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harvardcaveman

Ideal strings for Variax Standard?

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Hello all. Newbie here! I just started with the Variax and am wondering what the "ideal" strings are for the model. Does it make a difference?  Thanks

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User whatever you're comfortable with. Gauge matters far more than brand. The acoustic models seem to respond better with heavier strings.

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I'm sure it came with 10's.  If you want something different you will have to adjust the setup and intonation but you can do that.  The acoustics tend to sound better if you go up a little but I stick with 10's on my Variax (JTV not Std)

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It's hard to get over the feeling of an electric guitar that sounds like an acoustic. Heavier strings with higher action make it feel better, but then it may not be ideal for electric guitar parts. It's more about training your brain I guess. I think 11's are an all around great gauge for this especially with a good setup. As far as brand goes, I don't think it matters too much. I like D'Addario or Elixir.

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Heavier strings with higher action make it feel better...

To each their own, but that's precisely why I can't play actual acoustics worth a damn...when compared to the way an electric is set-up, acoustics feel like they're strung with bridge cables an inch from the fretboard. Never worked for me, and I've had 11's on all my guitars for years. Half the reason I wanted a Variax in the first place was to get acoustic sounds without having to struggle through playing one.

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I just use D'Addario .10-.46  (EXL110BT), which seem to be the factory installed strings. I'm happy with them.

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Note that choice of pick can make more difference on a Variax using models than on a regular guitar using magnetic pickups. This is because the piezo pickups are sensitive to pressure on the bridge, and more directly sense the effect of pick attack.

 

I found that heavy picks like the V-Pick Tradition work well with Variax Standard magnetic pickups, but do not sound good at all with the guitar models. The pick attack caused by that pick's, thickness, material, point shape and bevel cause an odd attack tone with models that makes the resonance/banjo tone worse, especially on the plain strings.

 

I recommend experimenting with picks as much or more than strings. Picks that are medium thickness, have smooth bevels, and rounded, not sharp points seem to work better with piezo pickups.

 

By the way, I love V-Picks, they're worth giving a try. The V-Pick Euro works great with Variax models.

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I'm new to the Variax scene just got a standard and having troubles with the acoustic and reso models at first I thought it was the actual modeling because I could not hear the buzzing when played on the electric models, and I could not hear string to fret buzzing when not amplified...had to have a friend come over to listen for me sense I do have hearing loss (8 years as a jet engine mech) He told me that the only strings that were "not"  buzzing on the frets was the small e string and the rest were buzzing/rattling. as it is now the action is just right for me and when I raise the saddle on the buzzing strings it will make playing more difficult for me, I have had a repair on a detached bicep tendon that makes it painful to play a high action.  I'm hoping to go to lower gauge strings and then raising the action if needed to stop the buzzing...I naturally use a med light pick.

I sure hope that works for me as I need the acoustic  and reso models to sound as natural as possible.

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V-Picks for $4 seems high but acceptable.

 

But $3.85 to ship it is ridiculous when the pick would easily ship first class (with tracking) for less than 50 cents!

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Yes, different pick material and thickness.  Also notable with acoustic models where and how hard you strum/pluck (between neck & bridge) will bring out even more tonal variations. 

 

Primarily use 10-46 Elixir nano but brand is much less important than gauge.

 

For years I've experimented using 10-46 flat wounds on one of my Variax.  They seem to tame banjo plunk and other artifacts more prominent at higher gain levels.  The acoustics take on a cool sorta "deadened" tone IMO.  Less piano like compared to wrapped strings but useful for some aged acoustic sounds.  

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I'll probably be testing out a few gauges and brands, I'm putting on some D'Addario Pure Nickel EPN115's 11-48 soon and see if that helps with the acoustic models, if not I'll try a set of 9.5-44 D'Ad.I may have to try the flat wounds or half rounds. ..I find it odd that my Banjo/sitar reso etc models sound fine to me even with some fret buzz....

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Genuine Coral (and Jones) Sitar guitars use a bridge/tailpiece which is adjustable for the amount of string buzz you want with your Sitar sound.  Banjo, well that's one of those things that doesn't seem too spoiled by a little fret buzz.  

 

The most glaring difference IMO for more accurate acoustic tone with Variax lies with plain 3rd G string found in majority of electric sets.  Probably why many of us notice lighter attack seems to improve acoustic models.  At least with electric Variax.  Never owned 700 Acoustic although on the lookout.  But of course those use wound 3rd.

 

Somebody found a wrapped 3rd they claimed wasn't too hard to bend up an octave.  I gotta find that post and give it try sometime...

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1 hour ago, jerseyboy said:

Genuine Coral (and Jones) Sitar guitars use a bridge/tailpiece which is adjustable for the amount of string buzz you want with your Sitar sound.  Banjo, well that's one of those things that doesn't seem too spoiled by a little fret buzz.  

 

The most glaring difference IMO for more accurate acoustic tone with Variax lies with plain 3rd G string found in majority of electric sets.  Probably why many of us notice lighter attack seems to improve acoustic models.  At least with electric Variax.  Never owned 700 Acoustic although on the lookout.  But of course those use wound 3rd.

 

Somebody found a wrapped 3rd they claimed wasn't too hard to bed up an octave.  I gotta find that post and give it try sometime...

I may at some point try a wound 3rd.(may at some point try (if needed) flat wounds and / or half rounds..I went ahead and put on a lighter gauge string for my first string set replacement experiment.......may have to try a few diff. sets before I find what works best for me.....I went really low this first time- I really like EB slinky cobalts (have them on my Dano 59 and they have done me well, but who knows what will work on this Variax...These cobalts are light 9-46, mine came with 10-48s tho I think I read 10-46 are what comes on it from factory (I dont know this just what Ive read....) no idea why mine had 10-48s on it.....Well back to finishing up my 9-46 setup....lol

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when compared to the way an electric is set-up, acoustics feel like they're strung with bridge cables an inch from the fretboard. Never worked for me, and I've had 11's on all my guitars for years.

 

LOL Cru I'm the same way. Played for 45+ years and I still hate playing acoustics. Love their sound, but hate to play them.

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Elixir 10-46 sound good with acoustic model clear sound

Skull 10 -46 sound more heavy (metal)

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