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Old 10-12-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
krips89
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Beginners can misjudge while buying a new guitar? Strings getting tighter: Aston D20

Hi,
I am a beginner and had been learning guitar casually over 6 months with my friend's guitars. I was interested in learning chords so that I can sing and play rhythm in my guitar. Finally I could play barre chords with songs, though my hands would sore off within 2-3 minutes.

So now, I decided to buy a good and cheap entry level guitar for myself. As posted in several places that "only you can decide what guitar is best for you", I went to a store keeping in mind that I would play most of the guitar in my range and decide. Also I reviewed online and found that Yamaha F310 very much suits my range and need.

So I went to a store and played the guitars in my range. Most of the guitar sounded similar and ok to me including Yamaha F310. But then I found this guitar Aston D20- it sounded so amazing, and *different*, and loud! So, I thought this is what people say, choose guitar which YOU like ;-). I got confused between F310 and Aston D20(both had similar price), but bought the Aston one after discussing with the store guys (they said that the guitar is quite good and people do buy it).

But, finally after playing this new guitar for a few days I realized that the strings in the guitar are very tight. Sometimes, I was even having difficulty in playing open chords! After a month now, I feel that the strings got tighter. Also, I think the action is getting higher with the time (due to so much pressure?). Now, I struggle a lot playing barre chords as I now need to press VERY hard . I don't play guitar that much the way I used to do previously. :/

So my question is, do you know why this Aston D20 which sounds amazing is so tight? Why is it getting tighter? What can be done to reduce this 'tightness'? Or, is this guitar not for noobs (with some higher guage strings)? Or is it just a pure waste?
Does that mean, if you are a noob you should not just go and buy based on your own judgement? Like you need to have enough knowledge to judge something!
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #2
WaltTheWerewolf
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did you have to tune it alot to get it back to standard tuning? because it might be poorly setup if its hard to play than you are use to. the people who sold it to you most likely only cared about getting your money so they wouldnt have disclosed any issues it had.

i'd take it to a professional and have him take a look at the neck relief etc....better yet just have him look at the whole thing and see if it has any other issues.

Last edited by WaltTheWerewolf : 10-12-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #3
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krips89
So I went to a store and played the guitars in my range. Most of the guitar sounded similar and ok to me including Yamaha F310. But then I found this guitar Aston D20- it sounded so amazing, and *different*, and loud! So, I thought this is what people say, choose guitar which YOU like ;-). I got confused between F310 and Aston D20(both had similar price), but bought the Aston one after discussing with the store guys (they said that the guitar is quite good and people do buy it).
OK first, salesmen will tell you anything. When you're dealing with off-brand guitars, or whatever, an experienced shopping partner will be of infinitely more value than a salesperson's opinion.

As to the "loud", guitars wil always be "loud" with a "high action" strings high over the frets. This is because the strings have more tension when they're higher, and impart more energy to the soundboard. Simple as that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krips89
But, finally after playing this new guitar for a few days I realized that the strings in the guitar are very tight. Sometimes, I was even having difficulty in playing open chords! After a month now, I feel that the strings got tighter. Also, I think the action is getting higher with the time (due to so much pressure?). Now, I struggle a lot playing barre chords as I now need to press VERY hard . I don't play guitar that much the way I used to do previously. :/
First, you should use an electronic tuner to be certain you are not bringing the instrument above "standard pitch. (E to e).

Quote:
Originally Posted by krips89
So my question is, do you know why this Aston D20 which sounds amazing is so tight? Why is it getting tighter? What can be done to reduce this 'tightness'? Or, is this guitar not for noobs (with some higher guage strings)? Or is it just a pure waste?
Does that mean, if you are a noob you should not just go and buy based on your own judgement? Like you need to have enough knowledge to judge something!
I explained the "tightness" above. It sounds like the guitar needs to be set up. Hopefully, you will be able to have the string height reduced, and that will solve some of your problem. I suspect that a lighter gauge string set would also be of benefit.

It is not uncommon for new guitars to, "settle in". By this I mean that the string height can increase, due to the now constant tension of being tuned to concert pitch. Guitars are normally tuned down in storage, and not brought up to full pitch until after they're sold and taken home.

In a final thought, I would have bought the Yamaha. This because of the brand reputation. I expect they would stand behind their product, much more so than would a "brand x" counterpart. But, hindsight is always 20/20, or so they say.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 10-12-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:08 AM   #4
krips89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltTheWerewolf
did you have to tune it alot to get it back to standard tuning? because it might be poorly setup if its hard to play than you are use to. the people who sold it to you most likely only cared about getting your money so they wouldnt have disclosed any issues it had.

i'd take it to a professional and have him take a look at the neck relief etc....better yet just have him look at the whole thing and see if it has any other issues.

No, I didn't tune it at all, it was all set up in the store. I played it, liked it and bought the same one.
Yes, this is good, I should go to a professional. Everything would clear up.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:38 AM   #5
krips89
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Thanks Captaincranky for the reply!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
OK first, salesmen will tell you anything. When you're dealing with off-brand guitars, or whatever, an experienced shopping partner will be of infinitely more value than a salesperson's opinion.

I don't know. The store was of Yamaha, but kept few products from other brands too. All of the salesperson were musicians (few were playing on their own for fun). So, I trusted them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
As to the "loud", guitars wil always be "loud" with a "high action" strings high over the frets. This is because the strings have more tension when they're higher, and impart more energy to the soundboard. Simple as that.

First, you should use an electronic tuner to be certain you are not bringing the instrument above "standard pitch. (E to e).

I explained the "tightness" above. It sounds like the guitar needs to be set up. Hopefully, you will be able to have the string height reduced, and that will solve some of your problem. I suspect that a lighter gauge string set would also be of benefit.
I think it is tuned to the standard tuning only. I use a software (digital guitar tuner) to tune. I also thought of the fact that it may be at the standard pitch. So, I tried tuning all the strings one scale down (hoping for e -> E) and it sounded very shallow. I felt that it is definitely lower than the standard while playing with songs. But, yes the strings were quite loose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
It is not uncommon for new guitars to, "settle in". By this I mean that the string height can increase, due to the now constant tension of being tuned to concert pitch. Guitars are normally tuned down in storage, and not brought up to full pitch until after they're sold and taken home.
The guitar was tuned in the store and I bought the same one (the new one they were giving didn't had that punch!)
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