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Old 01-22-2013, 10:38 PM   #1
racertj5
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Making an acoustic sound "different" (String Question)

Ok so I just got a new acoustic, it is cheap Chinese starter guitar but it was free so I took it. I already have a cheap albeit better quality acoustic at home so I wanted to do something different with this one. My original thought was to put nylon strings on it but I have heard this sounds pretty bad. My other thought was to Nashville tune it but I am afraid the tension might be too high for it and without the other acoustic to compliment it for recording I am not sure what this would accomplish. I have also heard of strings called silk and steels and thought of that. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:18 PM   #2
Artemis Entreri
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Why do you want it to sound different? It's pretty hard to change the natural sound of a guitar but silk and steels would do something for ya probably.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:21 PM   #3
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Basically because I have another acoustic that isn't much different and other than using this one as a beater I don't see much point in having it except it was free. I am away at school and my electric is here, my acoustic is home but I have access to another one whenever I need one here. Just a thought. I guess really it is not so much tone change as use change
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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Would this be better in GG&A since its technically a string question?
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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Oh well then I'd definitley try Nashville tuning, that's a lot of fun.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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Nashville or "high strung" shouldn't put any great strain on the instrument as the bass strings are replaced with trebles.
You could try various open tunings as well, even oddball ones. There are dozens, maybe hundreds.
Also, if it's a cheapie you don't really mind "altering", you could try various methods of making a "prepared" guitar.
I converted a cheap (really cheap...) steel string to a resonator guitar using an aluminum cook-pan for a resonator. Didn't sound bad.....
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #7
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There are small things you can change on the guitar to make 'improvements'. But, if you don't like the sound of it to begin with, I doubt you'll like the end result.

Bone nut and saddle are a common switch. They tend to add clarity to the instrument.

Nylon strings are not of enough tension to move the top of your guitar, so you won't have success with that.

Silk & Steels, are the closest to nylons as you can get and they really do change the feel and sound of the instrument. I have used them before on one guitar and I didn't like it, but others enjoy them. So, just be informed that not every change will be a good change.

Other string types, 80/20 vs. phosphor bronze. You have one of those now, it's worth trying out the other to see how it sounds. 80/20s are usually brighter.

... On to tunings, I don't feel that Nashville tuning will be able to make your guitar sound good. It will be different, but better? It also requires you to buy new strings, FYI.

You could try putting it into Open D, DADGAD or other open tunings. They really do affect guitars differently, and you will also have to learn how to play it, which can be fun and great for the mind.

I'd try out an alt. open tuning first though, as it doesn't require any new purchases. See where that takes you.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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Well I need new strings anyway so that is not a big deal. It sounds fine as of now just not different enough from my Mitchell
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