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  1. #1

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    Hey,

    I have a 1936 L50 with added CC pickup, it’s one without the notch under the B. It sounds great but it has the perennial issue with the steel plain strings for B and E being louder that the others.

    At the moment I have some Pyramid Monel Classics 12-54, great soft feeling strings and sound great acoustically but the wound strings are too weak sounding compared to the top two.

    In the past I have used D’Addario Chromes 12s and they worked really well as they are steel wrapped with a greater magnetic field and gave a good balance across the strings. However I prefer the sound of roundwounds and I was just wondering if anyone hear had a similar experience and could recommend a set of strings that deals with the issue.

    I’ve seen that steel core/nickel wrap might be a good way to go. D’Addario do a jazz roundwound set that has that construction. Any thoughts/suggestions would be very welcome!

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  3. #2

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    Miles Okazaki use 1978 Gibson ES-175CC, Charlie Christian pickup, Thomastik flatwound 14s
    source: Gear | MILES OKAZAKI

  4. #3

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    Any reason not to file a notch in the blade? Is it an original ES-150 pickup?
    Best Strings For Charlie Christian Pickup?-cc-picup-notch-jpg

  5. #4

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    I've had good luck with Martin Monel on my 1937 ES-150, so perhaps the Pyramid are of a different composition/gauging? So try some Martins or perhaps D'Addario Nickel Bronze.
    If neither of those work, before you go to flats (since they didn't have flats in the 30's), try some "pure nickel" round wounds.

  6. #5

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    I'd be all about the Monel. Try the Martin retros, maybe mix a set, .012s on top, .013s on bottom?

    I use the Monels with a P-90 equipped archtop, no balance issues.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    Any reason not to file a notch in the blade? Is it an original ES-150 pickup?
    Best Strings For Charlie Christian Pickup?-cc-picup-notch-jpg
    Thanks for the tip! It’s actually a one of the UK CC pick up reissues. I’m a bit reluctant to fiddle with it to be honest though.

  8. #7

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    I mean, I've been down to try the Curt Mangan round core monels, but frankly the easy availability of the Martin monels has made it so that I've never bothered to string up the two packs I have.

  9. #8

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    ok rethinking my posts-

    yes, you shouldn't have got the non notched if you are using plain b string!

    the only reason why the original cc pup was not notched at the b string was because they still used wound b strings when it first came out...as b strings went to plain rather than wound, the notch was needed and added!

    that's a problem!..and going to be difficult to remedy the situation with the type of string wrap material alone..

    however, you could try highly magnetic wound string wrap material, like stainless steel or even cobalt....and strings that have a large inner core..this might balance out the difference between the wounds and the plains

    many string makers offer stainless steel swrap strings these days...all usa flats are stainless steel...and many ss roundwounds too....and even a few cobalt..(ernie ball has cobalt)

    the pyramid monels have a notoriety for being tricky to balance..since monel is not highly magnetic like ss

    another thing that might help-


    with the original cc pups, the actual bar & bobbin don't have to be so close to the strings..since the huge cobalt magnets are under the archtop anyway..that's why they sound so unique..they have huge magnetic field...try lowering entire pup a tad if possible

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 01-26-2020 at 06:48 PM.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iced Tea
    In the past I have used D’Addario Chromes 12s and they worked really well as they are steel wrapped with a greater magnetic field and gave a good balance across the strings. However I prefer the sound of roundwounds and I was just wondering if anyone hear had a similar experience and could recommend a set of strings that deals with the issue.
    I believe D'Addario Half Rounds and ProSteels also have a stainless steel wrap ...

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive
    I've had good luck with Martin Monel on my 1937 ES-150, so perhaps the Pyramid are of a different composition/gauging? So try some Martins or perhaps D'Addario Nickel Bronze.
    If neither of those work, before you go to flats (since they didn't have flats in the 30's), try some "pure nickel" round wounds.
    Thanks Jonathan, I’ve tried them and I think they’re definitely better balanced than the Pyramids, I might go back to them if all else fails.

    With the pure nickel though, my understanding is that the magnetic output than the monel alloy. I might give them a try though, their about the only strings I haven’t used.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    ok rethinking my posts-

    yes, you shouldn't have got the non notched if you are using plain b string!

    the only reason why the original cc pup was not notched at the b string was because they still used wound b strings when it first came out...as b strings went to plain rather than wound, the notch was needed and added!

    that's a problem!..and going to be difficult to remedy the situation with the type of string wrap material alone..

    however, you could try highly magnetic wound string wrap material, like stainless steel or even cobalt....and strings that have a large inner core..this might balance out the difference between the wounds and the plains

    many string makers offer stainless steel swrap strings these days...all usa flats are stainless steel...and many ss roundwounds too....and even a few cobalt..(ernie ball has cobalt)

    the pyramid monels have a notoriety for being tricky to balance..since monel is not highly magnetic like ss

    another thing that might help-


    with the original cc pups, the actual bar & bobbin don't have to be so close to the strings..since the huge cobalt magnets are under the archtop anyway..that's why they sound so unique..they have huge magnetic field...try lowering entire pup a tad if possible

    cheers
    Thanks for the advice, unfortunately that’s how the guitar came with the unotched pickup.

    For stainless steel strings, I know D’Addario do a set, which I think will sound very bright and also stainless steel roundwound strings won’t be particularly kind to the frets. Worth a try though!

  13. #12

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    [QUOTE=Iced Tea;1004090]

    For stainless steel strings, I know D’Addario do a set, which I think will sound very bright and also stainless steel roundwound strings won’t be particularly kind to the frets.[QUOTE]


    yeah i know!..and i usually never would recommend ss or cobalt strings!! but the plain b is gonna be loud..and hard to compensate for with monels or pure nickel...maybe nickel plated steel would work...

    also ghs makes a big core pure nickel string..but i dont think they go too heavy in gauges

    fact that d'addario chromes..which are stainless steel wrap flats worked ok is a guide!

    going to have to do some experimenting

    might try to contact uk cc pickups and see what they say about notching the bar

    luck

    cheers

  14. #13

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    Try the D'Addario XL strings. They're steel wrap, nickel plated. I put a set on a guitar with a DeArmond pickup, just for and experiment, and I've kept on using them. The acoustic sound is good, and the string balance is better than with pure nickel strings. Cheap to try, and cheap to keep on using, and I actually like the sound.

    Stainless steel is not highly magnetic, and in fact it may not be magnetic at all, depending on the exact alloy. I've seen some which won't attract a magnet at all. Not even a little. Stainless steel is a generic term, and means little other than that it won't rust.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Try the D'Addario XL strings. They're steel wrap, nickel plated. I put a set on a guitar with a DeArmond pickup, just for and experiment, and I've kept on using them. The acoustic sound is good, and the string balance is better than with pure nickel strings. Cheap to try, and cheap to keep on using, and I actually like the sound.

    Stainless steel is not highly magnetic, and in fact it may not be magnetic at all, depending on the exact alloy. I've seen some which won't attract a magnet at all. Not even a little. Stainless steel is a generic term, and means little other than that it won't rust.
    every string manufacturer that charts their string range from warm to bright will place ss on the loud/bright side of the equation..over pure nickel and nps...thats fact!

    the reason why i was reticent to mention nickel plated steel strings is because they are a relatively recent invention...1930's guitars had no such strings available to them..so if you are going for authentic vintage guitar friendly tone..then nps and phosphor bronze don't enter into the equation...nor do elixirs or coated strings of that ilk..they didnt exist back then!

    the term stainless steel may mean little in the big picture, but for strings it means quite a lot!!...scientifically correct or otherwise!


    cheers

  16. #15

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    The OP wants string balance when amplified by a magnetic pickup. Brightness isn't part of that equation. The magnetic quality of the strings is. Wound strings can have a thicker core and a thinner winding, or a thinner core and a thicker winding, or something in between. It's a compromise no matter which way you go. Thinner cores give a looser tension feel, but the magnetic properties can suffer, depending on the winding alloy. A steel winding with lots of iron in the alloy will make the string sound louder with a magnetic pickup than a string with nonferrous winding, whether it's bronze or something else. IME steel windings with nickel plating have a more even amplified sound, that's why they're called electric strings. They work fine for acoustic strings as well, but the sound is not nearly as bright as bronze strings, having more bass character, at least that's how I hear them. I've used all sorts of strings, from 80/20, phosphor bronze, monel, pure nickel, whatever, and I thought the nickel or monel was the cat's meow until I put a set of XL strings on my Wu. I may not ever buy any of those other alloys again. I removed the drastic repositioning of my polepieces, and now they're reasonably close to the same, with balance as close as I can hear, and the acoustic tone is at least as good as with the nonsteel strings. It was an epiphany for me. YMMV.

  17. #16

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    I use Thomastik 14,'s, flatwounds with my Lollar CC pickup. No complaints.