View Poll Results: What gauge strings on your archtop?

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  • 10

    27 4.00%
  • 11

    134 19.85%
  • 12

    324 48.00%
  • 13

    171 25.33%
  • other

    50 7.41%
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  1. #1

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    Just a poll... just curious how the numbers stack up. Feel free to explain your choice if you like, I'm just curious... I had 10's on my Gretsch for a couple years, didn't play it much, recently put 11s on it, and it's a different world. And I've been playing 25 years... you would think I would know better.

    I have 12's on my Broadway, and they seem a little...weak... like maybe it needs 13s... (but, they are brand new TI swings, not even played in yet, so...)

    Poll is MULTIPLE CHOICE... meaning if you have more than one archtop, with different gauges, you can pick more than one answer.

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  3. #2

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    Right now, i have .12's on everything, but i replaced the first and second string on my heritage with those from a set of .13's.

  4. #3
    Interesting... I have a dreadnaught I do that with.

    Sitting here thinking about it... sort of an addition question, if anyone cares to comment... do you find the less resonant the body, the heavier strings required to drive the top? (regardless of what's making it less resonant... lam top, heavy bracing, etc...)

    My 16" 2-1/2" deep laminate maple top trestle-braced Grestch seems to be thriving with 11s, with no need of heavier strings... but the TI flat 12s on the Broadway...a 17" 3" deep laminate spruce top, unknown bracing... seems to want more power? I feel like my smaller Grestch with lighter strings is more acoustic than my bigger Broadway with heavier strings, and that's not what I expected (of course, I know all the things listed above go into the equation, it's not "just the strings")

  5. #4

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    On my electric archtops, I have for years used D'A Chromes or TI Swing 13-56/53 with the two first strings replaced by 14 and 18. Recently I heard about La Bella Flatwound 20 PH 15-56 and have ordered a few sets to try them out. I like the heavier top strings as they have a sound more like the wound strings. They also seen to last a bit longer than thinner strings.

    On my acoustics, I use Martin Darco Bronze roundwound 13-56. They are cheap (1/3 of D'A phosphor bronze), sound good and last quite long.

  6. #5

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    Not that many archtops are really acoustic, especially if they have built in pickups or laminated tops, and if they have both, why try to "drive" the top? Having said that, even on solid-body guitars a fatter string gives a fatter sound, generally speaking. there are plenty of exceptions: Jim hall uses fairly light strings, but there isn hardly a fatter sound out there.

  7. #6

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    on my 1977 Ibanex 2355...

    .014 TI flatwounds...

    time on the instrument..pierre

  8. #7

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    Today I use Rotosound .012-.052, before I use Daddarios chromes but I don't like them very much. The Rotosound strings are so much better

  9. #8

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    I have settled in on using Thomastik-Infeld Bebop (round wounds) and Jazz Swings (flat wounds) in 0.013"-0.053" sets. I am specific regarding the gage being associated with TI because they have lower string tenson than other brands. For example, lets compare TI Jazz Swings to D'Addario chromes both in.013s in terms of the string tension in lbf.

    TI Jazz Swings .013-.053

    E 26.0
    B 25.1
    G 27.3
    D 27.3
    A 24.8
    E 26.0

    D'Addario Chromes .013-.056

    E 27.4
    B 26.3
    G 35.1
    D 35.1
    A 32.9
    E 27.0

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pierre richard
    on my 1977 Ibanex 2355...

    .014 TI flatwounds...

    time on the instrument..pierre
    Me too Ibz Af120 14 TI Benson flats .......... cool

  11. #10
    I noticed the TI swings had less tension right off the bat... as soon as I put them on, I immediately considered going up to 13s.

    Do the TI rounds have the same tension as the flats? Or are the closer to regular roundwound electric strings?

  12. #11

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    Bebops and Jazz Swings are similar. The Bebops have slightly lower tension than Jazz Swings by the numbers but they feel similar and I change them out for each other without the need for any set-up adjustments.

  13. #12

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    TI Swing 12's-


  14. #13

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    Chromes with a 14/18 added.. or Labella Nylon tapewound 14s.
    (just adding that because I chose "other")

  15. #14
    12s and 13s in front by a large margin. Interesting... it's interesting to ME, because when I think 12s or 13s, I'm thinking acoustic guitars (not archtops)... of course, acoustic archtops ARE acoustic guitars...

  16. #15

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    I guess jazz cats don't bend notes much.

  17. #16

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    Thomastik swing flats .13s for me. If I could get these in .14, I would.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    I guess jazz cats don't bend notes much.
    Perhaps not, but you can bend flats. It brings a cool choke cut-off sound; think early Chuck Berry, early Harrison.

  19. #18

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    and Pat Martino's gauges of choice are....

    Flat wound .016, .018, .026, .032, .042, .052 or .015, .017, .024, .032, .042, .052

    From reading his book he's been playing those gauges almost from the beginning.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    I guess jazz cats don't bend notes much.
    Sure tune down a half-step and go ala SRV and others.

    Thick strings, fat sound.
    Last edited by docbop; 06-23-2012 at 06:08 PM.

  21. #20

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    I bend.

  22. #21

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    I use the Thomastik GB .014's. they are really hard on my fingerboard hand but the lighter gauge strings just don't give me the response that I like.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by perfischer
    I bend.
    0.013"?

    That's covered by the other part of "don't bend notes much" which is "to bend notes sometimes". English isn't your first language, I gather?

    I'll admit it; it certainly isn't mine.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop
    Sure tune down a half-steps and go ala SRV and others.

    Thick strings, fat sound.
    Standard tuning, docbop. A440. No cheating. I tune to A442. No mas.

  25. #24

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    I bend as well...just not like those rock cats...

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I bend as well...just not like those rock cats...
    I like Mr. B's wit best of all.

    I bend too...when I dive too deeply (not with my whammy bar; Jazz cats don't whammy bar...much) and forget to decompress adequately.

  27. #26

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    I bend to, but not like Albert King

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkatten
    I bend to, but not like Albert King
    It's hard to bend like him unless you are left handed, playing a Flying V and simply take a right-handed model and turn it upside down to play (so that your high E and B strings are at the top of the fretboard, allowing you to pull them down - rather than push them up - to bend).

  29. #28

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    TI 12 roundwounds for the time-mine is an accoustic L5c type, x braced, with a JS floater
    i like these TI's for finger style-which is about half of the time-it feels like more of an electric with these softer lighter strings -which is why i shell out for TIs-on my mando too just softer and relatively , really really long lasting

    going to try the labella tapewounds next-which may be too floppy-and they may be too twangy-havent ever tried them (last tapes i tried were like 1968, fenders on my Jag, and they sounded like that marlboro/ winston twang

    but....planning on a set of 13-14s as i want to see if theyll drive the top more-the issue will be how comfortable they are to play

    was actually toying with trying some phsophor bronzes on the archtop-but i know ill get nothing from the JS floater i have-but the guitar might really sound great-ive never put phosphors on my archtop

    i run 13s-martin phosphor bronze-whatever the more pricey sets are, XL?

    on my martin and pretty much always have -long ago -like 40 years ago i did play heavys on the martin-and the guit has a bit of belly bow to show for it..live an learn-one reason why i tend to run lighter -eventually, bridges and stuff simply balk at heavy string pressure-but the volume and power!
    Last edited by stevedenver; 06-23-2012 at 05:56 PM.

  30. #29

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    Been using TI 12s, but going to try 13s next time.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    0.013"?
    Yeah. And not only that string - some of the others as well. I'm flexible.

  32. #31

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    TI Benson .014's here. Same set since January. Still sounds nice. When I play my LP with 11's it feels way too floppy.

  33. #32

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    12's on archtops and 11's on solid/semi. I'm permanently undecided between simply accepting a steel-string sound, and swapping the plain strings for something heavier to try to get a more balanced tone.

  34. #33

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    13 flats on hollow jazz guitars. Curious note to add; A local music teacher came around to talk business on setting up some of his and his pupils guitars. He tried my hollow jazz guitars and he really dug them, he could not believe they had 13's, he thought they were 10's.

  35. #34

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    D'Addario EHR350 Half Rounds Jazz Light 12-52, Full Set $6.75



    I've settled on half round wounds because while I like the tonal quality of the fully wounds, I could never completely get rid of the squeaks and while I like the feel of smooth flatwounds they sound too thuddy. So the half wounds seem to give me the best of both worlds.
    Last edited by EddieLastra; 06-24-2012 at 09:02 AM.

  36. #35

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    I have the Labella 15-56 on my Peerless Monarch, Labella 12-52 on my custom Gretsch(though I am going to go hybrid next restring....13 17 and keep the rest of the Labella 12s) and GHS Pat Martino 15-52 on my Dearmond M75.

    I am a thumb/fingerstyle player and am also a big fan of that Wes tone.

    'Mike

  37. #36

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    i jave a Monarch too.labella 15/56 where can i get these in UK .......the WES tone WTG...using 13/56 addario half round at present

  38. #37

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    D'addario Chromes 12's with the Pat Martino style heavier high b and e, on an Ibanez GB15.

  39. #38

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    I wonder if the cats at Foulds music could get you the La Bella 15s in the UK. I am sure that juststrings.com would ship them to you or maybe even Lou over at Guitarsnjazz. Try Foulds first I say.

    'Mike

  40. #39

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    thanks JAZZMAN i ordered from stringbusters in UK....still experimenting with strings...all sound pretty good...Addarios even Roberts..

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark105
    D'addario Chromes 12's with the Pat Martino style heavier high b and e, on an Ibanez GB15.
    I just picked up a used GB10 and will have to try that combo out. The regular Chromes the E and B feel really light on the GB10.

  42. #41

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    LaBella Tape Wound 14 gage on my Benedetto Bambino.

  43. #42

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    I must be a sissy, as I use D'Addario Flatwounds 11-50.

    I don't see the point in using thicker ones; they're thumpy enough as they are in my L-5 CES copy.

    YMMV.

    HTH,

  44. #43

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    just got Labella 15/56 ..nice touch ...they give you a spare 1st 2nd..will i sound like Wes Montgomery LOL...

  45. #44

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    13's on almost everything, but never flats.
    I don't see the lure of flatwounds-they sound flat/dead to me.
    rounds have a nice sparkle but I know I'm in the minority here.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    13's on almost everything, but never flats.
    I don't see the lure of flatwounds-they sound flat/dead to me.
    rounds have a nice sparkle but I know I'm in the minority here.
    The jazz police will be here shortly.

  47. #46

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    Gibson Flat Wires SEG-1040 Series (Discontinued)
    Gibson Gear - Flat Wires
    Really good sound as the Gibsons information.
    I have used for years, and have only 6 or 7 sets left.

    Old number was "E-440", and called Gibson's famous "Sonomatic".
    __________________
    Last edited by kawa; 06-27-2012 at 08:45 PM.

  48. #47

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    - I prefer Thomastik-Infeld Swing Flatwounds .012-.053.
    Would like to go heavier,but I"m reluctant cause of the
    not-aged enough wood of the newer Gibsons.

  49. #48
    I'm gonna have to try rounds. They sound great on my Gretsch (for more of a rockabilly/jump blues thing), but the Broadway is sounding kind of... dull... for lack of a better description. Don't know if it's the guitar or the strings or both, but I just got it, so some string experimentation is in order.

  50. #49

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    D'Addario Chromes .013-.056 on an ES-165

  51. #50

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    just put a set La Bella Flatwound 20 PH 15-56 on the Monarch....WOW...the Wes sound ..sadly just broke the D string ..turning wrong string with winder.....off to get another Set...