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View Full Version : Classical Guitar Strings on a 6 and 8 string tenor



danged
06-08-2009, 07:27 PM
I've recently installed Guitar strings, D'addario NYL028W (low G) and Savarez Classical guitar strings, 543R (C), 542R(E) and 541R(A), and I like the way they sound, I've tried Aquillas, Ko'olau Golds and Hilos and I like this set up the best. Can anyone tell me what strings to use in a 6 (low G) and 8 string tenor?:confused:

Kekani
06-11-2009, 02:11 PM
This is where Mike from Alternate Tunings would specialize.

Easiest for a low g 6 (which is usually high G in Lili`u tuning) is to get a Ko`olau set - John tunes his 6 with a low g, not sure about his 8 though.

Bottom line is this, on a doubled up course, there's two ways I look at when converting Classical strings - tune up a normal tension string (for a high tension set), or tune down a high tension string (for a normal tension set). In D'Addario's case for their J71 Tenor set, they took the hard tension J46 strings for 1-3, and an extra hard tension string (J4401) and used it for the high G string (essentially tuning it "down" to G)

First off, you use normal tension strings, and I use high tension strings. If I were to string a 6 or 8, it would be a variant of D'Addario's Pro Arte high G set, with different tension strings mixed in.

For Savarez 8:
541J x2
542J x2
543J and 541R (high C)
544J and 542R (high G)

The 6 would have the same "core" strings, with a 544R for the low a, and the same 541R for the high C.

D'Addario sets would be the same theory, using their J46 and J45 strings (or J44 if you like). Of course, I use the J50 as the core with J49 mixed in because I normally prefer D'Addario's black nylon to their clear, again, depending on the instrument. Then again, I have been known to throw on normal tension strings on the doubled up course on my 6 when I feel like sacrificing action for a softer string (usually not, though). But, the T series is my favorite, right now.

Clear as mud? Just my (more than) $.02 - Aaron

gp-ak
06-11-2009, 02:15 PM
Thanks for that info on the six, heres another question on the subject of guitar strings.

I have a baritone that I want to tune dGBE with a re-entrant 4th, what sort of strings do you think could accomplish that?

Kanaka916
06-11-2009, 02:22 PM
Mahaloz Aaron fo da info on 6 and 8 strings . . .

danged
06-11-2009, 05:50 PM
This is where Mike from Alternate Tunings would specialize.

Easiest for a low g 6 (which is usually high G in Lili`u tuning) is to get a Ko`olau


Much Mahaloz for the info. Both the Ko'olau 6 & 8 are low G, which I prefer but the Saverez sound, and feel mo beta. When I use the Gold's on the 8, I tend to pop the high A every 2-3 weeks.:wallbash: I checked to make sure the nut wasn't to tight and causing the problem. I'm going to try both tensions and go with your advise. Thanks for your kokua...lataz.

wearymicrobe
06-12-2009, 03:39 AM
This is where Mike from Alternate Tunings would specialize.

Easiest for a low g 6 (which is usually high G in Lili`u tuning) is to get a Ko`olau set - John tunes his 6 with a low g, not sure about his 8 though.

For Savarez 8:
541J x2
542J x2
543J and 541R (high C)
544J and 542R (high G)

The 6 would have the same "core" strings, with a 544R for the low a, and the same 541R for the high C.

D'Addario sets would be the same theory, using their J46 and J45 strings (or J44 if you like). Of course, I use the J50 as the core with J49 mixed in because I normally prefer D'Addario's black nylon to their clear, again, depending on the instrument. Then again, I have been known to throw on normal tension strings on the doubled up course on my 6 when I feel like sacrificing action for a softer string (usually not, though). But, the T series is my favorite, right now.

Clear as mud? Just my (more than) $.02 - Aaron



I will add this little tidbit, at least for me high tension strings and a 8 string do not mix. Barring a chord below the third fret is very difficult and and you will need some hand strength and some time to adjust. 6 strings because of the layout are much easier in the grand scheme of things for me.

Also if you like a higher pitched or thinner tone like I do with a 6 string a set of black worth's would be a good starting point.

rainbowprof
06-18-2009, 08:16 PM
I will add this little tidbit, at least for me high tension strings and a 8 string do not mix. Barring a chord below the third fret is very difficult and and you will need some hand strength and some time to adjust. 6 strings because of the layout are much easier in the grand scheme of things for me.

Also if you like a higher pitched or thinner tone like I do with a 6 string a set of black worth's would be a good starting point.

That's an excellent point. I'm finding the barre chords a bit trying on my pono pkt8. Also the Koolou golds just wear out way too quickly for my liking. I wanna try the savarez alliance standard tension set.:)

danged
06-18-2009, 08:31 PM
That's an excellent point. I'm finding the barre chords a bit trying on my pono pkt8. Also the Koolou golds just wear out way too quickly for my liking. I wanna try the savarez alliance standard tension set.:)

I'm using the saverez on my PKT2E and love them. I haven't got around to order the Saverez for my 8 string yet, but I already know it will sound even better than the Golds. I've tried the Aquillas, and really don't care for the sound coming from them, just didn't match the Uke, sounded too much like a banjo.

rainbowprof
06-18-2009, 08:34 PM
This is where Mike from Alternate Tunings would specialize.

Easiest for a low g 6 (which is usually high G in Lili`u tuning) is to get a Ko`olau set - John tunes his 6 with a low g, not sure about his 8 though.

Bottom line is this, on a doubled up course, there's two ways I look at when converting Classical strings - tune up a normal tension string (for a high tension set), or tune down a high tension string (for a normal tension set). In D'Addario's case for their J71 Tenor set, they took the hard tension J46 strings for 1-3, and an extra hard tension string (J4401) and used it for the high G string (essentially tuning it "down" to G)

First off, you use normal tension strings, and I use high tension strings. If I were to string a 6 or 8, it would be a variant of D'Addario's Pro Arte high G set, with different tension strings mixed in.

For Savarez 8:
541J x2
542J x2
543J and 541R (high C)
544J and 542R (high G)

The 6 would have the same "core" strings, with a 544R for the low a, and the same 541R for the high C.

D'Addario sets would be the same theory, using their J46 and J45 strings (or J44 if you like). Of course, I use the J50 as the core with J49 mixed in because I normally prefer D'Addario's black nylon to their clear, again, depending on the instrument. Then again, I have been known to throw on normal tension strings on the doubled up course on my 6 when I feel like sacrificing action for a softer string (usually not, though). But, the T series is my favorite, right now.

Clear as mud? Just my (more than) $.02 - Aaron

So if I wanted to just buy a set, would any of these 3 sets be okay from
http://www.juststrings.com/savarezclassicalguitaralliance.html :

SAV_540ARJ Savarez Classical Normal KF Trebles/High Tension Classic Basses, 540ARJ $14.86



SAV_540J Classical Alliance High Tension Set, .025 - .044, Blue Card, Plain KF Treble/Alliance Wound Bass, 540J $14.86



SAV_540R Classical Alliance Standard Tension Set, .024 - .042, Red Card, Plain KF Treble/Alliance Wound Bass, 540R $14.86

So, to simplify it as I'm no expert, maybe a single set would be a good starting pont. I'm hoping the normal tension will suit...

Additionally these same strings could be used on soprano and concert ukes, could they not?

Danged, did you buy a set or single strings? If online, where?

wearymicrobe
06-19-2009, 05:00 AM
That's an excellent point. I'm finding the barre chords a bit trying on my pono pkt8. Also the Koolou golds just wear out way too quickly for my liking. I wanna try the savarez alliance standard tension set.:)

You got to have a heck of a strum to wear out Ko'olau golds. I play with classical guitar length fingernails and never have even nicked them. I destroy Aquila's though on the 6 string.

rainbowprof
06-20-2009, 08:37 PM
You got to have a heck of a strum to wear out Ko'olau golds. I play with classical guitar length fingernails and never have even nicked them. I destroy Aquila's though on the 6 string.

Strange you would say that. I mostly pick. It's just the bass g- the winding is marked and worn through. I wonder if I got a bad set. My nails are like you described. I asked John Kitakis of Koolou/Pono about it and he described these strings thus (sic):"we use the highest grade of strings on the market, made by and for the flaminco guitar industry in Argentina. But the down side is that, although very sensitive and responsive and rich toned, they are also very fragile. "

Kekani
06-20-2009, 09:38 PM
So if I wanted to just buy a set, would any of these 3 sets be okay from
http://www.juststrings.com/savarezclassicalguitaralliance.html :

SAV_540ARJ Savarez Classical Normal KF Trebles/High Tension Classic Basses, 540ARJ $14.86



SAV_540J Classical Alliance High Tension Set, .025 - .044, Blue Card, Plain KF Treble/Alliance Wound Bass, 540J $14.86



SAV_540R Classical Alliance Standard Tension Set, .024 - .042, Red Card, Plain KF Treble/Alliance Wound Bass, 540R $14.86

So, to simplify it as I'm no expert, maybe a single set would be a good starting pont. I'm hoping the normal tension will suit...

Additionally these same strings could be used on soprano and concert ukes, could they not?

Danged, did you buy a set or single strings? If online, where?

Why buy the whole set when you can buy singles of each string that you need?

As for using them on Standards and Concerts - the gauges should be smaller, although D'Addario repackaged their "normal tension" EJ45's as their Concert set, IIRC. Installing them on a Standard I would think would be a bit of a stretch.

I've been told recently why switching to Savarez is not as easy as say, D'Addario J46 series strings. Its similar to switching to D'Addario's Titaniums, both strings (T's and Alliance) are composite strings, and feel different from the nylon that everyone is used to. Oh well, better for those that know that the little secret is not mainstream.

-Aaron

rainbowprof
06-20-2009, 11:26 PM
Why buy the whole set when you can buy singles of each string that you need?

As for using them on Standards and Concerts - the gauges should be smaller, although D'Addario repackaged their "normal tension" EJ45's as their Concert set, IIRC. Installing them on a Standard I would think would be a bit of a stretch.

I've been told recently why switching to Savarez is not as easy as say, D'Addario J46 series strings. Its similar to switching to D'Addario's Titaniums, both strings (T's and Alliance) are composite strings, and feel different from the nylon that everyone is used to. Oh well, better for those that know that the little secret is not mainstream.

-Aaron
Interesting. In another thread it was mentioned that 1 guitar string is long enough to make 2 uke strings- a tenor and a soprano/ concert.:confused:

rainbowprof
06-20-2009, 11:41 PM
This is where Mike from Alternate Tunings would specialize.

Easiest for a low g 6 (which is usually high G in Lili`u tuning) is to get a Ko`olau set - John tunes his 6 with a low g, not sure about his 8 though.

Bottom line is this, on a doubled up course, there's two ways I look at when converting Classical strings - tune up a normal tension string (for a high tension set), or tune down a high tension string (for a normal tension set). In D'Addario's case for their J71 Tenor set, they took the hard tension J46 strings for 1-3, and an extra hard tension string (J4401) and used it for the high G string (essentially tuning it "down" to G)

First off, you use normal tension strings, and I use high tension strings. If I were to string a 6 or 8, it would be a variant of D'Addario's Pro Arte high G set, with different tension strings mixed in.

For Savarez 8:
541J x2
542J x2
543J and 541R (high C)
544J and 542R (high G)

The 6 would have the same "core" strings, with a 544R for the low a, and the same 541R for the high C.

D'Addario sets would be the same theory, using their J46 and J45 strings (or J44 if you like). Of course, I use the J50 as the core with J49 mixed in because I normally prefer D'Addario's black nylon to their clear, again, depending on the instrument. Then again, I have been known to throw on normal tension strings on the doubled up course on my 6 when I feel like sacrificing action for a softer string (usually not, though). But, the T series is my favorite, right now.

Clear as mud? Just my (more than) $.02 - Aaron

I'm afraid I'm not clear what you mean to tune down the high tension set. You're using a guitar E string that needs to be tuned up a 4th aren't you?:confused:

danged
06-21-2009, 08:16 AM
Danged, did you buy a set or single strings? If online, where?

-Aaron

I ordered individual Savarez strings from strings by mail.com, this is the first time I've ordered from them, I have previously ordered strings from Just strings.com. I also ordered some other things along with the strings (a little less) and the shipping charge is only $4 from strings by mail.

Kekani
06-21-2009, 09:23 AM
Interesting. In another thread it was mentioned that 1 guitar string is long enough to make 2 uke strings- a tenor and a soprano/ concert.:confused:

Yes, its probably long enough. Not sure what's so confusing though, we're talking about 2 different scale lengths (usually Standards and Concerts can use the same strings, which will differ from Tenors), so its understood that the gauges on the Tenor's longer scale will be thicker (if we're talking same brand of strings, in the same tensions). If I bought 8 tires for the price of 4, same tire, and I have a car and truck with 17" rims, my 70 series will be much taller than the car's 50 series. It'll fit, buy why do it?


I'm afraid I'm not clear what you mean to tune down the high tension set. You're using a guitar E string that needs to be tuned up a 4th aren't you?:confused:

I'm going to say this before, and not after my post - this is just my opinion and my experience, and I may very well be wrong.

Given: Normal tension strings, and you're looking for a high G, you could:
1) take an extra 2nd string, and tune it up to G. Easy, but now I have the G strung at a higher tension.
2) take an extra 1st string, and tune it down to G. Easy, but now I have the G strung at a lower tension. This is what D'Addario does for their Concert Pro Arte.
3) take a light tension 2nd string, and tune it up to G. Should be closer in tension to the rest.
4) take a hard tension 1st string, and tune it down to a G. This is what D'Addario does for their Tenor Pro Arte.

There are people reading this post right now saying, "You guys are crazy, just buy `ukulele strings like Worth, D'Addario J71 etc, already packaged." Some are reading an trying to understand, and some know exactly what's going on, and why (although this may be just a few). Either way, this is fun stuff for guys like me. Why use classical guitar strings? Because they work better, for me. But, you gotta know how to use them when you start mixing and matching strings and tensions.


I ordered individual Savarez strings from strings by mail.com, this is the first time I've ordered from them, I have previously ordered strings from Just strings.com. I also ordered some other things along with the strings (a little less) and the shipping charge is only $4 from strings by mail.

Thanks to Laron, I order from them too.

-Aaron

danged
06-21-2009, 09:42 AM
Yes, its probably long enough. Not sure what's so confusing though, we're talking about 2 different scale lengths (usually Standards and Concerts can use the same strings, which will differ from Tenors), so its understood that the gauges on the Tenor's longer scale will be thicker (if we're talking same brand of strings, in the same tensions). If I bought 8 tires for the price of 4, same tire, and I have a car and truck with 17" rims, my 70 series will be much taller than the car's 50 series. It'll fit, buy why do it?

Way to educate everyone! And I agree with Aaron, the topic is "SOUND" I also prefer the sound that the classical guitar strings produce for me. I also like the feel of the Savarez composites, and when I plug my uke into an amp, the sound is super crisp and clean.

I'm not using guitar strings so I can save some $$$ by using one string for 2 different ukes. If I was looking to save money I would try to use Berkley Trilene or Stren. :eek:

uluapoundr
06-21-2009, 11:35 PM
Aaron,
Always good to hear your input on strings and yes, stringbymail.com is a better deal especially with the low shipping costs to Hawaii.

I'm still using my Savarez Alliance strings, have been for over 10 years. They are thinner than other brands, a bit on the bright side, but the clarity and sustain matches the sound I like and enhances my ukes.

There are a lot of good strings out there, and a lot of not so good strings out there. Funny how many will boast the strings they use to be the best, without even trying other strings. You find this type of misinformation on many forums, whether it be ukes, fishing, cars, there are always a few that will say the best is what I use. I won't say Savarez is the best, but after trying many strings, it suits me and my instruments.

Choosing strings is fun and educational. Checkout the classical guitar scene, those guys know the value of a good set of strings, you think Aaron get's technical, ha!

P.S. I'm still trying to gather my flourocarbon fishing line for a test run, instead of GCEA going be 25lb test, 80 lb test, 60 lb test, 15 lb test or something like that;).

rainbowprof
06-25-2009, 03:37 AM
Aaron,
Always good to hear your input on strings and yes, stringbymail.com is a better deal especially with the low shipping costs to Hawaii.

I'm still using my Savarez Alliance strings, have been for over 10 years. They are thinner than other brands, a bit on the bright side, but the clarity and sustain matches the sound I like and enhances my ukes.

There are a lot of good strings out there, and a lot of not so good strings out there. Funny how many will boast the strings they use to be the best, without even trying other strings. You find this type of misinformation on many forums, whether it be ukes, fishing, cars, there are always a few that will say the best is what I use. I won't say Savarez is the best, but after trying many strings, it suits me and my instruments.

Choosing strings is fun and educational. Checkout the classical guitar scene, those guys know the value of a good set of strings, you think Aaron get's technical, ha!

P.S. I'm still trying to gather my flourocarbon fishing line for a test run, instead of GCEA going be 25lb test, 80 lb test, 60 lb test, 15 lb test or something like that;).

So do you think those normal tension strings would be a go on an 8 string? Or mostly the j series?