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Still a very new newbie, but I do at least change my own strings. Been trying different strings out and would love some feedback from other Seagull owners about what you are using.

I'm playing an S-6 Original (Cedar top, laminate cherry sides/back) with a set of  D'Addario EJ Custom Lights. Like the tone and feel, but what do I know?

I've not tried coated strings yet.... opinions?

 

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I use Elixer Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Custom Lights on my Seagull Performer, and I like them. Great tone - very nice on all 3 guitars. When my friend got his S6 left, I put them on his guitar as well. When I changed the strings on my Aria (in preparation for possible sale) I used the same ones. Now I'll have to buy another 3 pack...
Haven't tried them on the classical yet...lol!

Personally, I'm not a fan of the coated strings. I've tried Elixers as well as the Martin ones too and I didn't like how the coating felt. However, this is totally a personal preference and I know many folks who have great success with the coated strings, so they're definitely worth a try. I have a Norman ST40 (which is very similar to the Seagull S6, as Norman is a member of the Godin family) which has a cedar top and mahogany back/sides, and I prefer to string it up with 80/20's and save the phosphor bronze for my other guitar (spruce/rosewood). Personally, I like either D'Addario's or John Pearse bluegrass stings. These strings have medium gauge strings for the bass strings (E, A, D) and lights for the high strings (G, B, e). I really like to accentuate the bass sound in whatever I play and find these stings are the perfect combo for rhythm while still allowing lighter stings for lead runs. So, in summary, I've found these to work best for my axes:

 

Norman (Cedar top): D'Addario EJ14 or John Pearse 250LM

Breedlove (Spruce top): D'Addario EJ19 or John Pearse 650LM

 

As with most things guitar, to each one's own, so I'd suggest trying out a bunch of brands and see what you like best.

On my S6 Folk Cedar, I started with Elixir NanoWeb Light 80/20s which I thought sounded pretty good.  When I took it in to have it properly set up, the tech suggested John Pearse 200L 80/20s because he said he's had great success with them and cedar topped guitars.  I do think they sound fuller with more "sparkle" and they cost less, although they may not last as long as the coated strings.

When you say "you took it to have it properly set up" what do you mean? I have a 30 year old Yamaha that i use at the camp. I read your comment and decided after 30 years i should take it in and get it "set up" The Luthier looked at me like i had grown another nose but kept it for 3 days and said she shaved down the bridge to lower the action. blah blah the action was fine in my opinion. I normally take good care of my guitars. I am just wondering if I am missing something?

Gary ... I've been satisfied with factory set-up on both my Seagull and my Martin.  Maybe there is an adjustment that could be made that would improve them, but I don't know what it would be.  I suppose that over a period of time, things could happen that would alter the playability, especially if the guitars were not properly cared for.  If you're still happy after 30 years, then I suppose it's possible that I'll never need to mess with my guitars.  :-)  On the other hand, the old neglected Harmony that I rescued has very high action and it would be much better if I would have it lowered, but the guitar isn't worth the cost of getting someone to do it.

Since it is the Harmony, you could practice and make these adjustments yourself!  Does it have an adjustable truss rod?  And saddle replacement is simple - perhaps filing it down a bit?

Or - like I did with the "high-quality" Windaroo - string it with folk nylons!  Especially if the action is "classical-like"...

Yeah, the truss rod adjustment along with new strings was the only thing that actually got it playable to begin with.  Unfortunately, the saddle is glued in place, otherwise, I'd have already done that bit of amateur luthiering myself.  I may work on breaking down the glue and getting it out, so that I can file it down.  I'm sure that would do the trick, but just getting the saddle loose is going to be time consuming and sort of delicate ... if that term can even be applied to sub-$100 guitar.  It's playable the way it is ... just has very high action.  With lowered action, it would almost be a pleasure to mess around with.  We'll see.
Sometimes, maybe most of the time, the factory settings are great.  In my case, the guitar was new to me and I found the action a bit high at the nut which made it more difficult to play and a couple of the higher frets had some rough edges.  I thought it worthwhile to have it checked out and adjusted more to my liking.
Agreed.  These would certainly be a personal preference sort of decisions.  If a condition is noticable and it bothers you, getting it corrected is essential.  I suppose what Gary was trying to ascertain was ... Is there a need to automatically have a guitar "set up" when you buy it?  I'm thinking that the individual owner would have to make that decision based on playing the guitar.
Set up is just a way of saying that some adjustments be made to the way a guitar plays.  I usually make these adjustments myself but a lot of people use a luthier to do this too.  If your guitar is set up to your liking then live by the old adage that "...if it aint broke don't fix it".  I only make adjustments to my guitars if the neck needs some adjustment due to humidity issues or a fret needs some attention to keep it from buzzing.  Usually a "set up" is something performed for a guitar new to someone.  Everyone has there own preference on how they want the guitar set up and most equate this to the action (height of the strings from fret board).  Some guitars have some funtional limits such as fret buzzing or intonation issues which can be addressed in a variety of ways but if you are not experienced at this then a luthier is a good option.  If you like your guitar don't take it in for any work; instead save your money and buy some accesories or music or some such.  Just my 2 cents.

Thanks y'all. I'm sure I'll be trying a variety of strings over the next months. Will start with the John Pearse strings, then see what I like.

 

Back to practicing now!

 

Louis

Louis, I have a Coastline S6Spruce top and had been getting a somewhat twangy sound with DAddario phosphor Bronze light so with counsel I tried Martin silk and steel. They have excellent playability and have given a more mellow sound. (although with cedar top you may already have very mellow sound.) Terry

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