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There seems to be two schools of thought on the 12-string:


1. Those who string them heavy and tune them low
2. Those who use really light strings and tune to concert pitch

I am of the first catagory. I detail my string set up on my blog so I won't rehash it here.

What's your pleasure?

Views: 279

Replies to This Discussion

I agree. I use Elixir Lights on my Taylor 355 and use standard concert tuning. Sounds great.... too bad Taylor only made a couple of hundred of them before Bob Taylor expressed his ongoing creativity by eliminating this relatively affordable treasure!
I must confess that I have never even tried heavier strings on my own, though I've friends who have and I believe they would all agree with your #s 1 and 2.
Taylor actually still makes lots of jumbo 12's. It's just that they now come with cutaways and pickups, unless they're special ordered. And I would think that there were more than a couple of hundred 355's made, as the model was in the line for several years. Mine was made in 2000 (it's pre-NT neck), and I've seen lots of them for sale used. I agree though, they're a great value!

David Reinstein said:
I agree. I use Elixir Lights on my Taylor 355 and use standard concert tuning. Sounds great.... too bad Taylor only made a couple of hundred of them before Bob Taylor expressed his ongoing creativity by eliminating this relatively affordable treasure!
I must confess that I have never even tried heavier strings on my own, though I've friends who have and I believe they would all agree with your #s 1 and 2.
While it's not a Jumbo, the GA3-12 is actually pretty close to what my old 355 went for when I bought it. These days, I would gravitate to something slightly smaller anyway. I preferred the black binding on the 355 to the current white binding on the GA3-12.

Sometimes I wish I had kept that 355, but it went to a good home and I still have access to it.
Regular light guage light strings tuned to pitch
I use lights, D'Addario. I like my A at 440. I have a Taylor 355CE thats a real boomer. Meaning that it is acoustically louder than most other guitars that I jam with.

I've tried and liked some of the coated strings available, but they're to pricey to experiment with. I change strings on a whim when I get tired of the sound. Some sets didn't even make a week, so, cost is a factor.

I wonder what the trade off is for the extra life of the coated strings? Are they harder and wear better than regulars? Inversely causing extra wear on the frets perhaps?
Actually, my impression of coated strings was that the tone resembled the tone of 80/20's that had been played in for a few hours, but they hold that sound for weeks. I don't think that they would be any harder on the guitar itself.

I personally didn't like them because:

*They tended to get fuzzy (literally) as the coating wore off
*They just felt too slick under my fingers

Lots of folks like them and use them, so Viva la difference!
I tried them, coated strings, on a 6 string once and have never liked them. I use a bunch of different strings for the different instruments I play out...I use Martin "Bluegrass" medium-lights on my 2 Gibson acoustics, I use a custom set I put toghether from Juststrings.com for my Guild 6 string which is tuned a whole step down, I use lights on my Martin D-28, extra lights on my 1936 dobro which is old an fragile, I use a custom set for my 8 string guitar, and on and on...it's a string nightmare, but it's worth it...and I love it, it's part of the fun and challenge of being satisfied with my sound! Also, it IS expensive, especially since I travel with so many instruments, but I buy strings in bulk and change them every other show...I just see it as part of the package...plus, like all other supplies I use in playing music, tax deductable for me!!! But, I agree with John, difference is what makes the world go round, and I wouldn't want it any other way!
Edward
http://mysite.verizon.net/emsparks/index.htm
Two great sources for bulk strings:
Strings By Mail
StringThis

I buy a medium set (.013-.056) for the primary set and use the first four strings from a light set (.012-.054) for the octaves. Tuned down three half steps, it is about the same tension as a regular extra-light (.010-.047) 12-string set tuned to pitch.
I've always used lights (D'Addario J-38s for years), but I tend to tune a step low. Saves my voice, which isn't as tenor as it used to be. When I lived near Boston, the humidity caused periodic problems with the bridge of my D-12-35 (no, not a Guild!) lifting and having to be reglued, so that's another reason. Now that we're in NH, I haven't had the problem (22 years) and I can tune to concert pitch when necessary. I don't generally capo because I like to use all 12 frets as I work alongside my wife's classical.

Until I joined this group 2 days ago, the only other 12-string player I knew was back in college so I haven't experimented with heavier strings. Yet. But I find I don't like the coated strings. Just tried a set of D'Addario EXPs. I liked the sound at first, but they went dead very quickly. I tried some Elixirs on my beater Yamaha 6 string when they first came out and noticed the same thing. Thought it was the guitar, but apparently not. Can't afford to change strings every week. I'm having the frets on the Martin dressed now, prior to going into the studio, and I'm going back to the J-38s that I know.
Used to be type 1. Now that I'm older, I'm more of a 2. I have one tuned to concert pitch and one tuned low.
Steve Kline said:
Used to be type 1. Now that I'm older, I'm more of a 2. I have one tuned to concert pitch and one tuned low.

I missed something along the wya...what does the "1" and "2" mean?
Thanks, Edward
http://mysite.verizon.net/emsparks/index.htm
Edward Sparks said:
Steve Kline said:
Used to be type 1. Now that I'm older, I'm more of a 2. I have one tuned to concert pitch and one tuned low.

I missed something along the wya...what does the "1" and "2" mean?
Thanks, Edward
http://mysite.verizon.net/emsparks/index.htm

My guess is that he is referring to:

1. Those who string them heavy and tune them low
2. Those who use really light strings and tune to concert pitch

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