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Author Topic:  Jules Ah See tuning gauges question
Paul McEvoy

 

From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jul 2020 4:01 pm    
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Hello all

I finally strung my 8 string Melbert in the Jules Ah See C13 tuning.

According to John Ely's site
the gauges should be:
E .014
C .017
A .020
G .024w
E .030w
C .036w
Bb .042w
C .060w

But the SIT 8 string set has

1st E
.015

2nd C
.018

3rd A
.022

4th G
.024

5th E
.030

6th C
.036

7th A
.042

Basically the unwound strings are all .001 larger. I added a wound .060

Just wondering, I assume this is all pretty unimportant but would anyone go through the effort of putting together single strings for the exact gauges? I kinda assume everyone just uses strings from the packages.
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 13 Jul 2020 6:57 pm    
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I don't know what Jules had on his guitar. My various ones have had a .064, .068, and .070 for the low C. I lean towards the thicker ones, like the 70 one on my Clinesmith, but your nut has to be ready to accept that, else you'll have a larger string throwing off the flat top surface of your strings...in which case you have to adjust the nut accordingly...
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Paul McEvoy

 

From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jul 2020 7:12 pm    
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wow that's pretty big on the bottom. The .060 does seem a bit floppy thus far.

I was more wondering about the unwound top gauges?
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Cody Farwell


From:
Sunland, CA
Post  Posted 13 Jul 2020 9:53 pm    
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Paul,

I usually use .016, .018, & .020 for the top 3 strings of my C6 or A6.

I mainly play A6 and like to have a bit tighter tension up top. The only difference I've noticed is that heavier gauges on those unwound strings can make it more difficult to execute string pulls. I've never been any good at them either way, so I don't worry
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2020 4:36 am    
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The 7680 set, from John Pearse, was added with input from Alan Akaka, and if anyone living would have reason to know what Jules used it would be him (he has one of his Magnatones, which had been sitting in Benny Kalama's basement for years). Now I doubt he measured the original strings, but these are the gauges of the 7680 set. A bit lighter...but Alan also likes the flexibility of retuning to various C6-related tunings, and he tends to player longer scale guitars, as I do:

.015, .017, .020, .024, .028w, .032w, .036w, .062w

I've played C6/C13 sets with a wound and unwound G and I'm still not exactly sure which I prefer, so I wouldn't say its a dealbreaker either way for me.

Getting back to your original question...I think you're fine using that set. There might be here and there that I would tweak for personal preference, and the 42 would be a bit tight for a Bb, but I think you're fine. Change it when you have more of a reason to, is what I'd say, just play and enjoy it now!
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Duane Becker

 

From:
Elk,Wa 99009 USA
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2020 7:08 am    
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Jules was around in the 1950's. I'm not sure players-even pro players paid that much attention to string gauges. Old packages as I remember did not have gauges listed. Also my dad, who at the time as a Hawaiian and swing steel player in the Pacific Northwest, just couldn't figure out what the gauges meant. He always referenced the tuning note or string number, not the gauge. I remember early 1970s when I first saw strings listed by gauges. So maybe the gauges were not listed back in Jules day. I agree probably if anyone knew Jules gauges its Alan Akaka.
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Duane Becker

 

From:
Elk,Wa 99009 USA
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2020 7:11 am    
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For what its worth, I have one of my Fenders lined up with Jules' tunings per the Ely gauge suggestions, and seems to work fine. I might try the Pearse/Akaka strings-seems interesting!
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2020 9:18 am    
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Duane Becker wrote:
Jules was around in the 1950's. I'm not sure players-even pro players paid that much attention to string gauges.


Recent story Alan told me, of how chea...err, thrifty, Sonny Kamahele was...he would cut out guitar picks from old Chlorox bleach bottles (and was kind of proud of it too!). So yeah, I think they weren't too stressed about the details, they were just making music. In the modern era where everything (gear and information) is so over-abundant, we do start to worry too much about the overall non important minutiae (I don't think Jimi Hendrix cared whether his fuzz box used germanium or silicon transistors, or what gauge pickup wire his Strat pickups were wound in).

*(OK I take it back, I can see Jimi wanting to ditch Germanium transistor pedals if he ever played a summer show in the sun...I once had a (new) Ge fuzzbox die on stage, an outdoor July concert)
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Waikīkī, at night when the shadows are falling
I hear the rolling surf calling
Calling and calling to me
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Don Kona Woods


From:
Hawaiian Kama'aina
Post  Posted 16 Jul 2020 8:01 am    
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Nic says, "I think they weren't too stressed about the details, they were just making music."

Having lived in Hawaii in the 1960-1980 era, I can attest to the reality of what you are saying. I once pulled out chord charts for the backup musicians and they would have no part of it. They wanted to wing it or play with no attention to structure.
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