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Thread: Will this string thing never end?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Colfax, CA
    Posts
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    Default Will this string thing never end?

    Been running Living Water strings on both my Pono ATDC and my MP mango with cedar top. Wonderful balance and warm tone from both instruments. The Pono seems a bit warmer while the MP is a bit more articulate.

    Then I read about the new Southcoast ML-SW sets. I had used a set of Southcoast ML-RW strings and liked them but the Living Waters seemed to maybe be a little more balanced from string to string (might have also been my imagination).

    So, I ordered a set of the new ML-SWs and put them on the MP last night. Immediately, the cedar top moved to a new level. It seemed like the new strings had energized the soundboard in a way that was different from any string I had tried up to this point.

    Still warm and balanced (maybe even more so than the ML-RWs), but the main difference is how the tonal quality that attracted me to a cedar top in the first place has been enhanced. The sound is both full and articulate. Barre chords sound and feel more distinct. The overall effect is that the MP sounds like it has a preamp added to a passive pickup (even though it has no pickup, in the first place). These strings seem to really like cedar tops.

    But, here's the hard part. I don't necessarily prefer these strings over the Living Waters in much the same way that I don't prefer the Living Waters over the Southcoast ML-SWs. They sound different, but not "better" than the other. I very much like both sounds. The Southcoasts also seem to have a bit more tension which adds to my fingerpicking style. But, even that distinction is slight.

    For now, the hot setup seems to be LWs on the Pono all acacia tenor and Southcoasts on the cedar top/mango back and sides MP. I would like to think that I can now stop swapping out strings (until further notice).
    MP Mango Cedar Tenor
    Pono ATDC Acacia Cutaway Tenor
    Pono TE-2 Chambered Acacia Spruce Tenor
    Dupont D Hole Koa Spruce Cutaway Tenor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NorCal 916
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    Default

    I think as your playing develops/progresses, you'll be more apt to try different strings to extract that sound. For the time being, you seem satisfied using what you have and till something new comes along, I'd just stay with what sounds good to you. String sets will continue to evolve with folks like Dirk who are constantly trying different materials and combinations.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Windsor, VT USA
    Posts
    491

    Default

    I'm going to have to try one of these linear sets at some point, I assume you play the chords the same way? It's not a different tuning?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Colfax, CA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
    I'm going to have to try one of these linear sets at some point, I assume you play the chords the same way? It's not a different tuning?
    Yep, standard low g.
    MP Mango Cedar Tenor
    Pono ATDC Acacia Cutaway Tenor
    Pono TE-2 Chambered Acacia Spruce Tenor
    Dupont D Hole Koa Spruce Cutaway Tenor

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NorCal 916
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    Default

    The Linear sets are commonly referred to as we know them, low g. Maybe this page will explain it better . . . http://www.southcoastukes.com/string%20sets.htm

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Eindhoven, the Netherlands
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bborzell View Post
    Been running Living Water strings on both my Pono ATDC and my MP mango with cedar top. Wonderful balance and warm tone from both instruments. The Pono seems a bit warmer while the MP is a bit more articulate.

    Then I read about the new Southcoast ML-SW sets.
    Stop reading.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Windsor, VT USA
    Posts
    491

    Default

    Thanks guys, that's what I thought. I play low-g and it sounded like that was what "linear" meant.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cerritos, CA
    Posts
    5,200

    Default

    Yeah, string choice is personal so I would stop experimenting once you find a set you like. I liked the RW but had no choice once they were discontinued...Dirk did a good job.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Colfax, CA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney. View Post
    Stop reading.
    If I did I'd have to burn my autographed copy of "Fahrenheit 451"
    MP Mango Cedar Tenor
    Pono ATDC Acacia Cutaway Tenor
    Pono TE-2 Chambered Acacia Spruce Tenor
    Dupont D Hole Koa Spruce Cutaway Tenor

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bborzell View Post
    If I did I'd have to burn my autographed copy of "Fahrenheit 451"
    Good line! May have to steal that one.

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