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Strings for Guild M20

 
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johnwheeler



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:49 am    Post subject: Strings for Guild M20 Reply with quote

Can someone who has used a Guild M20 for recreating Nick Drake arrangements suggest a reasonable set of strings or guages for reproducing the tunings?

Also, were the available strings in the early 70s fewer and, possibly, predictable on that account? Was there even phospor bronze then?

Thanks in advance.
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johnwheeler



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:23 pm    Post subject: Nickel Strings? Reply with quote

Can someone correct me if I am wrong, but the bass strings on the guitar (Guild M20) on the cover of Bryter Layter appear to be nickel wound?

Anyone care to make an educated guess about this, in terms of brand or guages for circa early 70s?
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anthony



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 71
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Nick would have used Ivor Mairants own brand back then.The shop is still there, near Oxford st., and their staff are very helpful.
On the other hand, there is a manufacturers of hand made strings in Derbyshire called Newtone.They will help you with strings for dropped tunings.So youve got an m20? lucky ******* !
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jomarkdave



Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you'll find the texture in the chords, not the strings
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ThemCityBlues



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of Drake's most used tuning is BEBEBE.

Obviously I can't tell you the gauges he used, but I found gauges for my Fender acoustic that allow me to play in anything from BEBEBE to many open tunings.

I took a set of 9s, scrapped the high E string, and strung the B string as the E string, the G string as the B string, and so on. I then got a low B string (whatever the normal gauge is for a 7 string) and put it on the bottom. It sounds pretty good and balanced. Sorry I don't know the actual measurements.
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Bogo



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would try a light gauge Elixir polyweb. It's not what he used, obviously. However the coating keeps them from being too tinny/metalic sounding. Coated strings generally are not good for alternate tunings, mostly because they dull the tone of the string. However, I think that might actually be the goal. Give em a try. They also last forever. I think they say that Nick liked playing on really old strings, too.
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jomarkdave



Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ack! no.

thick. if you've got a mahog guitar...that's a good strong wood. very dark sounding.

mediums. not light...extra light...MED. gives it a good bass kick without overpowering. i'm currently using martin mediums...they sound great.
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Bogo



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...but if that's a true M-20 than using Medium g. is going to put extra tension on both the tuners and the bridge. The M20 tuners (if yours still has the same) are rather cheap compared with the rest of the guitar, and many have had bridge placement issues. If you are confident in the strength of the guitar than medium by all means, but I would be more prudent with a rare guitar like that.

Not to mention an OM sized guitar, rare or not, shouldn't even have mediums period. Mediums are for larger body guitars, i.e. Dreadnaughts.
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eyelash07



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:54 am    Post subject: strings for M20 Reply with quote

I was told that Nick used John Pearse bronze strings and then changed to Gibson. As far as I can tell John Pearse didn't start bring made till 1978, so that's that out. Their bluegrass strings (12,16,24,35,45,56) do the job though in those tunings. both john Pearse and Newtone are lighter tension than normal and the mediums might and the bluegrass gauge would get around what was said about taxing the bridge and tuners. Those two brands are the best, longest lasting non-coated strings I've heard.
I would have thought moving the bottom 5 strings in a set of 9s along and adding a 7 string low 6th as suggested wouldn't be much different to a set of 11s.
When I played a mahogony Martin 0015 in London recently I could tell that the 12-54s on it were too light for the Nick Drake tunings but that fatter bottom strings would give the Pink Moon sound. When Nick was around apparently acoustic guitar strings were what we call mediums now, there was nowt else for a steel string acoustic.
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adamfozzy



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:26 pm    Post subject: Strings for guild m20 Reply with quote

I thought john ddadario invented different gauge strings in 1939 meaning nick would probably have used lights on his small bodied guild. I use ernie ball silk and steels soft, they are basically light bronze 80/20 strings with silk wound in, giving the softer worn out sound of nicks guitar. I am thinking about trying the mediums of these as they dont put as much tension as normal mediums but theses lights sound bang on with my old guild.
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Narcissus



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 223
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick Drake played with a silver plated string, and played it very well. If he ran low on money he would replace the strings individually (listen to how bright the e, B, G, strings are ringing compared to the flat tone of the bass - a difference very prominent to newly strung strings).

He also probably used his Classical Yamaha guitar to tune from; for nylon strings are less affected by hot and cold temp. That is all.

Actually, one more thing, Nick most likely played a Levin then transferred to a D28 when Martin bought the company out for a stupid amount of money. One can tell by the difference in tone (made purely by a new guitar and strings) with his last four songs. Brian Wells has the D28!! It appears briefly in the documentary “A Skin too Few” within a hard case. He did not receive a 000-18! That is just whispers.

All the best
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bmore



Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 595
Location: Suihua, Heilongjiang Province, China

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strings schmings.

I really laugh at this whole obsession with what guitar/ strings Nick used.

Spend 10 hours a day playing guitar and you can play an old cardboard box with a rubber band and be a genius. But only if ye are a genius.

But there is sometin to what Narco say bout dead and live strings. I hear it on `Things Behind Sun' and coupla others on 'Pink Moon'
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Narcissus



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 223
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Bmore but I couldn’t resist. It is an obsession we have all been guilty of. This is most certainly my final post on the subject, and on this forum for a while.
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adamfozzy



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently changed from ernie ball silk and steel (bronze strings see above) to the classic daddario ej11 80/20 bronze 12-53. On my old guild m20 they sound exactly the same as all 3 albums. Anyone believes that nick used anything different to an m20 is nuts. Those sounds can only be achieved on that guitar. I am luckily enough to have john wood recording me in the next few months and i had a telephone chat with him and asked what guitar nick used. He said an m20 with dead strings. Thats good enough for me.
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