Thinking about putting flat wounds on my solid body carvin tl60, anyone have experience with some good sets other than thomastik?
Great flat wound strings that aren't made by thomastik?(10 posts)
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I've used D'addario Chromes for 9 years and never had an issue.
I've used Thomastik in the past but now I use Labella when I'm using flats. They have a nice lively quality to them (I don't like the muffled sound of a lot of flats-that "mellow jazz" muted sound.) The Labellas are really nice, and they don't have the same string thicknesses that Thomastiks have so you can compare them, see what feels good.
Thanks David I'll check out the labella's. And guitar guy is right. Chromes, to me, seem to have a lot of tension.
I often see gear discussions as sort of pointless as everything tends to be so subjective...but this one has me so curious:
How can string tension be different by brand? Isn't tension determined by only by scale length and string gauge???
I suppose the composition of the strings varies a little bit brand to brand, but different brands definitely have different tensions. Juststrings.com lists the tension for a lot of the strings they carry.
There are tons of variables that play into tension, or at least perceived tension. bridge type, tail piece type, pliability or rigidity of the neck(not necessary the species of wood, but each individual piece of wood; i.e. one piece of maple may be stiff while another piece of maple is more pliable).
As for flatwounds, Thomastiks are the only ones I've ever liked. I don't care for the sound or feel of GHS or Chromes at all, but that's all subjective. Apparently, Thomastik and Pyramid are the only pure nickel flatwounds, all others are steel. That could be the big difference, but I've never tried Pyramids so I don't know for sure.
"How can string tension be different by brand? Isn't tension determined by only by scale length and string gauge??? "
Plain strings are pretty much the same, although the exact steel alloy can vary slightly, not enough to make a noticeable tension difference.
With wound strings, there are a lot of variations in the composition of the strings, this is why generic string calculators cannot give tension for wound strings without manufacturer's data.
The size of the core, the size of the windings, the shape of the core, the shape of the windings, the exact metals used (steel, nickel, bronze, silver), whether there are intermediate layers (silk, etc)--so many factors can make the same gauge string have very different tension.
Then there is the consideration that perceived resistance to deflection (i.e., stiffness) is not the same as the the amount of force a string exerts. The former was the tradition definition of tension, used to determine a matched string set for hundreds of years. The "force" definition has only become popular in about the past 100 years, and a lot of people have come to the conclusion that it doesn't work as well as the old definition. In other words, if you put equal tension on all the strings, it doesn't feel or sound right.
D'addario has a pure nickel set, but I don't know if they have them in flats. Pyramid has nice flats, but the tension seems higher than comparable Thomastik strings. Very good strings, though, Pyramid is one of the best makers.
I've never tried LaBella's flatwounds, or any electric strings. Their classical strings are good, though.
I'll mention too that wound string tension is not linear, even by the same manufacturer.
I.e., if you took a .024w string and a .026w string, you cannot assume that .025 will be the average of their tensions.
This is partly because increases in core size and winding size happen at fixed sizes (not increasing uniformly), so some sizes are created by a larger core and smaller windings, others by a smaller core and larger windings. The choices that different manufacturers make for this adds another layer of unpredictability.
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