Reply To: SCGC Strings


Ok, I cranked up my experimental mode and did some serious string changing and swapping on several of my guitars today. I asked my friend if he was up for some time in as player and listener to lend a second opinion. He has an advanced degree in Music and has been playing & teaching guitar for over 50 years and has the fussiest pair of ears I know. Bottlom line is that the SCGC Strings produce an unappreciated tone when I play an A note on string #3(G string) on 2 of my guitars. Most importantly on my new Custom OMG. Swapping the SCGC Strings for D’Addario EXP or EJ versions eliminates the troublesome tone. And as a last effort I tried a set of Elixir Strings that sounded nice too. The OMG is absolutely sensational, so I’m being particularly fussy in this case. My friend played & I listened. I played & he listened. We both heard the same tone. You hear it clearly as the player and not so much as listener. In fact if you weren’t focused on it, it would likely pass without notice as listener. In the end we both agree the EXPs are right for the OMG, because I’m hearing what I hear while I play.

Then I happen to see a thread pop up on AGF about a dead G. I found Alan Carruth’s contribution very interesting. I will quote the entire post below.

”<i>If it’s a ‘wolf’ note then it will show up at a specific pitch, and move up or down the neck as you change the tuning on the string. If there’s a problem with the open string that’s not related to the pitch (the open string is ‘dead’ even if you tune it up or down), but not any fretted notes, then you might look at the nut to see if the string sits right there. If every note on the string is bad, there could be a problem with the saddle. Or, in that case, it might also be a bad string. Try changing strings to see if another one does the same thing. I once killed a G string dead by trimming off the excess length before attaching it to the tuner: it was a round core string, rather than the usual hex core, and the winding just came loose. Another way to kill a G string is to use a really sharp metal pick to get that ‘bright’ sound. A former student of mine had that problem on the guitar he’d made after switching to metal picks: he was actually cutting through the winding on the G in a few strums: that thin wire can’t take much punishment.</i>

<i>Finally, there is a problem that shows up on Classical D strings with maddening regularity that might be related. When you pluck a string you activate a longitudinal compression wave at a high frequency, usually between the 7th and 8th partials of the string (on the G that would be between about 1370 and 1570 Hz). This pitch is not tied to the tuned pitch of the string, but is governed by the material and construction of it, and the length, so it ‘tracks’ the played pitch as you go up. If the longitudinal wave pitch is too close to the pitch of a partial it will couple, and cause that partial to come in at two different pitches at the same time. I know: it sound weird, but it does. This produces a buzz at the difference frequency that sounds for all the world like a fret buzz on every fret. The match in frequencies has to be really exact to cause a problem, and there’s enough variation in strings so that it doesn’t happen with every Classical D string, <b>but it happens often enough to be an issue. You may be seeing something like that with the G string. If so changing to another kind of string that is built differently might solve it.”</b></i>

– Paul –