#1
I have a Yamaha fg700s and i have always used Elixir lights on it. Is this the best string? elixir ?? I pick up other guitars in the shop and think the 700.00 guitars for instance sound "meatier" ..mine sounds bright..Is it the strings as much as the guitar? what other kinda strings can i try ? scared to change them
#2
Strings are no where near as important as the guitar itself in terms of sound, that's a given. However, you shouldn't overlook the significance in sound difference strings can make. Elixer are generally regarded as some of the best coated strings out there, they have a great warm tone and smooth feel in the hands. Compare this to Cleartone, coated strings, but much brighter, and have an uncoated feel. Different strings can affect the tone, feel in the hands, lastability and more. Don't be afraid to try new strings, you'll never know what you might find. THERE IS NO "BEST STRINGS" it's all entirely subjective, different strings have different sounds. I recommend trying Cleartone if you're used to coated strings, as they have a very different sound to Elixers, so you can hear different ends of the spectrum. I've also heard Ernie Ball make some great acoustic strings, though I'm yet to try them.

What guitars are you comparing yours too? A $700 guitar is going to have a lot more depth and fullness than a guitar like yours, so that might be the reason as to them sounding "meatier". Might also have to do with string gauge (the thickness of the strings). Thicker strings will produce more volume, tone, hold better in lower tunings and last slightly longer, but are slightly harder to play, than light strings. Try out some 13 gauge (medium) strings, they're generally regarded as sounding better than 12s, but you may or may not prefer the sound of 12s, you won't know until you try them out.

This might sound like a lot to take in, but really, just go out, try some different strings, and have fun experimenting
#3
String choice is very individual. Ask 100 players, get 100 answers.

Most name-brand strings these days are just fine. The coated strings last longer. The two important things are the alloys used and the string gauge or thickness.

Generally, alloys called "bronze" or "phosphor bronze" will sound a bit mellower and less bright than will strings called "brass" or "80/20" brass. That all refers to the alloy of the windings.

Gauge is a matter of preference. Many larger instruments, the dreadnaughts and jumbos, sound better with "medium" guage strings. Most come delivered with "lights" which are very popular.
Putting mediums on a lightly-constructed or vintage instrument might cause problems.

You should be changing strings often enough to do some experimentation. Take notes for each set you try.
#4
One of the Guitars i picked up an loved was the Blueridge BR-60 ..Sounded and played very good..My local guitar dealer is mainly Blueridge and Yamaha dealer. Then couple lesser end brands...Seeing i have a Yamaha 700s Dread i may try mediums next time out. ..And save $$ for a better guitar.
I understand spending more doesnt make it a better guitar,but so many brands an options ,i am sure 600-700 will be as high as i ever go on a acoustic guitar. Thanks.
#5
Quote by Kapkrusdader
One of the Guitars i picked up an loved was the Blueridge BR-60 ..Sounded and played very good..My local guitar dealer is mainly Blueridge and Yamaha dealer. Then couple lesser end brands...Seeing i have a Yamaha 700s Dread i may try mediums next time out. ..And save $$ for a better guitar.
I understand spending more doesnt make it a better guitar,but so many brands an options ,i am sure 600-700 will be as high as i ever go on a acoustic guitar. Thanks.
Many of the regulars here recommend the Blueridge line of guitars. Of things you can't try locally "Recording King", is also highly thought of, as they used to be an Asian offshoot of Martin, and still carry their tonal philosophy. One of their all solid wood guitars is wll within your price range. Then there's the "Chinese Guilds", their "GAD" series. They're also worth a listen, (of course if you find a way to swing it.

As for medium strings, (.013 to .056), yes, many players prefer them on big body guitars. The downside is the tension. Acoustic "lights" (.012 to .053), carry 165 Lbs. of tension. Mediums up that to 185 Lbs. At some point in its life, every acoustic guitar will benefit from having the neck reset. Medium strings will hasten that need, although it's very hard to predict by how much.

Some players prefer the sound of lighter strings. They also tend to play a tiny bit faster, and can cut out some of the bass. This helps with some dreadnoughts that might be excessively boomy, or simply too boomy for any individual's personal taste. You can opt to recover some of the bottom end when the guitar is plugged in via EQ, while saving some wear and tear on the guitar with light strings.
#6
try d'addario EJ16, which are phosphor bronze lights. i find them a bit less bright than the elixers, and keep in mind that for the first few days you'll be getting new string sound, but it will go away. i don't suggest medium strings unless you first check with yamaha about whether your guitar is meant to withstand them.

btw, spending more has nothing to do with deeper or darker sound. there are taylors costing thousands that are bright - and they're supposed to be. the yamaha FG series is brighter than blueridge and recording king because blueridge and recording king are making martin clones, and the martins they're copying were deeper sounding guitars. you might want to try the seagull original S6, which has a more balanced tone, and see if it suits you. if it's too bright also, definitely try blueridge and recording king, and maybe guild dreads, and see what you think.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#7
Quote by patticake
try d'addario EJ16, which are phosphor bronze lights. i find them a bit less bright than the elixers, and keep in mind that for the first few days you'll be getting new string sound, but it will go away. i don't suggest medium strings unless you first check with yamaha about whether your guitar is meant to withstand them.
When you come right down to it, medium acoustic string sets, (and even more so heavies), are, "ride at your own risk", pretty much regardless of what you put them on.

I just wasted an hour of my life researching the strings Gibson ships with their J-200. I couldn't find anything heavier than lights, Gibson branded .012 to .053. You would think something that size would benefit from mediums, and perhaps it would, but Gibson isn't having anything to do with it. They do offer mediums in their dreadfully overpriced "J-200 Strings", but also light and custom light.

This discussion goes back to my former Guild jumbo 12 string. That shipped with a medium 12 string set, .012 to .053 (!!). But then they recommend you tune it down 3 or 4 semis. Well it sounded great, but if you wanted to capo it to standard pitch, you wind up with a 10 or 11 fret guitar, or 12 fret tops, at "only" 2 semis down.

Ibanez ships their acoustics with lights, and I doubt if Yamaha is any different. After all, they're they people that would have to handle any warranty claims.

When I started playing, pretty much all that was around were, "Black Diamond", mediums. Oh man, those things hurt like hell when you were just starting out..
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 29, 2014,
#8
Pretend that the physics of each individual guitar has nothing to do with it (which, of course, in reality it does)... I use Elixir nanoweb lights, keep in mind they will sound brighter for longer. It usually takes me a week of playing to get it to the tone I prefer best. There's some songs I love playing with that spangly new string sound but it sounds terrible on some other songs I play. It depends how often you play and how often you change your strings too, Elixirs can be left on a lot longer unless you play a heap or are touring or something. But this is all regardless of the guitar it's being played on which will have a large effect on tone as well. But the thing is, you could buy a guitar that sounded great in the shop then put a new set of strings on and you're back where you started.
Last edited by mind_meld at Dec 29, 2014,
#9
interesting, i was just thinking i don't like the elixir strings....for some reason, i just got a new guitar with them pre-strung and they feel slick. My finger tips can slide on them a bit. Not sure if someone with greasy hands played it before me or what, but i can tell a diff.

Normally i just like the d'addario mediums.

Only recommendation is buy a three pack of whatever you choose to buy. If it's your first time swapping strings, you don't want to have a worry and have to run back to the store if you need another set, because you broke one or miswound and caused a kink.

Don't be afraid of changing them, follow a youtube video - easy as pie.
#10
Quote by Captaincranky
. . . . . . Of things you can't try locally "Recording King", is also highly thought of, as they used to be an Asian offshoot of Martin, and still carry their tonal philosophy. . . . . .


I certainly think very highly of "Recording King". I own a Recording King ROS-16 and I've played quite a few of their other models, all of which have been very good guitars. But I don't think they have anything to do with Martin: TTBOMK they are started as an independent maker for Montgomery Ward in the 30's then became part of Johnson Guitars.


Quote by Captaincranky
. . . . . Some players prefer the sound of lighter strings. They also tend to play a tiny bit faster, and can cut out some of the bass. This helps with some dreadnoughts . . . . .


Yep. I've used 10's on my dreadnoughts for as long as I can remember. I think they produce a more balanced sound.