1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I know there have been multiple surveys on this forum about players and their string choices. I find myself with a string issue and am not quite sure what to do.

    So a year ago, I purchased a 74 Gibson Johnny Smith. A really nice guitar, I just love it. The honeymoon continues a year later. Thanks to Wintermoon, it will be sporting a NOS Johnny Smith pickup that will replace the BJB installed by the previous owner.

    One of the things I neglected to ask the previous owner was what kind of strings he had on it. When it arrived, I found that I really liked the strings: they are warm, a rich acoustic tone that sounds great plugged or unplugged. They are round wounds, probably 11s, with a wound third. Of course, it's a 74 GJS that has really opened up, so I am sure that contributes alot to its tonality.

    At some point, I will need to replace them and would like to duplicate what is currently on it. I have used D'darrios 12s on my L5 and other comparable guitars - but I don't think they will give me the comparable tone and feel.

    Any recommendations? Warm, rich acoustic tone and feel that that works for both finger-style and plectrum playing? I know this is like trying to find a needle in the proverbial haystack with all the string choices available, but does anything stand out? Not interested in flat-wounds or half-rounds.

    Thanks for your help.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    So you have had this guitar over a year and you have yet to change strings? Your my hero I think! Seriously though is there any wrap on the strings that might help identify? Take one off see if the ends are color coded. Lot's of knowledgeable people here if you can come up with a clue.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    This ^
    Sure next string set will sound bright to your ears !
    D'Addario have coloured ball ends. Do your old strings have that feature ?
    Check the gauge with a caliper if you are not sure of it
    Little by little you'll narrow the choice
    In any case, experimenting with strings types/brands/gauges is not the most expensive activity and it is a lot of fun.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    try a set of pure nickel roundwounds..warm toned, easy on the fingers and frets...and not squeaky..and hold their tone with time..every string company makes them...i especially like when they are on vintage style round inner core...like thoms bebops, pyramids and dr pure blues...the latter being the most readily available stateside..gc carries them


    cheers

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    try a set of pure nickel roundwounds..warm toned, easy on the fingers and frets...and not squeaky..and hold their tone with time..every string company makes them...i especially like when they are on vintage style round inner core...like thoms bebops, pyramids and dr pure blues...the latter being the most readily available stateside..gc carries them


    cheers
    good advice here FredH, when my old stash of nickel plated D'Aquisto's ran out I bought a couple sets of nickel plated and pure nickel D'Addario's.
    I've been using the nickel plated as soon after I found a box in my gauge 13-56 on Craigslist for cheap, but once those are gone I'm probably going to start using the pure nickel sets, al little less bright, a little more mellow

    p.s. let me know how the pickup sounds once you get it mounted and thanks for lunch last week

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Another string to consider is the Martin Retro Monel set. They aren't pure nickel, but a rather close alloy, and they work well for acoustic sound as well as amplified. Cheap, readily available, and good sound.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Well, for one thing I'd probably leave those strings on! You can swap out the pickups without changing the strings on that guitar. Then I'd try contacting the prior owner, if you have that information, and asking.

    Otherwise you're stuck with experimentation with the great options described above. I'll add what may be an unexpected one: S.I.T. strings. I have their nickel plated S1150 set (11-50) on both my arch top and Strat. The set has both a wound and plain third- strong fundamental and less overtone than many strings. I think they make a pure nickel set as well.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Well, for one thing I'd probably leave those strings on! You can swap out the pickups without changing the strings on that guitar. Then I'd try contacting the prior owner, if you have that information, and asking.

    Otherwise you're stuck with experimentation with the great options described above. I'll add what may be an unexpected one: S.I.T. strings. I have their nickel plated S1150 set (11-50) on both my arch top and Strat. The set has both a wound and plain third- strong fundamental and less overtone than many strings. I think they make a pure nickel set as well.
    I have found SITs to be excellent strings. They retain there broken-in tone virtually unchanged for a long time. Plus they Stay in Tune!
    Last edited by citizenk74; 01-24-2020 at 08:27 PM.