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  1. #1

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    Hi,

    After many years of hardly playing my guitars except for a few time a year, lately, I've been pulling out my '70's Pan classical guitar along with my archtop to play more frequently.

    Realize my classical guitar probably hasn't had new strings on it for about 15 years or so....

    Not sure if it makes much difference string selection-wise, but I play various styles of music including Brazilian, jazz standards, etc.

    Since I haven't purchased nylon strings in so long, I feel out of touch with what would be good to use. Also, trying to get my hands in better shape playing-wise. So, would greatly appreciate any and all input from this group as to which strings might work well for someone like me.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Mark
    Archtop/Jazz Guitar Lover & Pretty Nice Guy
    1951 Epiphone Triumph Regent Blonde w/floating Armstrong pickup
    mid-70's Pan Classical Guitar

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  3. #2

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    Lots of new strings have appeared on the market in the last fifteen years, but still the most popular are the D'Addario EJ45 Normal Tension set. Recommended.

  4. #3

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    Polished D'Addario's for the bass strings, Aquila nylogut for the trebles for me.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Lots of new strings have appeared on the market in the last fifteen years, but still the most popular are the D'Addario EJ45 Normal Tension set. Recommended.
    I've played classical/nylon string guitar for 30 years and have been through many brands. Some work better than others, but it's entirely dependent -- well, I shouldn't say entirely, but significantly dependent -- on the particular guitar, including the construction, materials, bracing, etc. Having said that, I'd definitely second Rob's suggestion for D'Addario EJ45 normal tension as the best place to start. Give them some time before you start experimenting with other options. I used them for years before attempting, and finally settling on other brands that worked better with my particular guitars.

    I also should mention that D'Addario strings (made in the USA) are among the less expensive string sets out there, so if you hate them, you're only out six or seven bucks.
    Jeff

  6. #5

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    Rob, lammie, Jeff,

    THANK YOU all for your helpful replies and input. Greatly appreciate it!

    Will start with D'Addario's and go from there......

    I'm sure I'll notice a big difference between them and such old strings.....

    Mark
    Mark
    Archtop/Jazz Guitar Lover & Pretty Nice Guy
    1951 Epiphone Triumph Regent Blonde w/floating Armstrong pickup
    mid-70's Pan Classical Guitar

  7. #6

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    I began on classical guitar and about a year ago returned to a classical for its expressive possibilities. +1 on the D'Addario. I liked the ProArte strings. If your local store has LaBella strings, give them a try too. Also affordable and the ones I presently use. That's a personal choice; I just like the match with my guitar and my hands. I like the hard tension strings, my duo partner likes soft. Again, a personal choice and no indication on better or worse.

    David

  8. #7

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    Thanks, David, for your input and vote for D'A ProArte strings.....and LaBella too.

    Now that you mention it, was wondering about the tension issue as well.....

    I did stop by one local guitar store the other day and they only had the ProArte strings in the hard tension left in stock. Made me think that this issue was not on my mind until then.

    I'm thinking it might be good to start with the softer tension since I've been away from consistent regular playing for so long.

    Mark
    Mark
    Archtop/Jazz Guitar Lover & Pretty Nice Guy
    1951 Epiphone Triumph Regent Blonde w/floating Armstrong pickup
    mid-70's Pan Classical Guitar

  9. #8

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    Just to clarify: The EJ45 strings that Rob and I referenced are the D'Addario Pro Arté strings. I'd start with normal tension and work up from there if warranted. I played hard tension for many years before returning to normal tension. Also keep in mind that one string manufacturer's "normal" tension might be "hard" tension in another brand, or vice versa. (If you check the Delcamp classical guitar forum, you can find some charts of relative string tensions, though it might take a bit of digging.) And some folks over in the Delcamp forum lately have been militating for soft tension strings, claiming the looser tension provides greater vibration. I haven't tried that for myself, but there are some strong adherents there.
    Jeff

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchiMark View Post
    ........
    Now that you mention it, was wondering about the tension issue as well.....

    I did stop by one local guitar store the other day and they only had the ProArte strings in the hard tension left in stock. Made me think that this issue was not on my mind until then.

    I'm thinking it might be good to start with the softer tension since I've been away from consistent regular playing for so long.

    Mark
    The difference in tensions between the EJ45 and EJ46 ("hard tension") is actually not very significant in reality or in feel (although I'm sure you might feel it, depending on your action height).

    I've used both. The 46's have a louder attack; the regular tension 45's have a warmer, more complex sound which I prefer.

    Here's a link to a tension table so you can evaluate it for your requirements:

    D'Addario Strings : Classical Strings : Pro-Arte Nylon Core

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchiMark View Post
    ........
    Now that you mention it, was wondering about the tension issue as well.....

    I did stop by one local guitar store the other day and they only had the ProArte strings in the hard tension left in stock. Made me think that this issue was not on my mind until then.

    I'm thinking it might be good to start with the softer tension since I've been away from consistent regular playing for so long.

    Mark
    The difference in tensions between the EJ45 and EJ46 ("hard tension") is actually not very significant in reality or in feel (although I'm sure you might feel it, depending on your action height).

    I've used both. The 46's have a louder attack; the regular tension 45's have a warmer, more complex sound which I prefer.

    Here's a link to a tension table so you can evaluate it for your requirements:

    D'Addario Strings : Classical Strings : Pro-Arte Nylon Core

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchiMark View Post
    ........
    Now that you mention it, was wondering about the tension issue as well.....

    I did stop by one local guitar store the other day and they only had the ProArte strings in the hard tension left in stock. Made me think that this issue was not on my mind until then.

    I'm thinking it might be good to start with the softer tension since I've been away from consistent regular playing for so long.

    Mark
    The difference in tensions between the EJ45 and EJ46 ("hard tension") is actually not very significant in reality or in feel (although I'm sure you might feel it, depending on your action height).

    I've used both. The 46's have a louder attack; the regular tension 45's have a warmer, more complex sound which I prefer.

    Here's a link to a tension table so you can evaluate it for your requirements:

    D'Addario Strings : Classical Strings : Pro-Arte Nylon Core

  13. #12

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    I use EJ46 ("hard tension")-great strings!

  14. #13

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    Jeff, Chuck, and Kris,

    Thank you all for your comments and info on the tension issue....very helpful to get all this great input!

    Mark
    Mark
    Archtop/Jazz Guitar Lover & Pretty Nice Guy
    1951 Epiphone Triumph Regent Blonde w/floating Armstrong pickup
    mid-70's Pan Classical Guitar

  15. #14

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    Augustine Imperial Black or Imperial Red.

    Nice strings that don't cost a lot.

    Luthier 35 Dark Silver strings are nice, too.

  16. #15

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    For some reason I didn't care for the Augustines (they weren't horrible, but didn't suit my ear). What did suit my ear AND my fingers was Labella 2001 Light Tension strings. Very easy to play and somehow seem to fit the combination of my classical guitar and ear.

    dave
    Gibson ES-175D
    Eastman AR905CD-BD
    Jesus Marzal Classical (Cedar)
    Ashley Sanders Classical (Spruce)
    Garcia Classical (mostly used as wall art)
    Yamaha SLG200NW Nylon-Electric

  17. #16

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    Jabberwocky, Dave,

    Thank you both for your ideas.

    Been interesting to get a range of suggestions.

    Mark
    Mark
    Archtop/Jazz Guitar Lover & Pretty Nice Guy
    1951 Epiphone Triumph Regent Blonde w/floating Armstrong pickup
    mid-70's Pan Classical Guitar

  18. #17

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    Have Augustine solved their awful intonation issues with the trebles? ...I gave up on them decades ago
    ...Didn't like the tone of the trebles either...rather tubby and lacking in a nice initial attack.

    I've been using Ramirez high tensions for the last 5 years or so.
    They're not that high in tension IMO, just right for the mid range Cuenca cedar top I play these days.
    They've done something quite innovative with the last set I got....the 3rd is carbon fiber the 1st and 2nd normal
    nylon.
    Haven't tried them yet...but on paper it should help with the common thunky [in a bad way] 3rd string on classical guitars.

    I do agree with others above that there will be a set that just does it for each player and each guitar so good hunting.

  19. #18

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    D'Addario have been my favorite for a long time now, the bass strings have a long life and intonation is good. Of course the price is very nice too!

    I have a Cordoba GK studio negra that I use for gigs and on that I use the light tension EJ43 set and I love it. They sound great and they are a bit easier on the hands for extended playing.

  20. #19

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    The D'Addario's are pretty good, but I really prefer Hannabach silver, hard tension. Cost more, but they intonate well and to my ear have a more fluid sound.
    Check out my tracks at www.soundcloud.com/billmcmannis

  21. #20

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    After a lot of string changes both brands and tension, I ended up with bass strings normal tension composite D'Addario's and Saverez carbon trebles on my Flamenco guitars and D'Addario hard tension composite on my Classical guitars. I also believe that it is an individual choice based on ones technique, ear and guitar construction i.e. YMMV.

  22. #21

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    My favorite classical guitar strings are still the hard tension D'Addario Pro Arte string set with the silver basses and black nylon trebles. I think the set number is EJ-46.

    Since you also were interested in anything that would help you get better as a classical guitarist I would recommend Aaron Shearer's new 3 volume series called The Shearer Method. Aaron was my teacher at Peabody Conservatory Of Music back in the 70's and he is the authority on classical guitar technique.

    Here's a link to his course material:

    Learn Aaron Shearer Guitar Method - Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

    Hope this helps!
    Steven Herron

  23. #22

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    A bit more expensive, but I like D'Addario's carbon version, EJ46FF. More of a piano-like character on the unwound strings

  24. #23

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    I have a Federico Garcia 1969 No.1.The info on says Back and sides Palo Santo:Finger board Ebony :Top is Cedar.It has ladder(not lattice) bracing and set of Antigua Arabesque strings on it that are really old.I remember liking them.Sherry Brenner are still the only place that has them.They are $20.00 the description is Handwound silver plated Bass and Diamond gauged precision nylon trebs.Are there similar or better strings out there since technology has emproved over the last 30 years?For less?Got to say the trebles still have a bell like tone.I play flesh and finger and working toward full flesh possibly if the guitar will respond well.Hope i am not usurping the thread it seemed to fit the title.

  25. #24

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    Any of the above mentioned strings should be good. For guitar as old as yours, I would go with normal rather than hard tension. D’Addario is far less expensive.
    Check out my tracks at www.soundcloud.com/billmcmannis

  26. #25

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    yea the thing is in great shape as i ventured into jazz and blues to get gigs.It was left in its case for ever thanks for the responce.It was givin to me by a drummer back in 1972 or so.