Classical all-5ths gauges

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by rockskate4x, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    Hello, all. I'm one of the guys that posts walls of text to answer questions on string gauge in the standard/7/extended range/bass sections of the forum, thanks to being too comfortable with and quite addicted to Ishan's handy downloadable string gauge calculator. I've been quite satisfied with the sets that I've been able to put on most of my guitars for a wide range of tunings and playing styles. However, it turns out that i don't know from a rat's patootie when it comes to alternate gauges for classical guitar strings or even where to source them :lol:. I would like help with finding good gauges for E4 A3 D3 G2 C2 F1 for my 650 mm scale length classical. It's been fun trying A3 D3 G2 C2 on the bottom four strings of that guitar, since it is the same as a cello, so i'd like to go a step further extend a 5th lower and a 5th higher, instead of having a weird hybrid guitar top/cello bottom. Thank you for your help!
     
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  2. Baelzebeard

    Baelzebeard Grinder of strings

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    I can't help you choose gauges for nylon, but Labella has the build your own sets for nylon too, and they go up to pretty big gauges. Good luck.
     
  3. InfinityCollision

    InfinityCollision SS.org Regular

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    F1 is somewhat difficult, but not impossible. A La Bella .080 would probably do the trick, maybe a .075. Several companies make strings for "bass" classical guitars (700-750 mm scale typically), you should be able to order singles from those sets as well.

    Classical is a little weird for string sets since volume balance between strings needs to be kept in mind, so you may have to play around with it for a while.
     
  4. All_¥our_Bass

    All_¥our_Bass Deathly Chuuni

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    A better idea would be to lose the lowest string, and tune (low-high) either CGDAE or DAEBF#.
     
  5. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    I had considered this, I really want to have all 5ths with unaltered cello/octave violin pitches, so, I'm left with two choices. Either B4 E4 A3 D3 G2 C2, or E4 A3 D3 G2 C2 F1. This only leaves one choice, really because that B4 string is impossibly high on 650mm. F1 isn't impossibly low. It just won't sound as good as it would on a longer scale.

    Alternatively I could also do Robert Fripp's new standard tuning G4 E4 A3 D3 G2 C2. This of course breaks the all 5th's pattern for that high G4 but it seems to have been useful for a lot of people.
     
  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Give me a moment :)
     
  7. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Calculator: String Tension
    Frequencies: Circle K Strings - Gauges and Tension
    Weights: http://www.daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf Refer to sections "Silverplated Copper Wound on Nylon" and "Rectified Clear Nylon".

    I suggest progressive tension of 10lbs treble to 15lbs lows, that would lead to:
    .022
    .033
    .025w
    .034w
    .050w
    And whilst I do not know it's exact weight, indeed LaBellas WS070 to WS080 range (likely the 80) would serve quite well for the low end from my experience.

    The above strings can be sourced from here
    D'Addario Strings : Classical Singles : Classics Basses
    D'Addario Strings : Classical Singles : Classics Trebles

    Though if you are going to be buying the bottom from LaBella you may as well get the whole set from their rectified treble and WS (wound silver) nylon range - the tensions are going to be similar :)
     
  8. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Do you have the info to calculate a set that's closer to a typical Hard or Extra-Hard set? Or did you run into limitations due to string gauges?

    Ray

    EDIT: Added Tags:
     
  9. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I would just input the gauges for a set that you like if you want to see what tension it is (or just look on the spreadsheet as it lists tunings there - though I've found D'addario have actually made a fair few mistakes compared to what the tension formula turns up with the supplied string weights..). Light is generally around 10 and hard is generally around 15 :) So without calculating (I have to go out right now) probably change to 26w 34 23 on the top for a bit more treble tension.
    Oh and don't blindly copy paste from the D'addario tension sheet - might just be me but it seems to leave a bunch of the decimals off which affects the tension greatly
     
  10. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    :facepalm:

    I've been using Ishan's or the original BangZero calculators, which I don't have access to add additional string data. Didn't think of going "primitive" with a spreadsheet.

    Ray
     
  11. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    This was pretty much exactly my problem, haha. Thank you so much ethereal! While I'm still on the fence, I'm guessing from the d'addario chart that if I were to decide to do NST with a high G4 I would do an 18 or 19 like the following?

    18 22 33 25w 34w 50w 80w
     
  12. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Yep that's right! I've tested strings in the 18-20 (I believe LaBella also do a 17) range extensively over the last year and am now using an 18 for a G#.
    All of them will make and hold G safely - I would opt for perhaps slightly heavier tension on that string in favor of tone (i.e. the 19s or 20s are going to sound better than the 18 in my experience).
    Breakage really shouldn't be an issue, though I found with a G# over a period of time the initial 90 degree bend off of the tuner hole became a breaking point, so I took a knife and carved a 45 degree bevel around the tuner hole. G will be totally fine long term I'm sure - just something to look out for if you do have any issue.
     
  13. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    I only have one classical guitar ATM so I'm hesitant to jump to anything non-standard tuning just yet, but if I decide to take the plunge I'll let y'all know. Best part of this is that now I know what to do in case I have any other crazy tuning ideas :nuts: Thank you so much everybody :shred:
     
  14. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    Years later and I am necrobumping this to report that I suddenly remembered my forgotten desire to try all 5ths or NST on a classical with better gauges. Ordered 19p 22p 33p 25w 34w 50w d'addario classical singles and trebles (going with the high G rather than the low F). Will update. Stay tuned! :hbang:
     
  15. Stan P

    Stan P SS.org Regular

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    From Entering the 5th Dimension

    "C based 5th tuned Classical (Nylon string) Guitars:
    This is my favorites of the acoustics, because little to no modification is needed on the instrument, and you get to use 17LB test fishing line for the extremely high B string.

    You can use LaBella 2001 Series Flamenco strings from Just strings.com

    C [ 2 steps below a Guitar's low E string ] La Bella 2001 Series Flamenco Heavy Tension E, 2006F-H
    G [ 1 steps below a Guitar's A string ] La Bella 2001 Series Flamenco Medium Tension A, 2005F-M
    D [ Same as a Guitar's D string ] La Bella 2001 Series Flamenco Light Tension D, 2004F-L
    A [ 1 steps above a Guitar's G string ] La Bella 2001 Series Flamenco Light Tension G, 2003F-L
    E [ Same as a Guitar's E string ] La Bella 2001 Series Flamenco Light Tension E, 2001F-L
    B [ Way higher then any string should go! ] *17LB test monofilament fishing-line works very well

    *So far; this is the best material/weight I have been able to find, but please feel free to experiment with different brands and weights... It constantly needs tuning, until it finally stretches into place.
    Please be sure to tune up to pitch very slowly; just give the string time to get used to this very high tension, or it will not last very long or stay in tune very well.
    Also: I have been whipped quite hard by the high B string snapping; in one case it even drew blood, so be careful!


    For a more correct intonation, you might need your bridge slot re-routed for a slightly wider saddle...However, I didn't need to do this on my instrument, because most of the strings used are the same strings you would normally use on a classical guitar, but the High B string may need some intonation modification.

    Please let me know what you think of this tuning on your classical guitar!"
     
  16. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    ^^^ Awesome information from a great musician and builder!

    Updates:
    I got the package from D'addario. I am really enjoying the tension and tone on all the strings. The .019 for G4 is very clear and has good projection without sounding too brittle. I would like to try a .020 for a slightly warmer tone but EE's work tells me this may not be a safe tension. I am waiting to see how the tone settles in the coming days. The middle strings all seem similar to the tone and tension that i am already accustomed to from a set of D'addario classics for standard tuning, but just a touch lighter and brighter, which is not at all an unwelcome change. The .050 for C2 is a touch less bright than the other strings, but it is not lacking in focus or clarity. It has a very pleasant depth and warmth. I am putting the bass strings through their paces with what little I can remember of the prelude from bach's cello suite no. 1. I would like to be making more use of the treble strings. I am thinking they present more economical options for transposing cello pieces with frequent lateral position shifts.

    Until next time... :shred:
     

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