Hello GG. This is actually my first post here! I just joined the forum a couple of days ago. Watching Steve Krenz's AMAZING videos on YouTube brought me here. And what brought me to his videos was buying his Learn & Master course. A little big about me:
I write under the name Bro. Turtel. My real name isn't really all that important you can just call me Turtel if you'd like. I'm into all kinds of music but my love is for jazz and classical. But trust me I listen to everything. Anyways, I probably shouldn't get too off topic seeing as forums are usually pretty strict about that. This isn't about me, this is about the most expensive strings I've ever bought in my entire life. And this is the SECOND time I've bought them.
My main driver for the last year has been an OM style Seagull guitar - a solid rosewood back and sides concert hall. I know a lot of people who play acoustic hate the sound of flatwounds on them, but I actually love the warmth. I typically play with Galli 80/20 acoustic jazz flats. Most people don't even know these strings exist. But take my word for it, they sound great on a flat top acoustic guitar. I've tried other flatwound strings on them including the set I'm about to mention. Yup, that's right. I spent $38 about half a year ago to try them on my guitar and they sounded trash. But I didn't give up. I ended up becoming so familiar and happy with the Galli 80/20's that they're my regular.
The new guitar I got a couple of weeks ago (Loar LH-650) is an archtop. MUCH different sound. But it's such a lovely guitar. I got it B-Stock from The Loar on reverb and I won't tell you how much I paid for it but it was nowhere near even $1000. I took a chance despite the horrible reviews this company gets for its guitars. I just wanted to try an archtop (that could play both acoustic and electric) and I couldn't be more happy with my purchase. It has the EXACT sound I was looking for. And I know that's weird being a singer-songwriter because the percussive, minimalist sound of an archtop doesn't accompany solo singer-songwriter style very well in a lot of cases. But I knew what I was looking for.
It took me an entire day to get the intonation correct, but I'm so glad I did, and I'm glad I figured out how to do because I love doing maintenance on my guitars. It's lovely and very relaxing, tbh. Okay, so I got these strings to try on my Loar after trying SO many different kinds of strings. I tried the La Bella jazz flats, Top Tapes, Chromes. Man I wasted like 80 dollars in strings in the first week I had the dang thing. It has a pickup on it, so I wanted a certain sound, but I didn't wanna use the Galli's because they're bronze. Sad to say, but this isn't even the most i've spent on strings all at once. Every time I get a new guitar I try many different strings just to see what kind of sound I can get from my guitar. I try strings until I find ones that fit the guitar well. I settled with the Martin Retro Monel strings for about the last week. Which were nice. They are still to this day some of my favorite strings. But anyone who plays flatwounds will tell you that once you go back to roundwounds you will hear the finger noise. It wasn't there for so long and no IT JUST WON'T STOP. So I decided to order strings I had tried before on my flat top. The reason is because I realized that although I wanted flat wounds on my flat top when I tried them, it wasn't fair of me to match these particular strings to that guitar. And that's fair. But I'm glad I tried them then because I wouldn't have thought to try them now. You know what strings I'm talking about, don't you?
The TI George Bensons! I got the 14-55's and they are OFF THE CHAIN on this Loar. This is the best sound I've ever felt beneath my fingertips. Almost $40 but every bit was worth it. I know this isn't a jazz forum but a guitar forum in general. I was just wondering has anyone else tried these strings. I want to tell you about my favorite parts but I want to hear yours too.
Obviously, the price isn't my favorite part. But from what I hear they last quite a while. Which I can believe. I hardly ever have to change the flat wounds on my Seagull. Because they last SO long. So the $40 I'd spend on 4 packs of Retros I'm spending on one pack of GB's to last just as long (give or take). We'll see though. What I do really love about these strings is the warmth. Now, this guitar is maple guitar and of course doesn't ever sound very warm. I'm not expecting it to have a lot of warmth but with these strings, it has just the right amount of warmth that I like. Especially having just come from the monel strings (which are pretty warm) these strings sound a bit less warm, but also more dark (because they are flat wounds). I'm not very good at explaining sound. I reckon no one is as good at explaining sound as it's just something you have to hear. Another thing I really like about these is that they have a PERFECT amount of tension. They're 14's but they bend so nicely. Not that in jazz there's a lot of bends, but I have a background of many other styles. So I do bend sometimes out of habit and out of trying to take it to the note I want. Also, these strings FEEL really great. Right out of the pack, they weren't sticky at first like I feel many other flat wound strings are. My hands were sliding immediately.
$40 is a lot for a single pack of strings. If I find any problems or anything I will be back to talk about that. But I wanted to share my current experience. I can't wait to see how they sound with a pickup.
What kind of strings do you like? Flatwound or roundwound? What size is your favorite? What are your favorite materials? What kind of sound do you want your strings to give your guitar? I wanna hear all about what kind of strings you guys are into.
To Steve and the rest of the staff, thank you SO much for having this forum. I've honestly never been a part of a forum before. This is legitimately my first ever forum post (and i'm 25 years old). Thank you guys for the lessons, the awesome interviews with musicians, and giving people a place to talk about music and share our joy and experience with other guitar players.