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What strings to use on a parlour guitar?


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  • What strings to use on a parlour guitar?

    What strings are best to use on a parlour guitar? I fear that heavy strings mixed with some open tunings might put too much stress on the bridge. It is an Art & Lutherie "Ami" That I bought used and is in good shape.
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  • #2
    I (and the previous owner of my Ami) use D'Addario Phosper Bronze lights.


    • #3
      While I haven't finished it or strung it up yet, I'm currently building a true parlor ("small concert", actually a tiny bit smaller than a single ought) and I plan to string with lights. While mine is very short scale (24.5) I think most are 24.9 which reduces the top tension about 2 precent from long. The one I'm building has pretty normal top thickness and 1/4 inch bracing - it just has one less tone bar and finger brace because of the smaller size. I belief that it will be just fine with lights at concert.

      It is interesting that lights at concert, mediums at D# and "heavies" (whatever that means) at D have almost exactly the same top tension according to the UMGF string tension chart (link in the Links section of the Annex). Also some pretty good information about tensions in various open tunings. You might want to find out what the manufacture recommended for strings, calculate that tension and simply never exceed it with your strings and tunings.


      • #4
        I (and the previous owner of my Ami) use D'Addario Phosper Bronze lights.


        I use D'Addario Phos Bronze lights on my 12-string and they sound very rich. These are gauged 10-47, which should give you some nicely sustained basses without too much tension. They also produce clear, bell-like trebles.

        I also put a set on my gypsy jazz git as an experiment and I like what I hear.

        Just my .02
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        • #5
          I've used lights, mediums and bluegrass on my Art & Lutherie Ami Cedar. They all sound good and didn't change the playbility. In some ways I liked the tone of mediums. They do add more bass. But in the end I settled on lights. They are easier to restring and fit the bridge holes/pins better. If I weren't lazy I might paly mediums.

          If they had grass backward strings they might be best on the guitar that size. Medium trebles and light bass.


          • #6
            I own an Ami w/solid cedar top. I tried a couple sets of strings in 12-54's (both PB) and the guitar was pretty harsh in the trebles with very little bass at all. I wanted to darken/warm the tone a bit. Tried a set of GHS Silk & Bronze in 11-52 and the thing is beautiful for fingerstyle (I rarely use a pick on the Ami). Much warmer. Bass also stands out more as not overwhelmed by the trebles. Extremely slinky feel (gotta be careful with the right hand).

            I am on my second set and will probably stick with these. I think this particular guitar is just too bright and brash with "regular" strings.

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            • #7
              I would generally think lights on a parlor. Mediums would overwhelm the guitar. I'm no expert though. There are also "bluegrass" sets with light bass strings and medium treble strings.


              • #8
                Can't speak to other brands, but the instructions that came with my Larrivee P-05 said it's not a good idea to use anything heavier than lights. I have used D'Addario PB lights, DR Rare Lights, right now am trying to learn a lot of blues stuff on it and am using D'Addario Flat Wounds -- kinda weird feel but definitely way less string screech. All of these have sounded great. It came from the factory with Cleartones, which were IMHO terrible.
                "I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory." - Murphy's Other Laws


                • mymartind35
                  mymartind35 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I have a Takamine G406S-VS and I have Martin FX Silk and Phoshors on it and it sounds great. It's really well balanced now , because it didn't have and bass with the stock strings on it. I checked here to see what everyone else thought. I may try something different next time. But I bet I come back to the Martins.