Vintage Gretsch Guitars

String Recommendations

51

Windsordave, thanks so much for your help with everything. I will take your advice and go with the jazz medium 13-56s. If a person were to go with the Rounds (medium 13-56) as suggested by Archtop.com instead of the Half-Rounds (medium 13-56) would there be significant degradation of any kind in electric mode?

52

Windsordave, thanks so much for your help with everything. I will take your advice and go with the jazz medium 13-56s. If a person were to go with the Rounds (medium 13-56) as suggested by Archtop.com instead of the Half-Rounds (medium 13-56) would there be significant degradation of any kind in electric mode?

– ozarkmac

Most certainly no degradation! In fact, those that haven't played these newer generation strings - first generation were called ground wound - don't want to try them, based on the earlier reputation. The jazz mediums are terrific strings as they're designed for the electric mode. The only difference you'll find is these strings don't have the noise of their round wound equivalents. You'll notice they play smoother as regards your left hand fingertips. Tone, brightness & clarity are the same.

Played acoustically these strings should be just fine as they're basically the same design.

53

Thanks again for all the help! I ordered a set and also purchased a Kent Armstrong mini humbucker (PAF wouldn't fit) along with the stealth tone and volume controls. Going to have it all installed and a set-up. Can't wait!

54

Sounds like you're good to go! You'll have a very cool set up there. We'll be waiting to hear how it all turns out.

55

I Definitely ppost some pics and give a report. It'll be awhile before I can get over to St Louis to have it done.

56

Well, I would not use anything but the wonderful German made Pyramid Strings! Pyramid has been making strings since 1850! They use Silver Plated round core wires of German Steel and the plain strings are also silvered German Steel. German Steel is by far more flexible and lasts 5-6 times longer than the crappy Tin Plated (stiff as a board) Swedish Steel. Swedish Steel is not even made in Sweden. It’s just a term they gave it back in the 70’s when all the American string makers switched to the cheaper Hex cores and cheaper Nickel Plated Steel (vs real Pure Nickel). They also made the core wire larger and wraps smaller. How do you make more money making strings? = Hex Cores, Tin Plated steel and cheaper wraps. Also, several companies went from using Monel wrap wire to NPS as well and totally did away with Monel wraps altogether. Gibson use to make “Mona-Steel” sets which were Monel and Martin use to use Monel as well. There is no friggin’’ way you will get the sound or tone of any archtop from the 40’s, 40’s, 50’s, etc with any modern American string. Just will not happen as none of them use the correct materials!

57

Well, I would not use anything but the wonderful German made Pyramid Strings! Pyramid has been making strings since 1850! They use Silver Plated round core wires of German Steel and the plain strings are also silvered German Steel. German Steel is by far more flexible and lasts 5-6 times longer than the crappy Tin Plated (stiff as a board) Swedish Steel. Swedish Steel is not even made in Sweden. It’s just a term they gave it back in the 70’s when all the American string makers switched to the cheaper Hex cores and cheaper Nickel Plated Steel (vs real Pure Nickel). They also made the core wire larger and wraps smaller. How do you make more money making strings? = Hex Cores, Tin Plated steel and cheaper wraps. Also, several companies went from using Monel wrap wire to NPS as well and totally did away with Monel wraps altogether. Gibson use to make “Mona-Steel” sets which were Monel and Martin use to use Monel as well. There is no friggin’’ way you will get the sound or tone of any archtop from the 40’s, 40’s, 50’s, etc with any modern American string. Just will not happen as none of them use the correct materials!

– Don Butler aka: Toneman

'get the sound or tone of the....'40's', etc. Once again I ask, where does the OP say that's what he's after?? Sure thing, Pyramid makes good strings and I wasn't disparaging those or other brands, but was merely pointing out one big advantage of the Flat Tops and the electric equivalents, the Half Rounds, that being the huge reduction in noise from left hand movement on the strings and that for fingerstyle - which doesn't pertain to the OP - they're easy on the nails. They have the same tone as round wound strings minus the noise.

58

I'm sure I'll be trying other strings as I narrow down the tone I'm looking for. This is my first archtop and I've been playing the heck out of it to see what I want to do to it. At this point I know I need to set the action where I want it and put on some strings that will allow me to play with an acceptable tone both plugged and unplugged. Heck I may even go full-time electric with it. I just won't know til I hear it with that new pick-up. May like it so much that I may never unplug it! LOL! I have found that it sounds really good with a slide! May sound even better plugged/slide These archtops are more versatile than I knew they were.

59

Update. Ended up going with the recommendations from Archtop.com and installed 13-56's, phos bronze. Had a set up, the neck adjusted, and a little fret work along with a floating Armstrong 2-D Micro-Humbucker and stealth controls.

I could not be happier! What a difference the strings and set-up make. I enjoyed playing this guitar from the first time I played it but now I can't wait to play it!

The pick-up enables me to simply increase the volume without losing much of the natural acoustic tone and the option to add some tonal effects.

I think I have finally found what I have been searching for. I appreciate all the recommendations and knowledge gained here. Thank you!


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