Newtone Heritage Low Tension 10-43 strings

stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member
Hi, Some of you will know from my 'introduce yourself' post that I suffer from tendonitis my in my left (fretting) thumb & arthritis in some of my left finger joints. One of the things suggested was trying low tension strings. Although I am really an electric guitarist, I do play acoustic as well, mainly for recording backing & noodling around on at home. I recently bought a Faith Mercury 'Scoop' parlour guitar as an attempt to find an acoustic easier on my fingers. While it is a big improvement over my previous acoustic, slimmer neck, smaller guitar, it could still be easier. So I decided I would try some low tension strings on the Mercury. I ordered two packs of Newtone Heritage Low Tension 10-43, these are the lightest they do in this range. previously I had used D'Addario EXP 80/20 10-47 & Elixar Nano Web 10-47.  The Newtones come in one packet (not individually wrapped) with small paper tags on each string indicating 6th 5th 4th etc. Straight forward to fit but note that Newtone say not to cut the excess string off until wrapped & wound to pitch. I did need to tweak the truss rod slightly to allow for less string tension. Once all the strings were on, wound to pitch, excess string cut, it took just a few chords to feel the difference, by the time I had played some bar chords up around the 5th to 8th frets and played a few lead runs, I knew these would be my new 'go to' acoustic strings. The ease of playing is so different to my previous strings, it is like playing an electric! The downside, but I would call it more of a difference, is the the tone. If you like the bright tone of say the D'Addarios these may be a shock, the overall tone is quieter & mellow, the tone of the 6th & 5th strings is mellow and muted, more like a flat wound but when you strum a full 6 string chord, the tone is full and even. On the plus side there is very little finger noise on these lower strings compared to the D'Addarios. This change in tone may take some getting use to and obviously will vary depending on your guitar, also the heavier gauges may sound different. For me I am happy to get use to it, as I say, it is a different tone not a bad tone. The ease of playing is so dramatic I would be hard pushed to go back to higher tension strings on a acoustic. Steve

Comments

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,986Member, Moderator

    Think I might give them a try.

  • jollytunesjollytunes Posts: 0Member

    Thanks for the review. For the record, after suggesting you try the Heritage strings I thought I'd better put my money where my mouth is and order some. I just hope I remember to not trim the excess till I've tuned up;-)

     

    I've ordered the same gauge to do a direct comparison with D'Addario EJ15 extra light strings. I don't expect them to sound as bright, and I'm hoping for a more mellow "jazzy" tone. It might be what I need to get inspired again as my playing has been neglected somewhat recently. Certainly a lot cheaper than buying a new guitar, though most of my guitars have already been set up to play as low as they will go, so I'm expecting to perform the odd tweak.

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member
    Originally Posted by jollytunes:

    Thanks for the review. For the record, after suggesting you try the Heritage strings I thought I'd better put my money where my mouth is and order some. I just hope I remember to not trim the excess till I've tuned up;-)

     

    I've ordered the same gauge to do a direct comparison with D'Addario EJ15 extra light strings. I don't expect them to sound as bright, and I'm hoping for a more mellow "jazzy" tone. It might be what I need to get inspired again as my playing has been neglected somewhat recently. Certainly a lot cheaper than buying a new guitar, though most of my guitars have already been set up to play as low as they will go, so I'm expecting to perform the odd tweak.

    If you are looking for a more "jazzy" tone I think you are going to be pleased, I like them more each day, I think when I come to record acoustic again, I am going to be really pleased, more mellow, less finger noise. Also for me the slight volume drop is not an issue, I can appreciate for some it might be.

     

    Thanks again the suggestion, at some point I will try their electric low tension.

     

    Steve

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member
    Originally Posted by Jocko:

    Think I might give them a try.

    If you are looking for easier fretting or more mellow tone, certainly worth it.

     

    Steve

  • geoguitargeoguitar Posts: 252Member

    from the Newtone site -
    “These strings are a completely new range which are designed to have a reduced and virtually equal tension on each string. They are made on Round cores with unique core-to-wrap ratios, so the gauges which match up with some of our standard sets are not the same at all!”
    I use Newtone Masterclass and DR Rares 13 - 56.
    the DR Rares are made the same way as the Heritage, thinner core heavier wrap = lower tension for a given overall string diameter - it’s (mostly) the core wire that you ‘compensate’ in the saddle AND that determines the tension.
    DR used to highlight this in their advertising blurb about ‘Rares’ but have wisely dropped it as people get very confused about ’technical’ details.

    Your average 5/6 £ a set strings are made to a cost, to sound ‘bright’ and last a fair amount of time as their more often as not put on budget / starter guitars by beginner / learner players, these factors dictate the type materials they use and how well their manufactured.
    I have found Newtone, DR and no doubt Thomastik-Infeld - quality strings on other words will allow you to hear what your guitar really sounds like, they have a transparency that reveals the sonic potential of your instrument whereas lesser quality strings mask that potential, so Steve it’s probable your hearing the actual sound of your guitar - can I ask - why so light a gauge since they are already a lesser tension ?.
    BTW DR Dragon Skins ARE ‘Rares’ with a coating.

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member
    Originally Posted by geoguitar:

    - can I ask - why so light a gauge since they are already a lesser tension ?.
    BTW DR Dragon Skins ARE ‘Rares’ with a coating.

     

    Due to the tendonitis & arthritis in my fretting fingers, the less pressure I have to exert the better. I appreciate that the construction of these strings are different to normal strings but in my situation it just makes sense to go as light as possible.

     

    As I have said I like the tone, I liked it right away, it suits my acoustic playing, but i can imagine some people might not. I have actually tried DR & Thomastik on my electric Bass, I really liked them both but very expensive for someone who only occasionally plays bass!

     

    Steve

     

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,986Member, Moderator
    Originally Posted by stevenew:
    Originally Posted by Jocko:

    Think I might give them a try.

    If you are looking for easier fretting or more mellow tone, certainly worth it.

     

    Steve

    Always in search of easier fretting.  My old joints are always a bone of contention (no pun intended).

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Steve,

     

    Thanks for the review.  I have the same guitar (the black Elcipse version) and have a set of Newtones waiting to go on, but I have to be honest the D'Addarios are refusing to lay down and die.  My Newtones are the full fat version so when I put them on it'll be interesting to see if the tone changes.

     

    How's your bottom end so to speak?  When brand new I found the Mercury's bass to be a bit of a dull thud on anything other than an open string.  But five months of playing now and it's really opened up and seems to be getting richer by the week.  Have the Newtones made any difference in this department?

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,666Member

    I've been using Newtone Low Tension strings on the Martin for the last few months and have only had positive comments about the tone. That's not to say the tone wouldn't be even better with other strings - but I'm more than happy with them, too.

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member
    Originally Posted by Reg Sox:

    Steve,

     

    Thanks for the review.  I have the same guitar (the black Elcipse version) and have a set of Newtones waiting to go on, but I have to be honest the D'Addarios are refusing to lay down and die.  My Newtones are the full fat version so when I put them on it'll be interesting to see if the tone changes.

     

    How's your bottom end so to speak?  When brand new I found the Mercury's bass to be a bit of a dull thud on anything other than an open string.  But five months of playing now and it's really opened up and seems to be getting richer by the week.  Have the Newtones made any difference in this department?

     

    Cheers, Reg.

     

    Hi Reg,

     

    The Faith Mercury is great isn't it, mine is the Hi Gloss 'Scoop'. I probably haven't used it enough yet to notice any fundamental change in tone. I find the bass fairly resonant, not deep like a 'jumbo':-) but pretty balanced, if i play a chord with a fretted 6th string note at say around the 7th/8th fret, yes it is a duller than around the 3rd/5th fret.

     

    When I got it I immediately changed the strings to the lightest coated D'Addarios, then after about 2 months tried the Elixar nano web, then maybe about a month later I have put the Newtones on. I felt there was too much fret noise with the D'Addarios when recording, the Elixars had less fret noise but something didn't gel for me. So far the Newtone are seem to be the ones.

     

    Steve

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    I also found the fitted D'Addarios very sensitive to noise.  I seem to hear it less now - so maybe it's improved my technique or maybe it's an indication that the strings are starting to wear, although they don't seem to have lost any general brightness.

     

    After playing for a few months in DADF#AD (I think this might be open D? - I don't know any theory) over the weekend I tuned back up to "standard".  I really noticed the improvement in the bass response from last time it was in standard.

     

    After 30 odd years of playing this is the first time I've ever owned a brand new acoustic. I'm finding the whole maturing process fascinating - I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion acoustic guitars need knocking in like an old fashioned cricket bat, and that what you hear in a shop is only general indication of what a guitar will sound like in a couple of years.   I think I'll get the wife to lob a few tennis balls at me in the garden to see if that accelerates the process.....

     

    BTW - I'm glad the Newtones seemed to have helped a bit with your hand problems.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member

    Reg,

     

    Funny, mine is the first 6 string acoustic I have ever bought new as well (I did buy a 12 string new many years ago, couldn't get on with it, sold it).

     

    Fret noise: A certain amount is technique, especially if you are in the main a electric player, but I am sure my technique on the acoustic hasn't changed much over the past few months yet the fret noise level is definitely different on all the strings I have tried.

     

    Yes the maturing process is interesting, the wood, oils from the fingers, room temperature, starting to sound like wine connoisseurs 'a plummy tone with a hint spruce & rosewood':-)

     

    I find harder than ever making conclusions on guitars in shops, because of my hand problems. If it is real bad it is pretty instant but often it is only after a few hours use I reach a conclusion.

     

    BTW with the Newtone low tension I think I am right in saying that they are designed for normal tuning only, I think they might do different strings for open tunings.

     

    Steve

  • geoguitargeoguitar Posts: 252Member

    yay, someone speaks the truth.
    Reg, as you’ve found out It’s a process you have to personally experience to KNOW.
    I experienced it in the late ’80’s with my Lowden and then again in the early 2000’s with my Bourgeois which took four years to (start to) ‘play in’.
    A lot of assessment of accepted ‘lo-fi’ internet recordings but almost always ignored is the important fact that their new instruments and I’d suspect the recording techniques, equipment and processing  have more to do with what you hear than the instrument it’s done on.

    I see Dream Guitars is putting out another ‘album’ of (new) stuff they have for sale, an album off new guitars, Hmmmm I’d feel short changed in the sound department if I were to buy a ’style over content’ marketing trick like that.
    Steve, I only play in ‘tunings’ and low tension are fine - ya just have to know the gauges that give you the ‘feel’ for what you play.

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member
    Originally Posted by geoguitar:


    Steve, I only play in ‘tunings’ and low tension are fine - ya just have to know the gauges that give you the ‘feel’ for what you play.

    Thanks for putting me straight on that one, just me getting mixed up because of the Heritage DADGAD set Newtone do.

     

    Steve

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    I think that DADGAD set, as one of the more popular alternate tunings, is specifically designed to even out string to string tension where DADGAD is the the permanent tuning.

     

    I think the converse to your thought process is the case - you wouldn't put the DADGAD set on and then tune up to standard.

     

    When I get my Guild back into action I'm thinking of trying a set as it's always been a lean mean DADGAD machine.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • geoguitargeoguitar Posts: 252Member

    yeah Reg is right, Newtone have done the sums for you with their DADGAD set to give a balanced set minus the usual floppy EB & low E strings.

    forgot to say, Eagle Music supply Newtone strings under their own brand name in Phosphor Bronze, they are available in 80/20 Bronze and Nickel and you can stipulate your own gauges in a set (if you feel up to it).
    Excellent selection of thumb picks also.

    http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/.../Eagle-Newtone/norec

    Ahhhhggh, not the dreaded DADGAD, that mother load has been heavily mined over the past 40 years and has become heavily cliched, you could always take some traditional tunes, predictably and simply ‘arrange’ then in DADGAD and flog ‘em as teaching material maintaining copyright of royalty free music off course, so Celtique.

    wheres the DADGAD Folk Robots -
    Ah -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kwq8X1th6c#t=12

    one of many

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ashabishoe

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by geoguitar:

    Newtone have done the sums for you with their DADGAD set to give a balanced set minus the usual floppy EB & low E strings.

    Ahhhhggh, not the dreaded DADGAD, that mother load has been heavily mined over the past 40 years and has become heavily cliched,

    Mind you, Carthy has done some wonderful stuff where he deliberately creates fret buzz when he flops down to CG on the bass or even lower.

     

    When it comes to tunings I guess you might be right - DADGAD is getting to be almost as cliched as EADGBE.

     

    I've been working on a new tuning - UPKILT.  I've decided not to limit myself to 12 notes when there's another 14 perfectly good letters in the alphabet, and it saves the bother of having to arse around tuning. Very non-model, very closed and very Kiltique.

     

    Cheers Reg.

  • geoguitargeoguitar Posts: 252Member

    yeah Reg, deliberate (buzzing) effects - ok.

    here's the man's take on 'tunings', just how I feel about the 'very open' tuning.

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-lAqiaLBTo#t=39

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Jack Rowland, if you know your Carthy

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member
    Originally Posted by jollytunes:

    Thanks for the review. For the record, after suggesting you try the Heritage strings I thought I'd better put my money where my mouth is and order some. I just hope I remember to not trim the excess till I've tuned up;-)

     

    I've ordered the same gauge to do a direct comparison with D'Addario EJ15 extra light strings. I don't expect them to sound as bright, and I'm hoping for a more mellow "jazzy" tone. It might be what I need to get inspired again as my playing has been neglected somewhat recently. Certainly a lot cheaper than buying a new guitar, though most of my guitars have already been set up to play as low as they will go, so I'm expecting to perform the odd tweak.

     

    Originally Posted by Reg Sox:

    Steve,

     

    Thanks for the review.  I have the same guitar (the black Elcipse version) and have a set of Newtones waiting to go on, but I have to be honest the D'Addarios are refusing to lay down and die.  My Newtones are the full fat version so when I put them on it'll be interesting to see if the tone changes.

     

    How's your bottom end so to speak?  When brand new I found the Mercury's bass to be a bit of a dull thud on anything other than an open string.  But five months of playing now and it's really opened up and seems to be getting richer by the week.  Have the Newtones made any difference in this department?

     

    Cheers, Reg.

    Just curious, have you guys checked out your Newtone strings yet? If so what do you think?

     

    Today was the first time in a few weeks I have played the Faith (been playing electric as usual) it was a real surprise, so easy to play but still not sure about the lower string (6th & 5th) tone. Still the ease of playing is so good I can live with it.

     

    Steve

  • jollytunesjollytunes Posts: 0Member

    Like Reg I'm waiting for my D'Addarios to lay down and die. Perhaps this weekend. I now have two sets and some fresh D'Addarios so I'm tempted to try them untrimmed before committing myself. I think the bottom end will always be a bit of a problem with low tension strings. The guy I bought my bass off had fitted gut strings but refitted steels for the lower pitched strings because they were so flabby. Odd how I can play my bass with little pain but then I guess it's because I'm fingering one string instead of six.

     

    I can see why you're attracted to electrics as they are so easy to play but I got fed up with the whole malarkey of setting up to play at home. I keep extra lights on one guitar and it'll probably be two if the Newtones don't work out.

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member

    I am really a electric guitarist, I use acoustic occasionally, mainly when recording, to either double up parts or to give contrast. 

     

    Funny thing is Reg & I have more or less the same Faith acoustic, and earlier he mentioned finding the bass notes a bit of a 'thud' with D'addario strings until the guitar opened up with time. I didn't have this at all with the D'addario or Elixr but I guess 'thud' describes the bottom E string with the Newtones. It sounds fine when playing chords but when playing single notes, it stands out. Of course it could just be a combination of the Newtones & my guitar.

     

    I have 4 electrics, one of them I cannot play at all now because even with 9-42 the neck is too chunky and hurts my thumb. The others are ok but I am still looking for the ideal neck on a guitar that I can afford:-)

     

    I use to have a bass that came with Thomastik-Infeld light gauge low tension on it. it played & sounded fine but the price of the strings was a shock:-)

     

    Steve

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    I've been away quite a bit recently so I'm embarrassed to say I've been lazy and still haven't got round to putting the Newtones on the Faith Mercury Eclipse.  I promise I'll share my experience when I get round to it (It's always the things that will only take 10 minutes to do that seem the most difficult to schedule!).

     

    I'm currently in the process of setting up a recording capability so maybe a direct comparison between the old the D'addarios and the new Newtones might make an interesting first project to share in a couple of weeks.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member

    Sounds good Reg, look forward to hearing your results.

  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,303Member

    Interesting review & thanks for drawing the attention to these strings.

     

    As someone who has twinges / pains of an arthritic nature in the fretting fingers, particularly the pinkie  it is of interest. I do find acoustics guitars much tougher on the fingers than electrics and as I've moved on to acoustics almost exclusively in the last 7 months I think that makes it more of a case that I should take notice of these.

     

    Looks from Newtones site as if a set of their 13s come in at a bit better than the total lbs tension of a set of D'Addario 12s. The same sort of comparison applies at each set of strings down from 13s. Assuming that Newtone base their tensions on the same scale length as d'Addario.

     

    Seems the 3rd, 4th and 5th strings which are most different. Maybe give it a try on one guitar when strings next needed. Though I've been using d'Addarios so long because of their bright sound it may be a problem with tone. Your mention of them maybe not being so good on single notes as chords may not suit my mainly fingerstyle playing, but each guitar will be different as will each player. Worth the risk methinks to ease the strain.

     

    The DADGAD set look intriguing too, as I've been playing that a lot recently. Trust me to be exploring what for me is a new field in DADGAD, when as mentioned it's become as cliched as standard tuning!

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member

    Mark P,

     

    Glad to be of help, I think if one is suffering from pain in the fingers, then trying what ever you can is worth it. I play electric 90% of the time but I was reaching the conclusion I would stop playing acoustic completely, because of the pain. The Newtones have for now have saved me:-) 

     

    As you say very guitar & player will be different, I will interested in what you think to them.

     

    Steve

  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,303Member
    Originally Posted by stevenew:
    Mark P,

    Glad to be of help, I think if one is suffering from pain in the fingers, then trying what ever you can is worth it. I play electric 90% of the time but I was reaching the conclusion I would stop playing acoustic completely, because of the pain. The Newtones have for now have saved me:-)

    As you say very guitar & player will be different, I will interested in what you think to them.

    Steve

    Hi Steve

    I saw how my father had to give up playing piano / keyboard due to arthritic fingers and I'm keen to at least delay when that happens to me with guitar for as long as possible.

    A set of 12s ordered. It was not easy finding the ball end ones in stock anywhere.

    I have a TW45 with a longer (650mm) scale and I'll try them on that. My TW73 Parlour guitar with its smaller dimension and shorter (628mm) scale is easier to play.

    Interesting to see if the strings even the two guitars out to a similar level. Now where's that truss rod key?

    Mark

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by Mark P:

    The DADGAD set look intriguing too, as I've been playing that a lot recently. Trust me to be exploring what for me is a new field in DADGAD, when as mentioned it's become as cliched as standard tuning!

    Please don't be put off.  There's snobbery in all walks of music (some shredders will castigate you if you try to play rock on single coils).  Ignore it and embrace DADGAD.  If it's good enough for some of my favourite full time professional musicians, who make a very nice living playing guitar, then it's good enough for me, and should be for you.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • stevenewstevenew Posts: 66Member
    Originally Posted by Mark P:
     

    I saw how my father had to give up playing piano / keyboard due to arthritic fingers and I'm keen to at least delay when that happens to me with guitar for as long as possible.

    A set of 12s ordered. It was not easy finding the ball end ones in stock anywhere.

    I have a TW45 with a longer (650mm) scale and I'll try them on that. My TW73 Parlour guitar with its smaller dimension and shorter (628mm) scale is easier to play.

    Interesting to see if the strings even the two guitars out to a similar level. Now where's that truss rod key?

    Mark

    That is sad about your father, but yes one has to do whatever you can to put off the inevitable:-( When I first got the tendonitis in my thumb, I must admit I panicked, I thought would have to stop playing but 2 years later I am still going. Many of the things I tried have helped, osteopathy, creams, exercises, rest, non drug pain management, changing guitars, and after all that I even have time to play:-)

     

    I pre ordered my Newtones from Strings Direct, only took about a week to arrive.

     

    Steve

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Per my previous post.  I've finally got all my new recording gear together and switched it on at about 10pm last night.  I then realised it was going to take over an hour to format the SD card so didn't actually get to the stage to make a test recording.  But hopefully sometime this week I'll be able to do the back to back comparison of D'addario and Newtone and post them.  I say "hopefully" as there's a bewildering array of new technology to master - it's a bit different from my old two track cassette jobbie from 30 years ago.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

Sign In or Register to comment.