Other Equipment

Favorite strings

26

On my Ric 12 string I keep a set of Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats (.10-.44) On my Gretsch I have been using D'Addario flatwound 10-48, swap out the wound G string for a .017 plain and it's done.

To answer the question of why: I like the thuddy sound the bass strings give, especially on the 12 string. Heavily compressed, it gives plenty of that chime and jangle Rickenbackers are duly famous for.

Same goes for thumb style picking on my Gretsch, nice and thumpy giving me that characteristic bump-chick sound necessarily defining the style.

28

Packaging aside, it's mostly all Mapes wire...Link

– Lacking Talent

Are you saying this Mapes company makes all the strings? I believe it, but they must use different techniques for each company, because I can definitely feel a difference with GHS strings compared to the others I've used

29

Duane Eddy uses GHS Boomers. Hey...so do I.

30

Are you saying this Mapes company makes all the strings? I believe it, but they must use different techniques for each company, because I can definitely feel a difference with GHS strings compared to the others I've used

– Chmason85

They make core and wrap wire. I don't think they wind strings.

31

Pyramid pure nickel rounds, 11 to 48.

32

I've been to several string factories and watched them wind strings. It's all individual...not done by one company, not done by a machine, etc. There are huge differences, regardless of who they buy their raw wire from. Some wind in open warehouses, some have sealed rooms with carefully controled temp & humidity. Some touch the wire with their hands, others never do, etc. On wound strings, there's also the matter of the thickness ratio between the core wire and the wound wire. It makes a big difference...like how D'addario winds Fender strings, but Fender strings don't sound anything like D'addarios or how Big Core Nickel Rockers sound twangier that regular Nickel Rockers. There are other differences too. In the end, it all comes down to a person, and a machine that looks sort of like a big lathe, with a wire strung between centers, and a human feeding the winding around it. Yes, each string is wound individually...no, they don't have a machine that just spits out miles of guitar string.

33

Well my nickel rockers just showed up in the mail, time to slap those on

35

great post bz ^

absolutely, strings are more than a gauge and a brand...each string has it's own recipe...inner core..is it round or hex, thick or thin..outer wrap? is it ss, nps, pure nickel, cobalt...is it thinly wrapped or double wrapped?? etc etc

the further you look into it, the more you can define what works best for you...& on that specific guitar!

i tend to like the pure nickel round core strings...flats and rounds...like thomastik swings...dr. pure blues...pyramids...

old fender 150's were great

like the ghs big cores and dunlop or d'addario nickel plated steels on some guitars as well..whatever sounds/works best

cheers

36

I just restrung with nickel rockers last night and forgot how smooth and balanced these feel, the slight bit of extra tension is nice. They took their set so fast and are real smooth with bigsby use

37

I've been to several string factories and watched them wind strings. It's all individual...not done by one company, not done by a machine, etc. There are huge differences, regardless of who they buy their raw wire from. Some wind in open warehouses, some have sealed rooms with carefully controled temp & humidity. Some touch the wire with their hands, others never do, etc. On wound strings, there's also the matter of the thickness ratio between the core wire and the wound wire. It makes a big difference...like how D'addario winds Fender strings, but Fender strings don't sound anything like D'addarios or how Big Core Nickel Rockers sound twangier that regular Nickel Rockers. There are other differences too. In the end, it all comes down to a person, and a machine that looks sort of like a big lathe, with a wire strung between centers, and a human feeding the winding around it. Yes, each string is wound individually...no, they don't have a machine that just spits out miles of guitar string.

– Billy Zoom

Billy is exactly right.

For those that expressed curiosity, what Mapes does is supply core wire to other companies that -- as Billy describes above -- have their own "recipe," if you will, for wrapping, winding, grinding, etc. Mapes also sells its made-in-house brand of strings (which I guess the company has been making for, like, a hundred years) for a variety of instruments, for less dough than the big name brands for which it's the wire supplier.

Hey, that rhymes.

38

Best string I have found are the Pyramid Pure Nickel Round Cores. For a bit of economy I like DR Pure Blues 11-50 . The Round Core strings are just a bit more flexible and allow me to use a little heavier string----which I like since I tune down a half-step with my band.Plus the pure nickel round-core string never has that harsh,brassy,"new-string-that-I -cant-wait -to-break-in" sound

39

Yesterday I received a a few sets of the Big Core Nickel Rockers. I have never tried them before , been sort of stuck on GHS boomers of various size over the years for most all of my electrics. I have to say, that these are different. I put a 10 1/2 set on my Gretsch hollowbody, replacing a set of half rounds which feel good but sound mediocre IMO. I like the fact that each string is individually wrapped, although I've found even some brands that are sealed can still be corroded when you open them. After stretching and tuning & retuning a few times, they stayed in tune even after banging on them pretty good -- I've often wondered about how strings are fabricated, I was surprised to hear that's its not completely automated by now. Actually nice to know that there's a real Person doing it. I've tried lots of brands over the years from black diamond to pyramid, have to admit that these BCNR's feel and sound great. They are soft to the touch and very responsive. I never even considered the "physics" angle of the difference between Core and Wrap for wound strings, its got to make a difference. If I ever had the opportunity to go see how strings are made, I'd jump on it , for sure. Great Post

40

I usually use Elixirs, 11-49s on the 24.75" scales, 10-46s on the 25.5"ers. But JustStrings or maybe it was Strings and Beyond had a 3 for 2 deal on Black Diamond Coated strings recently, and I took a chance. Won't be making that mistake again. I use Martin Retro 12s on my jazz guitars, and that Eastman ES-295-wannabe I just modded has Thomastik 10-44 flats, that bend like 12s. But they sound great, so they're staying. Tried to like Aurora's colored strings, orange ones on the Roundup. They sounded good, but the coating came off quickly and they felt distracting. Also good but not mentioned here that I've seen are GHS Burnished Nickel. Those are really nice. I tried to buy some at a GC once and the salesdude said "Barnacled strings?" Must be my California accent.

41

Small de-rail... my live theatre background has turned the title of this song into an earworm.... from the Sound of Music.

And I get enough of that song every December!

ARGGGGGHHH!!!!

*Fender and Martin and GHS Boomers

Elixir, D’Addario, and Dean Markley Phosphors,

Ernie Ball, Axiom, Rotosound things

These are a few of my favorite strings!*

(We now return you to your regularly-scheduled and much more intelligent discussion)

42

I use those barnacled strings for shredding.

43

I second the Elixirs, I use the 10 - 46 Polyweb coating, on my hollow body Gretsch. I get amazing life out of the these strings, and barely any scratchy sounds. I don't particularly like changing strings, and it's a win win these. I resently changed the Elixir strings on my Gretsch guitar, not because they sounded bad, but because they been on the guitar a ridiculously long time (2 and a half months of daily playing). The new set sounded better, but only marginally, and they intonated a bit better. The old strings were going a bit sharp on certain notes.They advertise "Lasts 3X - 5X longer", and it's an absolute truth. They cost about double ($10 - $12) the price of some strings, but last at least 4X as long. They have great tone and playability. I use them on all my guitars, both electric and acoustic. I don't use them on my mandoline, Elixir mando strings are over the top bright, for the mandolin I use D'Addario coated EXP74, in a medium guage. They have a very warm tone, much better suited to my mandolin. I buy single replacement plain strings from Stringjoy.com.


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