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alt.guitar.rickenbacker Frequently Asked Questions
Section - 5.4 What kinds of strings work well with Rickenbacker guitars? What are Pyramid strings? Where can I buy them?

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Top Document: alt.guitar.rickenbacker Frequently Asked Questions
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Next Document: 5.5 What are some suggestions on how to re-string my Rickenbacker 6-string or 12-string guitar?
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   More and more Rickenbacker players are singing the praises of
   flat wound strings:

   "Pyramid flatwound strings are distributed by Vintage String Distributors,
    http://www.pyramidstrings.com/ and are available either directly 
    from Vintage String Distributors or from selected Pyramid String 
    Dealers in the USA.

    The Pyramid 12 string set is approx. the same gauges (.010-.0465) 
    as the old Rick/Maxima # 483 flat wound 12 string set as well as
    being pure nickel."

    [info@pyramidstrings.com 9/5/1998]

   "Tomastik-Infeld flatwound strings are available from
       John M. Connoly & Co. Inc.
       24 Vernon Valley Road
       East Northport, NY 11731
       516-757-0110"

    [rick12dr@aol.com 9/5/1998]

   "The best [...] flatwounds for 12-string come from Pyramid [...]
    The strings are expensive but well worth the $35 or so you will spend, 
    as they last a very long time, and the tone is the right one. GHS also 
    will put together a custom set of flats, and I have discussed it with 
    a rep at Thomastik-Infeld, but don't even ask how much THEY were!

    GHS really don't do it for me, as their flats are just not nearly as
    smooth. The company that should make 12-string flats is D'Addario, whose
    High Finish Ribbon Wound flats are EXCELLENT for the money ($10 or less
    for a 6-string set)."

    [Bob Belloff, BobKat2@worldnet.att.net, 1/6/1998]

   John Hall had this to say about the effect string choice has on the
   intonation of twelve-string guitars which have a six-saddle bridge.  
   Even if you have a six-string guitar, you'll find his observations 
   about the uniformity of diameter of strings fascinating:

   "There are actually only a very few string factories producing guitar 
    strings in this country, and all the rest of the brands . . . including 
    some of the really well known brands . . . are done as private label 
    production.  Certainly we do the same thing; it's a very specialized 
    business and we certainly know more about making guitars then we do 
    about making strings.

    The base problem is that the strings coming out of these very few 
    factories are simply not created equally. There's one very prolific 
    producer out there that simply makes a very poor quality product, and 
    at times, strings from this factory end up marketed as expensive, 
    quality brands. On the other hand, the identical strings also appear 
    as bargain brands, just as some truly good strings do too.

    I am specifically referring to uniformity of diameter, as this is where
    almost all intonation error originates. If you have a guitar that doesn't
    want to intonate but is otherwise in good adjustment, and you have a
    micrometer available to you, measure the diameter up and down the string. 
    I virtually guarantee that you'll find significant manufacturing variation
    over the length of the string.  Basic physics tells you that it will be
    utterly impossible to adjust this out, no matter whether you have a 6 or 
    12 saddle bridge.

    Again I'll say it: if you use a quality . . . uniformly gauged . . . 
    string set on a twelve-stringer, you will have no difficulty whatsoever 
    intonating the guitar using a 6 saddle bridge."

   [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 8/29/1998]

   See the Rickenbacker Owner's Manual section on strings, 
             http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/strings1.htm

   [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 2/4/1999]

   "Think about this for a second. Surely everyone knows that the
    pitch of a string vibrating is directly proportional to the
    tension and the mass of the string. Imagine that your string is
    just slightly oversize but say only between the 5th and 6th
    fret. You tune your string to an open note which is the entire
    string vibrating. Now you set the intonation when fretting out at
    the 12th fret, and that's supposed to be an octave higher since
    the mass is exactly one half. (The tension stays the same,
    neglecting fretting imprecision.)  But in fact there's less than
    half the open string mass because more is centered back there
    between the 5th and 6th fret.

    Now it gets worse. You play notes on the 5th fret and below and
    that extra erroneous mass is still in there affecting the
    pitch. Play on the 6th fret and above, and it all goes away.

    Inconsistent strings won't intonate no matter how many saddles you
    have.  Laws of physics. Period."

   [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 8/27/2002]

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Top Document: alt.guitar.rickenbacker Frequently Asked Questions
Previous Document: 5.3 What are the neck widths of the various Rickenbacker models?
Next Document: 5.5 What are some suggestions on how to re-string my Rickenbacker 6-string or 12-string guitar?

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