guitars, take it to a luthier for a professional setup. Should cost no more than $100 or so.

If you do this you may just want to go to 13s if you think you can handle it (as a Bass player, you might).

Last edited: Jun 24, 2020 09:11:49

My search is over. After trying every kind of string under the sun, I found the perfect strings for classic surf a couple of years ago: Thomastik-Infeld JS112. Pure nickel flatwound on a round core. The gauges are 12, 16, 20w, 27, 37 and 50. The middle strings seem light, but Thomastik-Infeld does this to balance the tension, every string has around 11 kilos of tension on a 25.5 scale guitar.

The sound is extremely well-defined. They are bright for flatwounds when new, but after some hours of playing, they become just right. Still brighter than Pyramids, with less difference in timbre between B and G strings.

I use these on my Jazzmasters (and other full-scale guitars). On a Jaguar or Mustang, I would use the 13–53 set.

image

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