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Old 01-29-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
jwoodbury3571
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Join Date: May 2011
Strings

I'm on a journey trying to find the right strings for my Takamine Ef341SC. I have replaced the strings with new D'addario EXP 16's which is what came on it. They sound good. However I have a cheap Ibanez guitar that I put D'addario EJ16's and I almost think they sound better. I could just get EJ's for the Takamine but I'd like to try the Ernie Ball Earthwood as well as some Elixir Nanowebs just for comparisons sake. My question for the Elixirs is should I be getting 80/20's for Bronze Phoshur to try? I like a bright sound but still want nice bass response. Recommendations?
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
cypherdid
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IMHO it's better to change strings every 4 weeks than once in three months. I owe two Takamines dreadnoughts and I've tried literally all of popular strings sets (d'addario, gibson, ernie ball, martin, elixir, dean markley, dunlop and dr - all e012 gauge). I'm not a fan of longlifes/nanos etc. As I wrote...it's better to change cheaper strings more often.

I picked 012 Martin SP ph/bronze for my strumming needs. My Taks (EG530SSC and old EF360) are singing with them...also in Open tunings.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:09 PM   #3
tuxs
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Location: Northland, NewZealand.
I use Elixir Nanos 11s on my Taki's. Even though they are expensive in my country $30.00. You seldom get a bum string, they hold their tone well and they last.

I have used many different string gauges and types over more years than I care to remember.

There is a very good sticky on the front page about strings, go read..... Cheers
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwoodbury3571
I'm on a journey trying to find the right strings for my Takamine Ef341SC. I have replaced the strings with new D'addario EXP 16's which is what came on it. They sound good. However I have a cheap Ibanez guitar that I put D'addario EJ16's and I almost think they sound better. I could just get EJ's for the Takamine but I'd like to try the Ernie Ball Earthwood as well as some Elixir Nanowebs just for comparisons sake. My question for the Elixirs is should I be getting 80/20's for Bronze Phoshur to try? I like a bright sound but still want nice bass response. Recommendations?
There' perhaps a moral to the story which goes like this; perhaps you like the sound of the "cheap Ibanez", better than the Tak. Hey, it's possible.

EJ-16's shouldn't sound terribly different different from EXP-16s, but they will lose their tone more rapidly. Maybe you don't like the metallic twang from a new string set. The EXP's will hold that "twang" a bit longer.

As for brass strings, "80/20", if you want a brighter sound, give them a try. You'll probably get a bigger difference in sound going from phosphor bronze to brass in the same brand, than going from the same type material, but in a different brand.

As far as Elixirs go, you'll probably run into greater polarity of response from people who either love them, or hate them, than any other brand. Arguably, since Elixirs are coated after winding, some people claim that mutes the output somewhat..

I have no opinion one way or the other. I've never tried them, can't afford them, end of story.

I have an Ibanez AEL10, (all laminate jumbo). It's very, almost too mellow with PB strings. As soon as I swapped them for 80/20s (D'Addario EXP-11), it brought the guitar to life.

I bought a Fender "Sonoran", which is shipped with Fender coated lights (.012 to .053) 80/20 brass. The guitar gave me a headache, and I thought those strings would never wear out

So, "your journey", is exactly that, "your journey", and none of us can offer much of anything more than anecdotal assistance.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:33 PM   #5
stepchildusmc
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'tis a long journey that you're undertaking. only thing you can do is try a bunch of them out. it'll be hard to remember which ones you liked better...you're taking off old worn out ones and putting on new brighter ones. they'll be an immediate improvement. i took that journey not so long ago, tried just about every brand under the sun and still ended up back to EXP16's for most of my guitars. only one that i noticed a huge difference was on my carbon fiber...that one really shines with the extra light EXP15's.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
bigginge
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I've used EJ 17s for quite a few years, bought a Takamine LG50th Anniversary earlier this year and moved down (up?) to EJ 16s and love 'em. I strum, flat pick and finger pick and they work just right. Play 2/3 times a week and change them every 5-6 weeks.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:31 AM   #7
Prescott_Player
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I think PB strings sound very metalic, harsh and unpleasant on guitars with a Sitka spruce top, but they are OK on guitars with mellow woods like Engleman spruce and Cedar.

What I did was to do some research... I purchased strings of every type, in the same guage as my regualr 80/20 A string (0.032). I put them on the guitar, one by one, in place of the low E, and tuned them to A... so I had 2 identical guage strings but of different types, both tuned to A, and side by side. I was then able to make a very good comparison of the sound.

On my solid Sitka top guitar the 80/20 brass round wounds were by far the nicest... PB was metallic and harsh, flat wound PB was not much better, and the "silk and steel", which is silver plated copper wound over the regular carbon steel core has a decent sound but was way too expensive and doesn't come in a wide variet of guages like the 80/20's do.

Also remember that no matter what type of the wound strings you use on the lower strings, the plain steels are always the same and so you want something that mathes their type of sound and compliments them. I use plain steels not only for my B and high E but also for my G (yeah 3 of them) so matching to their style is even more important for me.

That's because I use very light strings... plain steel 10, 13 and 17, followed by 80/20 round wounds in 24, 32 and 42. They are exactly 16 pounds tension on a 25.5 inch scale... same as most electric guitars... and they play so effortlessly, it's amazing. The sound is soft but that's also good since I live in an apartment.
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