#1
Hi. So i got a cheaper Yamaha acoustic a while back (it was like 200 bucks) and i want to change the strings out. i have used the strings that came with the thing til now and i really need to change them out. the question is what stings should i get. it seams like there is more options for acoustic then there is for electric. i play pretty much everything on it from just strumming chords to playing fingerstyle stuff. also if i were to change these strings out would i have to get the guitar setup again? (there is no truss rod from the looks of it) thanks! im not looking for only brands of strings but types sized etc. as im very new to acoustic stuff.
#2
Elixirs, .012's Until you find a sound that you like, though, you should try them all out. I recommend Elixirs because they last a very long time, still sounding great. As far as tone, I actually like the Martin Silk & Steel strings. They have a tone somewhere between classical nylon and phosphor / bronze steel strings. Mellow yet classy.
#3
Your guitar almost certainly does have a truss rod. They are blind at the headstock, (no cover), and the adjustment is under the sound hole. That isn't to say I'm suggesting you screw around with it. That's just an FYI as to its location, period.

Lighter strings will relax the action a bit, and heavier strings will raise it a tad. As to whether that will be out of tolerance for you personally, I haven't a clue.

Just remember, the truss rod adjustment is only intended to set the neck, "relief", and NOT the overall height of the action. That is done by either sanding or shimming the string saddle.

While an acoustic guitar's action height may rise or fall depending on humidity or season, it's mostly as result of changes in the sound board. The necks are quite stable, and rarely need adjusting.

Also keep in mind, the overall effects of a string change may not fully manifest themselves for weeks, as it takes time for the top and neck to respond to the new tension.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 10, 2014,
#4
Quote by Captaincranky
Your guitar almost certainly does have a truss rod. They are blind at the headstock, (no cover), and the adjustment is under the sound hole. That isn't to say I'm suggesting you screw around with it. That's just an FYI as to its location, period.

Lighter strings will relax the action a bit, and heavier strings will raise it a tad. As to whether that will be out of tolerance for you personally, I haven't a clue.

Just remember, the truss rod adjustment is only intended to set the neck, "relief", and NOT the overall height of the action. That is done by either sanding or shimming the string saddle.

While an acoustic guitar's action height may rise or fall depending on humidity or season, it's mostly as result of changes in the sound board. The necks are quite stable, and rarely need adjusting.

Also keep in mind, the overall effects of a string change may not fully manifest themselves for weeks, as it takes time for the top and neck to respond to the new tension.


I agree with most of that, but I have found that a lot of change in action height in my music room is due to changes in neck relief. - I had a Baby taylor whose neck relief changed drastically on a daily basis. They were fixed under warranty in the US, but not here in Oz. Currently my Bourgeois needs the relief increased a little, and I was thinking of heading off to the workshop when I coincidentally saw this thread.


FWIW, I've had more trouble with neck stability with black ebony boards than I have with either brown ebony or rosewood. I don't know whether this is generally true, or whether I have just been unlucky.
#5
Quote by Tony Done
...[ ].....FWIW, I've had more trouble with neck stability with black ebony boards than I have with either brown ebony or rosewood. I don't know whether this is generally true, or whether I have just been unlucky.
OK first, it could be the weather in "OZ", causing your problems.

I don't have a guitar with an ebony fret board ATM. Anecdotally, none of my guitars seem to move very much (*), (with respect to relief), even my 12 strings. (Which of course, are tuned down,. @ D - D standard). The only one that really needed a relief reset was my Fender "Sonoran". And I suppose it's anybody's guess as to whether or not the "soft C" neck profile caused it, or the fact the neck is maple.

I did have a Framus Les Paul knockoff with an ebony board, that never budged a millimeter, even though the guitar sat out on a stand, year round. (No sure if a solid body electric counts though, since even an electric regular set only has about 100 lbs. tension).

But really, I know it's a big PITA, but with medium strings, you should at least consider tuning down a couple semis between sessions.

When I was a kid, pretty much the only strings around were, "Black Diamond" mediums. Man, were those things painful on a 15 dollar guitar!

Anyhow, mediums at E-e, have about 185 lbs. tension. A 12 string light set, (.010 to .047 brass) comes in @ 250, when tuned to concert pitch. Tuned at D-d their tension has to be closing in on 200, not much more than a medium 6 string set.

I agree, heavier strings sound better. But sometimes you need to compromise. I had a jumbo maple Guild 12 string which shipped with "mediums" (.012 to .053), and it was the most beautiful sounding unplayable guitar you'd ever miss hearing...

(*) All my guitars, (save for the Sonoran), are rosewood over mahogany.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 11, 2014,
#6
Quote by Captaincranky
OK first, it could be the weather in "OZ", causing your problems.

I don't have a guitar with an ebony fret board ATM. Anecdotally, none of my guitars seem to move very much (*), (with respect to relief), even my 12 strings. (Which of course, are tuned down,. @ D - D standard). The only one that really needed a relief reset was my Fender "Sonoran". And I suppose it's anybody's guess as to whether or not the "soft C" neck profile caused it, or the fact the neck is maple.

I did have a Framus Les Paul knockoff with an ebony board, that never budged a millimeter, even though the guitar sat out on a stand, year round. (No sure if a solid body electric counts though, since even an electric regular set only has about 100 lbs. tension).

But really, I know it's a big PITA, but with medium strings, you should at least consider tuning down a couple semis between sessions.

When I was a kid, pretty much the only strings around were, "Black Diamond" mediums. Man, were those things painful on a 15 dollar guitar!

Anyhow, mediums at E-e, have about 185 lbs. tension. A 12 string light set, (.010 to .047 brass) comes in @ 250, when tuned to concert pitch. Tuned at D-d their tension has to be closing in on 200, not much more than a medium 6 string set.

I agree, heavier strings sound better. But sometimes you need to compromise. I had a jumbo maple Guild 12 string which shipped with "mediums" (.012 to .053), and it was the most beautiful sounding unplayable guitar you'd ever miss hearing...

(*) All my guitars, (save for the Sonoran), are rosewood over mahogany.


It could be the climate, but I keep a hygrometer in my music room, and it is pretty stable, averaging around 50%. No long dry or humid spells. Also, it is mostly quite cool except when I put the fan heater on for short periods when I'm playing in there in the winter.

I remember Black Diamond well, terrible things, and I didn't know that there was such a thing as a set up in those days. I'm fairly sure there was another make in a red-printed packet, equally bad, but I can't recall the name.

I've kinda got used to mediums, as I've never used anything else, except on one guitar that doesn't like them. - But I do take a lot of care with set up these days. Most big acoustics sound thin and "stringy" to me when I try them in the shop -and they almost always have light gauge Elixirs or similar. It hasn't encouraged me to try coated or light gauge strings.

If I was having a custom fingerboard it would be Macassar ebony; I have one as a replacement on my old L-00. It is hard and very stable. It also had a good tap tone when we tested the blank. I'm not sure whether that does any good, but it certainly doesn't seem to have done any harm.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jun 12, 2014,