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 Post subject: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:11 am
Posts: 42
Location: Maui, Hawaii USA
Aloha all!
I have a question for all you cedar top dread players out there:
***-This is primarily regarding the AMAZING Takamine EAN10C-***

Put simply: What gauge strings and metals formula do you favor for this and similar cedar-topped/mahogany back dreadnaught guitars?

Backstory: I played this guitar occasionally for years, with 10-47 EJ15's from D'Addario on it, when I would visit my mom.
The guitar was hers at the time. My experience was always so lovely with this guitar, but I thought it was weird to have such light gauge strings on it...so when it became my guitar, I set it up for EJ/EXP16's (12-53 gauge). It could have been a lack of true experience with cedars that caused me to do this...

Current: In the meantime, my ear for sound/music has been maturing at a solid pace(thank you Dr. Hexler for giving me back the gift of good hearing), and I have been refining my stable of stringed instruments to try and not only bring out each ones very best tone and playability qualities, but to set-up each guitar, bass and ukulele up for their best natural "purpose". I have guitars that I feel work better setup for certain open tunings...some for different picking or strumming styles...some for slide or heavy-handed blues, etc...

All has been well, I suppose, with the EAN10c...but I cannot help but wonder if the lighter gauge 10-47's, or maybe 11-52's(as a compromise) would be better...for a few reasons...

First: Cedar is a soft wood, so lighter than normal strings(for say spruce tops) has been recommended by some, for structural reasons.
Second: This particular guitar is solid top AND back, and rings so nice...with belly buzz and such...and maybe likes lighter strings? Less overdriven??
Lastly: Sometimes I think, though Glen Hansard absolutely wonderfully and successfully strums his EAN10c to near death with all that passion...that maybe this guitar is really actually designed(begging) for a lighter, finger-picked touch?

Yes, I am being a little obsessive about this whole tone/playability thing...
I could just shut up and play...keep it simple...
But I am at weird and fun certain place on my journey to meaningful musicality...training my ears, voice and instruments.
-Or are they training me?!

Any comments would be so appreciated!:)

Jayboy

_________________
'72 Tak F400S(RIP)
'77 Tak F385
'84 Tak GX200T
'00 Tak FD400SC
'06 Tak EAN10C
'09 Breedlove AC250CR
'13 Gibson Les Paul 70's Tribute
'14 Epi Les Paul Custom Pro
'15 Agile AL3100MCC
'11 Ibanez AGR73T
'74 EB-3 Bass
'11 Ibanez AEB5-ENT Bass
3 Lanikai Uke's


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:41 am
Posts: 31
Location: Florida's First Coast
Jayboy wrote:
Aloha all!
I have a question for all you cedar top dread players out there:
***-This is primarily regarding the AMAZING Takamine EAN10C-***

Put simply: What gauge strings and metals formula do you favor for this and similar cedar-topped/mahogany back dreadnaught guitars?

Backstory: I played this guitar occasionally for years, with 10-47 EJ15's from D'Addario on it, when I would visit my mom.
The guitar was hers at the time. My experience was always so lovely with this guitar, but I thought it was weird to have such light gauge strings on it...so when it became my guitar, I set it up for EJ/EXP16's (12-53 gauge). It could have been a lack of true experience with cedars that caused me to do this...

Current: In the meantime, my ear for sound/music has been maturing at a solid pace(thank you Dr. Hexler for giving me back the gift of good hearing), and I have been refining my stable of stringed instruments to try and not only bring out each ones very best tone and playability qualities, but to set-up each guitar, bass and ukulele up for their best natural "purpose". I have guitars that I feel work better setup for certain open tunings...some for different picking or strumming styles...some for slide or heavy-handed blues, etc...

All has been well, I suppose, with the EAN10c...but I cannot help but wonder if the lighter gauge 10-47's, or maybe 11-52's(as a compromise) would be better...for a few reasons...

First: Cedar is a soft wood, so lighter than normal strings(for say spruce tops) has been recommended by some, for structural reasons.
Second: This particular guitar is solid top AND back, and rings so nice...with belly buzz and such...and maybe likes lighter strings? Less overdriven??
Lastly: Sometimes I think, though Glen Hansard absolutely wonderfully and successfully strums his EAN10c to near death with all that passion...that maybe this guitar is really actually designed(begging) for a lighter, finger-picked touch?

Yes, I am being a little obsessive about this whole tone/playability thing...
I could just shut up and play...keep it simple...
But I am at weird and fun certain place on my journey to meaningful musicality...training my ears, voice and instruments.
-Or are they training me?!

Any comments would be so appreciated!:)

Jayboy


Yo Jay,

* I work full-time as a solo acoustic musician on the Florida coast so my guitars take a lot of salt air, humidity etc... I've been using Tak's for years in models that for the most part have cedar tops and sapeale b/s in satin finish > KC70, P3DC, P3MC, P3NC... love this combo and they work well for my reggae/trop-rock style. I use Martin SP Phosphor Bronze mediums tuned a 1/2 step down which equate to slightly higher tension then lights at standard tuning. These guitars take a beating and hold up well, no structural issues, sound great and they keep on truckin'! While I've chewed up my cedar tops a bit as I beat on them a bit percussively, tho not to the extent of Glen Hansard's... yet :lol: I do my own maintenance and set ups and they play well.

** So I would not be worried using mediums at Eb or standard as I've done both. I sold my P3DC to a fellow working local musician who tunes it to standard and always uses Ernie Ball medium PB's with no issue. 10-47 and 11-52 are too light imo for me, they sound thin-buzzy unplugged and amplified... not beefy enuff and don't drive the top enough even tho it's cedar imo. I play finger style too so I guess the lights are fine for that, but I prefer the fullness of at least a 12-54 at standard, especially performing solo. The mediums tuned to Eb really sound best and no issues bending, just fat round highs and thicker lows-mids. Along with phosphor bronze, this is a great formula with satin cedar/sapeale Taks... I use Blue Chip TAD 50 picks too which add depth and fullness as well.

Hope you find your tonal recipe, cheers!

eric

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coastal acoustic music


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:44 pm
Posts: 259
Hey Jay. On my cedar tops I prefer to use the D'addario EJ17's. Medium gauge.


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:09 pm
Posts: 3573
Location: Phoenix AZ
I'm not picky about strings. There are probably benefits to certain strings on certain guitars but for simplicity sake I just use EJ17 on all dreadnaught sized guitars and EJ16 on anything smaller bodied.

I DID have a bridge pop off a cedar topped guitar, but it was able to be successfully repaired. The shop told me that the glued attachment of a bridge to cedar is inherently less strong than attachment to spruce. So if left unplayed for some time (weeks) I will go ahead and detune a bunch of steps just to be safe. Keeping consistent humidity is also very important, as most of the weakening of the glue joint is due to the different expansions of the bridge vs. the soundboard wood.


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:11 am
Posts: 42
Location: Maui, Hawaii USA
Aloha, Noledog, Tacky and TheFatGuy:
Big thanks for the thoughtful and thorough comments...!

Where I live(on the desert-side of Maui), we have roughly two seasons, so I set up all the family stringed instruments accordingly: twice(some are three times) a year. A cleaning/polish, slight truss-rod adjustment and new strings are the usual seasonal adjustments, with fretboard, nut and saddle attention occasionally/as needed.

The guitars all live in my first-floor condo(clean music studio-environment), which is climate controlled to around 50-70%(max peak), and around 70˚F.
This probably costs me an extra $100-150 bucks a month to do, but lets just say I would probably be paying nearly that anyways to keep my family air-conditioned and comfortable:)
Outdoors though, all bets are off. I try to take only the all-laminates outside, but the solid top/back guitars sound so nice...well they sometimes go too... I do avoid subjecting these guitars to big, elongated temp and moisture swings, though..

I guess I baby my instruments. And, as time goes on playing/adjusting guitars...my ears are becoming increasingly sensitive to slight intonation issues. So I have really been going after this notion of doing increasingly more "perfect guitar setups", which feels neurotic at times, hahaha...

I should just shut up and play!

Its nice to hear(noledog) that even the Cedar-topped Taks seem to take the rigors of outdoor busking/gigging...
I am supposed to start doing "outdoor-dining/event" gigs, and want to use my EAN10C as my #1 guitar. And yeah, it could be Sapele backed...it kind of has the stripes that Sapele is known for...? I dunno... Sounds great either way...
Eb tuning could be a good move... Or maybe it should become my open G or D tuning guitar?!
- think I think this guitar would probably slay some warm Hawaiian slack-key music...

I have traditionally been a Spruce/Rosewood Tak guy, with lighter Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor-Bronze strings. But this Cedar/Mahogany or Sapele EAN10C is so warm, clear and resonant. And I switched to D'Addario strings a few years ago, for everything with steel strings...and pretty happy so far.

Just feeling blessed to finally have a few different, good guitars...and I dont want to mess them up...!

Thanks again, guys!

Jayboy

_________________
'72 Tak F400S(RIP)
'77 Tak F385
'84 Tak GX200T
'00 Tak FD400SC
'06 Tak EAN10C
'09 Breedlove AC250CR
'13 Gibson Les Paul 70's Tribute
'14 Epi Les Paul Custom Pro
'15 Agile AL3100MCC
'11 Ibanez AGR73T
'74 EB-3 Bass
'11 Ibanez AEB5-ENT Bass
3 Lanikai Uke's


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:44 pm
Posts: 259
Havent see you around the FB Takamine group lately. Whatever you do for gigs, I am sure your mom would be proud you are carrying on a family tradition. Best of luck to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:11 am
Posts: 42
Location: Maui, Hawaii USA
Aloha, TheFatGuy!
Yeah...its been a while...
I hope everyone is well, considering what a crazy year and a half its been.
I am actually back at this thread, due to same concern as original post.

My EAN10C's cedar top is a little bellied, all of a sudden.
I think it is a radiused top, to begin with, but did develop a bit of a bulge behind the bass-side strings...
The curious thing is that we have had a record dry year... 35-55% humidity.
And I keep this guitar 100% in its hard-case -when not in use.
With a desiccant pack in the neck pocket.

All my electrics have been suffering from dryness, and needed fret ends smoothed.

I did notice that the strings seemed a slight bit tarnished on the EAN10c, when I pulled it out.
They aren't old strings...
Maybe I trapped humidity in the case, last time I used it?

Anyway...drying out the guitar with strings off...

...and considering extra light gauge strings now...

Before de-stringing, I noticed the bellying caused slightly higher action at the bass side of the strings, of about 1/64"
Didn't notice any loose bracing issues.

Bellying is less noticeable now.

Still a bit concerned though...

_________________
'72 Tak F400S(RIP)
'77 Tak F385
'84 Tak GX200T
'00 Tak FD400SC
'06 Tak EAN10C
'09 Breedlove AC250CR
'13 Gibson Les Paul 70's Tribute
'14 Epi Les Paul Custom Pro
'15 Agile AL3100MCC
'11 Ibanez AGR73T
'74 EB-3 Bass
'11 Ibanez AEB5-ENT Bass
3 Lanikai Uke's


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:11 am
Posts: 42
Location: Maui, Hawaii USA
Update:
The Tak EAN10c's belly flattened out, after a few days of strings being removed, and sitting in a dry environment.
I am now happily using the D'Addario EJ15 Extra Lights. Two gauges lighter than the EJ16's(EXP16) I had used previously.
Slight bellying, but action is great and guitar sounds full and rich, so...I am happy.
Jayboy

_________________
'72 Tak F400S(RIP)
'77 Tak F385
'84 Tak GX200T
'00 Tak FD400SC
'06 Tak EAN10C
'09 Breedlove AC250CR
'13 Gibson Les Paul 70's Tribute
'14 Epi Les Paul Custom Pro
'15 Agile AL3100MCC
'11 Ibanez AGR73T
'74 EB-3 Bass
'11 Ibanez AEB5-ENT Bass
3 Lanikai Uke's


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:44 pm
Posts: 259
Hey Jay, the EAN10 shouldnt react that poorly to humidity unless it was a LOT. Tap the top and see if you can hear a loose brace. Could be the humidity/heat cause some glue to come loose. Hope all is well with you


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:11 am
Posts: 42
Location: Maui, Hawaii USA
Great to hear back from you, TheFatguy!

The weird part is that the EAN10c guitar has been hard-cased and stored in a closet, in a consistently relatively cool and dry closet.
Never left in a car, never sees direct sunlight...or even really played outside.
I thumped on the soundboard to listen for loose bracing, but maybe I need to go in with a mirror and inspect the bracing better.
I just love this guitar...and it sounds and feels so great:)

Which is your favorite Takamine right now?

Jayboy

_________________
'72 Tak F400S(RIP)
'77 Tak F385
'84 Tak GX200T
'00 Tak FD400SC
'06 Tak EAN10C
'09 Breedlove AC250CR
'13 Gibson Les Paul 70's Tribute
'14 Epi Les Paul Custom Pro
'15 Agile AL3100MCC
'11 Ibanez AGR73T
'74 EB-3 Bass
'11 Ibanez AEB5-ENT Bass
3 Lanikai Uke's


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:15 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Jayboy wrote:
Great to hear back from you, TheFatguy!

The weird part is that the EAN10c guitar has been hard-cased and stored in a closet, in a consistently relatively cool and dry closet.
Never left in a car, never sees direct sunlight...or even really played outside.
I thumped on the soundboard to listen for loose bracing, but maybe I need to go in with a mirror and inspect the bracing better.
I just love this guitar...and it sounds and feels so great:)

Which is your favorite Takamine right now?

Jayboy

Excuse me butting in - my favourite Takamine is a 1987 G330 so-called Lawsuit era guitar. A reproduction of a Martin D18. And hi to TheFatGuy.

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1987 Takamine G330


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:44 pm
Posts: 259
Jayboy wrote:

Which is your favorite Takamine right now?

Jayboy


Likely my old TW13. Its one guitar that hasnt been back in a case for nearly a year. That or my wifes Gifu Cho. The favorites do change though.


slick wrote:
Excuse me butting in - my favourite Takamine is a 1987 G330 so-called Lawsuit era guitar. A reproduction of a Martin D18. And hi to TheFatGuy.


Hey Slick. I think the 340 is quite often better than a D18, and the 330 is better than the 340. Something about the nato back and sides that makes it just that much better


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:11 am
Posts: 42
Location: Maui, Hawaii USA
I love my EAN10c so much...
What I would do to have a Takamine CP400NYK New Yorker, though;)
I have always loved parlor-sized guitars, especially with V-shaped necks...
Not sure the neck-profile...but this will be my next guitar...!

I hope you guys are all well!

Jayboy

_________________
'72 Tak F400S(RIP)
'77 Tak F385
'84 Tak GX200T
'00 Tak FD400SC
'06 Tak EAN10C
'09 Breedlove AC250CR
'13 Gibson Les Paul 70's Tribute
'14 Epi Les Paul Custom Pro
'15 Agile AL3100MCC
'11 Ibanez AGR73T
'74 EB-3 Bass
'11 Ibanez AEB5-ENT Bass
3 Lanikai Uke's


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:15 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Melbourne, Australia
TheFatguy wrote:
Jayboy wrote:

Which is your favorite Takamine right now?

Jayboy


Likely my old TW13. Its one guitar that hasnt been back in a case for nearly a year. That or my wifes Gifu Cho. The favorites do change though.


slick wrote:
Excuse me butting in - my favourite Takamine is a 1987 G330 so-called Lawsuit era guitar. A reproduction of a Martin D18. And hi to TheFatGuy.


Hey Slick. I think the 340 is quite often better than a D18, and the 330 is better than the 340. Something about the nato back and sides that makes it just that much better

So TheFatGuy - long time, no talk. How are you doing, my friend?? How is FB going these days??

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1987 Takamine G330


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine EAN10C Cedar Top vs. String gauge question
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2021 7:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:44 pm
Posts: 259
slick wrote:
So TheFatGuy - long time, no talk. How are you doing, my friend?? How is FB going these days??


Group is great but FB still continues to be a royal pain, with no signs of them getting better


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