#1
I've had this guitar about a month. I like the guitar, but I'm not in love with the stock strings that came with it and want to swap to some Elixirs. What size works best with this guitar? It came with no documentation. If I had a micrometer (I don't) I'd measure the string diameter. This is the dreadnaught version, not the parlor guitar. I play fingerstyle and prefer lighter strings.

Thanks much!
#2
Well, if "you prefer lighter strings", does it really matter what strings "would be best for the guitar"?

These are what Seagull claims all its guitars are equipped with: http://www.seagullguitars.com/stringchart.html Since they're Godin branded, ostensibly, Godin would like you to continue buying their strings, if for no other reason than there's money to be made in accessories.

The Cliff's notes version PB acoustic lights (.012 to .053).

Where would you like to go from there?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 15, 2015,
#3
Quote by Captaincranky
Well, if "you prefer lighter strings", does it really matter what strings "would be best for the guitar"?

These are what Seagull claims all its guitars are equipped with: http://www.seagullguitars.com/stringchart.html Since they're Godin branded, ostensibly, Godin would like you to continue buying their strings, if for no other reason than there's money to be made in accessories.

The Cliff's notes version PB acoustic lights (.012 to .053).

Where would you like to go from there?


.012-.053 huh? Sounds reasonable. Would it have killed GuitarCenter (or Seagull) to include an owner's manual with recommendations for strings?

Thanks!
#4
Try as many as possible to see what you like. There are really three things to decide when buying strings: brand, material, size.

Most brands do pretty much the same kind of stuff, not much use stressing over this, though I'd recommend John Pearse.

Material and size are purely preference. Heavier strings sound a bit beefier and are a tad harder to play (at first at least), thinner strings sound smaller and are easier to play.

I prefer phosphor bronze strings, they sound a bit more natural to me than nickel strings though don't seem to stay as fresh for as long. I always avoid 80/20 bronze, just due to bad experiences before with them.
#5
Quote by derek8520
Try as many as possible to see what you like. There are really three things to decide when buying strings: brand, material, size.

Most brands do pretty much the same kind of stuff, not much use stressing over this, though I'd recommend John Pearse.

Material and size are purely preference. Heavier strings sound a bit beefier and are a tad harder to play (at first at least), thinner strings sound smaller and are easier to play.

I prefer phosphor bronze strings, they sound a bit more natural to me than nickel strings though don't seem to stay as fresh for as long. I always avoid 80/20 bronze, just due to bad experiences before with them.


I was mostly concerned about the nut of the guitar and which strings would be suitable. I don't want string/nut issues. I am also a bit concerned about tension on the neck of the guitar. I don't know how big a deal this is to worry about but I've heard that if I switch to a lighter string that the tension on the neck will be lessened and it could cause problems (maybe require a new setup), same as switching to strings that are too heavy can cause problems.

Thanks for the tips.
#6
why not just email seagull if you want to know what strings came on your guitar? they're fairly fast to respond to questions.

when i replaced the stock strings on both my seagulls with extra lights, so i went from 12s to 10s, the necks needed just a little tweaking, not much. the guitars didn't need a full set-up, though - just a tiny bit of truss rod adjustment. YMMV.
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 TobusRex
I was mostly concerned about the nut of the guitar and which strings would be suitable. I don't want string/nut issues. I am also a bit concerned about tension on the neck of the guitar. I don't know how big a deal this is to worry about but I've heard that if I switch to a lighter string that the tension on the neck will be lessened and it could cause problems (maybe require a new setup), same as switching to strings that are too heavy can cause problems.

Thanks for the tips.
As long as you're going lighter, there should be no problem. Oftentimes, the nuts are just cut barely wide enough for the stock strings, and one or more, (usually the B), sticks slightly, causing tuning issues.

A slight tweak of the truss rod will usually take care of any issues with lighter strings. 1/4 to a 1/2 turn at most. That notwithstanding, maple necks, (as far as my current crop of of guitars goes), seem to like a little seasonal truss rod tweak. Mahogany necks seem a twitch more stable, but who knows.

Assuming you change only one gauge, say the lights that are on it, and drop to custom light, you should be OK. In fact, that could wind up to be a "poor man's setup", as many guitars ship a bit on the high side, and lighter strings wil allow the body to elax a bit.

If there's any trouble down the road, the strings won't factor into it, at least not to any degree.
#8
Quote by patticake
why not just email seagull if you want to know what strings came on your guitar? they're fairly fast to respond to questions.

when i replaced the stock strings on both my seagulls with extra lights, so i went from 12s to 10s, the necks needed just a little tweaking, not much. the guitars didn't need a full set-up, though - just a tiny bit of truss rod adjustment. YMMV.


I have emailed them (last weekend) but haven't gotten a response yet. Hopefully they'll send me a reply soon.

I was worried about the same thing you experienced with your instrument after you switched to lighter strings. Plus the strings getting too "deep" in the nut, or whatever that is called
#9
Quote by TobusRex
I have emailed them (last weekend) but haven't gotten a response yet. Hopefully they'll send me a reply soon.

I was worried about the same thing you experienced with your instrument after you switched to lighter strings. Plus the strings getting too "deep" in the nut, or whatever that is called
OK first, I told you everything you need to know. Second, you can't get the strings, "too deep in the nut". The nut groove holds the strings "xxx" distance above the frets. If you put thinner strings on the guitar, the top of the strings get lower, period.

I haven't a clue what you think Seagull is going to tell you in an email, that they haven't already told you on the entire web page I linked for you. They'll most likely tell you to put the same strings back on, and use their brand.

As far as learning to tweak a setup goes, it's something you need to learn to do anyway.

Here, bone up on it: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html
#10
Quote by Captaincranky
OK first, I told you everything you need to know. Second, you can't get the strings, "too deep in the nut". The nut groove holds the strings "xxx" distance above the frets. If you put thinner strings on the guitar, the top of the strings get lower, period.

I haven't a clue what you think Seagull is going to tell you in an email, that they haven't already told you on the entire web page I linked for you. They'll most likely tell you to put the same strings back on, and use their brand.

As far as learning to tweak a setup goes, it's something you need to learn to do anyway.

Here, bone up on it: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html


Regarding Seagull's string recommendations...I found that to be a bit underwhelming, no offense. I was expecting specific info on my guitar, but they just kinda lumped all their 6's and 12's together. I get it though....they want to sell THEIR strings, and that is understandable. I greatly prefer the sound of the Elixirs on my Taylor. On the other hand...that doesn't guarantee they'll sound good on the Seagull I guess.

I don't understand what you mean by "poor man's setup". Could you explain in more detail please? Are you implying that lighter strings will give me lower action because the guitar body is "relaxed"? Just curious, I'm still pretty new at this stuff (setting up guitars).
#11
OK, I'll cut to the chase. It looks like it came with lights - 12-53. Most big guitars work better IMO with medium strings, but you might need to redo the set up. I use John Pearse phos bronze mediums, 13-56. If you want to stay with lights, the same make and alloy in 12-53.

However, a lot of folks like Elixirs. I don't, I reckon they sound "stringy".
#12
Quote by Tony Done
OK, I'll cut to the chase. It looks like it came with lights - 12-53. Most big guitars work better IMO with medium strings, but you might need to redo the set up. I use John Pearse phos bronze mediums, 13-56. If you want to stay with lights, the same make and alloy in 12-53.

However, a lot of folks like Elixirs. I don't, I reckon they sound "stringy".
Does anyone actually read these threads? Our TS states he wants to "go lighter", not turn the damned thing into He Man's guitar. I spent enough time at AGF to know that, "real men only use mediums", along with enough time to not give a crap.

OK, so you usually manage to parlay the whole medium string issue, into an opportunity to spray up a bunch of FUD about how nobody should buy "xxx" guitar, because of what is being used as a neck adhesive.

We go through this time and again, medium strings apply too much tension to the neck. This causes the need for a neck reset much sooner, than would a choice of less manly string gauges. And "IMO" whether the guitar is allegedly braced for mediums or not.

Those things, coupled with the fact a $300.00 guitar most likely isn't going to become an heirloom, make me think it doesn't really matter what Seagull uses for neck adhesive. If the damned thing needs a neck reset 10 years from now, so what, just throw it the f*** away and buy another one.
#13
Quote by TobusRex
Regarding Seagull's string recommendations...I found that to be a bit underwhelming, no offense. I was expecting specific info on my guitar, but they just kinda lumped all their 6's and 12's together. I get it though....they want to sell THEIR strings, and that is understandable. I greatly prefer the sound of the Elixirs on my Taylor. On the other hand...that doesn't guarantee they'll sound good on the Seagull I guess.
I really don't understand how you could be "under or overwhelmed", by Seagull's string page. You asked what strings were on the guitar. Then you said you couldn't figure it out. Well, it has lights on it, because that's all they ship with. Problem solved.

Quote by TobusRex
I don't understand what you mean by "poor man's setup". Could you explain in more detail please? Are you implying that lighter strings will give me lower action because the guitar body is "relaxed"? Just curious, I'm still pretty new at this stuff (setting up guitars).
The strings form a triangle above the neck. When tension is applied, the neck raises. Since the neck is glued to the soundboard, when the neck raises, it bends the soundboard down. (It's the other end of the "see-saw", so to speak). Obviously, this effect occurs over time. Lighter strings don't pull as hard, hence the neck doesn't raise as much, and the soundboard doesn't collapse as much. Right out of the gate, less tension means a slightly lower action. Again obviously, if the action already is as "LAPWOB", (low as possible without buzzing), you will get some fret buzz. Raising the saddle via placing shims underneath it, quickly resolves that issue. However, the action of most guitars as shipped, normally isn't as low as it could possibly be. When the neck settles back. it's just as possible the action may lower to at or near optimum, and they all lived happily ever after.

Now, please read the setup guide I linked. (A few times, sil vous plait).
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 15, 2015,
#14
Quote by TobusRex
I've had this guitar about a month. I like the guitar, but I'm not in love with the stock strings that came with it and want to swap to some Elixirs. What size works best with this guitar? It came with no documentation. If I had a micrometer (I don't) I'd measure the string diameter. This is the dreadnaught version, not the parlor guitar. I play fingerstyle and prefer lighter strings.

Thanks much!


Don't overthink this. A Seagull works fine with 10s, 11s, 12s, and Elixir, Martin, D'Addario, Dean Markley, and Ernie Ball. I have been gigging with a Seagull for 15 years and the only real concern is how they feel and sound to you. A slight truss adjustment may be needed if you make a significant change in string gauge.

FWIW I prefer 11s from D'Addario but others will have different preferences. Our ears and expectations of tone vary.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#15
Quote by Captaincranky
Does anyone actually read these threads? Our TS states he wants to "go lighter", not turn the damned thing into He Man's guitar. I spent enough time at AGF to know that, "real men only use mediums", along with enough time to not give a crap.

OK, so you usually manage to parlay the whole medium string issue, into an opportunity to spray up a bunch of FUD about how nobody should buy "xxx" guitar, because of what is being used as a neck adhesive.

We go through this time and again, medium strings apply too much tension to the neck. This causes the need for a neck reset much sooner, than would a choice of less manly string gauges. And "IMO" whether the guitar is allegedly braced for mediums or not.

Those things, coupled with the fact a $300.00 guitar most likely isn't going to become an heirloom, make me think it doesn't really matter what Seagull uses for neck adhesive. If the damned thing needs a neck reset 10 years from now, so what, just throw it the f*** away and buy another one.


You're quite right from your POV, but I have my standards to which I will stick. My L-00 is now in its 83rd year. and would have been about the same quality as the Seagull when new, so there's no telling, IMO.
#16
Quote by Tony Done
You're quite right from your POV, but I have my standards to which I will stick. My L-00 is now in its 83rd year. and would have been about the same quality as the Seagull when new, so there's no telling, IMO.
I've been mulling this post over for a couple of days, to see if I could come up with some sort of, "measured response" to it. In the end, I said to myself, "screw it, Tony will have to make do with this one".

So, it a good thing you weren't buying your L-00 something or other new, because some crackpot might have talked you out of buying it because it didn't have a bolt-on neck.

As far as a Quality comparison between that and a new Seagull goes. there's virtually none to be made, relative to your guitar with even a new model of the same thing. As you know, an 80 year old guitar would be 'old growth' lumber, which is far superior to the woods available today. A point about one might argue at AGF to the point of absolute disgust and annoyance. Second the new Seagull is largely machine made, and hence it can't be compared favorably with the hand tooled uber accuracy and talent of yankee luthiers of past decades.

For a quick recap, your guitar was built, "when men were men, and trees were trees", not today in the 1 1/2 hour lunch break, chained to a single task, I simply can't wait for 5:00PM era. Not to mention the over fertilized spindly, grow too fast, spindly, would barely work 2 weeks as a Christmas tree, garbage lumber of today.

As far as the guitar not needing a neck reset, it is a short scale, right?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 17, 2015,
#17
Oh, I don't go in for all this old growth and man-made stuff, I fell out with AGF in part because of those attitudes, and I sometimes struggle with UMGF for the same reason. - I'm not a soundhole sniffer, though I might have been when I bought the L-00. It looked good at gigs, and those who have tried it say it sounds good, but I've got used to it.

I'm not against traditional dovetails, they an be taken apart by a lot of folks these days - but I would sooner have bolt-on now they are being used.

The L-00 is short scale, and in fact it isn't the easiest of resets. The repairer opted to rebrace the lower bout rather than reset the neck when it need doing. After 20-odd years it is still OK, action-wise, but I now have a flying brace in it to stop further deterioration. During that period, it has only had 12s, on the advice of the repairer, but it also sounds better with them than 13s. I have spent about as much on it in total as its current worth. So I can't claim that my attitude is entirely rational.

And, FWIW, I don't mind what you say about me as long as it makes me laugh.
#18
Quote by Tony Done
Oh, I don't go in for all this old growth and man-made stuff, I fell out with AGF in part because of those attitudes, and I sometimes struggle with UMGF for the same reason. - I'm not a soundhole sniffer, though I might have been when I bought the L-00. It looked good at gigs, and those who have tried it say it sounds good, but I've got used to it.

I'm not against traditional dovetails, they an be taken apart by a lot of folks these days - but I would sooner have bolt-on now they are being used.

The L-00 is short scale, and in fact it isn't the easiest of resets. The repairer opted to rebrace the lower bout rather than reset the neck when it need doing. After 20-odd years it is still OK, action-wise, but I now have a flying brace in it to stop further deterioration. During that period, it has only had 12s, on the advice of the repairer, but it also sounds better with them than 13s. I have spent about as much on it in total as its current worth. So I can't claim that my attitude is entirely rational.

And, FWIW, I don't mind what you say about me as long as it makes me laugh.



on my 36' kalamazoo kg14 some long ago owner had the neck reset by slipping the neck block and fortified it with epoxy. talk about ugly...

the guitar is solid though. it's amazing that a near 80 year old guitar with no adjustable truss rod has a neck that is still so comfortable and functional.

op: go and get some strings that seem interesting and try them. learn as you go. if you have to tweak the truss rod here and there, then you should learn to do that.

you now know that the guitar shipped with 12's and you want lighter then try 11's. elixirs are a good choice but there are many brands out there.
Last edited by ad_works at Sep 17, 2015,
#19
Quote by Captaincranky
Second the new Seagull is largely machine made, and hence it can't be compared favorably with the hand tooled uber accuracy and talent of yankee luthiers of past decades.



What makes you think a luthier is more accurate than properly calibrated modern industrial machinery?
Last edited by TobusRex at Sep 17, 2015,
#20
Got the Elixirs 012-053. Decided to wimp out and get the same size! Thanks to all for their recommendations!
#21
I forgot to mention that Cole Clark guitars are masterpieces of CNC machining, and incorporate many ideas that would be difficult and expensive with traditional luthery. The only thing I have against them is that they opted for a spanish heel rather than dovetail or bolt on. I can't understand it in a guitar that is designed for heavy strings.
#22
Quote by Captaincranky
....[ ].... Second the new Seagull is largely machine made, and hence it can't be compared favorably with the hand tooled uber accuracy and talent of yankee luthiers of past decades....[ ]......
Quote by TobusRex
What makes you think a luthier is more accurate than properly calibrated modern industrial machinery?

OK, so the harelip walks into a bar and says, "hney bnartender, gnimme a bneer".

The bartender says mn-o-knay, mwun bneer cnummig' mnup.

The harelip was furious! Then he yelled, "nare nyuo mnakin' fnun nof mne"?

The bartender said, "mno, mnI'm mnot"

Then, another guy walks into the the bar and says, "hey Joe, gimme a beer".

The bartender says, "one beer comin' right up Tommy boy"!

So now , the doubly infuriated harelip calls the bartender over again and says, "mnI thmnough nyuo snaid ynou mwneren't mnakin' fnun nof mne"

And the bartender said, "nmI nwasn't mnakin' fnun mnof ynou mnI wnuz mnakin' fnun nof hmin"!

Hopefully, you'll be able to sort through that allegory and find your answer.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 18, 2015,
#23
Quote by Tony Done
I forgot to mention that Cole Clark guitars are masterpieces of CNC machining, and incorporate many ideas that would be difficult and expensive with traditional luthery. The only thing I have against them is that they opted for a spanish heel rather than dovetail or bolt on. I can't understand it in a guitar that is designed for heavy strings.
They should probably stuff a couple of bolts on those necks also, to kind of give the glue a bit of a helping hand.....

Then........, you could put acoustic heavies on them. With .058s on the bottom, and by raising the action to 3/16" minimum, (preferably 1/4" at the 12th), you have a guitar truly worthy to be called, "The Crocodile Dundee Signature Fat Biddy".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 17, 2015,
#24
Quote by Captaincranky
OK, so the harelip walks into a bar and says, "hney bnartender, gnimme a bneer".

The bartender says mn-o-knay, mwun bneer cnummig' mnup.

The harelip was furious! Then he yelled, "nare nyuo mnakin' fnun nof mne"?

The bartender said, "mno, mnI'm mnot"

Then, another guy walks into the the bar and says, "hey Joe, gimme a beer".

The bartender says, "one beer comin' right up Tommy boy"!

So now , the doubly infuriated harelip calls the bartender over again and says, "mnI thmnough nyuo snaid ynou mwneren't mnakin' fnun nof mne"

And the bartender said, "nmI nwasn't mnakin' fnun mnof ynou mnI wnuz mnakin' fnun nof hmin"!

Hopefully, you'll be able to sort through that allegory and find your answer.


You pulled that out of your ass, just for me.

How sweet.
Last edited by TobusRex at Sep 18, 2015,
#25
Quote by TobusRex
What makes you think a luthier is more accurate than properly calibrated modern industrial machinery?
I actually don't. I also didn't know if you were either, gullible enough to think I did, or, being sarcastic yourself.

So, I pulled the "harelip walks into a bar" story out of my ass, just for the occasion.

I was truly sweet of me, if I do say so myself!

From my ass, to your heart.... A veritable Hallmark moment.....
#26
Quote by Captaincranky
I actually don't. I also didn't know if you were either, gullible enough to think I did, or, being sarcastic yourself.

So, I pulled the "harelip walks into a bar" story out of my ass, just for the occasion.

I was truly sweet of me, if I do say so myself!

From my ass, to your heart.... A veritable Hallmark moment.....


Me, sarcasm?

"From My Ass to Your Heart" sounds like a 50's doowop song title.
#27
Quote by TobusRex
...[ ]... "From My Ass to Your Heart" sounds like a 50's doowop song title.
You should open a booth on a boardwalk somewhere, guessing people's ages. I didn't realize I could date myself so quickly with a chance remark...

I don't think it would have made the AM top 40, but I can almost hear it as a Fugs "B side".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fugs