Other Equipment

Why Do People Put Electric Strings On Acoustic Archtops?

1

If an archtop is not electrified why are people putting electric strings on these guitars? I see a lot of archtops that are totally acoustic with nickle or steel strings on the guitars when in fact these are not fitted with a magnetic pickup. I feel acoustic guitars should have 80/20 or PB strings because you get a traditional and fuller acoustic sound, pluse electric strings were designed for magnetic pickups anyway.

2

I never did that. Seems obvious to me.

3

Why do people vote Republican?

Some mysteries can never be answered.

4

Why do people vote Republican?

Some mysteries can never be answered.

– guitarcapo

I vote Republican.

5

My newest acoustic still has the original acoustic strings that came on it. My other acoustics all have steel electric sets, standard .010's. GHS if I can find them.

I enjoy the fullness of the acoustic strings but really enjoy playing the steel strings more. Less output volume wise but there's no transition from electric to acoustic guitars. Easier on the piddies.

6

For one thing, there were no phosphor bronze strings around when acoustic archtops were invented, or in the eras they were most played. There was bronze, monel, and nickel. And I bet a good number of classic recordings on acoustic archtops were done with monel or nickel strings.

People have been putting whatever's handy or whatever feels good to them on guitars forever, and lately people have been finding out that even on flattop acoustics, you don't always want bronze or phospor bronze for every guitar or every style of music. Check out the Martin "Retro" monel wound strings, I have them on one flattop, and I like them a LOT. It's the "anti-new-age music" string, a lot of fundamental, and not a bazillion overtones. Sounds like an old record, in the best possible way.

7

When I got my '41 Synchro I strung it with medium bronze strings and they worked fine but were hideously noisy! Went through several of these sets then put on a set of what I have on my flattop acoustics and that's a set of D'Addario PB medium Flattops or what some around here call "ground wound". They give a terrific tone and most importantly tame that dam buzz! If I were to put a monkey-on-a-stick floating pup on it I might consider flats but that's my only choice for an archtop.

8

To calm down some of the acoustic brashness for one. I even have TI flats on an acoustic arch top and it records well for a nice warm fat rhythm sound.

9

Does it matter?

My 1940 Epi was made before Flats came to market...

LaBella Stainless Flats were more magnetic for those mounting Pickups back in the day.

Flats sounded great, too, with or w/o a Pickup, less finger noise for those moving around a lot up and down the fingerboard, playing Big Band and Jazz, ... maybe a bit more tame in tone profile but just as loud when need be.

I like both.

10

Does it matter?

My 1940 Epi was made before Flats came to market...

LaBella Stainless Flats were more magnetic for those mounting Pickups back in the day.

Flats sounded great, too, with or w/o a Pickup, less finger noise for those moving around a lot up and down the fingerboard, playing Big Band and Jazz, ... maybe a bit more tame in tone profile but just as loud when need be.

I like both.

– Twangmeisternyc

Does it matter? Well I was just curious so whether it matters or not doesn't matter. I just see this a lot and wondered why.

11

Honestly, I use silk and steel strings on my L7 and they are every bit as loud as bronze, easier on my fingers, and have a very pleasing low mid tone.

12

Spike, which Silk & Steels? I'm trying to find the right lower-tension but still fat and punchy strings for a short-scale acoustic.

A slightly softer overall tone is fine - even desirable - but they still have to move some air (and the top) and have a full-bodied tone.

13

I have a buddy that puts electric 9's on his D18. It sounds terrible, but he likes the way it plays.

I'm not sure I can stress how bad it sounds. Remember the atomically crappy stratacoustic and telecoustic things from the early 90's? About that bad.

14

There are a lot of misconceptions about strings in the good old days. In Gibson's 1932 catalog they only offered roundwound steel strings. It wasn't until 1934 that they even offered bronze strings. Using steel rounds on an archtop is as traditional as you can get.

16

Proteus - D'Addario and Marquis 10's, but I just put a set of Galli strings on my Selmer copy that sounded great and will try them next. Bonus obviously, they work great when I plug them in, too.

17

Remember the atomically crappy stratacoustic and telecoustic things from the early 90's?

Well...in fairness, put standard acoustic strings on those guitars, and they don't sound quite atomically crappy. They can have the dreaded piezo quack, but the better preamps and some external processing (like the Fishman Aura) makes good examples of such guitars sound at least as good amplified as most acoustics with undersaddle pickups.

Admittedly not a high bar to clear, but not the horror of 9s on a dreadnaught, either...

18

Thanks, Spike. I'm currently trying T-I Spectrum and they're Not Doing The Job in capital letters.

Maybe I need something with a 12 on top...

19

To calm down some of the acoustic brashness for one. I even have TI flats on an acoustic arch top and it records well for a nice warm fat rhythm sound.

– JazzBoxJunky

Exactly this for me too. I put flatwounds on my Hofner archtop because it was just too bright and aggressive sounding with acoustic strings. Sounds much better now, although still pretty bright. But for Django type chording it's perfect.

20

Not sure which exact strings but nice archtops

23

Some dudes are so addicted to girly-lite strings they can't deal even w/ 12's on acoustic. I have known lots of players like this. An acoustic w/ 9's doesn't sound all that great

24

Big acoustic ArchTops sound better with heavier strings...

25

Heavy strings seems to be a bit of a modern construct as well, post war anyway. Django used light strings, and here is a nice collection of prewar issue brands, none with a top string larger than .49.

https://www.tapatalk.com/gr...

I've yet to encounter a complaint about my girly strings, so I guess I'll go on playing my big archtops all wrong.


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