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12 string strings - recommendations?

Big Al Whittle 21 Aug 19 - 06:12 AM
GUEST 21 Aug 19 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Gilly 21 Aug 19 - 10:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Aug 19 - 10:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Aug 19 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Starship 21 Aug 19 - 10:39 AM
saulgoldie 21 Aug 19 - 10:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Aug 19 - 03:07 AM
GUEST 22 Aug 19 - 07:05 AM
PHJim 22 Aug 19 - 12:17 PM
punkfolkrocker 22 Aug 19 - 12:37 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Aug 19 - 08:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Aug 19 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Starship 23 Aug 19 - 08:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Aug 19 - 11:22 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 19 - 07:35 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 19 - 02:00 PM
punkfolkrocker 24 Aug 19 - 02:32 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Aug 19 - 04:44 PM
Rusty Dobro 24 Aug 19 - 05:14 PM
John MacKenzie 25 Aug 19 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Mark 25 Aug 19 - 12:20 PM
Rusty Dobro 25 Aug 19 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Mark 26 Aug 19 - 04:22 AM
Raggytash 26 Aug 19 - 08:15 AM
DonMeixner 26 Aug 19 - 04:21 PM
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Subject: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 06:12 AM

A few months ago I bought my nephew a fifty quid acoustic from Gear4music. I was so impressed with quality of the guitar that I bought the 12 string electro model for myself. 90 quid - and eaily as goodas a yamaha 12 that I had years ago.

Anyway now I've broken one of the strings. Obviously changing all those string will be at besr something that happens every two years or so.

So what in you experience are a set of strings for a 12 string guitar.   That stay in tune-ish AND Don't break.

I seem to remember someone (Leadbelly maybe) used to tune his 12 string guitar down a tone (2 semitones). Does this seem to anyone a good idea. Does it stop you breaking strings and will it stay in tune at this lower tension?


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 08:39 AM

Since 1980 I have used D'Addario's on my Alvarez 12 string guitar. I would recommend EJ41 phosphor bronze, .009-.045 extra light gauge. Never had a problem though I do carry extra.009 strings.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST,Gilly
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 10:24 AM

Tuning down a step most definitely. Use a capo if you need to get back to concert pitch. It has the side benefits of reducing load on the neck and making side to side vibrato easier too.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 10:25 AM

thank yo Guest. do you tune it standard?


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 10:30 AM

thankyou gilly. so playing in C is actually B flat. And G is F/ E is D....?


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 10:39 AM

Keep in mind you may need heavier gauge on a few strings depending on how you're set up at present. It can also present a sound problem in that if your chord hand has a Schwarzenegger grip you can make a chord sound out of tune with itself due to increased tightening on the heavier strings of the E, A and D pairs.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 10:45 AM

I don't have any string recommendations. But I do tune it a step down. I'm worried about stress on the neck, although most decent 12s are probly made to withstand it.

For grip, I carry around a little doughnut rubber thing, and do exercises with it. The one I got was online from China. Cost less'n two bucks.

Saul


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Aug 19 - 03:07 AM

Okay I'm sorry if this is a saga of the bleeding obvious to experienced 12 string players, but actually your comments are making me think my way through my thoughts.

So I've sent for the EJ41 strings that are the only ones recommended so far.Along with it, I sent for   extra 9 gauge strrings, also recommended.

When I was looking at the various g, which is generally a huge ask of a string's tensileauges. I noticed that the string doubling the covered G was the same gauge as the first string.

So the thin G is being asked to be two semitones tighter than an E, which is generally a big ask of the string's tensile strength. No wonder that it is that string that has broken. So easy to tune sharp those strings anyway.

Okay any more thoughts from you 12 stringers, before my new strings arrive and I start thinking about what move to make next. I think I may attempt to tune down two semitones.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Aug 19 - 07:05 AM

There is no need to tune down with the EJ41 strings. They are extra light gauge and are totally safe to use with standard tuning. Always tune the G SLOWLY to avoid shock breakage.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: PHJim
Date: 22 Aug 19 - 12:17 PM

I have always tuned a full tone low and put a capo on the 2nd fret which comes off only to change strings. I've never eft a set of strings on for two years. They must be pretty dead by the time you change them. Except for the capo (Paige) that stays on the 2nd fret, I've never been able to use a capo on a 12-string. It always pulls the strings outa tune.
Lead Belly tuned a lot lower than I do often two full steps. He also tuned his low E string course two octaves apart. The octave E was the same pitch as the open first string. (That's the way his guitar was tuned when he died. I often wonder if he put that double octave E string on because it was all he had.)
Pete Seeger also tuned low and almost always dropped the 6th course a full tone (Drop D, but lower than D)


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Aug 19 - 12:37 PM

I bought a multipack of 12 string sets from Newtone about 20 years ago..

Am I right in remembering one of their selling points is
that their strings tune to standard pitch,
but at lower tension...???

Anyway, I opened up one of those 20 year old sets a couple of years ago,
and the strings were still fresh...


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 08:08 AM

So I've tuned the guitar

DGCFAD

Most of the strings seem comfortable. The only one under stress is the uncovered F. But that is just one semitone above where it would be on a six string in standard tuning.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 08:13 AM

i suppose the other thing that struck me was from now on the G shapes would play F and the C shapes will play b flat. i've sent for a couple of diatonic harmonicas to cover this situation.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 08:45 AM

Remember, the capo is just a movable nut ;-)


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 11:22 AM

A simple mnemonic

D G C F A D

Donald Goes Caressing Feminist's Asses! Disgraceful!


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 07:35 PM

The issue is becoming to complex here. Suggestion- buy the EJ41 strings. Tune to standard tuning. No need to tune down lower. Place the capo anywhere you like and play. 12 string guitars are complicated enough without the needed burden of changing string tunings other than perhaps drop D. Instead of drop D- place your capo on the second fret strings all except the low Es and you now in fact have the effect of drop D but the beauty is you still can make standard tuning shapes except in E & A minor but can even be creative with them.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 19 - 02:00 PM

Thomastiks.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Aug 19 - 02:32 PM

[Weird.. could have sworn I posted a message here last night...???
Anyway, here goes again...]

My memory from all those years ago was correct...

https://newtonestrings.com/shop/heritage-series-acoustic-6-string/


"These strings are designed to have a reduced and virtually equal tension on each string.
They are made on Round cores with unique core-to-wrap ratios,
so the gauges which match up with some of our standard sets are not the same at all!

There are several advantages of using these strings.
Vintage guitars, light braced guitars and people who have problems fretting due to arthritis or tendonitis
can use these strings without worrying about twisting or uneven pulling on the bridge. Low tensions also mean ease of fretting.

Available for standard E tuning or DADGAD."


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Aug 19 - 04:44 PM

I'm not so sure - tuning an E string up to G is asking a lot of it.
At the moment I feel happier with the guitar down two semitones.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 24 Aug 19 - 05:14 PM

I've tuned a full tone down ever since I found the bridge lifting on my £2 car-boot sale Mugen, but will certainly try the EJ41's when the time comes for a change. One disadvantage to tuning down is that when other players see the capo bringing it back to standard tuning, they capo up and join in with hilarious results.

And remember: twelve string players spend 25% of their time tuning up, and 75% playing out of tune.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Aug 19 - 10:23 AM

There is only one string maker that I buy, and that's Newtone, they're great. Long lasting too.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 25 Aug 19 - 12:20 PM

Rusty Dobro - one of my friends claims that if he were sentenced to execution, his last request would be a 12 string guitar and time to time it perfectly.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 25 Aug 19 - 06:28 PM

I like that!
Q. How long does it take to tune a 12-string?
A. No-one's ever found out......


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 26 Aug 19 - 04:22 AM

The same friend also plays hammered dulcimer and his version of that QandA is
Q: how long to tune a hammered dulcimer?
A: research is continuing...


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: Raggytash
Date: 26 Aug 19 - 08:15 AM

I have two 12 string guitars, a Tanglewood and a Martin.

I have to say the Tanglewood is far a away a better guitar.

The action on the Martin is appalling, it's just gone off to a new Luthier for the third time in as many years to be adjusted.

(I am dubious about the other Luthier who "fixed" it twice.

I have had the Tanglewood in DADGAD tuning for the past 6 months and the sound in brilliant.


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Subject: RE: 12 string strings - recommendations?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 26 Aug 19 - 04:21 PM

I own a Martin D-12-20 and I have played a Guild 212. Both were tune to a standard tuning with light gauge strings. Of the two I would prefer the Guild. Guilds are gutsier while Martins tend to be janglely. I suppose much depends on the songs you are doing. I prefer the darker presence of the Guilds.

Don Meixner


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