Strings

02011-04-15 | Uncategorized | 3 comments


I love the diameters of the new D’Addario Flamenco strings – set EJ25B. This G string is neither unusually thick like the nylon G, nor is it brittle and low in tension like the composite (brown) G. I also like the retro black look and remember a lot of Flamenco guitars having black strings in the Sixties and Seventies.

All three bass strings are very nice and exactly the same tension as the Pro Art Composite Normal tension set.

The treble strings, however, are equal to the hard tension composite set. Exactly the same tension, down to the tenth. Bass strings = normal tension and treble strings = hard tension. Why?

Well, and therein lies the problem for me. I don’t like hard tension strings. They offer less tonal variety. They also make my Blanca even brighter, and it is bright enough… They always sound as if one is plucking them near the bridge. The lower tension set, on the other hand, allows for many different tones and sounds, depending on whether I play them over the sound hole or near the bridge.

So, I replaced the “Flamenco” trebles with the regular composite trebles (I prefer the regular nylon string that is too thick over the brown composite one) and immediately enjoyed the larger tonal range.

Shredders might enjoy the brightness and the quick snap of the Flamenco set, but if you like a lot of different color from your strings this set isn’t for you.

By the way, after the first show in Riga we stopped using the Shure KSM141 on the guitar, and started using the KSM137. According to Jaren the specs are exactly the same, but the 137 has only one single cardioid polar pattern while the KSM141 is switchable between a consistent cardioid or true omnidirectional polar pattern. It seemed to him that the 141s we were carrying were stuck in omni-mode, because they were picking up everything on stage. We have been using these mics for years and they have endured a lot of travel, so perhaps that is possible. In any case, the 137 is a little smaller, does ONLY the pattern we need (tight and focused on the guitar), and sounds great.

At around $280, the price of the Shure KSM137 is also over $100 less than the KSM141. Disclosure: we endorse Shure and get these microphones for free. I will add that we would also use Shure if we had to pay for it, as their gear sounds great and, most importantly, survives touring.

3 Comments

  1. Adam Solomon

    Interesting, thanks for the review! Over on a flamenco forum I frequent the reviews have been mixed, a lot of people say they’re very bright and percussive like you did, good for things like alzapúa and picado, but others weren’t fans. One review:

    “Very dissapointing. They basically dyed some Pro Arte hard tension trebles black, and packaged them with composite normal tension basses.”

    :)

    I might buy a pack soon to try out.

    Reply
  2. Ottmar

    D’Addario says they are using a brand new compound, which is obvious when one looks at the diameters. I was wondering whether this compound does not work for normal tension trebles or whether they haven’t tried creating normal tension trebles from it.

    Reply

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