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Old 02-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
jfrebel
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Best strings for Seagull S6 Entourage Rustic

I have a Seagull S6 Entourage Rustic. its a pretty good guitar for the money. It has a cedar solid top. however it can sound a bit woofy when hitting the low strings and the bass isn't as loud or clear as I'd like.

(before anybody recommends a new guitar, keep in mind I can't afford one. I have to just figure out how to get the most out of what I have.

same goes for suggestions to try out various strings. I can't really afford to buy a couple dozen sets of strings to try out. I'd like to at least narrow down the list of options to try.

now I will be putting new strings on it this Tuesday, and may ask the luthier about the bridge, saddle and nut, and if modifying or replacing them would effect the tone and the cost of that).

Here I'm looking at string choices as I know the strings, both the types, and thickness can effect the tone greatly and strings on one type of guitar may sound different from another guitar using the same strings.

The tone I want is one that is good volume, rich, and clear, bell like, deep solid loud bass, and sweet highs.

no muddy or jazzy sound, but also no tinny overly bright metallic sound.

I want strings that can be used to be able to strum chords (to folk tunes), or do finger picking (folk music and maybe some spanish and classical stuff. Also some flatpicking in case I want to play some bluegrass tune like wildwood flower.

so my question is what strings are most likely to come closest to this on a cedar top.

will light strings take away some of the mud, or make it sound thin and weak volume? (its already a bit too quiet for my tastes, particularly the bass)

do I want phosphor, 80/20 bronze, brass, silver, silk-steel?

heavy medium, light?

Elixer, Martins, D'addario

coated, non coated?

etc. There's so many choices and I don't have a clue.

to make things more complicated, is choosing the right string for my guitar, as opposed to other guitars. I don't know anything about this to make even a good guess.
any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here's my specs.


Entourage Rustic
In the tradition of the award winning S6 Original, the Entourage Rustic S6 brings incredible value to players looking for undeniable sound and craftsmanship in an acoustic guitar. Features include the beautiful Rustic Burst Custom Polished finish, Seagull Slim neck with slimmer nut width, cream double binding and select pressure tested solid cedar top.

Specs

Nut Width : 1.72"

Top : Select Pressure Tested Solid Cedar

Back & Sides : Canadian Wild Cherry

Neck : Silver Leaf Maple Integrated Set Neck

Fingerboard & Bridge : Rosewood

Nut & Saddle : Compensated Tusq® by Graphtech

Truss Rod : Double Function

Finish : Semi-Gloss Custom Polished Finish

Thanks in advance for any help, tips, or even points in the right general direction.

Last edited by jfrebel : 02-09-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
Hou-Tex
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I had an Entourage and just a few hours ago ordered an S6 Original. I'm going to going to give these strings a try.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...-guitar-strings

I had D'Addario 10s on the Entourage and found it a bit thin for my liking.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #3
patticake
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i think they come with d'addario phosphor bronze lights (12s), which are pretty standard, good-sounding strings. i use them on my blueridge br-341. i find 80/20s too bright for my taste, but you might like 'em. and that's where i get to the personal preference thing. why not try all sorts of strings on your guitar? start with uncoated since they're cheaper. try each type of string for at least 2 weeks, see what you think.

keep in mind that you're talking about a laminate back and sides guitar. after playing both the original s6 and entourage models in a number of places, i find that the s6 sounded clearer. but you might want to try DR rare phosphor bronze as one of the string types to try. not sure they'll do what you want for the bass, but they worked wonders otherwise on some of my all-laminate beaters.

changing your nut and saddle to bone may also have some of the effect you're looking for, as far as adding resonance. adding bass is gonna be harder.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:28 AM   #4
jfrebel
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Thanks for the recommendations so far.

I'll no doubt try more than one set, but the more I narrow it down, the less it will cost. (and the less hassle with string changing I must deal with)

Based on my online research I'm leaning toward Elixer nanoweb medium strings made of the phosphor bronze. (or the 80/20) I think I've ruled out silk steel, silver, brass and such.

light strings sound thin and are more prone to breaking so I've ruled them out, and non coated strings have to be replaced quickly.

The elixer nano web strings are used by the guitarists in Alison Krauses band, but I see lots of people who are fans of D'Addario, including in this thread, so I haven't ruled that brand out either.
now as to the rare phosphor bronze, I can't seem to find out what makes them rare.
how do they differ from regular?

also I hope to see others input as well. thanks for the replies so far!
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:06 AM   #5
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrebel
I have a Seagull S6 Entourage Rustic. its a pretty good guitar for the money. It has a cedar solid top. however it can sound a bit woofy when hitting the low strings and the bass isn't as loud or clear as I'd like.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, the dreadnought shape itself it largely to blame for "woofie" bass. Jumbo bodies, while being larger, have a tighter bass. Audiophies might call it, "better transient response". The pinched waist of the jumbo also helps to clarify the low end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrebel
(before anybody recommends a new guitar, keep in mind I can't afford one. I have to just figure out how to get the most out of what I have.
Keep in mind I didn't just recommend a new guitar, I was just pointing out a minor shortcoming of all such guitars.

You additionally have a cedar top to contend with. Cedar has a "higher velocity of sound" than do any of the spruces. Which means you get more excitation of the material, for less input stimulus. Cedar is most commonly used for nylon strung classical guitars, for that very reason.

People who primarily finger pick reap the most benefits from a cedar top, even with steel string guitars. Cedar does have the reputation of being more easily "overdriven" than spruce when played with a pick.

I'm going to suggest you DO try brass (80/20) strings on this guitar. Phosphor bronze is probably too warm and prominent across the bass and midrange for this guitar, (and what you are wanting to hear).

Only problem is, brass strings clatter and ping quite a bit when they're new. So, I expect you'll need to be patient until they break in. PB is warmer from the jump, so you don't have as much of a "sound in limbo" period with them.

As far as, "finding out what you should use by internet research" goes, it is a terribly flawed approach. All you can find out that way is basic brand recognition, what other people like the sound of, on other people's guitars.

As to tightening up the bass on you guitar, it would improve somewhat if you RAISE the action. More string tension equals better control of excess excursion and random harmonics. But, you do stress the guitar's structure, and its playability decreases quite a bit. You have to make that call and compromise.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 02-10-2013 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
jfrebel
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Howdy thanks for the response!

I'll try to bronze 80/20, and see what that does.

at some point I will be getting a new guitar.

so your input there is helpful too.

what do you think of the orchestra model acoustic guitars with regard to bass compared to dreadnought, vs jumbo?

I found a place that sells Blueridge guitars that are all solid body for less than 700 dollars, and they may do a trade in on my banjo.

depending on what they'll give for the banjo I could find myself a new guitar sooner than expected.
so your advice might come in handy. and if not now, than later down the road when I do get a new guitar.

For now I'm leaning toward trying bronze 80/20 medium strings, perhaps elixer nanowebs. to get my S6 Seagull to sound better.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
BoyLilikoi
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Dude I don't know what you're talking about "getting my S6" to sound better. I have an S6 with a cedar top and it sounds great. Many people on this site would agree that it is comparable to higher end Taylors and Martins. I realise you have an Entourage which is a bit different that the original, but many of the specs are the same. Plus having a solid cedar top will age well and sound better over time. I wouldn't be so concerned about replacing your guitar, if I were you.

On my S6 I like DR Rares and DR Sunbeams. I still haven't tried one string more than once yet since there is so much out there to try, but both of those stuck out from the rest so far for me.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:18 PM   #8
jfrebel
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wanting it to sound better, doesn't mean it sounds crappy. it is indeed a good guitar. if selecting the right strings and set up make it even better, that sounds like a good thing to me.

I managed to trade the banjo I never really play, for the spruce top blueridge br-160 guitar, while keeping my cedar top seagull rustic entourage. I like them both. one has a nice bright punch to it and thumping bass, and the other has a sweet soft dark tone.

depending on what I'm playing I see uses for both. So I'm not parting with the seagull. Now I have a spruce and cedar top. I'll have to try to sunbeams and rares along with the 80/20s and see what I think.

thanks for the help!
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
smokeynichol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrebel
Thanks for the recommendations so far.

I'll no doubt try more than one set, but the more I narrow it down, the less it will cost. (and the less hassle with string changing I must deal with)

Based on my online research I'm leaning toward Elixer nanoweb medium strings made of the phosphor bronze. (or the 80/20) I think I've ruled out silk steel, silver, brass and such.

light strings sound thin and are more prone to breaking so I've ruled them out, and non coated strings have to be replaced quickly.

The elixer nano web strings are used by the guitarists in Alison Krauses band, but I see lots of people who are fans of D'Addario, including in this thread, so I haven't ruled that brand out either.
now as to the rare phosphor bronze, I can't seem to find out what makes them rare.
how do they differ from regular?

also I hope to see others input as well. thanks for the replies so far!


I tried a new set of elixirs nanowebs light phos. bronze on my sons seagull-waste of time-poor sound-i replaced them with d'darrio j16 -supr sound
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:59 AM   #10
paulbrownley
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I just bought this guitar and am excited by the reviews - I have a parlor Simon and Patrick back home in England which I believe is made my the same people and that sounds beautiful with Djario (I can't spell) silk and steel - they have a lovely tone for fingerpicking if that is your style. I realise this whole revelation is irrelevant considering I haven't even played the guitar yet.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:42 AM   #11
Captaincranky
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Originally Posted by paulbrownley
I just bought this guitar and am excited by the reviews - I have a parlor Simon and Patrick back home in England which I believe is made my the same people and that sounds beautiful with Djario (I can't spell) silk and steel - they have a lovely tone for fingerpicking if that is your style. I realise this whole revelation is irrelevant considering I haven't even played the guitar yet.
You did butcher the name badly, but I think you meant, "D'Addario". Unless of course we're traveling to brands of string which I've never heard of, in which case, your guess is as good as mine>

Anyhoo, any brand of "silk and steel" strings, are considered the mellowest, easiest to play type you can buy. That seems it would translate well to a parlor size guitar, since small bodies trend toward being quite bright. Soft spoken strings would tame that behaviour. They're easy on the fingers as well.


The Seagull S-6 is a cedar topped Dreadnought, with a quite different sonic distribution pattern. So, the TS can try A silk & steel set, of course. But, they likely won't have a great deal of "sting".

Personal tastes of course vary, and if that's what someone desires......

With a cedar top, I'd actually start with a "brass" 80/20 alloy set, in "acoustic light" (.012 to .053), and give them good chance to break in. (Brass clatters and pings badly at first, but actually seem to have a longer service life than phosphor bronze).

Too bright? Dial it back to the same gauge in phosphor bronze.

Still too bright? Dial it back to silk & steel.

Not my ears in use here, (I think that pun was unintended, or maybe not), and your results of course, may vary.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 02-28-2014 at 05:13 AM.
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