. ••••• .
D'Addario Pro Arté Carbon
Classical Guitar Strings
Extra Forte Deluxe!
Peter Kun Frary
I’ve been pleased with both D'Addario Extended Play and Dynacore but am always on the lookout for something new. I strung up an old cedar top Jose Ramirez A-1 with a set of D'Addario EJ45FF ProArte Carbon Classical Guitar Strings and hit the practice room.
That old Ramirez has a powerful but dark and sweet voice. Ideal for Romantic solos but the dark timbre blends too well for ensemble playing. Carbon trebles are are supposed to be brighter than Extended Play and Dynacore and, indeed, really pop in the mix with these strings. They’re also extremely dynamic, long sustaining and can take shockingly heavy playing before buzzing. Intonation was absolutely perfect on the trebles. My main reservation with Carbon trebles is they cause a radical shift of the tonal character of my Ramirez. No longer sweet and dark but so bright it's more reminiscent of a requinto or ukulele than a guitar.
The basses sound great—robust, full and plenty of harmonics—but sound and feel the same as Dynacore basses. That is, a wee bit more bite than EXP or Pro Arté Nylon Core (EF45). Bass intonation is good but the D-string was slightly flat at the 12th fret (typical for D’Addario).
A couple observations on the feel of carbon trebles. They’re smooth under the fingers but a little less silky smooth than D'Addario Titanium or nylon trebles. There are no shift or stroke whistles like those that plague rectified trebles. However, these trebles are higher tension and thinner than other E45 (normal tension) variants and bite into my fingertips like a hungry dog. Not the best choice for gigs or for guitarists with sensitive fingertips. The first string only measures .024” vs .028 for D'Addario Pro Arté (EJ45). The total tension at pitch is a whopping 94.55LB vs 85.85LB for EJ45 and 81.05LB for EXP45. So Carbon Trebles are not for the faint of finger…
If you haven’t used composite core basses or carbon trebles before, be aware that they wind up to pitch more quickly than nylon strings. A few spins of the crank and the basses are good. One of my friends broke a composite bass string first time up because he used the same amount of cranks as regular D’Addario ProArte basses without listening to the pitch. The up side is less cranks mean faster installation and faster stretch out times due to the less elastic materials.
Carbon Strings are very different in feel and sound from traditional classical guitar strings. Yes, they are powerful and dynamic but the brightness and sustain of the trebles set them apart. In other words, they're bright like Flamenco strings but with enhanced sustain and no string squeaks. Ultimately, I found Carbon trebles too bright for my guitars and too hard on my left hand. However, they’re ideal for giving extra bite to a dark voiced instrument or nailless (flesh stroke) player.
Finally, please help support this website by purchasing these strings at Amazon.
• EJ45FF String Gauges: .0240, .0272, .0331, .028, .035, .044
• Composite core basses
• Carbon trebles
• Available in normal (EJ45FF) and hard tension (EJ46FF)
©Copyright 2015 by Peter Kun Frary All Rights Reserved
. ••••• .