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  1. #1

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    I've got D'Addario Chromes 12s and they just won't go dead. Maybe the high tension? Looking for more of a Tal Farlow sound. TI's? LaBellas? Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2

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    Thomastik-Infeld strings are like no other I've ever played. You owe it to yourself to try them.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Neverisky View Post
    Thomastik-Infeld strings are like no other I've ever played. You owe it to yourself to try them.
    Thanks. No doubt worth a roll of the dice. Kinda pricey. Should I go all the way to Bensons?

  5. #4

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    Not the Bensons. Those actually have much less thud than the regulars.

  6. #5

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    The LaBella tapewound strings sound dead. Just be careful about heavier gauges, because the bass E string can be too thick to fit through the hole in the tuner capstan on some guitars. They also need a lot of distance between the tailpiece and the tuners, I can't recall the exact distance. However, I've used them on an ES175 with no issues other than the dead sound, as long as I never detuned them. That allows the tape to loosen, which is not a good thing.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Not the Bensons. Those actually have much less thud than the regulars.
    No kidding? I just found this quote from a previous thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Philco View Post

    The differences between Swing and Benson:

    • Bensons go dull very quickly.
    • Swing are very bright at first and then mellow a little but never go "thud" like the Benson's eventually will. They stay a little lively.
    • Benson's are silky smooth. Swing's are ever so slightly rougher...but still very flat wound.
    • You can just see the wind on the Swing's whereas you can barely see it on Benson's.

    Maybe they respond differently depending on the guitar? "Thud" is appealing to me.

  8. #7

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    the individual thom pure nickel round core flats are all exactly the same!...only difference is benson is packaged with different gauges than jazz swings...otherwise identical per string...i.e. for example a .53 in jazzzswing is exact same string as used in benson set

    cheers

    ps- been using thom flats since 90's when i met the good fellows of usa distributors connolly of li, ny at ny guitar shows...classic strings...
    Last edited by neatomic; 11-27-2019 at 09:39 PM.

  9. #8

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    TI Swing series are the warmest strings I know of outside of the tape wound strings (that are more of a "classical guitar" tone than a jazz guitar tone). I find Chromes and all the other American made flats to be a bit bright. I think it is that fact that they are wrapped in Stainless Steel, whereas the TI Swing Flats are wrapped in pure nickel.

    I have only tried the TI Bensons in 14's and so did not like the extra tension that I gave up on them quickly.

    TI Swing series flats cost twice as much as their American made counterparts, but I like them more than twice as much, so I keep using them. YMMV
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    Thanks. No doubt worth a roll of the dice. Kinda pricey. Should I go all the way to Bensons?

    Some people strongly dislike things others swear by. You'll never know until your try for yourself. Start with the JS112 or JS111 set.

  11. #10

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    it's not hyperbole!! its science!!! a stainless steel flatwound string, as just about all usa made flats are..ghs, labella,d'addario chromes etc etc...will have brightness when new and soon diminish accordingly...the old school european manufacturers like thomastik and pyramid...use pure nickel wrap..a much less magnetic wrap than stainless steel...therefore not as bright initially ..however they age well and can be used for years with no tone diminishing...

    thoms are 2 wraps of soft nickel wrap on a round core..extremely old school design..they are pricey because nickel costs more than stainless steel..but worth every penny

    this stuff in not conjecture!!! its science..if you choose to study it!!!

    if you put thoms on, you should usually adjust your trussrod and pickup height as well!!! as they have less tension and less magnetic output

    not for the squeamish i suppose, but facts

    cheers

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    the individual thom pure nickel round core flats are all exactly the same!...only difference is benson is packaged with different gauges than jazz swings...otherwise identical per string...i.e. for example a .53 in jazzzswing is exact same string as used in benson set

    cheers
    So I'm paying ten bucks for GB's picture on the package?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    TI Swing series are the warmest strings I know of outside of the tape wound strings (that are more of a "classical guitar" tone than a jazz guitar tone). I find Chromes and all the other American made flats to be a bit bright. I think it is that fact that they are wrapped in Stainless Steel, whereas the TI Swing Flats are wrapped in pure nickel.

    I have only tried the TI Bensons in 14's and so did not like the extra tension that I gave up on them quickly.

    TI Swing series flats cost twice as much as their American made counterparts, but I like them more than twice as much, so I keep using them. YMMV
    Interesting. The Chromes I'm using are high tension, which doesn't really bother me. Just the sound is very bright in an unpleasant way, at least for me. Anybody's 14s are going to be too much for me. I've read, though, that TI strings are lower tension relative to other brands.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    So I'm paying ten bucks for GB's picture on the package?


    no. you are paying for a set of different gauged strings!!! for some that's a premium

    cheers

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    it's not hyperbole!! its science!!! a stainless steel flatwound string, as just about all usa made flats are..ghs, labella,d'addario chromes etc etc...will have brightness when new and soon diminish accordingly...the old school european manufacturers like thomastik and pyramid...use pure nickel wrap..a much less magnetic wrap than stainless steel...therefore not as bright initially ..however they age well and can be used for years with no tone diminishing...

    thoms are 2 wraps of soft nickel wrap on a round core..extremely old school design..they are pricey because nickel costs more than stainless steel..but worth every penny

    this stuff in not conjecture!!! its science..if you choose to study it!!!

    if you put thoms on, you should usually adjust your trussrod and pickup height as well!!! as they have less tension and less magnetic output

    not for the squeamish i suppose, but facts

    cheers
    Duly noted, although I've been operating under the lingering misconception that we're all entitled to our own facts. I mean, mathematics is just some pointy-headed pencil neck's opinion and if I don't understand it then it's not worth knowing about. That said, the overwhelming consensus is TI. Appreciate you!

  15. #14

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    yeah, well i'm all for ignorant bliss as well..tho less so when it comes to beloved guitars..haha

    luck friend

    cheers

  16. #15

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    I can sell you my year old used TI flats, I was about to take them off and put the new ones anyway. I can repackage them, and voila! Deader then dead. Maybe I should start my own business like that.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    I can sell you my year old used TI flats, I was about to take them off and put the new ones anyway. I can repackage them, and voila! Deader then dead. Maybe I should start my own business like that.
    Can I please order a set of 1/2 deader than dead TI Flats ? I can pay a bit more. Thanks.
    11s or 12s would be great.

  18. #17

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    Stainless steel is not necessarily more magnetic than nickel. There are many non-ferrous metals in stainless steel. It depend on the alloy, and there are many. Some stainless steel isn't even attracted by a magnet. That said, I don't know what alloy D'Addario uses for Chromes, but one would assume there is at least some chromium, which is actually antiferromagnetic. Chromium is also one of the hardest materials extant, so stainless steel is much harder than nickel, or most fret materials. If you use stainless steel strings, stainless steel frets may make a good match. I suspect that the hardness makes chromes brighter, but I've done no investigation of the vibrational properties of chromium, so that's just a guess.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    Can I please order a set of 1/2 deader than dead TI Flats ? I can pay a bit more. Thanks.
    11s or 12s would be great.
    Of course my man! Will start shipping soon, with the certificate of authenticity, only Deader Than Dead are dead enough!

  20. #19

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    I just checked the prices - -Pyramid nickel flats @ $25.00 a set vs TI 's @ $30.00, and the Bensons are $40.00 ???........Wow.........But if the OP is used to Chromes and their gauges, the Pyramids are closer than TI's.......The TI's use thinner gauge strings, so yes their 1 & 2 strings as a point of reference are identical gauges, but their usual 3, 4 & 5 strings are thinner than strings in comparable sets from other manufacturers.

    So, if the OP wanted to give a nickel set a try and not have to adjust the TR, bridge and / or P/U, buy the Pyramids.

    MHO and good luck.

  21. #20

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    Part of what makes the standard swings so great and thuddy is the tension! The loose feels makes the string go floppy flop. For a given setup nothing compares.

  22. #21

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    On electric guitars I still think the TI Jazz Swings can't be beat.

    The low tension wound strings on a laminate guitar with big bobbin single coils is THE sound for me. It's that classic early bop sound.

    Lately I've been replacing the top two strings with a 12 and 16 (same gauge) with Elixir Brand strings - they don't tarnish anywhere near as quickly as the plain TI strings.

  23. #22

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    Rock guitarist = I want my guitar to sing! Sustain for days!

    Jazz guitarist = I want my guitar to emit a dull thud

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    TI Swing series flats cost twice as much as their American made counterparts,......
    They do - in the US. In Europe the price difference is not that big.



    Sendt fra min SM-T810 med Tapatalk
    "But if they all play like me, then who am I?" (Lester Young)

  25. #24

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    There's a lot of interest in this thread, which is good. There is less consistency in opinion.

    The thuddiest strings I found that are not tapes are the heavy Labellas. They are on sale today for less the $20.

    La Bella Flatwound 20PH Electric Guitar Strings Heavy Gauge 15-56

    La Bella Flatwound 20PM Electric Guitar Strings Medium Gauge 13-53

    They thud best with a thicker electric archtop, like the L-5CES or ES-175 using a heftier wood saddle.

    Round core (TIs, some Pyramids) have more high frequency overtones and longer decay times. So my experience is to take that into consideration.

    All of that being said, some get the rapid decay by muting in some way.

    Here's a demo of Labella tapes played acoustically and amplified but with a metal saddle. Even these strings have a fair amount of sustain and are not thuddoramic!

    MG

  26. #25
    TI benson are smoother and acoustically louder then Swing series.
    They are not the same strings.

    Anyway, I put chromes on L5 (13 or 12) and seems to play better then thomastik here.

    Indeed for 175 I prefer TI swing 113 or GB112 with 14 and 18 swapped on treble.

    Pyramid flatwound is quite similar, but have more tension.
    Rotosound 12-52 monel seems to be fine, very similar to chromes 12.

    Probably the most beautiful flat string are Dogal Jazz Expressive, but very expensive and hard to find outside Eu.


    Indeed if you prefer a semi-flat TI bebop 13 or 14 suit well a big archtop.
    You can save some bucks here buying Newtone strings 13-53 which are exactly the same strings at half of the TI price.



    Roundwound:
    john pearse, newtone nickel plated (very like gibson seg), pyramid stand jazz, labella roundwound.
    Last edited by archtopdream63; 11-28-2019 at 10:17 AM.
    “george h.w. or george w.?
    I prefer the bush..”

  27. #26
    I also heard good things about d’aquisto flatwound, but they’re out of production.

    Ghs Pat martino, mmm... I have to try again better before review them.
    I found those strings not perfectly tuned.

    other flats brands:
    Sit, essex uk, galli, d’orazio, sadowsky, optima swing, dr legend, olympia, ghs stainless flats, curt manghan, foehn, aria proll, roberts flats, darco, puccini flats,melofonic, black diamond..
    If anyone could review those please do it!
    “george h.w. or george w.?
    I prefer the bush..”

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    the individual thom pure nickel round core flats are all exactly the same!...only difference is benson is packaged with different gauges than jazz swings...otherwise identical per string...i.e. for example a .53 in jazzzswing is exact same string as used in benson set

    cheers

    ps- been using thom flats since 90's when i met the good fellows of usa distributors connolly of li, ny at ny guitar shows...classic strings...
    I would not be so sure they are exactly the same, and the only difference is the packaging gauge.
    Bensons are wrapped with red textile swing is blue. Yes I know, then one still say they are same except the textile wrapping and the packaging... but I feel difference in sound too, especially D, A, E spongy character what I like is stronger using the Bensons.

    Regarding the OP,

    I was there too a few years ago, asked in many forums, no workaround found. You must play them for 2 weeks to get what you want. Regarding Thomastik price: They can last practically forever.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldane View Post
    They do - in the US. In Europe the price difference is not that big.



    Sendt fra min SM-T810 med Tapatalk
    So I have heard. But you pay more for Gibson archtops, so it all evens out in the end.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    I can sell you my year old used TI flats, I was about to take them off and put the new ones anyway. I can repackage them, and voila! Deader then dead. Maybe I should start my own business like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    Can I please order a set of 1/2 deader than dead TI Flats ? I can pay a bit more. Thanks.
    11s or 12s would be great.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Of course my man! Will start shipping soon, with the certificate of authenticity, only Deader Than Dead are dead enough!
    Crap, just when I was about to monetize your idea you beat me to the punch. COA is a nice touch.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    Crap, just when I was about to monetize your idea you beat me to the punch. COA is a nice touch.
    You all are late in this business, I started to develop my string aging machine three years ago

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    Regarding the OP,

    I was there too a few years ago, asked in many forums, no workaround found. You must play them for 2 weeks to get what you want. Regarding Thomastik price: They can last practically forever.
    They're getting better but have a somewhat cold "glassiness" to me. Also, they hurt my fingers, so nickel would be better in that regard.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    Bensons are wrapped with red textile swing is blue.
    Did someone mislabel your strings? You’ve got it backwards.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Did someone mislabel your strings? You’ve got it backwards.
    I had 50% chance , I risked it not to look in the guitar room. Anyway the point was they are not identical as stated.

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    I had 50% chance , I risked it not to look in the guitar room. Anyway the point was they are not identical as stated.
    Blue wrap sounds better. That's why Bensons cost more.

  36. #35

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    These came in the case of the 62 year old Gibson I just acquired. I bet they sound pretty dead. You want em?

    Looking for flatwound strings that sound dead right out of the package-646c9f27-b7e5-49c0-8fbb-e03d17519bb7-jpg

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    Blue wrap sounds better. That's why Bensons cost more.
    Buy both and try them out. To my ear the red sound thuddier. If you hear the blue as thuddier keep the blue. The point is even in this thread you have people who disagree on the psychoacoustics, so you should do your personal test. Relying on the price to indicate quality is good for Thomastik, but not a strong strategy as a consumer.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Rock guitarist = I want my guitar to sing! Sustain for days!

    Jazz guitarist = I want my guitar to emit a dull thud
    Not always! I want my laminate single p90 guitars to thud. But if there’s a floating dearmond I want a long ringy Johnny Smith thing with the close voiced 6 chords. Those chords are hard to get into, and I want the moment to last to justify the effort.

  39. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    These came in the case of the 62 year old Gibson I just acquired. I bet they sound pretty dead. You want em?

    Looking for flatwound strings that sound dead right out of the package-646c9f27-b7e5-49c0-8fbb-e03d17519bb7-jpg
    Hmm. Tempting. Maybe throw in the guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Buy both and try them out. To my ear the red sound thuddier. If you hear the blue as thuddier keep the blue. The point is even in this thread you have people who disagree on the psychoacoustics, so you should do your personal test. Relying on the price to indicate quality is good for Thomastik, but not a strong strategy as a consumer.
    Once again proving that guitar players listen with their eyes.

  40. #39

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    Just to be clear, I’m not insisting that the color red is thuddier than the color blue.

    Anyway good luck and I hope the strings bring out the Tal Farlow in your playing.

  41. #40

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    If you want a fairly dry clipped tone, try Pyramid Gold Medium Heavy (12-52). Nickel tape wound, they seem to emulate the early tape wound strings with a fairly high internal damping so they don't have the initial zing.

    Arthur

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    These came in the case of the 62 year old Gibson I just acquired. I bet they sound pretty dead. You want em?

    Looking for flatwound strings that sound dead right out of the package-646c9f27-b7e5-49c0-8fbb-e03d17519bb7-jpg
    I Want them! hi fi flatwound ?
    “george h.w. or george w.?
    I prefer the bush..”

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    I've got D'Addario Chromes 12s and they just won't go dead. Maybe the high tension? Looking for more of a Tal Farlow sound. TI's? LaBellas? Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.
    I had similar questions about sound and string aging a few years ago, then I let it go, and live with the approx one month ageing period.
    I asked about this on many forums, here is a reference of my original question and some useful answer from stackoverflow:

    The conclusions are two fold: The OP can make conclusions how to fast age new strings, but in case anyone interesting in the reverse process (meaning: renew old srtings) here are my experiences. Disclamer: Please do not raise your expectations: the final conclusion neither is possible.

    jazz - How to "age" guitar strings? - Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange

    My original question what may related to the OP was the following

    "...All the advertisements related to guitar strings talk about how to slow down guitar string aging and how to prevent the loss of brightness of the new strings. Coating is about to prevent aging (oxidation) and some manufacturers vacuum or oxigen free sealed packaging are all about this.

    However here is the thing:


    For me, the bright, and very "steely" sound of the new strings do not sound so good. Actually more than 1 year old Thomastik GB flatwound now sounds awesome. In the other hand on my other guitar I've just changed to a new string set (to the very same Thomastik) , and its bright new, and steel like sounds are very disturbing for me.

    Is there any way not to wait months to get the sound I like?"

    Here are some quotes of my conclusions written also there, you may read other comments and answer, to fully understand the context
    Deep clean was: soaking in naphtha then clean with wipe.)

    "After spending ten days to prove or confute theories I have only partial results, so here are my conclusions:

    Theory #1: Oxidation

    Confuted (imho). These confuting experiences was included in my original question but for have it in an organized answer I list here:
    I had a one and half year old, accidentally opened (originally vacuum packed) D'Addario Chromes (flatwound), and I stringed my guitar with them ten days ago. The strings sounded the most typical new string like. (still no significant changes after ten days). So its not the oxidation, because the opened and same age strings were oxidated almost identically, but sounded way different.

    Theory #2: Visco elastic dirt

    Confuted in two ways.
    a) Reverse confuting: I've tried to clean (I mean deep cleeaan) my old strings. (See details of the process in my comment on user2790167's answer.). No hearable changes at all. Maybe the clean was not "deep" enough, as user2790167 answered: we did not reach the core... Still I would expect some sound changes, but there was not any.
    b) I've tried to artificially speed up aging the new strings by dirting them with a chapstick. It is kinda gluey fat so it's a candidate replacing nose grease with the benefit it is available in limitless amount... (nose grease credits goes to user2790167)
    I even extra strengthen the strings during the process to dilate the ways to the "core". No changes. I thought it takes some time while the dirty travels to the core so waited five days before concluding the result in this answer: Still no changes.

    Theory #3: My own

    Note: This is not proven at all. This is only a theory what based on that neither Theory #1 and Theory #2 seems to be not provable. (although both sound reasonable). So... That's a fact, that new strings sound are well noticable changing in the first 1-3 month after applying them. If it is not the oxidation and not the dirt, then what else? The only thing what comes in my mind is the "usage". The steel's attribute must change somehow, my bet is its flexibility. This could be because of the micro dilatation, or some microscopic changes in the matter itself. The steel gets tired and tired."


  44. #43
    You can try boiling old strings in water to "renew" them. Seems I may have done this a long time ago on some bass strings to good effect.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by archtopdream63 View Post
    TI benson are smoother and acoustically louder then Swing series.
    They are not the same strings.
    stubborn, stubborn..they are the exact same string!...the louder acoustic sound is because benson are heavier gauge...but the actual strings are the same...pure nickel double wrapped on a round steel core...try ordering a thoms single flat string..there is only one!!

    as i writ ^ , i knew the usa distributors decades ago

    they cost more because benson gets a cut..and they are a specialty type string...which thomastik usually doesn't do!!!

    cheers

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    These came in the case of the 62 year old Gibson I just acquired. I bet they sound pretty dead. You want em?

    Looking for flatwound strings that sound dead right out of the package-646c9f27-b7e5-49c0-8fbb-e03d17519bb7-jpg
    i used to go to silver & horland when they were on 48th st guitar row...(what a block!! all guitar shops) silver horland was more a brass shop...sax and wind instruments...

    sure those strings (flats) are just vanity branding..most likely made by labella...

    cheers

  47. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    stubborn, stubborn..they are the exact same string!...the louder acoustic sound is because benson are heavier gauge...but the actual strings are the same...pure nickel double wrapped on a round steel core...try ordering a thoms single flat string..there is only one!!

    as i writ ^ , i knew the usa distributors decades ago

    they cost more because benson gets a cut..and they are a specialty type string...which thomastik usually doesn't do!!!

    cheers
    I got a deal on a set of Bensons and here are my initial impressions in comparison to the Chromes:

    The Chromes are quite a bit louder, but colder. The Bensons are much less loud, but warmer, more nuanced and "jazzier." The Chromes were very high tension by comparison. Other forum members have said that Chromes play like TIs one gauge up. I installed a .012 set of Bensons, and they're much lower tension. I can even kind of bend the G string, which I like to have available here and there. That said, the Benson low E is much clearer, focused and detailed than the Chromes E, which sounded like mud by comparison. I have to say, though, that the Chromes are much smoother to the touch than the Bensons, which surprised me. The Bensons don't squeak, but are far from silky smooth as I had hoped. At this moment, I almost have a preference for the Chromes unwound B and E. The Bensons have a coating on them that imparts a little darker sound than I'm used to. I think I can dial some of that out with pickup, amp and guitar controls. Or maybe the coating will wear off over time. Right now the Bensons are a little bright, but not in a bad way. More like what we'd expect from new strings. I'm intrigued to hear them a month from now. The bottom line is that the Bensons are warmer, clearer, more focused, more detailed and more comfortable. Definitely worth the money as far as I'm concerned. Thanks to each and every forum member who contributed to this thread!

  48. #47

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    thoms js & b flats offer 2 different choices of hi b & e strings...brass coated or tin coated...

    if you dont like the ones you got, next time try the other


    otherwise basically all unwound strings are the same...solid steel...with a thin outer coating...usually tin

    plain strings are virtually interchangeable between all quality brands...so don't be afraid to replace

    you can also adjust pickup height for any perceived differences in tone and volume...caused by the change from chromes (stainless steel) to thoms pure nickel double wrapped

    cheers

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    stubborn, stubborn..they are the exact same string!...the louder acoustic sound is because benson are heavier gauge...but the actual strings are the same...pure nickel double wrapped on a round steel core...try ordering a thoms single flat string..there is only one!!

    as i writ ^ , i knew the usa distributors decades ago

    they cost more because benson gets a cut..and they are a specialty type string...which thomastik usually doesn't do!!!

    cheers
    There is a quote regarding distributors and in general sales person/process:

    "Excessive knowledge of the product is an obtacle to sales"

    I mean I would not have so high expectation regarding what a sales person said. Secondly I also would not expect so much from a person who does not respect the manufacturer he distributes. Not a good sign of personality.

  50. #49

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    ????^ sorry, but... ok the .53 pure nickel on round core flatwound string in the jazz swing package is completely different from the .53 pure nickel on round core flatwound string in the george benson package!


    believe what you want...hah...

    cheers

  51. #50

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