I’ve never changed strings on my GJ guitar before. I’ve just put on D’Addario phosphor bronze 10s. The strings I took off, which came with the brand new guitar, weren’t phosphor bronze and had a red cotton covering on the ball end ‘wrap’.

The new strings don’t feel right and feel quite stiff. Are these ‘absolutely’ the wrong strings? They sound brighter too; I thought the old strings sounded quite quiet but that may be their age ( a year).

It’s a D hole guitar

Thanks in advance.



  • JSantaJSanta NY✭✭✭ Dupont, Gaffiero, AJL
    Posts: 262

    I'm going to go ahead and say those are absolutely the "wrong" strings for this type of guitar. The red wrap on your old strings indicates that they were the Argentine 1510MF strings, which come both as loop end and ball end. These strings typically don't last that long, I get maybe a month of daily use before I really need to change them, but sometimes less than that. It's one of those unique "charms" of the Gypsy style strings.

    Michael sells a number of different types of strings. D'addario makes really good Gypsy strings (which is what Stephane Wrembel endorses), Argentines (my favorites are the 1510s), Galli's, and a number of others. These are very different strings compared to traditional acoustic PBs like you installed, both in materials and tension. I'd suggest ordering a new set and restringing the guitar.

  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 360

    "Absolutely" wrong? Depends on the guitar. Michael Dunn told me that he used to ship his with (presumably light) bronze strings--but then, when Michael started, Argentines were not common in North America.

    In this particular case, year-old Argentines are almost certainly going to sound dull. In fact, they might be so worn that they won't intonate properly. So any new set is going to sound comparatively bright. The replacement D’Addario set is pretty light by flat-top standards but materially and structurally different from the kind of strings Selmer-styles are usually built for. Standard D'Addarios will have hexagonal cores and bronze wraps. Argentines have thinner round cores and silvered copper wraps. Other gypsy-style sets might be silk and steel--that is, structurally like classical wound strings, with a very thin steel core plus nylon floss under copper wrap. All of these copper-wound strings have a feel, sonic response, and wear profile quite different from a light/medium-light bronze set.

    GHS offers a range of round-core (called Thin Core in their system) PB sets that go down to 010-041 gauge. I use the 011-046 set on my National M-1 tricone, and they bark fine and last well. I'm tempted to try an 011-041set on one of my Selmer-styles, just to hear the difference.

  • JojoJojo London UK
    Posts: 190

    Many thanks guys. Very helpful. I initially had a heart attack when Amazon offered the strings for £20 but then I found that it was for two sets ( GJ and a nylon set, bizarrely, as a package offer). So it’s about £10, about twice as much as phosphor bronze but given that it’s a niche market I can live with that though maybe not changing them once a month but more than once a year

  • JojoJojo London UK
    Posts: 190

    Just to clarify, they’re Argentines 1510MFs

  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,459

    I'm amazed that Jojo, who has been a forum member since 2015, has never changed strings. The guitar must be kept in a sterile environment, and only played once a month while wearing surgical gloves.

  • JojoJojo London UK
    Posts: 190

    Ha! No, I used an ordinary acoustic till last year. I bought an APC ( Portuguese company) model, walnut back and sides, for just under £300 brand new via Amazon. It’s absolutely fine.

    Anyway, the Argentines have arrived and the PBs will be put on the old acoustic. Onwards and upwards!

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 922

    I buy my Argentines in bulk from a company called DV247 Music Store. At the moment they' re coming in at £9.50 a set but it varies depending on the Euro exchange rate. The only thing is they charge £8 for posting, hence why I buy them in bulk - around 10 sets at a time. I keep trying other brands - Galli, Phillipe Bosset, D'adddario, Dogal Manouche, Clifford Essex - but always come back to Argentines. I too bought an APC but, unfortunately, I don't have the same opinion as you. Maybe I just got a particularly duff one but mine, while playable, doesn't have anywhere near the gypsy guitar sound - just my opinion.

    always learning
  • DragonPLDragonPL Maryland✭✭ Dupont MD 50-XL (Favino), Michael Dunn Stardust, Castelluccia Tears, Yunzhi gypsy jazz guitar, Gitane DG-320, DG-250M and DG-250
    edited June 2023 Posts: 175

    Best GJ strings I used to buy (and I used almost all of them) were GHS Gypsy, surprisingly, they were also the cheapest in price.

    I say 'used' because it appears they're no longer made. I still found a few remnants on eBay, or individual leftovers on

    but sadly can't find the set anymore.

    When I run out, I'll probably build my own set, out of individual close ones

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 417

    I prefer Argentines over anything else I've tried. I usually buy them from John Levoi, one of the uk's best Gypsy guitar luthiers and a thoroughly nice chap. They are currently £9 a set and he's got 10s, 11s and singles. Carriage is reasonable.

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    edited June 2023 Posts: 208

    Interesting to hear about the APC brand of guitars. I bought one off Amazon about five years ago when they first appeared. I was curious and was watching the price come down and down each day, and finally pulled the trigger when it got to £103 with free shipping. It's the APC JM200 flamed maple back and sides. I've done quite a lot of work on it to get it sounding better - took the finish off the top, plus about 1.5mm of spruce. I chamfered the edges of the fingerboard, new tailpiece and bridge and it's now the guitar I keep in my painting studio (that's what I do for a living) so I have something to noodle on when I want. The sound is still not great, but it's not bad either, and the feel of the neck and the playability are actually superb. Because of this, I have my Stimer fitted to it and use it for busking sometimes. I like telling people it only cost a hundred quid on Amazon, and that the pickup is worth twice what the guitar is!!

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