Blueridge BR60 dreadnought

MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
Decided to give some love to my rather neglected Blueridge BR60 dreadnought acoustic guitar today. I never really bonded with this guitar somehow, but maybe I should have put a bit more effort into the relationship ...

So have done a fret level and dress, which has got rid of an annoying slight buzz on the high E first fret. Filed down the saddle base a little, which has dropped the action a bit with no obvious ill effects, applied almond oil to the fretboard, and just a general setup and restrung with a set of 11s 80:20 bronze strings.

Also I've ordered this set of bone nut, compensated saddle and bridge pins on ebay, http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-Set-Acoustic...=item3f0c56b0fc which will hopefully improve the tone over the plastic ones fitted now, but that is work for later at this stage.

Having played the 11s for a while, I find them not bad, but a little light in tone somehow - so I've just ordered 3 sets of 13s (13-56) bronze strings on ebay... Hope I don't live to regret that lol, just thought I'd go all out for tone, and see if my fingers can cope. Time will tell, but interested to know others experience and thoughts regarding acoustic guitar strings, types, gauges etc. Cheers guys!
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Comments

  • Ape09090Ape09090 Posts: 2,744Member
    I'm interested to know what the quality of that saddle will be when it turns up.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,520Member, Moderator
    I use 12s to get the most tone while leaving me some chance of bending. 13s should sound really full on a dreadnought. As ever, let know how you get on.
  • Just TelJust Tel Posts: 498Member
    I play acoustic most of the time and have used various makes and gauges over time. However I have now settled on D'Addario Phosphor Bronze 11s as my standard for all my acoustic guitars as they last well and give me the nice bright sound that I aim for when played acoustically or through an amp. I maintain the bright sound by using Fastfret once or twice a week between string changes. Good luck with the 13s and hope that they are not too hard on the fingers

  • Options
    As you ask, and hope I won’t disappoint

    10p – 14p – 18p – 26ns – 34pb – 46pb \:o

    The corresponding tuned weights are:

    16.2 – 17.8 – 18.6 – 18.4 – 19.5 – 20.0 giving a neck stress of 110.4

    I usually run electrics the same except for slightly heavier in ns on the bottom E and A ;\)

    Probably most of the strings are D’Addario's or Newtone’s and no the combination is not stock.
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Posts: 355Member
    I love the sound of 13s but they can be pretty heavy on the fingers. I keep meaning to go back up to 10s on my Fenders. Maybe after I've done that I'll go up from 12s to 13s on the Taylor too..
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Thanks for all the replies so quickly chaps!

    Ape: I'm interested to see what the quality is like too, seems very cheap, but I have found genuine bargains on ebay before now, so optimistic.

    Lester, I think the "common sense" choice for me too would be 12's - as you say a good compromise to give playability and tone. I think I am after a really full tone though, so maybe the 13s will suit. I do have a feeling they will work well with this particular guitar too - we will see if I'm right about that!

    Just Tel: Cheers for the good luck, I may need it! I will have to give fast fret a go as well, so thanks for that idea.

    Surf - interesting, somehow not surprised to hear you are a bit of a maverick regarding string gauges! I like Newtone strings as well btw - I have often used their double wound nickel sets on my jazz archtop, with terrific results, might have to order some more of those in fact...

    Sticky - I am a bit concerned I'll find the 13s on the tough side - I have 11's on my solid body guitars, plus I do already use 13s on my jazz guitar, but it's a different kind of beast, and the action can be set very low, which compensates a lot. The acoustic requires a bit more force as you can imagine. Anyway, I'll try to get it as well set up as possible, and give it a fair crack of the whip at least.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,520Member, Moderator
    I am not the expert but I understand that with thicker gauge strings you can get away with a lower action.
  • Ape09090Ape09090 Posts: 2,744Member
    I put a set of Martin phospher bronze 10's on my old Sigma and they sound ok to me.
    I need to pay some attention to that guitar to get the action down a bit on it yet though.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    I will try to get the action on my acoustic as low as I can without overdue compromise on tone or string buzzing - I tend to agree with your idea that heavier strings can accomodate a lower action Lester. Also, I do find that different guitars just seem to suit certain gauges somehow, and I have this hunch that the 13s will bring out the best in my acoustic. Maybe your Sigma works better with lighter strings Andrew - there are no rules I think, and I'm not suggesting heavy strings must equal better tone, it's just an option that may help in some circumstances.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Forgot to mention, not that it matters, but also ordered a dark tortoiseshell pickguard in the classic Martin dreadnought teardrop shape. The guitar did have a pickguard when bought, but for some daft reason I removed it. It didn't sound any better without the guard, and I now think it just looks wrong, so easily sorted for a modest £3.74 (ebay/dangleberry music). Ebay can be fun sometimes!
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    Re ying-tong strings, I found Peavey Highway’s quite respectable for the price. Play quite well but not for that long.

    Out of interest and for comparison, a standard set of D’Addario’s pb Medium 13-56
    13p – 17p – 26pb – 35pb – 45pb – 56pb

    have standard tuned weights of
    27.4 – 26.3 – 35.3 – 36.8 – 34.0 – 29.0 giving total neck loading of 188.8 lbs/in

    and 13-56 are not considered Heavy? \:o

    But, if there’s any interest in trying something like my set-up, for a rough approximation get a set of mediums and a single .10. Use the .10 for your high e, move everything else up, and sell the .56 to a jazz player

    10p - 13p – 17p – 26pb – 35pb – 45pb

    Feel the difference and drop in some multi string bends ;\) Then you can always add the .56 again and drop the .10 for regular Medium, and it only cost one .10 to try it out – my boy.
  • elkayelkay Posts: 239Member
    Graham, quite some time ago I took the heavier strings, bone nut, saddle and pins mystery tour, and, contrary to most other folks, found that I hated the results. I realised that I like high frequency tinkle, and found that I got more of this with tusq rather than bone, and lighter strings. I now have (gasp, shock, horror!) 10s on my acoustics. Each to his own I guess, depending on your tonal preferences.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    I use 10's on my acoustic. This is so that the feel is not that dissimilar to my electrics.
    What does make a huge difference to an acoustics' sound is how often it is played. A guitar played regularly opens up and sounds wonderful. The same guitar picked up once every few months will sound dull by comparison. You can actually buy a device that you lay on the soundboard of an acoustic and it "exercises" the soundboard, opening up the tone.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    elkay: well, it's always possible that could happen in my case also, just something I have to try. At the moment it seems to me I'm getting too much high end tinkle, without enough body to back it up - I want a more rounded, fullsome kind of tone, deeper if you like. The 13s plus bone nut etc. may or may not be the answer, we will see. Nothing wrong with being able to get a good tone with 10s though! depends on the guitar as well I suspect. What acoustic do you have, out of interest?

    Jocko: what you say is true, and I should play this guitar more often I know. And obviously 10s work fine for some, including elkay and yourself - I can see the advantages of that, but just don't think it's right for me and/or this guitar. I recently put 10s on one of my electrics and they felt too skinny lol! I used to use 9-46 about 25 years ago but those days seem to be long gone, funny how things change! I'm sure you must have told us this already, but what acoustic do you have J?
  • LurcherLurcher Posts: 710Member
    Megi, like Jocko I like my acoustic to feel as much like my electrics as possible. As mine has a compensated bridge (like the one on your link) I was delighted to find a set of Martin 80:20 with a wound third.
    If the lack of metal on the 10's were a problem, I'd change back but actually the thing is so loud anyway that I find it just ideal.

    Brian
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Cheers for that Lurcher - it does seem there are no shortage of players out there using 10s on their acoustics. Sounds like you have a nice acoustic if it is getting plenty of response from the 10s, can I ask what it is?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Been doing a bit of playing with DADGAD tuning, am finding this seems to breath a bit of life into the acoustic, and I do find it intreguing. So maybe alternative tunings will provide a role for the acoustic, I must admit I have struggled to know what to use it for at times.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Talking acoustics, I have alway had a bit of a thing for the Martin D45 with lots of abalone inlay, and hexagon block inlays - I just think it looks so cool, plus I'm kind of into early 70s Neal Young, Jackson Browne - those kind of guys, and have seen footage of people like that using the D45. It's not really based on logic, more of a romantic king of thing lol!

    Nice pic of one here: http://www.rumbleseatmusic.com/guitar%20pic%20pages/93MartinD45Nat.html
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    List price over $10,000 I'm going to have to start saving! http://www.martinguitar.com/model/item/203-d-45.html
  • elkayelkay Posts: 239Member
     Originally Posted By: Megi
    elkay: well, it's always possible that could happen in my case also, just something I have to try. At the moment it seems to me I'm getting too much high end tinkle, without enough body to back it up - I want a more rounded, fullsome kind of tone, deeper if you like. The 13s plus bone nut etc. may or may not be the answer, we will see. Nothing wrong with being able to get a good tone with 10s though! depends on the guitar as well I suspect. What acoustic do you have, out of interest?

    Yes, I know what you mean about having to try it for yourself, we've all done it. Have you considered using an O-port for a fuller sound? I'm fortunate enough to have a lovely Martin J40, which has a wonderful full sound. I also recenrly acquired a Stonebridge GS-23-CR from Richard.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    elkay - I hadn't even heard of the O-port, just found out about it, and what an interesting product, I think I'll have to give that a go somehow, cheers for the idea. You have some nice guitars there, that Martin must be fabulous, and I've heard very nice things about Stonebridge too. Do you use an O-port yourself with either of these guitars?
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Posts: 355Member
    I actually have an O-port going spare if you want to try it?

    PM me your address and I'll pop it in the post?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    What a nice place this forum is, thanks for that Sticky I won't say no, will PM my address, and cheers! \:\)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
     Originally Posted By: Surfsilver
    Re ying-tong strings, I found Peavey Highway’s quite respectable for the price. Play quite well but not for that long.

    Out of interest and for comparison, a standard set of D’Addario’s pb Medium 13-56
    13p – 17p – 26pb – 35pb – 45pb – 56pb

    have standard tuned weights of
    27.4 – 26.3 – 35.3 – 36.8 – 34.0 – 29.0 giving total neck loading of 188.8 lbs/in

    and 13-56 are not considered Heavy? \:o

    But, if there’s any interest in trying something like my set-up, for a rough approximation get a set of mediums and a single .10. Use the .10 for your high e, move everything else up, and sell the .56 to a jazz player

    10p - 13p – 17p – 26pb – 35pb – 45pb

    Feel the difference and drop in some multi string bends ;\) Then you can always add the .56 again and drop the .10 for regular Medium, and it only cost one .10 to try it out – my boy.


    All interesting stuff Surf, I would echo your surprise that in the acoustic world, 13-56 is called "medium gauge" - I too would have thought that's pretty damn heavy! I don't see many sets of 14s out there for one thing...

    I have 13-56 half-rounds on my jazz box and like them very much, but as I say, a different kind of beast to an acoustic. I guess if I find the 13-56 too much on the acoustic, I can always do as you suggest, and add a 10/throw away the 56 to get an ultra light acoustic set up.

    The 11s I have on at the mo are Peavey Highway One's btw - I just got them because they were fairly cheap, but they do seem good enough I agree.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
     Originally Posted By: Megi
    I'm sure you must have told us this already, but what acoustic do you have J?

    My work-a-day acoustic is my 1988 Epiphone PR350-S

    I also have a Tanglewood 12, a Perez 640 classical, and my bowl back Tanglewood electro acoustic.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Nice honest looking guitar Jocko, cheers for the pic - is it stock, or have you do any work like changing the saddle or nut? How does it sound also?
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    I replaced the nut because I over filed the original, prior to getting my clock gauge. New nut is Tusq. I reduced the saddle height a little by sanding the base. I also replaced the machine heads, as one of the originals has a partially stripped thread on the collar. New ones are a smidgen smaller but not so you would notice. They have the same footprint. I have the originals in a bag, carefully marked up.
    I have had the guitar from new. It was a Christmas present from my ex. At the time Boots were selling cheap guitars and as I had been without one for a while I asked for a Boots one for Christmas. My ex asked my brother, who is a guitarist too, and he said to get this one. Great choice.
    It plays beautifully, especially with new 80/20 d'Addarios on it.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    All the better for those changes I'm sure - funny to think of Boots selling guitars! still, looks like you got a good 'un. I tend to find I prefer 80/20 bronze to the phosphor bronze myself - the phosphor bronze are warmer I think, but there is a brassy, bold quality to the 80/20s which I love.
  • elkayelkay Posts: 239Member
     Originally Posted By: Megi
    elkay - I hadn't even heard of the O-port, just found out about it, and what an interesting product, I think I'll have to give that a go somehow, cheers for the idea. You have some nice guitars there, that Martin must be fabulous, and I've heard very nice things about Stonebridge too. Do you use an O-port yourself with either of these guitars?

    No, I don't use an O-port, as the J40 is already a perfectly balanced full-sounding guitar, and the GS23 is so recent that I still haven't really got to know it yet. Let us know how you find Sticky's O-port.
  • Options
     Originally Posted By: Megi
    I don't see many sets of 14s out there for one thing...

    Delving into 14’s, unbelievable neck loading.

    14p – 18p – 27pb – 39pb – 49pb – 59pb

    31.8 - 29.5 - 38.4 - 45.2 - 40.0 - 32.2 neck loading 217.10 \:o

    I have a resonator set as a lap slide, and was sure I am not that brutal to the neck even though it’s built to run heavier than a normal acoustic – though not up with the massive dedicated square necks.

    Sure enough, though I run 14-56 my loading is only 146.7, or 152.3 if I wind the bottom D up to E.

    D – B – G – D – B - D (E)
    14p – 17p – 24ns – 30pb – 35pb – 56pb

    23.7 – 24.8 – 26.4 – 25.5 – 24.5 – 21.7 (27.3) = 146.7 (152.3)

    But, as no fretting takes place, is there any point in balancing the strings? For me, yes. When pressing the slider no string or strings are dominant ;\)
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