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This may sound like a weird question, but does anybody know if it is possible to use non-standard strings on a Variax 500? By non-standard I mean replacing the normal wound strings with duplicates of the G string. The idea being easier bends and less string/finger noise on the E A and D strings. I know on a regular guitar there would be a problem with volume from the magnetic pickups, but would this be a problem with piezo pickups? Also would it cause a problem with intonation or neck relief.

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Plain strings on the lower three? Your string cores will be huge... not sure if it will help with string bending... maybe. 

  • You may have to adjust the volumes in work bench... although I don't believe this will be as drastic as it would be on a normal guitar.
  • You will have more tension in the neck, therefore a truss adjustment will likely be necessary
  • You will definitely have to adjust intonation... no way around that one. As with any guitar, I'm not sure there will be enough play to make this work. 
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Changing the tension would change the set-up in general.

May be other artifacts, as the circuitry wants to see certain frequencies on

certain strings. Going outside of that frequency range will cause problems.

 

It may sound okay at different frets and not okay on others. Going outside

normal parameters like that is a crap shoot, as the saying goes. Be aware of that.

 

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12 minutes ago, psarkissian said:

Changing the tension would change the set-up in general.

May be other artifacts, as the circuitry wants to see certain frequencies on

certain strings. Going outside of that frequency range will cause problems.

 

It may sound okay at different frets and not okay on others. Going outside

normal parameters like that is a crap shoot, as the saying goes. Be aware of that.

 

Yeah I had a feeling it wouldn't be a straightforward thing. I was thinking about changing strings and wondered if I should try buying individual strings to test this out. Sounds like I should leave well enough alone. I am loving the Variax 500 so far :)

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On 5/21/2018 at 4:55 AM, thecameralens said:

The idea being easier bends and less string/finger noise on the E A and D strings.

I would go for flat wound strings.

 

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6 hours ago, davidegirardi said:

I would go for flat wound strings.

 

I didn't even think of them as an option. I assume they help with the string noise rather than the bending.

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2 hours ago, thecameralens said:

I assume they help with the string noise rather than the bending.

Yep. For the bending, you can test different string brands (they do make a difference on how the bends feel) and eventually some custom string gauges.

 

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50 minutes ago, davidegirardi said:

Yep. For the bending, you can test different string brands (they do make a difference on how the bends feel) and eventually some custom string gauges.

 

Thanks for the tip

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For years I’ve enjoyed my 500 setup with D'Addario ECG26 Chromes Flat Wound Electric Guitar Strings.  

 

The trick is to buy Medium 13-56 set, throw out the 56 and add a 10 - now you’ve basically got 10-46 set with plain (17) 3rd/G string.  Barely changes a thing about the guitar setup (if already using 10-46) and the flat wound exhibit some cool unique qualities with the modeling.  

 

I also like how it helps reduce “squeaks” and other piezo artifacts under higher gain amplification.  

 

The acoustic models are particularly interesting with an almost “Norman Blake” dead string Martin sound going on….

 

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22 hours ago, jerseyboy said:

For years I’ve enjoyed my 500 setup with D'Addario ECG26 Chromes Flat Wound Electric Guitar Strings.  

 

The trick is to buy Medium 13-56 set, throw out the 56 and add a 10 - now you’ve basically got 10-46 set with plain (17) 3rd/G string.  

 

What a great suggestion... I have a few of those sets in my string box but no longer have the guitar I bought them for. Now I have some experimenting to do :) 

 

I have a colleague that uses his variax mostly for acoustic... he sets his up with a light set of bronze wound and it makes a huge difference on the acoustic tones. 

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Metal compositions do affect tones but wound 3rd probably fuels biggest acoustic model improvement. 

 

 

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On 6/8/2018 at 7:12 AM, jerseyboy said:

The trick is to buy Medium 13-56 set, throw out the 56 and add a 10 - now you’ve basically got 10-46 set with plain (17) 3rd/G string.  Barely changes a thing about the guitar setup (if already using 10-46) and the flat wound exhibit some cool unique qualities with the modeling.  

 

I'm not sure I fully understand your comment. What strings do you finally have on the guitar, and from what sets? Which strings from the 13 set and which from the 10?

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On 6/11/2018 at 11:02 AM, thecameralens said:

I'm not sure I fully understand your comment. What strings do you finally have on the guitar, and from what sets? Which strings from the 13 set and which from the 10?

Let’s call it a 10-45 where low-high = 45=E, 35=A, 26=D, 17=G, 13=B, 10=E.

 

This will be very close to the same tension as a wound 10-46 set of strings which most Variax ship so that you don’t need to change much if anything about the guitar playing setup. Assuming it was setup for 10-46 string gauge.  

 

Re-reading your post I realized you may think I'm using a set of 10's in addition to the set of 13-56.  No, the 10 is a plain single and costs about $1.  Many guitarists keep single .010's on hand since they often break before the others.  I simply discard the 56 and move everything down one position, adding the 10 on top E.  

 

I happen to use Elixir brand on my JTV59 and frequently change the plain strings (10, 13, 17) but leave the wound strings alone for as long as possible.  

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On 6/14/2018 at 5:21 AM, jerseyboy said:

Let’s call it a 10-45 where low-high = 45=E, 35=A, 26=D, 17=G, 13=B, 10=E.

 

This will be very close to the same tension as a wound 10-46 set of strings which most Variax ship so that you don’t need to change much if anything about the guitar playing setup. Assuming it was setup for 10-46 string gauge.  

 

Re-reading your post I realized you may think I'm using a set of 10's in addition to the set of 13-56.  No, the 10 is a plain single and costs about $1.  Many guitarists keep single .010's on hand since they often break before the others.  I simply discard the 56 and move everything down one position, adding the 10 on top E.  

 

I happen to use Elixir brand on my JTV59 and frequently change the plain strings (10, 13, 17) but leave the wound strings alone for as long as possible.  

Thanks, that makes sense now.

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