Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Vintage, Modern, V & C Series, Signature & Special Editions

Moderators: rickenbrother, ajish4

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (teb) » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:42 pm

Pyramids being not a healthy choice for Ric twelves is just about the only thing that I ever remember J.H. and Dr. Quist agreeing on. I figured that such an unlikely event was probably a sign worth heeding. I don't think I lost anything by switching to TI's and they certainly do play easier. I used a bunch of left-over Pyramids to string my Hagstrom 8-string. It has really low action and even so, it was nearly unplayable (talk about a cheese-grater, jeeeez) so they came off and TIs went on that as well. I think the strings that came on my Hofner are Pyramids, as they are unbelievably stiff - and for no good reason that I can see or hear. They're coming off as soon as I get around to it. If you've never hoisted a Hofner bass, they're incredibly light and considering that one of the first things you do when looking at an old one is to make sure the neck is still soundly attached, I suspect lowering the string tension will be a good long-term move on that one, too. I never had any complaints about the sound of Pyramids, though both JH and Arnquist have mentioned that their diameters sometimes vary along the length of the string, causing intonation problems. I haven't noticed it, but there is no doubt in my mind that they are putting considerably more strain on the necks than some other brands do.
User avatar
(teb)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (tennis_nick) » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:21 pm

ric340JG wrote:
tennis_nick wrote:
No, I wrote to Pyramid and they sent me the tension of their strings.

Below is a comparison chart showing string tension (in kilograms):


The evidence however is only credible if you're doing the comparison over the same scale length, and since you don't mention the scale length used, I take it they never told you.


I don't mention the scale length used where? Who never told me?



The scale length in the tension test. If you're tuning to the same pitch on 2 different scale lengths, tension will be different.

Unless the scale length is mentioned, the numbers are just numbers, nothing more or less.
User avatar
(tennis_nick)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:56 am
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (ric340JG) » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:49 pm

OK, if I have understood you correctly Nick, you are saying that none of these string tension figures mean anything without indicating what scale length was used in the tension tests. So, the Thomastik-Infeld and D'Addario figures published on their respective websites are basically worthless. Hmm . . .
User avatar
(ric340JG)
New member
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (tennis_nick) » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:35 pm

ric340JG wrote:OK, if I have understood you correctly Nick, you are saying that none of these string tension figures mean anything without indicating what scale length was used in the tension tests. So, the Thomastik-Infeld and D'Addario figures published on their respective websites are basically worthless. Hmm . . .


Well. yes. that's exactly it.

They show you relative tension within a set, but nothing outside of that, which is what we're comparing.
User avatar
(tennis_nick)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:56 am
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (pablomago) » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:33 pm

I used Pyramids for a while, but found them to be lifeless and hard to intonate. I had SOB strings make me a custom 12 string set and my guitar came to life. They intonate perfectly as well. That's my experience. YMMV and all.
(pablomago)
New member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:56 pm

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (ric340JG) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:44 am

Since both Paul Wilczynski and John Hall have stated that Pyramids are high tension and that they have been known to damage Rick necks, that is something I simply cannot ignore, or argue. I have ordered a set of TI Jazz Swing 10-44's and I am looking forward to trying them out.

At the same time, I would like to share with you the results that I got comparing the following three flatwounds most commonly used on Ricks: Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing, Pyramid Gold, and D'Addario Chromes. I already posted such a chart in an earlier post, but after tennis_nick's valid point that the evidence was only credible if you're doing the comparison over the same scale length, I sent e-mails to all three companies and all three confirmed that the scale length they used for measuring the tension of all their strings was 25.5". I have no reason to doubt them.

So, here are two charts, one comparing these three strings in 10 gauge and the other in 13 gauge:

TI Jazz Swing (10-44
7.8
7.5
8.6
8.2
8.2
8.5
-------
48.8 SET TENSION

Pyramid Gold (10-46.5)
7.2
7.2
9.1
11.2
8.9
8.5
--------
52.1 SET TENSION

D'Addario Chromes (10-48
7.35
8.07
11.47
11.16
11.70
9.75
---------
53.06 SET TENSION

Pyramid Gold (13-52)
11.5
11.5
13.0
12.0
11.5
11.0
-------
70.5 SET TENSION

TI Jazz Swing (13-53)
11.8
11.4
12.4
12.4
11.3
11.8
---------
71.1 SET TENSION

D'Addario Chromes (13-56)
12.43
11.93
15.92
15.92
14.92
12.24
---------
83.36 SET TENSION
User avatar
(ric340JG)
New member
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (teb) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:20 pm

I guess it boils down to either believing the figures they give you, or believing what your fingers and your truss rods will tell you. The difference in real life is pretty obvious.
User avatar
(teb)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (ric340JG) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:39 pm

teb wrote:I guess it boils down to either believing the figures they give you, or believing what your fingers and your truss rods will tell you. The difference in real life is pretty obvious.

True, but please also keep in mind what John Hall just pointed out to me: that string stiffness is not the same thing as string tension. I for, one, prefer the stiffness of Pyramid string. What I do not like about them is their tension, even though, as we see from the above chart, it turns out that they are far from being the highest compared to the other three. As for believing the figures they give, that is something I cannot comment on.
User avatar
(ric340JG)
New member
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (tennis_nick) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:28 pm

ric340JG wrote:
teb wrote:I guess it boils down to either believing the figures they give you, or believing what your fingers and your truss rods will tell you. The difference in real life is pretty obvious.

True, but please also keep in mind what John Hall just pointed out to me: that string stiffness is not the same thing as string tension. I for, one, prefer the stiffness of Pyramid string. What I do not like about them is their tension, even though, as we see from the above chart, it turns out that they are far from being the highest compared to the other three. As for believing the figures they give, that is something I cannot comment on.


That's right. Tension and stiffness (technically called Compliance) aren't the same, different factors come into play.
User avatar
(tennis_nick)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:56 am
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (ric340JG) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:49 pm

tennis_nick wrote:
ric340JG wrote:
teb wrote:I guess it boils down to either believing the figures they give you, or believing what your fingers and your truss rods will tell you. The difference in real life is pretty obvious.

True, but please also keep in mind what John Hall just pointed out to me: that string stiffness is not the same thing as string tension. I for, one, prefer the stiffness of Pyramid string. What I do not like about them is their tension, even though, as we see from the above chart, it turns out that they are far from being the highest compared to the other three. As for believing the figures they give, that is something I cannot comment on.


That's right. Tension and stiffness (technically called Compliance) aren't the same, different factors come into play.

. . . so the fact that Pyramid strings have greater stiffness does not necessarily mean they have greater tension. Right?
User avatar
(ric340JG)
New member
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (tennis_nick) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:01 pm

ric340JG wrote:
tennis_nick wrote:
ric340JG wrote:True, but please also keep in mind what John Hall just pointed out to me: that string stiffness is not the same thing as string tension. I for, one, prefer the stiffness of Pyramid string. What I do not like about them is their tension, even though, as we see from the above chart, it turns out that they are far from being the highest compared to the other three. As for believing the figures they give, that is something I cannot comment on.


That's right. Tension and stiffness (technically called Compliance) aren't the same, different factors come into play.

. . . so the fact that Pyramid strings have greater stiffness does not necessarily mean they have greater tension. Right?


Technically no, but I wouldn't be surprised if the factors affecting one also affect the other, so there's probably a correlation.

I wouldn't be surprised however if it were possible to create a low tension string that feels rather stiff, and vice versa.
User avatar
(tennis_nick)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:56 am
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (ric340JG) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:16 pm

Again, please allow me to quote John Hall, who said that the "stiffness issue is entirely separate from the tension matter."

So, let's say that stiffness is a personal preference you either like it or you don't. I like it. But let's not confuse stiffness with tension. So, obviously it is not stiffness that is damagaing Rick necks, so what is?
User avatar
(ric340JG)
New member
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (teb) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:13 pm

However, stiffness is not what causes the need for adjusting your truss rods, which is why I mentioned it above and everybody seems to be conveniently ignoring it.
User avatar
(teb)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (ric340JG) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:37 pm

teb wrote:However, stiffness is not what causes the need for adjusting your truss rods, which is why I mentioned it above and everybody seems to be conveniently ignoring it.

No, it is definitely string tension that is putting strain on your guitar neck and causing you to adjust your truss rods. The only question is, why are Pyramids said to have the highest tension when in fact we see that they really don't. And what about 13 gauge strings, what do we do about the fact that Pyramids have the LOWEST tension of the three? The fact that Pyramid strings have been known to damage Rick necks -- which I take to be true -- is probably due to the fact that for a long time in the past Pyramids were extremely popular among Rick users, so logically of all the damaged necks, the greatest percentage was on guitars strung with Pyramids

It's either that, or Pyramid is lying about their string tension, which is not very likely becuase Pyramid is a very old and respected string-making firm, established in 1850, and somehow I doubt they would jeopardize their impressive international reputation by lying about their guitar string tension, for which they have absolutely no reason. Besides, if they felt their string tension was too high, they would surely have changed it.

And finally,there is a third possibility, which John Hall has pointed out to me: "the German Pyramids are not the same sets sold in the United States." When I talk about Pyramids, I am always referring to the German ones. Being from Europe I purchase my strings directly from the Pyramid factory in Bubenreuth, Germany. So, if there are some other Pyramids being sold in the US, be they Pyramids, Tetrahedrons, or whathever else, perhaps they are the ones damaging Rick necks and perhaps people should start buying Pyramids directly from the Geman factory.
User avatar
(ric340JG)
New member
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Re: Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

Postby (teb) » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:17 pm

You seem to be quoting a bunch of "facts" that none of us know to be true. We don't know how accurate Pyramid's measuring is, or anyone else's, or whether or not they even think it's important. The fact that they're an old company doesn't guarantee anything about their accuracy. Old people lie, too. Trust me, I am one and I do:). What I do know is that despite that very official-looking chart, if you have your Ric set up for super low, smooth action using Pyramids (which I had done to my first 360/12, and by one of the best Ric-twelve doctors on the planet) and then you switch to Ric compressed strings or TI Jazz Flats, you're going to have Fret-Buzz-O-Rama until you back off the truss rods. That's a pretty bombproof indicator that your string tension has been reduced. You are certainly free to use whatever strings you want on your guitars without coming here for justification, but I'm going to believe what I actually see and feel in real life, rather than somebody's chart of dubious origin.

It actually wouldn't be that difficult to build your own tension measuring device if you really need to . Then you could test all the brands on the same machine and scale length.
User avatar
(teb)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Rickenbacker Guitars: by John Simmons

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests