Flatwound strings?

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djimgo
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Flatwound strings?

Post by djimgo »

Anyone ever try flatwound strings on their Selmac? How'd it play, sound, etc.?

Just curious....
"I play music, because it allows me to dream out loud."--Michael Hedges
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nwilkins
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Post by nwilkins »

i haven't done it, mainly because it is said that selmer style guitars are generally too lightly constructed to be able to withstand the high tension of flatwounds.

Regardless of whether or not this is true, they would no doubt sound bad for lead playing, as they would seriously dull the sound of the guitar. However, I know for a fact that they produce a nice big fat sound for rhythm, as I have seen Titi Bamberger (one of the very best rhythm guitarists in this style) play with flatwound 13s on his selmer style. Unless you are, like Titi, strictly a rhythm player, I wouldn't recommend it.

Nick
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djangology
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Post by djangology »

Titi mus have been playing a short scale 12-fret to the body guitar. if you put bronze .13's on a 14-fret to the body guitar it would create over 170lbs+ of pressure (a bad idea I think) when around 133 is the highest it would normally go... but on a short scale where 110lbs is normal, the .13's would only create around 140lbs of pressure, which a Macaferri could handle probably...

I was playing with the string tension calculator. Consider this data or recalculate your own:

A bluegrass guitar with bronzewound strings (scale length 25.5 inches):
E, .012" PL == 23.35# ( 0.0057gm/cm 329.6hz )
B, .016" PL == 23.3# ( 0.0101gm/cm 246.9hz )
G, .024" PB == 30.24# ( 0.0209gm/cm 196.0hz )
D, .032" PB == 30.53# ( 0.0375gm/cm 146.8hz )
A, .042" PB == 29.94# ( 0.0656gm/cm 110.0hz )
E, .053" PB == 26.06# ( 0.1017gm/cm 82.4hz )
total == 163.42 pounds

A gypsy guitar with medium Argentines (scale length 26.3):
E, .011" PL == 20.87# ( 0.0048gm/cm 329.6hz )
B, .015" PL == 21.78# ( 0.0089gm/cm 246.9hz )
G, .023" XS == 27.3# ( 0.0177gm/cm 196.0hz )
D, .029" XS == 24.32# ( 0.0281gm/cm 146.8hz )
A, .037" XS == 21.46# ( 0.0442gm/cm 110.0hz )
E, .046" XS == 18.23# ( 0.0669gm/cm 82.4hz )
total == 133.95 pounds

A gypsy guitar with light Argentines (scale length 26.3 inches):
E, .010" PL == 17.25# ( 0.0040gm/cm 329.6hz )
B, .014" PL == 18.98# ( 0.0078gm/cm 246.9hz )
G, .022" XS == 25.02# ( 0.0162gm/cm 196.0hz )
D, .028" XS == 22.36# ( 0.0258gm/cm 146.8hz )
A, .036" XS == 20.41# ( 0.042gm/cm 110.0hz )
E, .045" XS == 17.52# ( 0.0643gm/cm 82.4hz )
total == 121.54 pounds

And finally, a D hole with light Argentines and a short scale length of 25.2:
E, .010" PL == 15.84# ( 0.0040gm/cm 329.6hz )
B, .014" PL == 17.42# ( 0.0078gm/cm 246.9hz )
G, .022" XS == 22.97# ( 0.0162gm/cm 196.0hz )
D, .028" XS == 20.53# ( 0.0258gm/cm 146.8hz )
A, .036" XS == 18.74# ( 0.042gm/cm 110.0hz )
E, .045" XS == 16.09# ( 0.0643gm/cm 82.4hz )
total == 111.59 pounds
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pmh425
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Post by pmh425 »

Pyramid has light gauge flats , 10's (the gold set), with both a plain and wound G. Wonderful strings on a hollow electric and last as well. Might be an interesting experiment.

-Peter
nuages
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Post by nuages »

Hello djimgo,

I put a set of ultra light 10-46 phospher bronze strings on my Gitane 250M for a couple of weeks once. I was a little worried about the tension issue but didn't have a problem. I was surprised they sounded as good as they did. I don't think I'd go any larger than the 10's though.

Take care,
Jim
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nwilkins
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Post by nwilkins »

no, Titi was playing a 14 fret oval hole - maybe a Favino?
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djangology
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Post by djangology »

you can't stop people from experimenting regardless of the millions of hours of testing that previous generations of gypsy jazz players have put in...
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Campus Five
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Post by Campus Five »

It's funny - I was thinking when I saw the first post, "Why the hell would you want to plut flats on a mac?" Seems completely contrary to the whole vibe and spirit of the instrument.

Now I guess there's precedent.
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pmh425
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Post by pmh425 »

Campus Five wrote:It's funny - I was thinking when I saw the first post, "Why the hell would you want to plut flats on a mac?" Seems completely contrary to the whole vibe and spirit of the instrument.

Now I guess there's precedent.
I just think it would be intresting, nothing more. I have played on Flatwound Classical strings in the past and was quite suprised how lively and rich sounding they were.
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djimgo
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Post by djimgo »

the reason i asked was this...

i have galli strings on there. my G string didn't last 2-3 weeks. the winding has broken over each fret (3-15) and is starting to unwrap. the A string is starting to sound dead as well. i play 1-2 hours a day. surely strings should last longer than this. or are galli strings utter crap?

maybe it's me. i was wondering if flatwounds would last longer.
"I play music, because it allows me to dream out loud."--Michael Hedges
frater
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Post by frater »

I'm afraid my English won't help me with this, but I'll try anyway. You've got to check if the notch (I don't know the correct term for this) where the string passes both on the saddle and the bone nut is wide enough. If not, it will stress the string when you're winding it, causing it to sound dull, buzz and eventually fall apart in few weeks.

Hope this helps, it certainly did with my Gitanes!

Best

F

P.S.

E, .010" PL == 15.84# ( 0.0040gm/cm 329.6hz )
B, .014" PL == 17.42# ( 0.0078gm/cm 246.9hz )
G, .022" XS == 22.97# ( 0.0162gm/cm 196.0hz )
D, .028" XS == 20.53# ( 0.0258gm/cm 146.8hz )
A, .036" XS == 18.74# ( 0.042gm/cm 110.0hz )
E, .045" XS == 16.09# ( 0.0643gm/cm 82.4hz )


That's from the new Dan Brown's novel "The D'Addario Code", ain't it?
:D
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blindbluesandjazz
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Post by blindbluesandjazz »

I still maintain: Flatwounds do not improve the sound of ANY guitar.
Colin Perry
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djangology
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Post by djangology »

i agree, and I will add that if you are having trouble with strings getting cut/unwound, then maybe the frets need to be smoothed a bit? i never had problems with strings and not with any of the brands either...
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justjack
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Post by justjack »

djimgo wrote:the reason i asked was this...

i have galli strings on there. my G string didn't last 2-3 weeks. the winding has broken over each fret (3-15) and is starting to unwrap. the A string is starting to sound dead as well. i play 1-2 hours a day. surely strings should last longer than this. or are galli strings utter crap?

maybe it's me. i was wondering if flatwounds would last longer.
I'm not sure how long you've been playing with what we think of 'gypsy jazz' strings, but thought it worth mentioning that they don't last as long as 'regular' strings, simply because the materials are softer. Two hours a day for three weeks doesn't seem too soon to change from my experience. I've had to change them after just a weekend full of gigs. It's too bad considering they generally cost as much as or more than standard sets (am I the only one who saves his used Argentines for emergency string replacement?), but in the long run it's worth it.

Best,
Jack.
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djimgo
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Post by djimgo »

justjack wrote:
djimgo wrote:the reason i asked was this...

i have galli strings on there. my G string didn't last 2-3 weeks. the winding has broken over each fret (3-15) and is starting to unwrap. the A string is starting to sound dead as well. i play 1-2 hours a day. surely strings should last longer than this. or are galli strings utter crap?

maybe it's me. i was wondering if flatwounds would last longer.
I'm not sure how long you've been playing with what we think of 'gypsy jazz' strings, but thought it worth mentioning that they don't last as long as 'regular' strings, simply because the materials are softer. Two hours a day for three weeks doesn't seem too soon to change from my experience. I've had to change them after just a weekend full of gigs. It's too bad considering they generally cost as much as or more than standard sets (am I the only one who saves his used Argentines for emergency string replacement?), but in the long run it's worth it.

Best,
Jack.
thanks for that answer. as a newbie to gj, i thought it odd that they would die so quickly.
"I play music, because it allows me to dream out loud."--Michael Hedges
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