Advantages to the Right Mix of String Types

Custom String Sets and Mixed Pre Packaged Sets

Advantages to the Right Mix of String Types and Materials



Finding the right mix of guitar string tensions and materials can dramatically change the sound and response of your instrument. Understanding these combinations is key to unlocking your sound and improving playing comfort.

Some manufacturers offer a variety of bass guitar string types and treble guitar string types ready to purchase in a variety of combinations, but many players create their own mixes of guitar string types often from different manufacturers.


Strings By Mail C3 - Custom Customer Concoction


Strings By mail C3, or custom customer concoctions, are ready to purchase custom guitar string sets or sets for other instruments, such OUD or ukulele string sets. These C3 sets are developed by SBM customers which often are especially fitting for specific instruments or styles of playing.  The information on the product page for each of the C3 sets can guide players to find a set to suit their own needs, or help them realize their own perfect custom guitar string set. The Majestic C3 is an example of an electric guitar string set that that mixes strings from 3 manufacturers that combine for advantages in touch, sustain, and tone, particularly on a solid body electric guitar using Dimarzio pickups, while the C3 ADD is designed for use on a solid spruce archtop instrument.  Each of the classical, acoustic, flamenco, and electric C3 guitar string categories contains options for many different guitars and for many different qualities. Choosing an existing C3 or establishing your own also allows the convenience of one click shopping for complex combinations and the ease of guiding others to try your particular combination for themselves.



The Savarez guitar string line offers an excellent example of offering a wide variety of options to mix different treble and bass materials in a pre-packed set in their combinations of Corum, Cantiga, & Classic bass sets with either carbon or clear nylon treble sets.

Savarez classic bass guitar strings are used in the 540 line of products and are known for a powerful punchy sound. As a stiffer material, they do require more effort to create vibrato. In contrast, the Corum bass guitar strings found in the 500 series sets are known for a softer touch allowing easier vibrato and exhibit more sustain and less punch than the Classic 540 bass strings. Carving out a character that combines qualities of these two sets are the Cantiga 510 series bass guitar strings. As the newest addition to the line they do combine a reasonable amount of power with a balanced amount of sustain, requiring a medium level of effort for vibrato.

Cristal treble guitar strings are relatively soft modern clear treble guitar strings exhibiting significant sustain and ease of vibrato. Alliance treble guitar strings are a stiffer and more powerful carbon treble guitar string with a notable high volume punch to their attack and less ease of vibrato.

While the intensity of a high power carbon treble set may fit a given guitar and player, the same guitar and player may not be best suited to the high power of Classic bass guitar strings. So the availability of carbon trebles with the softer Corum bass guitar strings, which is found with the 500 AJ & AR sets, provides an excellent option.  To understand all the guitar string combinations offered, watch for the 500, 510, or 540 representing the three bass options and the letter “A” representing the use of Alliance treble guitar strings in a set. While the “C” represents the use of cristal nylon treble guitar strings in a set (exception 540 sets have alliance trebles unless the “C” is present). The letter “J” indicates high tension and the letter “R” indicates low tension. For example 510 AJ is a high tension set with Alliance treble guitar strings and Cantiga bass guitar strings, while a set of 540CR is a low tension set with Classic bass guitar strings and cristal trebles guitar string. The presence of both an R and a “J” indicates a mix of normal tension treble guitar strings with high tension bass guitar strings. The presence of an “H” indicates polished bass guitar strings.

Players can usually make a reasonable estimate of which combination may be best, but the experience of trial and error is the path to certainty in choosing the best guitar strings for you and your instrument. With a staff that has tested many hundreds of sets of different guitar strings, Strings By Mail welcomes inquiries for advice by phone or email.  Call 800-513-8271 or email [email protected] for assistance.




4 thoughts on “Advantages to the Right Mix of String Types

  1. This is not really meant to be published. It is a technical question for your staff.

    I play a custom made 3/4 size guitar body with a string length of 23″. the tuning is DGBE It is basically an over sized baritone ukulele with the “D” and “G” stings doubles and octave apart and the “B” and “E” as singles. I have been using Aquila Nylgut Baritone and love the sound, but find the high and low “G” are too short and don’t give equal volume I have tried adjusting the saddle pickup and come close but not what I want. Do you have any suggestions as to string combinations with a relatively light touch?

    I have been playing Traditional Hawaiian Music for 60 years and feel that this custom instrument has the best intonation with the cleanest and richest sound out of all the hundreds of instruments I have tried or played.

    Maholo, Gaylord

    1. Hi Gaylord! Our Customer Service Representative has responded directly to your question via email. I believe he had a few more questions for you. Let us know if you haven’t received the email.

      Strings By Mail

  2. Very helpful information, I never understood how the Savarez line was organized. And I never considered mixing manufacturers in the same set. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for reading, Laura. It is great to see how the Savarez line is organized and broken down by their lettering format.

      More and more people are beginning to experiment with their strings, and ultimately mixing manufacturers to find their perfect sound.

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