Best Acoustic Guitar: Question About Acoustic Guitar Strings?

my acoustic guitar is a Samick model sw 210, i cannot seem to find anything about it on their website (and it is an old guitar) but i have been told by friends i should use electric guitar strings, because the sound is more full. i purchased some light tension nickel guitar strings, but im worried the tension will be too light, and the truss rod might bow the neck…

this guitar is very important to me, it used to be my mom’s. i want to try it, but i wanted to make sure if it will bow or not. if anyone has tried this or knows how little tension a six string samick sw 210 can take, i would be very grateful if you could get back to me, thanks.

Comments

  1. Char M says:

    If the wood is rosewood, then use regular acoustic strings, usually nickel wound brass. The high E should be no more than .011, but the low E shouldn’t be more than .052. If you want fuller sound lose the nickel and use brass strings. they have to be replaced more often but are worth it. A good medium string set should give you the sound you want without damaging your guitar.

  2. Torbjorn says:

    Please don’t listen to your friends, they have obviously no clue about guitars. Politely tell them to bugger off :-)

    This is an acoustic steel string guitar, and nickel wound electric strings do not sound good on it. Nickel wound strings are designed to give a better magnetic response with electric guitar pickups.

    Strings that are designed for acoustic steel string guitars are typically either bronze or phosphor/bronze wound. The plain (unwound) strings are steel.

    As for the tension, it is not a big deal if you use lighter strings than what you currently have. Yes, you may need to have the truss rod adjusted slightly, but this is a common procedure. Just don’t do it yourself if you are uncertain about what you’re doing.

    A lighter string gauge will need the truss rod to be slackened a bit – if it needs adjustment at all. It is not sure that you will need it if you go from, say a set of 012s and down to 011s.

    Take those electric strings back and change them for a set of bronze wound steel strings. At the same time, have a qualified guitar tech take a look at the guitar for you and if needed, set it up properly for you with the gauge you want. A well adjusted guitar is so much more comfortable and enjoyable to play!

    Be aware that lighter strings are easier to play but give less volume and bass response than a set of medium or heavier set.

    And don’t worry about having the truss rod adjusted – it’s an everyday procedure guitar techs do. Just don’t leave it to your friends :-)

  3. Tony B says:

    If you’re using electric guitar strings on an acoustic you obviously want the worst sound you can get, a fact born out by your choice of “light tension” strings!

    I’ve never come across the idea of tension being “too light” or a truss rod that might “bow the neck”.

    Frankly, what you say is rubbish – don’t listen to your “friends” they are winding you up!

  4. Jonathan says:

    I don’t think you need to be worried about the truss rod bowing the neck, because I don’t think it has one. The pictures I found of the Samick SW210 online don’t show any place for a truss rod adjustment (unless it’s inside the sound hole?). The couple of reviews I could find suggest it was a tough, no-nonsense guitar. I would just get a regular medium-guage steel-string set and not worry about it.

  5. Steve says:

    Ya know, if I were you and this guitar is important to you, I would go to a guitar shop and have it looked at. I would talk face to face with a professional. They will be able to tell you exactly what needs to be done, what strings to use, and how to take care of your guitar. If it sentimental to you, I would think that would be worth it.
    I do not think that nickel electric strings are the way to go, or any electric string. A good set of acoustic strings will go a long way. But I am thinking that you may have a folk or classical guitar on your hands and nylon strings may be what it needs. Again, check with a professional and find out what strings you need.
    My best source for strings is http://www.sncstores.com. They have an amazing selection and excellent descriptions about the products. Also http://www.musicainsfriend.com and http://www.juststrings.com!
    Good Luck!