Guy Babusek
Guy Babusek
@guy-babusek
6 years ago
96 posts

John Shaw:
Here comes a "minority report"!  I don't like the various "squeakless" varieties at all.  I'm with Linda Brockinton in thinking that they sound dull or muffled.  I'm happy to accept a bit of squeak if that's the price I have to pay to achieve a lively sound.  (Guy is quite right about taking care to lift off the pressure when sliding on a wound string so as not to squeak too much, however.) 
 That's interesting. I didn't find the muffled sound at all on the Elixir strings, John... but I did experience what you describe on the others I tried. The Elixirs in both varieties sounded like very good wound strings to me. I especially like them on my baritone... helps keep the sound effects to a minimum there!


updated by @guy-babusek: 12/29/15 12:09:29PM
John Shaw
John Shaw
@john-shaw
6 years ago
60 posts

Here comes a "minority report"!  I don't like the various "squeakless" varieties at all.  I'm with Linda Brockinton in thinking that they sound dull or muffled.  I'm happy to accept a bit of squeak if that's the price I have to pay to achieve a lively sound.  (Guy is quite right about taking care to lift off the pressure when sliding on a wound string so as not to squeak too much, however.) 

Guy Babusek
Guy Babusek
@guy-babusek
6 years ago
96 posts

I like the elixirs too! They don't seem to muffle like some of the others that I have tried. Sometimes I just use regular "non squeakless" strings and try to take more care on my wound strings to lift off the pressure when I slide so I don't squeak too much.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
6 years ago
1,867 posts

Rob points out the alternative to the more expensive flat-wound (or wound in general) bass strings -- a plain steel/phosphor bronze bass string.  There's no String Law which says you must use a wound bass string.  Often the olde tymers just used a heavier gauge plain string.  I find they work just fine for me too.

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
6 years ago
413 posts

My Keith Young dulcimer came with a set of his squeakless strings on it.  It is an unwound bass string, .024 phosphor bronze.  It doesn't have quite the sustain I like, but it sounds good.  You can check any of my videos with the Young and see how that sounds. 

Stewart McCormick
Stewart McCormick
@stewart-mccormick
6 years ago
65 posts

 I think I'll go on Just Strings and order a set, at least a couple squeakless wound, to try out! 

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
6 years ago
1,485 posts

It probably doesn't make sense to buy whole sets of squeakless strings for dulcimers since only the wound bass string is technically squeakless.  And as Ken says above, if you play in a drone style you don't fret the bass string anyway, so don't worry about it.

I buy .24 gauge squeakless strings in bulk from JustStrings and Folkcraft which I use on my standard-sized dulcimers.  The ones I buy have the plastic coating like the Elixir strings that Kristi mentions above.  I remember Linda Brockinton commenting once that she found those squeekless strings to have a muted tone and didn't like them. I have never noticed that personally.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
6 years ago
806 posts

I use the Folkcraft sets with the flat wound bass strings. Certainly cuts out the noise when you slide on the string. If you don't play chords, squeakiness strings are not needed, IMO, as plain  steel strings do not squeak.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Bob Reinsel
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
6 years ago
79 posts

objectsession:
I don't want to divert the thread, but I'd also like to hear how they compare to flatwound or flattop strings. First of all, are either of those the same as squeakless strings? . . EDIT: I just remembered to use the search function. So, McSpadden squeakless strings are flat*wound*, right? Is that the same for other squeakless sets? I put flatwounds on my mandolin, and I'm pretty happy with them there. (Different instrument, I know.)

Yes, McSpadden squeakless strings are flat-wound.




--
Bob
Site Moderator

The greatest music is made for love, not for money -- Greg Lake
Kristi Keller
Kristi Keller
@kristi-keller
6 years ago
84 posts

There are only a couple of string manufacturers - so lots of the strings are the same except for package. Elixer Nanoweb and Polyweb are my favorite low squeek strings. You can buy individual strings through Just Strings and try 'em. GHS Fast ret may also help.

objectsession
@objectsession
6 years ago
11 posts

I don't want to divert the thread, but I'd also like to hear how they compare to flatwound or flattop strings. First of all, are either of those the same as squeakless strings? . . EDIT: I just remembered to use the search function. So, McSpadden squeakless strings are flat*wound*, right? Is that the same for other squeakless sets?

I put flatwounds on my mandolin, and I'm pretty happy with them there. (Different instrument, I know.)


updated by @objectsession: 12/23/15 11:05:22AM
Bob Reinsel
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
6 years ago
79 posts

I've used McSpadden squeakless strings. I have them on two instruments right now. To me they are warm and mellow, but not mushy or muddy.  I like them. 




--
Bob
Site Moderator

The greatest music is made for love, not for money -- Greg Lake
Stewart McCormick
Stewart McCormick
@stewart-mccormick
6 years ago
65 posts
Has any one tried GHS, or any other brand, Squeakless Strings? Just curious about tone and such...
updated by @stewart-mccormick: 06/08/16 09:24:05PM