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Argentine lights vs. extra lights

what is the difference in sound going to be between the argentines with the 0.11 E string and the 0.10 E string? I have a Gitane DG-250M and I put the 0.11 Argentines on it, still has a slight harsh tone to it though if I dig in really hard. How much of a difference would the .10's make? I know I'd probably have more trouble with breaking G strings with the lighter guague but would the difference in sound be worth it?



  • ClayClay Tulsa, OkNew
    Posts: 50
    what do you mean by a "harsh tone"? I think mabye some players that arent used to this style can see the regular tone of the style to be harsh , considering its very different from the tone of american guitars. The difference really between the 10.'s and 11.'s is that the 11.s are thicker strings , higher tension , and for me louder , because you can hit them as hard as you like and get a real solid sound out of them , with 10.s their not as tight tension wise so their a little slappier sounding for some guitars. so. there ya go. I actually think i have more trouble with breaking strings with the 11.s at times , simply because the tighter tension , so the strings , if they're going to break , theres alot in that tension to pull them apart if you hit them right , not saying they always will , but i think it happens more often on the 11.s
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,025
    I definitely agree with Ted on this. High action and the 1510s are the way to go. This is the standard Gypsy set up for the longer scale oval hole Selmers. I use a heavier high E and B (11 and 15). It really helps get a fatter tone out of the treble. But the bass is better when it's supple. Jimmy Rosenberg and a number of other Gypsies use this set up. I'm selling extra 11 and 15 strings for those of you who want to try it.

    I should also mention that 9 out of 10 guitarists I meet have their action too low. Usually WAY too low. You should be able to really wack the low E string and get little or no buzz. Most people's guitar's I pick up sound like a sitar when you try and play a forceful rest stroke. It takes some getting used to, but the sound is sooo much better.

  • CynekulCynekul New
    Posts: 38
    I will probably try the 10.s next time I order strings, I just got a 5 pack of the 11.s so will be a while. I just hope when I switch to the 10.s it doesn't throw my setup out of whack, I'm not sure there's anyone in this city I'd trust to work on this kind of guitar. I think this guitar needs some fret work too, the frets have kind of a rough sound when I vibraot, I think they need to be polished or whatever.

  • ClayClay Tulsa, OkNew
    Posts: 50
    i guess its just a matter of opinion. my action is exactly 4mm at the 12th fret (i play a dell arte manouche by the way) and i use 11's , and i love the sound im getting. ive tried 10s before and the lower tension i just didnt like , i couldnt hit the strings as hard as i wanted to and get alot of tone out of them. I was thinking about what michael suggested , the higher B and E strings and lower gauge for the wound strings , whats the point? I was just watching the bireli DvD and it seems as if he uses 11s on his guitar , im making an assumption considering the color of the cloth on the tailpiece side of his guitar is Red , meaning argentine 11s... And im still confused as to what you guys see as a nasal'y tone , do any gypsy guys that anyone would know of have this tone? I dont think many guys these days have the same tone as django , alot that is because djangos recordings werent that great of quality , so mabye the guitar wouldve sounded a bit different if you could hear it as clearly as our recordings these days.
  • ClayClay Tulsa, OkNew
    Posts: 50
    Allright , now ive got more of a feel for what you mean. I do agree that angelo and tchavolo dont have the sweetest tone out there , but dosent mean i dont love the two guys to death.

    I hear what you mean by getting the right sound of of a selmer-type guitar. I had a gitane before this guitar , and thought it to be amazing. Best guitar id ever played. Then when i got the Dell Arte i couldnt believe what i was hearing. Now that this guitar is like my third arm its amazing. I too was addicted to galli strings for a while. Mainly because argentines were(and still are) , more expensive , but theyre so , so worth it , they really are the best strings for these guitars , no doubt about it.

    All in all , i agree with you in many aspects of it , though we differ in string gauge opinion , no big deal , as you said , its all about what works for you. I apprecieate your opinion


    p.s havent watched the bireli DVD in 8 weeks? you must be busy with SOMETHING!
  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    Excuse my ignorance - 4mm from the top of the fret, or from the fingerboard at the 12th fret?

    To extend this a little further, I'm playing a Shelley Park Favino-style model. Given that this is a guitar that a) has different dimensions than a Selmer, and b) is made of solid Indian Rosewood back & sides, I wonder what kind of tone I should really be expecting when it is "correctly" set up. I had Shelley make me an additional, higher bridge, but I don't think it's as high as what you're suggesting here.

    Who are the players who play Favino (or similar style) guitars who you consider to have great tone?

    -Paul A.
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    Thanks Ted. That's useful information for me. I guess, as in all things, experimentation is the key. Now, if I can just find my ruler...

    Any recommendations on Watremez and Barré CDs? Are they available anywhere?

    -Paul A.
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • gadjojazzgadjojazz where the fun isNew
    Posts: 17
    I agree with the 10's comments as I use a similar set but with an 11 top on all my guitars. I sent for some GHS Gypsy strings and they came 11 14 21 28 36 45 - perfect for me as I prefer a 3mm action on the treble and like the resistance of the 11.

    It is also worth mentioning that when setting up a guitar for this style you need some relief in the neck to allow the string room to vibrate. Much has been written on this and I know Bob Benedetto maintains all necks should be dead straight. But if I try that on my Dupont the thing rattles, even with a high action. I put at least 10 thou of relief on the neck and all is well.

    Another thing! As I work in other musical styles I have to play electric guitars so coming back to a 4-5mm action is killer - especially if I have to impress as a soloist (hard enough as it is). Rhythm is OK whatever. I talked to Bireli about this and he has had his actions on this gypsy guitars dropped to around 3mm maybe lower. His Hahl played like an electric. He turned up for a gypsy gig in Paris with an L5 because his hands were hurting so this might be a reason. It dosn'e affect his sound though - nither does the pink dunlop pick!

    I am trying to use the Dupont for everything I can at the moment by sticking a Stimer on it. This way I can use it on straight ahead gigs and orchestra work. I am hoping to get used to a higher action this way.
  • gadjojazzgadjojazz where the fun isNew
    Posts: 17
    It works incredibly well. What I find is that even with a Wegen (my only pick) the guitar sounds right whatever the music. I admit I adjust my picking to suit but the sound is more me than the hardware I guess - you just play it differently. I use an Evans for the straight stuff and and AER for some gigs and it burns with the Stimer - nice and warm! I Used my Matchless for a recent session and it sounded like Django's 50's tone!!

    This month I used it acoustic on Suzanne Mott's new album playing Spanish stuff and it sounded like a gut string. A concert with a symphony orchestra recreating MGM soundtracks (acoustic but bringing in the stimer for the solo lines), on a TV drama playing early rock and roll (it sounded great!!) and the usual gigs - small jazz group stuff, backing singers etc.

    I love this guitar.
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    Has any one used a Miller?

    They look nice but I have never seen/heard one in action.

    Miller also makes some nice looking tuners
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