SCGC Strings

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    • #1048
      haasome
      Participant

      OK, this might be viewed as heresy on this Forum, but I haven’t been thrilled with SCGC strings — and I’d like to hear experiences from other players. Specifically, I don’t like how the #3 (G) strings sounds. I find that string, in particular, lacks depth and complexity when I use SCGC strings and a flatpick (fingers fine).  But to be honest #1 & #2 strings can seem just a tad thin in passing at times too. I have similar results whenever I’ve used SCGC strings on my H13, OM and OMG. It is most noticeable on the OM and OMG and especially noticeable when playing the #3 string while fretting a D chord shape. I could describe it a “plinky”, but that’s not quite right. It just lacks depth of tone and rings “tinny” to my ear. I’ve experimented by fretting the #4 string to see if I could duplicate the effect on the same range of notes with no success. I’ve also waited a few weeks and tried again, and tried replacing just the #3 string at times too. As soon as I switch to D’Addario EXPs or other non-coated strings, the sound is full and lovely. I’m starting to think my aging ears might be at odds with the particular frequency that string generates when strung with SCGC Strings (or something to do with my hearing.) I think #6, #5, and #4 are exceptionally rich and nice sounding with SCGC strings — so this and the great feel keeps me coming back and trying SCGC strings .

      What’s your take.


      – Paul –

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by haasome.
      • This topic was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by haasome.
    • #1060
      tadol
      Moderator

      Is this with both the lights and mediums?  I find that the lights are all I really need on most guitars, and the “eq” on the strings does seem much more flat – and I’ll admit that sometimes I miss the “edge”that I hear with a fresh set of  EJ16s, but then I remember how quickly thats lost, while my SC strings just sound good for a long time. In fact, that may be my biggest complaint with the SC strings – they lose their tone so slowly, that sometimes I have to look at the date I wrote on the pack label to realize that they really should be changed –

      did I mention I don’t really enjoy changing strings?

    • #1064
      haasome
      Participant

      My comments reflect my experience with Lights. I’ve only used Medium SCGC strings once, so I can’t say I have enough experience with the mediums to make the same claim. However, I have lights on all my guitars and I’m not inclined to use mediums. I do find that EXPs last as long as SCGC strings in my experience. I’m serious that my hearing could be responsible. After many years of having power tools screaming in my ears, there probably has been some damage. My wife thinks I don’t hear her when she talks and I think she might talk in “G” 🙂 I wanted to see what others thought of the strings. I still have 5 or 6 sets of SCGC strings on hand, so I’m sure the experiment will continue.


      – Paul –

    • #1066
      Hank
      Participant

      I agree with Tad about the duration of SCGC strings. Sometimes the degradation of the strings are very slow and subtle. I use both tensions with Mids on the Dreads and Lites on the others. I am trying Mids at present on the F……I am liking that combo a bit more as the strings get played in.
      I also empathize with Paul about hearing loss…I am almost totally deaf in my left ear due to a recoilless rifle accident many years ago.
      When I play, many time I will have to bend my right ear over the guitar to get the full sound. I always remember Richard Hoover saying that he builds SC guitars for the listener and not the player….so maybe as a player we don’t always hear the “True” sound….. I love SC instruments because I seem to “Hear” them in my body as much as my ears.
      Paul, what type of pick are you using? You said that bare fingers are fine.
      I play with a Blue Chip thumb pick and bare finger tips. You said the G, B, and high E are thin sounding……Pick material/thickness maybe??


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #1067
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      I love ‘em.  I like the sound and find them quite easy to play as well.

      EJ16s were what I used for years, because they were cheap, consistent, and available everywhere.  Always found them hot at first and then, when they got older, they’d get tubby-sounding with thudding basses.

      These don’t die in the same way, and the middle strings might be a little louder relative to the others.  I find the strings sound pretty rich and fat and round across the board, no thinness here.

      Some of that richness is the instrument, some is the strings, some is playing style.  I play with nails and vary right-hand position along the string length from bridge to fingerboard extension as that’s a simple but effective tone control, worth the time to try.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Matt Hayden.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Matt Hayden.
    • #1069
      haasome
      Participant

      Thanks for the feedback Zorro and Matt. I play bare fingers/flatpick about 50/50. I use Blue Chip TAD 40 & 50 pretty much exclusively, sometimes I’ll move onto TAD 60s — but rarely. To clarify the sound I’m objecting to, it’s specifically the G string while I’m fretting A. The “thinness” I mentioned on #1 & #2 strings is really not anything I’m finding to be objectionable or in fact necessarily different from what I normally hear. It’s just that I find the deeper #4, #5 & #6 SCGC strings far superior to any other strings I’ve played. So in comparison to my impression of those strings, they sound less impressive. I will put on another set of SCGC strings next string change and try again. Next time I’ll sit in the “listener’s” seat to compare.


      – Paul –

    • #1079
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      Good idea.

      Do check the saddle and nut on the G string to ensure that they’re set up properly – remember, they can wear, and that can make one string sound less good than others..

      Happy testing!

       

    • #1084
      haasome
      Participant

      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 –

    • #1090
      Hank
      Participant

      Paul,
      I’m curious. Can you hear this anomaly on a very good recording ?
      Does this occur with every set of SCGC G strings ?


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #1093
      haasome
      Participant

      Hi Zorro, yes it’s happened on every set of different SCGC strings I’ve used on the new OMG. And every time I’ve used EXPs it’s been completely resolved. I can’t say what it would sound like in a good recording because I don’t have good recording equipment. My guess is that it would sound like it does for a listener— probably not very noticeable at all. It would probably go unnoticed in a recording unless you were focused on that specific string tone and isolating the sound in comparison to others.

      As Alan Carruth suggested, I tuned down the #3 string a step and fretted up to a A — and got exactly the same tone on that string. So I am led to believe it is the string. The other characteristic is that I can virtually eliminate the unwanted tone if I squeeze the pick very tightly, leave a tiny strike surface exposed on the pick end, and hit the string at a steep angle(opposed to perpendicular) to the string.

      In the end it’s nothing more than a curiosity because it only happens using SCGC strings on 1 note on 2 guitars. And there is an easy & perfect solution – use another brand of string on those guitars. Since this is the most important thing to me, that’s what I’ll do as I scratch my head. This was also recognized as a good choice by Alan in the last sentence of his post.


      – Paul –

    • #1094
      Hank
      Participant

      As an old friend of mine once said…”Things That make You Go Mmmmmmm ??”.
      play On Mate !


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Hank.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Hank.
    • #1112
      Frozen Rat
      Participant

      This post got me curious. I just put fresh SCGC lows on my two 00s so I played the 2nd fret A note to see if it sounded weird to me. Seems perfectly normal on my two guitars. I have had experiences where certain brands of strings don’t sound good on one guitar but sound great on another. For example: I like John Pearse PBs on Gibson acoustics but they made my Martin 00-28 sound dead.


      Santa Cruz 00 — Goodall 000 — Martin 00-28

    • #1114

      Just put a fresh set of low’s on my M38. No issues

    • #1277
      rfdigsscgc
      Participant

      Have tried 3 sets of the scgc light tension on new om, wanted to give an honest chance. The concept is
      a solid one and these strings are high quality,just look at the ball end in comparison to any other. But,what really turned me off was the squeak I know its the nature of the beast with any non coated string but these seem to be more pronounced than anything else, I realize this is simplistic and very basic but it was so bothersome I went with elixirs.

    • #1279
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      Squeak is really more about technique than the string itself, at least IMO.

      Personally I love the light tensions but chacon a son gout, as they say.

      • #1280
        Hank
        Participant

        Again …nice use of French Matt. I will NEVER be squeak free no matter what strings I use….but I am less squeaky with SCGC Strings. Truth be told, That’s why I use them.


        1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
        2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
        2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
        2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
        2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
        2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
        2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
        Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
        The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

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