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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you are like me, and have had different Classical guitars, you’ve probably, at some point, tried different Brands and tensions of strings. Strings for classical guitars were somewhat of an obsession with me for a few years, anyway. I have tried almost every brand and type of classical and nylon guitar strings.

The differences between brands, gauge, tension and materials can be quite stark, or very subtle, depending on many factors.

There aren‘t many things you can do to alter the tone of a Classical guitar, other than changing how you do your nails and Changing brand, gauge, and materials of guitar strings.

I have a lifetime supply of Classical guitar strings.right now. About 70 full sets worth. I had given some thirty sets to friends on Strat Talk. At one time, I had about 200 sets, varying in price, gauge, tension, and materials. I used to peddle them to one of the mom and pop shops here in town.I was able to try quite a number of different strings. And I eliminated some sets by not reordering them, as I didn’t like them.

Where to Start?

Most of us have probably used D’Addario EJ45 set to start. Well, besides being an extreme popular string, they are kind of colorless sounding. A neutral set of strings. Very consistent, and also somewhat boring. They don’t sound bad per se, but they aren’t exciting either. Clear, colorless rain drops sorta sound. I now have many different choices.

Prices?

Well, the cost depends mainly on the materials used. I’ve got several price points covered. I prefer bass sets with high silver content, and of course they are expensI’ve. Between that and what ever treble set I use, a string change can cost anywhere from 15 dollars to 80 dollars a set.

What is important to you in a set of Classical Strings? What sound are you after?
 

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Haha I'm the other end of the spectrum.
I had a classical for a while. Antoria (uk import name for ibanez in the 70s).

Think i owned it for 3 years and never changed the strings once. Ended up giving the guitar to my brother as didn't have the space in our small apartment back then.

Weird when i think about it now, as I'm super careful about regularly changing out strings on my steel string/electrics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I first got a classical when I was in 9th or 10th grade. It was cheap. Came with a cardboard case. MIJ. Paid 50 bux for it. I’ve had several high end student models. Mostly Ramirez and Yamahas.

I got rid of the Ramirez guitars I had, because nothing compared to my hand made Liobet style guitar. Best sounding guitar I have ever played. Even better than the Ramirez 1A I had played.

After trying several different sets of strings, and some different brands and different materials, and the best sounding guitar sounded even better.

I finally settled on Pyramid Double silver for basses and Mari nylon B and E strings, with a Carbon G string.
 

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As mentioned in the other thread, I've gone back to a straight set of EJ45s after using various brands and mixing trebles and basses from different ones in the past. Sometimes the results were better than other times, but in the end fiddly and expensive, and I'm not a professional player so I need to spend $30+ set of strings that guitar sounds its best in a concert hall. Now as long as they tune, intonate, have decent projection, warmth and life, I don't worry too much. Kinda prefer a neutral sounding string as it covers a wider range of bases.

Of course, if I were playing flamenco, I'd probably want something different, well, maybe a whole new guitar as well!

The build of the particular guitar also sometimes doesn't allow for much change in some respects, it's going to sound similar regardless of string type/brand, so I live with some of the idiosyncrasies.

In the end, it's about figuring what the basic timbre of your guitar is like, and what you want to do with that - augment what's already there, fill in areas which are a bit lacking etc. Some have even resorted to using actual fishing line for the G (appropriate gauge/tension) to quell the tubby problem many guitars have.

As an example: different types of Augustine string (the original nylon string company), played by Slovenian guitarists Uroš Barić and Karmen Štendler. Guitar is spruce double top by Dieter Müller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As mentioned in the other thread, I've gone back to a straight set of EJ45s after using various brands and mixing trebles and basses from different ones in the past. Sometimes the results were better than other times, but in the end fiddly and expensive, and I'm not a professional player so I need to spend $30+ set of strings that guitar sounds its best in a concert hall. Now as long as they tune, intonate, have decent projection, warmth and life, I don't worry too much. Kinda prefer a neutral sounding string as it covers a wider range of bases.

Of course, if I were playing flamenco, I'd probably want something different, well, maybe a whole new guitar as well!

The build of the particular guitar also sometimes doesn't allow for much change in some respects, it's going to sound similar regardless of string type/brand, so I live with some of the idiosyncrasies.

In the end, it's about figuring what the basic timbre of your guitar is like, and what you want to do with that - augment what's already there, fill in areas which are a bit lacking etc. Some have even resorted to using actual fishing line for the G (appropriate gauge/tension) to quell the tubby problem many guitars have.

As an example: different types of Augustine string (the original nylon string company), played by Slovenian guitarists Uroš Barić and Karmen Štendler. Guitar is spruce double top by Dieter Müller.
I can’t use Augustine strings on my guitar. The scale is longer and the strings aren’t long enough.
 

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Main classical guitar; Hannabach Goldin’s w/ Hannabach Silverplated 9th string from their 10 string set used as my 7th string.
Other main classical guitar: D’Addario Dynacore EJ45 w/ D’Addario Silverplated .52 7th string

Standard D’Addario EJ45’s always work too, which is pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This guitar @Ashurbanipal in the pic is 655mm scale. The Augustine strings, if I tie and tuck at the bridge, don’t have enough length to get multiple winds on the roller. Two or three if you are lucky, on my guitar. On my friend’s Ramirez 1A we could only get 2 wraps on the roller, even when tucking a short tail underneath. They work fine on 648mm scale, but they are barely able to get three wraps around the roller.

The D strings seems to be the shortest because of the strings all being the same length.
 

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Hm, been a long time since I used Augustine, can't remember whether I had an issue. For me, at least, 2-3 wraps is plenty. Of course, D'Addarios are supplied with pretty generous length, so I don't think about it. I don't do the tuck method either. My guitar is 650.

One thing that might give you extra length is using bridge beads. They're mostly intended for a cleaner look and a tad more break angle behind the saddle, as the loop isn't pulling up on the string, but they also require less string length. Might give an extra wrap!


Main classical guitar; Hannabach Goldin’s w/ Hannabach Silverplated 9th string from their 10 string set used as my 7th string.
Other main classical guitar: D’Addario Dynacore EJ45 w/ D’Addario Silverplated .52 7th string

Standard D’Addario EJ45’s always work too, which is pretty cool.
7 string...Yamandú Costa, is that you? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hm, been a long time since I used Augustine, can't remember whether I had an issue. For me, at least, 2-3 wraps is plenty. Of course, D'Addarios are supplied with pretty generous length, so I don't think about it. I don't do the tuck method either. My guitar is 650.

One thing that might give you extra length is using bridge beads. They're mostly intended for a cleaner look and a tad more break angle behind the saddle, as the loop isn't pulling up on the string, but they also require less string length. Might give an extra wrap!




7 string...Yamandú Costa, is that you? ;)
I would need to have a constant, never ending supply of those beads as I would lose so many. It’s the same with guitar picks. I don’t buy expensive ones because they wander off and disappear.I have a supply of a few gross of different picks, but they are always getting lost in the carpet, in the car, in the wash,etc. No blue chips for me.
 

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I have 2 classical guitars, my first guitar, a Yamaha CG40, and an Ibanez GA5TCE. I don't play them enough, but I have started picking up the Ibanez a bit more now. I am very curious about trying some different strings, but not quite sure where to start. I've typically used the standard/cheaper options up until now.
 

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I have 2 classical guitars, my first guitar, a Yamaha CG40, and an Ibanez GA5TCE. I don't play them enough, but I have started picking up the Ibanez a bit more now. I am very curious about trying some different strings, but not quite sure where to start. I've typically used the standard/cheaper options up until now.
You can pretty much start anywhere, which is not all that helpful. I would try a pack of carbon strings because they will be different from nylon in both sound and feel.

There are many other options in the classical guitar string world that would work as a starting point. I thought I’d just offer some suggestions. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have 2 classical guitars, my first guitar, a Yamaha CG40, and an Ibanez GA5TCE. I don't play them enough, but I have started picking up the Ibanez a bit more now. I am very curious about trying some different strings, but not quite sure where to start. I've typically used the standard/cheaper options up until now.
If you want to try new strings, and not fiddle around and make sets from 2 or three different ones, and or ordering single strings, a Ramirez normal (medium tension) set with the carbon G To start. I think that set is really good, and that will probably my next set for my Ribot. I think I have one more set left somewhere in the house. They aren’t too expensive either. Try Strings by Mail if your local shop doesn’t carry them.

Also, if you are a Veteran or active duty military, well for sure on the veterans, they will give you a 10% discount on anything in the store, unless it’s already on sale at a lower price.
 

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I've been curious about the carbon strings, but they are quite pricey. I might look into them again once we get through this busy period. We're frantically organising our engagement party right now after finding out my fiancé's Dad will be coming over from the USA next month. Lot's of big costs with that, on top of our eldest cat being very unwell, and my eldest son needing some assessments for a few mental health/autism related possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've been curious about the carbon strings, but they are quite pricey. I might look into them again once we get through this busy period. We're frantically organising our engagement party right now after finding out my fiancé's Dad will be coming over from the USA next month. Lot's of big costs with that, on top of our eldest cat being very unwell, and my eldest son needing some assessments for a few mental health/autism related possibilities.
Man, sorry to hear that. I have one son that is on the spectrum, and I found out a year or two ago that I am on it too. They say that I grew out of some of problems I had as a kid.

My son has Asperger’s and had gender reassignment surgery, and hasn’t had any contact with family and friends for the las three years. He is a brilliant artist though. My other son had some behavior related problems, but not on the spectrum. He is an Army Staff Sergeant.

I guess that people with autism, however mild, have a good chance of passing it along to the kids.

As far as Carbon strings go, I only use a Carbon G. For the B and E strings, I use nylon. I use silver basses.
 

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Man, sorry to hear that. I have one son that is on the spectrum, and I found out a year or two ago that I am on it too. They say that I grew out of some of problems I had as a kid.

My son has Asperger’s and had gender reassignment surgery, and hasn’t had any contact with family and friends for the las three years. He is a brilliant artist though. My other son had some behavior related problems, but not on the spectrum. He is an Army Staff Sergeant.

I guess that people with autism, however mild, have a good chance of passing it along to the kids.

As far as Carbon strings go, I only use a Carbon G. For the B and E strings, I use nylon. I use silver basses.
Yeah I'm questioning whether or not I have ADHD, after the singer in my band, and my fiancé brought up that I might show signs. Maybe I just hid it well as a child. That's really sad, hearing about your son, I hope they are going okay, otherwise. Hard on everyone though. :(
 

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I went OG for the latest string change. They also come with pics of a portly older Spanish guy who used them.


They are supposed to be according to the original recipe for nylon strings, which were first introduced after WW2 by Augustine in conjunction with Du Pont.

I decided to try them out as I'm moving towards lower tension strings. These are a bit easier to play, for sure, particularly when doing legato, trills, barres and picado type stuff, though the high E feels quite taut. As an example, EJ46 total tension is 90lb; EJ45 86lb; and these are 84lb.

Soundwise, they're less powerful/sustaining than the D'Addarios I've used for years (not a huge deal for me), but on my guitar they're also more balanced, particularly in the treble. With the D'Addario's, the high E always seemed to have a kind of glassy quality and the G too boomy; these sound more uniform. Timbre variation is maybe slightly less dramatic when picking over soundhole vs by the bridge. For the money, I think you get nice strings.

Pros: reach pitch quickly; shorter break-in period; relatively balanced tone; less expensive.
Cons: less power/sustain than other types of strings; provided length might be insufficient for longer scale guitars; high E tension noticeably higher than the rest.

Overall, I'm liking them - very playable, more restrained sound and reasonably balanced timbre.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I went OG for the latest string change. They also come with pics of a portly older Spanish guy who used them.


They are supposed to be according to the original recipe for nylon strings, which were first introduced after WW2 by Augustine in conjunction with Du Pont.

I decided to try them out as I'm moving towards lower tension strings. These are a bit easier to play, for sure, particularly when doing legato, trills, barres and picado type stuff, though the high E feels quite taut. As an example, EJ46 total tension is 90lb; EJ45 86lb; and these are 84lb.

Soundwise, they're less powerful/sustaining than the D'Addarios I've used for years (not a huge deal for me), but on my guitar they're also more balanced, particularly in the treble. With the D'Addario's, the high E always seemed to have a kind of glassy quality and the G too boomy; these sound more uniform. Timbre variation is maybe slightly less dramatic when picking over soundhole vs by the bridge. For the money, I think you get nice strings.

Pros: reach pitch quickly; shorter break-in period; relatively balanced tone; less expensive.
Cons: less power/sustain than other types of strings; provided length might be insufficient for longer scale guitars; high E tension noticeably higher than the rest.

Overall, I'm liking them - very playable, more restrained sound and reasonably balanced timbre.
‘That has been my experience as well, especially not being long enough for scales greater than 650 mm.
 

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Yes, and it's the bass strings which are the issue - there's just enough for 650. It seems like the idea is to have enough for 1-2 wraps at the headstock with some excess 🤷‍♀️. Trebles are longer, however.

They also reach pitch pretty quickly when stringing/tuning up, which surprised me a bit (and a big plus) - with D'Addarios, I feel like I'm winding them forever, and then they take ages to settle.

They seem good, and for people looking to get a decent string at a good price, they are worth checking out. I'm interested in how they compare to EJ43, which is the lowest tension Pro Arté set (79lb total).
 
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