Best string brand for 85/90 gauge

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by nonoxxx, May 19, 2019.

  1. nonoxxx

    nonoxxx SS.org Regular

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    Hello,
    I ve just finished to modifying my cheap harley benton 8 string fan fret to fit bigger strings : drilling of the tuner and redrilling the holes at the bridge so now the solo bridge is further back.
    I was testing 9/80 in drop E and feel that I need more tension for the low E , what is the best strings brand between Kalium and Labella for 85/90 strings ? I generally put daddario or ghs on my guitars (but cannot find single 85/90 )
    I live in Europe so ordering strings from these companies is not cheap , I would like to be sure that it's not garbage :)
    Thanks
     
  2. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    Kalium does good stuff but when you get into that range it's going to sound more like a bass than a guitar. That might work for your purposes but it's something to be aware of.
     
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  3. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    I think most players want the 8th to feel like a 7th on a 7 string. You need to get used to less tension on the 8th, and play it differently. You will find the larger you go in gauge, the crappier yout tone becomes on the other strings. I use a .70 on my 8th on a 27" scale, tuned to F# or G.
     
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  4. Dayn

    Dayn silly person

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    La Bella is certainly good, but I find Kalium to be better.

    I use a .090 for E1 at 27" from Kalium. Equivalent tension to a .045 at E2. Unlike GHS, Dunlop, D'Addario, etc, the .090 from Kalium actually sounds like a guitar string. It sounds better than an .080 from GHS and Dunlop, even.

    I believe Kalium guitar strings are identical to their bass strings - they have a thin, flexible core with a higher than usual unit weight, so heavier strings sound snappier. It's the shipping charges that get me, but it's worth it to experiment. Then if you find it works, you can always suck it up and buy in bulk.
     
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  5. nonoxxx

    nonoxxx SS.org Regular

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    Thanks a lot for your replies , I ordered a 9 string (labella) set at thomann so I will try the 90 string . If it's working well I will order a bunch 90 at kalium :)
    I am aware of the fact that it sound more than a bass with these gauges but I use a 'do it myself' Chuggapre it's really a good pedal for tightening and adding more bite ( lke the fortin grind but with adjustable EQ)
     
  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I don't think it should be considered a requirement to get used to less tension for good tone - afterall, a 90 E is only regular tension so it's not surprising to be unhappy with less. The big solution is of course more scale length to improve the performance of large strings. But Kalium really do have fantastic tone due to their flexibility - they increase the maximum gauge for good tone at a given scale quite significantly, as the tone issue arises from lack of flexibility of large strings on a short scale in the first place. They feel much more lively than usual due to how flexible they are - but that's not to be confused with actual tension, for which they are better too. They have a slightly higher unit weight as mentioned above, so improve pitch stability and fret buzz issues without the stiffness and dull tone of high tension. Quite awesome
     
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  7. nonoxxx

    nonoxxx SS.org Regular

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    Exactly , I played with a string tension calculator and the 80 in E at 27 inch scale is at 14 lbs (it's near 17 in F# so no problem here) , personnaly I think that for wound strings 16/17 is a minimum
     
  8. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Absolutely agree - and it's also normal to want more tension to counteract the movement of 8 string size strings anyway.
     
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  9. PBC

    PBC Composition Ontology

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    They are, the just differ in the amount of wounds after a certain point. Being steel/nickel they have a brighter characteristics of that type of string. You're correct on the shipping though plus the wait depending on how busy Skip is. It took 1.5 months for me to receive my order and my fastest turnaround was about 3-4 weeks for continental US. Just have that expectation in mind when you order. I've moved to La Bella since I appreciate their feel, tone, and turn around time in general compared to Kalium.

    Although rarely mentioned, a thicker string will give off more "vibrations" (it sounds louder acoustically) so try lower the pickups a tad to compensate. My hypothesis is much of the "thicker sounds bad camp" tends to be because people slap on a thick string and it becomes overly distorted and bassy because the pickup are set up to 9-42 + 70/72 equivalent. Personally, I know do reverse progressive tension currently (used to do extremely heavy) with more tension on the plain than the wound. I have a drop E setup with a 78 for a 26.5" ESP, it's an evertune though. It sounds really dark but I find consistent across all my Mahogany Neck/Mahogany Body ERGs.

    Worth noting that after about 28"/712mm scale length, you tend to have to need to keep the same gauge or thicker then the usual to compensate for the increased distance between the bridge in the nut. Myself and others here have discovered this. Lastly, there's definitely a trade off when things become too thick and you can't avoid the bass timbre anymore. Worth noting that I used to have very think strings and I never seemed to have enough tension. I realize I was picking my pick too deep into the strings and the motion wasn't inline. If the string still feels floppy or the tone isn't too your liking, it's worth re-examining the picking motion.
     
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  10. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Wow, i think you're the only guitarist i know of who likes that. That's fine because you're happy, but there are many tonal, mechanical and playability reasons why the opposite is 'optimum'.
     
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  11. PBC

    PBC Composition Ontology

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    It's not quite as progressive as you might believe. I like 11s/11.5s on the plains (about 20-21.5lbs). I attempt to keep it the same, but I found tonally I go a bit lighter when it comes to the wound strings. For example C2 on 25.5" I have .060 (19.6) whereas in the past it might have been something like .066 (23 ish lbs), still think that's probably heavier than most, 54/56 for C seems the norm. For an 8 string set on 27" I even went .072 for the B and .090 for the F# but at that point I was so focused on feel I wasn't really listening to how things sounded.

    Summary, it's more like 11.5-50/48 rather than a 11-52/54 set. What gauges do you prefer for the reasons you mentioned?
     
  12. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Cool, more functional than I'd have assumed due to the tight plains as a start :) I was imagining 15lbs ontop and less on the bottom!
     
  13. nonoxxx

    nonoxxx SS.org Regular

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    this morning I received the 90 gauge labella string set, and immediately install the 90 , it work really well :)
    These thing is brutal lol
    I will order soon some kalium string for testing
     
  14. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    PBC, i find that tension needs to step down from wound to plain, this helps mellow the tone and reduce the volume of the plain, for more tonal consistency. It also helps to make the pitch response to bending more consistent because the core of the wound is not quite so small compared to the plain.

    And then, generally across the set, a slight and steady increase of tension from high to low strings, because more massive strings need more tension to keep their vibration under control. Also for many playability, response and technique reasons i can't remember right now.

    Except:
    I will often keep the top 2 or 3 plains equal tension, to maintain the volume of the highest string.
    For very low strings where the stiffness becomes a significant problem, i will often keep the tensions equal there too as the disadvantages of stiffness start to outweigh the advantages of increased tension.
     

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