Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

String tension guide

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • String tension guide

    If you look at the chart below, mediums provide 188.8 lbs. of tension. If I want to tune down a whole step, using Heavy strings would provide 170 lbs. On a Martin D35, would this be a concern? (Only 170 lbs of tension.) I could tune down 1/2 step, use Heavy's, and be right around the same tension but I was hoping to tune down a whole step.

    I called Martin and the guy was nice enough but of little help. I did read where Martin recommends Mediums for standard tuning on the D35.

    I also wonder that if I use Heavy gauge, will they fit into the nut slots just fine. I'd rather not go to filing on a D35. If so, I would forget it and use one of my cheapers guitars.

    Link:
    http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/forum/viewtopic/id/5339

    String tension chart, based on standard tuning and D'Addario published string tension figures.

    STRING TENSION CHART BY BERT SHARP

    STANDARD TUNING E A D G B E TOTAL
    LIGHT 26.0 29.9 30.5 30.2 23.3 23.3 163.2
    MEDIUM 29.0 34.0 36.8 35.3 26.3 27.4 188.8
    HEAVY 31.9 38.8 44.7 38.0 29.3 31.5 214.2

    TUNED DOWN 1/2 STEP D# G# C# F# A# D#
    LIGHT 23.2 26.6 27.2 26.9 20.8 20.8 145.5
    MEDIUM 25.8 30.3 32.8 31.5 23.4 24.4 168.2
    HEAVY 28.4 34.6 39.8 33.9 26.1 28.1 190.9

    TUNED DOWN FULL STEP D G C F A D
    LIGHT 20.6 23.7 24.2 24.0 18.5 18.5 129.5
    MEDIUM 23.0 27.0 29.2 28.0 20.9 21.8 149.9
    HEAVY 25.3 30.8 35.5 30.2 23.2 25.0 170.0

    DADGAD D A D G A D
    LIGHT 20.6 29.9 30.5 30.2 18.5 18.5 148.2
    MEDIUM 23.0 34.0 36.8 35.3 20.9 21.8 171.8
    HEAVY 25.3 38.8 44.7 38.0 23.2 25.0 195.0

    OPEN D D A D F# A D
    LIGHT 20.6 29.9 30.5 26.9 18.5 18.5 144.9
    MEDIUM 23.0 34.0 36.8 31.5 20.9 21.8 168.0
    HEAVY 25.3 38.8 44.7 33.9 23.2 25.0 190.9

    OPEN G D G D G B D
    LIGHT 20.6 23.7 30.5 30.2 23.3 18.5 146.8
    MEDIUM 23.0 27.0 36.8 35.3 26.3 21.8 170.2
    HEAVY 25.3 30.8 44.7 38.0 29.3 25.0 193.1



    NOTE: FIGURES SHOWN ARE IN LBS USING A 25.5" Standard] SCALE LENGTH
    FOR A 24.75" SCALE LENGTH MULTIPLY TENSION FIGURES SHOWN BY 0.95
    FOR A 24.90" SCALE LENGTH MULTIPLY TENSION FIGURES SHOWN BY 0.96
    FOR A 25.25" SCALE LENGTH MULTIPLY TENSION FIGURES SHOWN BY 0.98
    FOR A 25.40" SCALE LENGTH MULTIPLY TENSION FIGURES SHOWN BY 0.99


    For 12 strings:
    Martin 12-String 80/20 Bronze Extra Light Acoustic Strings
    D'Addario Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings - 12-string Light
    010/010 014/014 023/008 030/012 039/018 047/027
    Standard tuning: 258 lbs.
    1 halfstep down: 230 lbs.
    2 halfsteps down: 205 lbs.

    Elixir Acoustic Guitar Light 12 String
    010/010 014/014 023/009 030/012 039/018 047/027
    Standard tuning: 262 lbs.
    1 halfstep down: 233 lbs.
    2 halfsteps down: 208 lbs.

    D'Addario Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings - 12-string Extra Light
    09/009 013/013 021/008 029/011 036/016 045/026
    Standard tuning: 224 lbs.
    1 halfstep down: 200 lbs.
    2 halfsteps down: 178 lbs.

    Dean Markley Bronze 12-String Acoustic Guitar Strings - Medium
    .012/.012 .016/.016 .026/.010 .034/.017 .044/.024 .054/.030
    Standard tuning: 366 lbs.
    1 halfstep down: 326 lbs.
    2 halfsteps down: 291 lbs.


    Martin Marquis 12-String 80/20 Bronze Light Acoustic Strings
    .012/.012 .016/.016 .025/.010 .032/.014 .042/.020 .054/.030
    Standard tuning: 330 lbs.
    1 halfstep down: 294 lbs.
    2 halfsteps down: 262 lbs.

    Elixir Acoustic Guitar Heavy 12 String (for C# tuning)
    .013/013 .017/.017 .030/.014 .039/.018 .047/.027 .056/.035
    3 frets down: 323 lbs. Surely no one tunes these up to standard. We'd have heard their guitar imploding.

    Elixir Acoustic Guitar Medium PolyWeb Coating (6 string)
    .013 .017 .026 .035 .045 .056
    Standard tuning 192 lbs.

    You might be interested in the "Universal String Tension Calculator" at this site: www.kennaquhair.com
    :::

    Bill

  • #2
    I wouldn't worry if you're reducing below their recommended neck tension and nut slots should be fine.
    IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is the string tension really linear?

      I'm kind of using the theory of electricity here, but, the strings are parallel in relation to each other. They aren't tied end to end.

      If one string exerts 20lbs of tension and the one next to it exerts 30lbs, then wouldn't the 20lb string actually have it's tension lessened because the 30lbs is actually pulling on the neck even more?

      It would seem that the string with the highest tension is the starting point. How much tension is left from the other strings, I don't know, but it's hard to imagine their full tension is still at work. At least as far as the entire pressure being exerted on the neck is concerned.

      Of course, my thinking goes out the window when you apply it to tuning. I guess if my thinking were correct, you'd never be able to tune the lesser tensioned strings. But if you did, you'd then be pulling harder than the one that was already pulling harder, causing it to go out of tune.

      All that being said, I still wonder of the entire force exerted is the sum of all strings.
      - Rob

      YouTube (GuiTuber)
      Proud Member of the Alvarez Alliance & Yamaha Player's Guild

      Comment


      • #4
        For purposes of calculating string shear forces (tension), it is the sum of all the strings.

        Comment


        • #5
          For purposes of calculating string shear forces (tension), it is the sum of all the strings.


          I certainly understand that. A complex calculation would just confuse a simple issue.

          I was just curious if anyone knew if the actual force was the sum or not.
          - Rob

          YouTube (GuiTuber)
          Proud Member of the Alvarez Alliance & Yamaha Player's Guild

          Comment


          • #6
            The actual force is the sum. If it were not, the strings would not be in their "tuned" state. These numbers assume A440 tuning btw (except where noted).

            Comment


            • #7
              Did you ask Martin about warranty issues?

              Comment


              • #8
                The actual force is the sum. If it were not, the strings would not be in their "tuned" state. These numbers assume A440 tuning btw.




                --------

                Overall string tension is the sum of the strings at a given pitch and reducing this below the recommended limit is perfectly fine. Hitting and exceeding the upper string tension limits is where you begin to run the risk of problems.

                Using Heavy gauge strings tuned down a full step (170lbs) creates less tension than Medium strings at concert pitch (188.8lbs).
                IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT.

                Comment


                • #9
                  RE: warranty

                  I bought my guitar used, so, I suppose I don't have a warranty. Anyway, the guy I was talking to... I wasn't getting anywhere with him. He was pleasant but not making any sense.
                  :::

                  Bill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Is the string tension really linear?

                    I'm kind of using the theory of electricity here, but, the strings are parallel in relation to each other. They aren't tied end to end.

                    If one string exerts 20lbs of tension and the one next to it exerts 30lbs, then wouldn't the 20lb string actually have it's tension lessened because the 30lbs is actually pulling on the neck even more?

                    It would seem that the string with the highest tension is the starting point. How much tension is left from the other strings, I don't know, but it's hard to imagine their full tension is still at work. At least as far as the entire pressure being exerted on the neck is concerned.

                    Of course, my thinking goes out the window when you apply it to tuning. I guess if my thinking were correct, you'd never be able to tune the lesser tensioned strings. But if you did, you'd then be pulling harder than the one that was already pulling harder, causing it to go out of tune.

                    All that being said, I still wonder of the entire force exerted is the sum of all strings.


                    If the 20lb string's tension is lessened, its pitch will go flat. That does happen some, but once all the strings are tuned to full pitch, they all exert their full individual tension.

                    If the strings were all tied end to end, the sum of their tension would simply be the tension of the lightest string. The electrical equivalent of this would be current in a series circuit. Think of it as current in a parallel circuit. The strings are all parallel.

                    Comment









                    Working...
                    X