Mudcat Café message #2567540 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86272   Message #2567540
Posted By: Richard Bridge
15-Feb-09 - 12:10 PM
Thread Name: brass vs steel guitar strings
Subject: RE: brass vs steel......guitar strings
Out of the "guitar strings" threads over the years, this seems as good a one to re-start as any.

How about a systematic review concentrating on TYPES (not makers) of guitar strings - there will have to be some mention of makers because some makers almost monopolise certain types. What I'm looking for is a heuristic feel for the direction in which a type of composition or structure or coating would influence sound.

Here goes: -

First off can anyone summarise the sound differences between: -

80/20 phosphor-bronze,
brass, and I have recently seen
92/8 phosphor -bronze and
strings allegedly alloyed with titanium?

I once tried D'Aquisto Brass masters (the D'Acquisto Bronze Master 13/58s were my string of choice at the time) and found that although there was a quite attractive bright "ring" to them, they did not "shimmer" like 80/20s.

I have used straight "bronze" and for me I do not hear an increase in bottom end thud, but I do hear less shimmer and maybe marginally less brightness.

I have not tried 92/8.

I have not tried titanium.

Coatings - I have tried the D'Addario EXP and found them a bit greasy sounding. Elixir Polywebs sound lke they are coated in a thick polymer (suprise!) and so are a bit dull and thudding, without good brightness or shimmer. Elixir Nanowebs feel and sound bright and not honking to me - but I just put a set on my Mugen THE78 and the G is dull already - out of the box.

Elixir are VERY overpriced in the UK - is there a cheaper alternative?

Size matters!

I like a big bassboom. Elixir do light/mediums ie 12/56, and D'Aquisto do both 12/5s and 13/58s - but not coated.

I've recently started trying out some DADGAD stuff, so I'd really like a set 14/18/24/32/44/58 which is not a standard DADGAD set.
The only maker I know who will do custom sets (quite a few do do DADGAD sets) is Newtone, and I don't like his strings (see below). Anyone got suggestions?

Structure - Newton uses a round core AND a low-tension philosophy. I'm unconvinced by the round core view - I'd ahve expected teh "bite" of a hex core into the winding to keep a good unity of vibration. More importantly, his low-tension approach seems to me not to get the top of the guitar throbbing properly - inf act one of his sets (I think 13/56s) were one of the only two sets ever I put on, played for a day to give them a chance, and took them straight off again.

Strings to avoid: Tho only other strings I ever I put on, played for a day to give them a chance, and took them straight off again had a name a bit like (I forget exactly) "Redwing" (presumably composed by someone who never read pulp novels about the Hell's Angels).

Open to suggestions!