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  1. #1

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    I know it's possible to build your own set, but to me that's a real pain, and expensive, etc.

    So do any of you know of a heavy-gauge set of flats, available for purchase online? I saw a set years ago, but now I can't find them.

    I'm talking, I suppose, about .014; .018; .027 etc down to about .060 or .61

    I love playing shell chords, and more swing, rather than, say, bebop. I'm wanting more chunk.

    Also, I'd never put these on a vintage Gibson. I have a fairly sturdy old Artcore -- would probably use them on that.

    Thanks in advance!



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  3. #2

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    Amazon has 14-55 Thomastik Infeld George Benson string sets.

  4. #3

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    GHS makes a 14-54 set in Stainless steel.
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  5. #4

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    Benson's +1 Those Benson strings are amazing. I currently have them on an Eastman 503CE.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Benson's +1 Those Benson strings are amazing. I currently have them on an Eastman 503CE.
    Rob, how would you describe the difference to Ti Swings?

  7. #6

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    Well, they seem overall a higher quality of production. The trebles are warm and full, the basses soft yet distinct. I need to lower the action when using them, as I don't have Freddie Green's grip!

  8. #7

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    The Bensons are worth the premium price in sound and longevity
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  9. #8

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    ghs also has two pat martino signature sets..the "lights" are 15-52..the mediums 16-56..both stainless steel

    labella makes a stainless steel set 15-56 and a black nylon tape set 14-67...

    labella will send custom gauges if you contact least they have in the past..


  10. #9

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    Don't know for other users but I like a lot these Benson (14) on short scale guitars (excellent on a 330) but I don't find it so good on long scale ones, a little too hard to play for my fingers.

  11. #10

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    Thanks to everybody! I had no idea -- how did I miss all these cool string sets?

    I recently bought some flats, a new brand to me, "Gallistrings" -- .013's, and while the package doesn't specify Stainless Steel, it does say, "Steel," and this is the first time I'd played such strings. Hated them. Took them straight off and re-strung with Chromes.

    The GHS strings sound good, and I'm already a huge fan of La Bella -- they actually make a medium-gauge set of Silk & Steel, which I use on one of my guitars for a special purpose, and they're superb.

    Some of the Bensons and the Martinos may be too heavy! Jeez, .016??? Baritone strings? Hah. But it's good to know about the other sets.

    Thanks, guys!


  12. #11

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    just for clarification...most electric guitar flats are stainless steel...even the ones marked as chromes...actually the galli's and d'addarios both use the chrome label for their stainless steel strings

    the great exceptions being the european made thomastik and pyramid flats...who use pure nickel for their wraps...a completely different league of string...more costly, but to many of us here, well worth it!


  13. #12

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    Here is a sample of Toty Viola's playing using LaBella strings with a 15 or 16, as I recall. He plays with his thumb. He doesn't use a standard set, but it will give you a sense.

    He's using a carved archtop for this, but I don't know which one.

    This sounds a little dark to me. Labellas are a favorite but they do seems to be sparing on the brights.


  14. #13

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    great playing from toty...hard not to sound "warm" with thumb and super heavy strings..but he still has high clarity...his low notes approach electric bass territory for sure!....nice


  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNote View Post
    Rob, how would you describe the difference to Ti Swings?
    I think the Benson’s are just a bit smoother on the wound strings, the swings have a little bit more texture. I use the Benson 12’s currently and have used the swing 13’s. They are basically identical in quality and gauge.

    One time I matched the Benson 12’s with D’Addario by combining the strings from the 12 and 10ga chrome set. It was pretty cool. The daddarios can be a little snappier sounding. The chrome 13’s feel really stiff and tinny sounding at first. I’ve mostly been sticking with Benson’s and swing 13’s. They both sound the same after a month or so.

    Labellas have the same kinda smoothness as the Thomastiks bit are stainless. For some reason the 12 and 13 sets I tried, the low e sounded way more thuddy and dead then the rest of the set.

    DR, and GHS have a satiny feel, which is kinda nice because you get some more percussiveness when the pick slides off the string and and makes a slight scratchy noise. The GHS felt too stiff to me but the DR’s felt and sounded great, except they are two short for an L5 and you end up winding mostly the core wire around the post. Also for some reason every time I tried a set, although I liked them, the d string intonation was horrible.
    The Curt Mangan 13’s were really great (13-56 instead of 13-54 like ghs and dr.). They have the same texture as the GHS and DR.

    Pyramid sounded nice but also had some breaking issues with the wound strings and also some intonation and Buzziness. They had a nice sound. I just didn’t want to try to rely on them because they seem more scarce then all the other brands.

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