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  1. #1

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    As I’ve hardly put it down since I bought it, the factory-installed strings on my Eastman AR503CE were ready to retire so I replaced them today with a set of TI GB 112 flatwounds graciously included by the shop at no additional cost when I bought the guitar. This is the first set of TIs I’ve ever played. They are brighter than I had anticipated. They feel amazing and sound great through my DV Mark LJ. I’m afraid I like them quite a lot. Afraid, because I don’t expect future sets would be offered at the same price as this set.... . I recently put a set of D’Addario flatwounds on my Les Paul. That was the first set of flatwounds I’d ever played on a guitar. (I have played flatwounds on my acoustic bass for years.) No comparison between the D’Addarios and TIs, IMHO. What’s the magic ingredient in those amazing strings?

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  3. #2

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    Glad you like them!

    The key difference feel wise is the tension. A set of TI 12s is closer to a set of Chromes 10s with the top two being 12 and 16, which is what I personally play

    I'm sure others will chime in with actual differences in how they are manufactured TI being nickel and Chromes stainless steel IIRC.
    Last edited by blille; 09-15-2019 at 02:13 AM.

  4. #3

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    @blille, I think the TI GBs are gauged more "balanced" than the ordinary "Swing" set – that I tried lately – which is indeed a bit unbalanced. I like the tone but will probably swap the plain strings.
    @lukmahnohns, the good news is that you will only need a new set of strings like every other year. ;-)

  5. #4

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    TI Flatwound strings are my favorite. The store that gave out the complimentary set of strings with your guitar knew what they were doing. Kind of like a drug dealer giving a free sample to get you hooked. They must sound great on your Eastman; enjoy!

    PS; on the upside, they last a loooong time!

  6. #5

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    There’s nothing like feeling your first pair of tis.

    The only flatwounds imo.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly View Post
    @blille, I think the TI GBs are gauged more "balanced" than the ordinary "Swing" set – that I tried lately – which is indeed a bit unbalanced. I like the tone but will probably swap the plain strings.
    I missed that they were GB, you're right!

  8. #7

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    the difference is in the string itself..the materials used...thomastik is one of the rare european string makers (along with pyramid) that produce pure nickel wound flats...and on a vintage syle round inner core...

    most all usa made flatwound strings are hex core & stainless steel wrapped...huge difference in tone..both when new and with time...the stainless steels are bright at first but noticeably fade..the pure nickel ti's stay remarkably true...and if strung up correctly, maintain excellent intonation for a long time!

    start puttin away a fiver$ a month now, and get the thoms again next time you need'em...hah

    cheers

  9. #8

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    I'm sure their Flatwounds are Great stings. But I found the Roundwounds to expensive to keep buying. Even though they last a long time, l found that I'd rather change them more often for the price they get.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    I'm sure their Flatwounds are Great stings. But I found the Roundwounds to expensive to keep buying. Even though they last a long time, l found that I'd rather change them more often for the price they get.
    the ti pure nickel roundwounds are way less unique...still a great string, but many usa makers make them as well...dr pure blues even use the round inner core...but most other companies ex. d'addario, ernie ball, ghs, labella, etc have pure nickel rounds on hex core

    not so with the flats!

    cheers

  11. #10

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    << No comparison between the D’Addarios and TIs, IMHO. What’s the magic ingredient in those amazing strings? >>


    The correct question would be: what is the unmagical ingredient in D'Addario, and many other strings (for playing jazz)?
    As already mentioned, it is the hex core wire.

    D'Addario themselves give the explanation (http://www.daddario.com/DaddarioFAQ.Page?solutionid=12 )
    :

    1. "The six "edges" of the core wire bite into the softer wrap wire and better secure it all along its length." - Correct statement!
    2. "This tight bond between the core and wrap wire is crucial in producing a very consistent tone with better intonation."

    Um - the latter statement is wrong; the derivation of 2. from 1., as well as their connection, is inpermissible in technical and logical respects! They use a hexagonally shaped wire to facilitate and fasten up the wrapping process, and, possibly, to increase life of the strings. A round core wire demands a more sophisticated and consistent wrapping procedure, but results in a lower general tension and more even vibration characteristics of the string.

    So, we have several demands on the string manufacturers:
    1. use a round core wire

    2. the wire drawing process is done in an oil or grease bath. The draw plates wear out quickly. The oil gets hot and loses its ability to lubricate and cool. This causes the wire to become brittle. Brittle wire may develop microscopic or macroscopic cracks, which may weaken the piece or "grow" with further working.
    This explains why string sets (batches from the same brand) can show a considerable variance in terms of quality. Who didn't experience, for example, that one set of roundwounds produces unbearably squeaking finger noises, while another one feels almost divine? If you look with a microscope at the wrapping wire you'll see the differences.
    So, the draw plates or dies have to be re-annealed, or replaced more often, or the wire drawing pace reduced.

    3. polish the completed string, that is, the wrapping wire, like crazy, or get a highly selected wrapping wire from the start. Lip service alone is not enough - we guitar players can feel and hear the difference!

    4. after the string has been wrapped, the whole thing has to be immersed in highly fluid and well-adhering oil (gun oil).
    What makes strings age? One aging process is the increasing restriction of elasticity of the carbon steel wire (restoring force). Another one is the contact corrosion, developing between different metals (like steel core and nickel wrapping), and from the reaction between finger gunk and sweat (individual body chemistry). We understand why a steel-steel mix, or the corrosion development between a hex core and a nickel wrapping can be superior to this effect, though tone and tension may suffer … A third aging process is the potential loosening of the wrapping wire.



    On a side note, we could be able to shed a bit more light on questions raised in a thread about rollerwound strings (I prefer the term 'rollerpolished'): Great Strings, how did I miss this .

    For technical reasons, it is not possible to put a rollerpolished wrapping wire on a hex core. You are forced to use a round core, and, unlike with round- or flatwounds, the process of rollerpolishing and wrapping has to be done simultaneously. The used hard metall rollers (commonly three) show a diameter of only two to three millimeters, which, again, illustrates the emerging problems of lubrication and cooling.
    In theory, life span of rollerpolished strings should be higher, compared to flatwounds (the direct contact area between core and wrapping is smaller). No idea if this is relevant to practice.
    However, players (plus high precision metal workers) have tested these strings. The result was, unfortunately, disappointing. While some were enthusiastic at the beginning (maybe an influence of psycological expectations, marketing and herd behaviour that we more or less are all subject to), only very few have stuck to these strings in the medium run: the rollerpolished strings, on average, made the same side noises under the fingers - in some cases even more unpleasant than conventionally produced roundwound strings!
    No reason here to pursue this concept further ...

    Many thanks to HR for these additional enlightening specialist's insights!


    Last edited by Ol' Fret; 09-16-2019 at 09:15 AM.

  12. #11

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    How often do most of you TI players change out your strings, months, weeks, years or how long do they last you?
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    How often do most of you TI players change out your strings, months, weeks, years or how long do they last you?
    1or 2 years (TI jazz flats heavy but with a fatter 1st)

    love em

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    How often do most of you TI players change out your strings, months, weeks, years or how long do they last you?

    Depends on the mileage, the climatic conditions, your body chemistry, and the care of the strings!

    The pros who use roundwound TI's I know of, change every 6 to 12 weeks; a fact that sounds like a paradox about what I said above concerning possible contact corrosion of round-, roller- and flatwounds.

    It is my impression that TI flatwounds (medium Swing in my case, with a heavy E and B, if available) only seem to last longer because their players are hardly looking for the strongest trebly overtones from the outset that many roundwound players are after, or just have to use because their guitar doesn't fully deliver the desired acoustic sound.
    Feeling tops ultimate tone! To compensate this, and the slightly darker and 'muffled' sound of flatwounds, compared to roundwounds, I like to have guitars that already bring along the treble range, clearness, wide dynamic range and projection acoustically, and sound evenly over the entire range. So, no ultra-thin belly, no X-bracing for me …

    Yes, TI flats, the wound strings, IMO, can last one or two years.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    How often do most of you TI players change out your strings, months, weeks, years or how long do they last you?

    I have a JS112 set on a guitar that I have been using regularly for about 6 months or perhaps a little longer. I recently changed out the G, B and high E strings. I find that G string wears rather quickly compared to the other strings and when it's worn you can easily feel the wear in the string at the fret positions by running a finger under the string. The strings are available individually and I stocked up on the 3rd and 4th strings. I used plain strings from another manufacturer. The new 3rd string seemed a little bit brighter for a few days, but after a short while it seemed to sound like the rest. I am not sure how well changing strings on a selective basis will last long term. I have to wonder if the 5th and 6th strings will ever wear out. Intonation still seems acceptable.

    In practice I think I change flat wound strings because I want to try something else for a change. I think I have thrown away a lot of perfectly good string sets in recent years.

  16. #15

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    I normally use roundwounds but put a set of Daddario flats on my Hollenbeck just for something different. I normally do not like flats but these have really got me thinking for electric work they are pretty smooth. So these are a year old almost and intonate prefectly so I can see them lasting still awhile for sure, maybe 2 years wow!
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  17. #16

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    FWIW I replaced the two plain strings of the TI Swing .012 set on my Ibanez AG75 with .011 and .015 and now the volume is balanced. Despite what others told me I think the wound strings from TI are brighter than chromes. Here in Europe the TI swing set's price (14,50 € on Thomann, Amazon etc.) is 5,40 € less than the price for Chromes (19,90 €) – so it is a viable option to buy a set and replace the plain strings. I'd buy the TI set one gauge higher than what I normally use, so next time I'd use a TI Swings .013 set and use .012 and .016 plain strings.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz View Post
    As I’ve hardly put it down since I bought it, the factory-installed strings on my Eastman AR503CE were ready to retire so I replaced them today with a set of TI GB 112 flatwounds graciously included by the shop at no additional cost when I bought the guitar. This is the first set of TIs I’ve ever played. They are brighter than I had anticipated. They feel amazing and sound great through my DV Mark LJ. I’m afraid I like them quite a lot. Afraid, because I don’t expect future sets would be offered at the same price as this set.... . I recently put a set of D’Addario flatwounds on my Les Paul. That was the first set of flatwounds I’d ever played on a guitar. (I have played flatwounds on my acoustic bass for years.) No comparison between the D’Addarios and TIs, IMHO. What’s the magic ingredient in those amazing strings?
    Good news is they last forever

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    How often do most of you TI players change out your strings, months, weeks, years or how long do they last you?
    Every decade or so. (Well every 3 months max, but that’s when I’m gigging a lot and not taking best care of them.)

    The older they get the thunkier the thunk

    You lose a bit of sustain of course, it’s a trade off with playing style...

  20. #19

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    I too love TIs -- every so often I try something else, but I always come back to them.

    For roundwound strings, I've been really liking GHS Pure Nickel Rollerwounds. You can get them with a wound third.

    On both the TIs and GHS strings, I replace the 12 and 16 with Elixir brand strings. I tend to go through plain strings at an alarming rate, the Elixir have some sort of anti-rust treatment, they last much longer.

  21. #20

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    I have written before about my experience with TI Jazz Bebops. I put 12’s on my ES-135 awhile ago, and while I liked them, they developed some tarnish after a few weeks. I cleaned them with alcohol, and used some FastFret lubricant (mineral oil), and they have remained tarnish-free since that time.

    They sound great and have a nice mellow sound which I prefer for that guitar. I am a little embarrassed to say this, but I put them on SEVERAL years ago, and have not seen a need to change them.

    I don’t go for a bright sound at all, so to be honest I rarely see a need to change strings. Why fix it if it ain’t broken?
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  22. #21

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    I have to write a follow up to my previous post (TI swings .012 set unbalanced on Ibanez Artcore AG75) – I got a GB10 monday that came with the same set and they balance perfectly – so it seems to depend on the guitar a lot.On the artcore I fixed it by using D'Addario .011 and .014 plain strings BTW.