Silver Strings

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Silver Strings

Postby satyr » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:05 am

Hi. I'm new to the forum but have been interested in Jazz and Django and the Guitar in general for a long while. I've always been interested getting a gypsy selmer type acoustic and recently came across an old vintage american archtop that's similar sortof to the Dell'Arte Model with f-holes and a neck pickup. this one though is an acoustic and doesn't have a pickup but has a small hole from a pickguard that is missing now. but i like electric and might get a pickguard with a humbucker on it to play around with. i like the idea of combining the big rich acoustic sound mixing with the creamy overdrive of my little saturn tube amp.

it has the usual bronze acoustic strings on her. i'd like to switch to the silver plated copper like the gypsy style, i've seen some with ball ends. i've got the big fat ebony picks. i love using them with my strat. so i'm wondering: these strings are non-magnetic aren't they? so they wouldn't work with an electric humbucker would they? what kind of strings were on that Dell'Arte do you think? regular electric steel strings?

do you feel like the silver strings contribute a lot more to the sound of the guitar or is there a lot more to do with other factors in the construction of the Selmer-Maccaferri that make it sound so different from a regular usual acoustic guitar?

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satyr
 
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Postby Gadjo » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:43 am

It looks like a really cool guitar. It looks like a lot of the Hofner/Framus guitars built in the 1950's and some of those sound great for gypsy jazz. Check out Gary Portter's sound on a Hofner Committee in the Legacy video. As for strings it depends how lightly the guitar is built. Gypsy strings (silver plated copper wire over a steel core) work best on lightly built guitars (eg Selmers etc) but don't have the mass to excite a heavily braced top of say a Gibson L-5 that was designed to have a set of 13's bronze wound. For the sake of a few sets of strings try them all out - it will be fairly obvious which way to go. Remember also that the lighter the strings the less tension on the neck - this can help if the neck is showing signs of relief.
If you are going electric you need strings that have a steel content for the pickup to work. The lighter strings will make you play more gypsy I am sure so start at a set of 11's with a substitute wound third of say 24. Check out Youtube clips of Frank Vignola playing his Bennedetto. The guitar is a gypsy/archtop hybrid and yours could sound very similar. He sets his with a set of 12-54 nickel strings and a highish (3mm) action. His scale length is 25" and I guess yours could be a little shorter hence the suggestions to go with 11's.
Lastly it doesn't really matter as it is all in the playing!! The right player with a heavy pick will make any guitar sound right. Frank recorded his last album on a $300 Saga flat top and it sounded just like him!
Best of luck.
Gadjo
 
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Postby Gadjo » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:53 am

As I was saying - the guitar doesn't really matter if the player knows what he is doing. Check this out...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u4zxGlEDc8

Both guitars are £250 Korean jobs by Crafter. Cheap humbuckers, steel strings, no excuses. Frank's Benedetto costs 100 times more by the way if you prefer his sound!
Gadjo
 
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Postby satyr » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:49 pm

badassss

nice clip.


and thanks for the info just what i wanted to know! i think i'll get a few different sets and try them out see how they fit the instrument.

and by the way it's actually a 25.5 inch scale. Fender style. though i believe it's older than Fender. so i guess it's in between the length of the D-hole and the petite bouche instruments.
satyr
 
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Postby Gadjo » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:11 pm

For clarification. I typed shorter when I meant longer. The longer the scale length the lighter the gauge can be for the same tension.
I would still go with a set of 11-49 with the swapped 3rd. Adjust the action to around 3mm at the 12th fret and hit it with a 2 or 3mm pick.
Gadjo
 
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Postby satyr » Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:01 pm

awesome i finally got some Argentines on her. 11-46. sounds really great and the silver feels so cool. i don't know if it's more gypsy now but it's definitely a lot brighter. i think the percussive rapid attack comes from picking near the bridge mostly. with a fat pick. also i decided against the electrification since she sounds so lovely all by herself. and looks better without a pickguard too.

alrighty then. back to playing. aha :idea:
satyr
 
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