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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. 

- BT

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Hi Turtel, A very warm welcome to the guitar gathering family forum.  I don't know very much about steel strings as I play Nylon, but if the strings make your guitar sing, try not to worry about the cost.  From a nylon point of view, I like to play different genres, so I am trying carbon strings at the moment because I want a more contemporary sound rather than traditional nylon.  They are brighter in the treble, as nylon can sound muddy especially the G.  PS I love warm tones too😊

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16 minutes ago, Simira said:

...I am trying carbon strings at the moment...

Wow, carbon strings. That's so interesting! I have actually never in my life heard anyone use carbon strings. I am interested to hear them! Do you have any recordings of yourself playing posted somewhere online? I know I could probably look up anyone playing with carbon strings but I want to hear how they inspire you.

I will say, I know exactly what muddy sound you're talking about. I don't know a whole lot about nylon strings (as I play steel strings) but every now and again I go into the shop and mess around on one of the nylons just because they can sound absolutely magical when playing certain songs.

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Hi Turtel,

To be more specific on the strings, I am using at the moment are D'Addario Pro-Arte Carbon (fluorocarbon) normal tension strings for classical guitar .  I think its takes many experiments with different strings to find the sound you are after.  Guitars themselves are made of different woods, and have different setups and all will sound different.  One set of strings that sound nice on one guitar, won't necessarily sound nice on another.  Also its how you play too, whether it be with a pick, your fingernails or the tips of your fingers and whether your attack is hard or soft etc.  And as you have said,  it can end up being very expensive!

I have made two recordings using them.  You will find them In Guitar Playing and Technique, under Monthly Recording Challenge threads, nos. 76 and 77.  To be honest, I don't think that the recordings will be a true representation.  I have only just started recording, and my equipment is very basic, i.e. Behringer Guitar Link plugged into laptop using Audacity software. In fact the two recordings are the only ones I've ever made.! Plus my guitar playing is still very much a W.I.P.  It might be best to listen to a more accomplished player to get a truer (is that a word?) sound.

The Monthly Recording Challenge is great fun, it has a different theme every month and members can post a recording based on that theme.  And in the spirit of the forum, all levels are welcome to participate.  Some post acoustic solos, some sing (covers or originals) with accompaniment, others submit fully produced songs, with drumbeats, rhythm and melody.  There is also another area where members can post recordings and that would be under Member Recordings where its open mike.

Would love to hear some of your songs😊

 

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@Bro. Turtel Welcome Turtel! Yeah those are some expensive strings. My most expensive are Elixirs on my acoustic, and NYXL on my Gibson Les Paul. You definitely seem to have a thing for Jazz so flatwound makes good sense. If you like working on guitars then you might want to check out Greg Voros Setup & Maintenance DVD.  

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On my steel string acoustic, I have been trying Martin Retro, Elixir Polyweb and Elixir Nanoweb. So far I like the Polywebs the most.

Wim.

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