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Santa Cruz DADGAD Strings
 
The latest set of Santa Cruz Parabolic Tension strings is optimized for DADGAD tuning.
February 23, 2022
 

Santa Cruz Guitars’ line of strings has caught the attention of players looking for great-sounding strings with balanced tension, regardless of whether they are used on a Santa Cruz instrument or a different brand of guitar. Available in “low tension” and “medium tension” sets, the Santa Cruz Parabolic Tension strings forgo the standard gauge-based naming convention, focusing instead on the actual tension the set puts on the guitar. Santa Cruz’s standard guitar sets roughly correspond to what would otherwise be called a “light” and a “medium” set, but besides being excellent strings, they have also called attention to the fact that factors such as thickness of the core wire and type of winding can have a significant impact on the tension of two different kinds of strings of the same gauge. I’ve enjoyed using Santa Cruz strings on several of my guitars, and I recently had a chance to demo the company’s Baritone sets for Peghead Nation. A few months ago, Santa Cruz asked me to try some prototype sets of strings optimized for DADGAD tuning. I thought the prototypes were excellent, so when Santa Cruz sent us a couple of sets of production strings, I strung up my Lowden O10 and headed for the Peghead Nation video studio for a demo. 

A set of strings optimized for DADGAD tuning uses heavier gauge or higher tension strings for the first, second, and sixth strings, which are, of course, the ones tuned down from standard tuning. This results in an overall string tension similar to standard tuning and means there’s less risk that the lowered strings might buzz or have intonation problems. Santa Cruz’s DADGAD sets use the same proprietary lead-free nickel alloy, anti-corrosive coating, and solid ball-ends as the company’s other sets. 

I found the low-tension set to be a great match for playing fingerstyle on the Lowden, which has a long scale. I did try the medium tension set, and I’d probably choose that for a shorter scale guitar or if I was playing with a pick. I found the overall tension of the set to be very comfortable, but perhaps more importantly, the string tensions that Santa Cruz chose performed well without feeling too floppy, which can be an issue when using a standard light-gauge set in DADGAD. Compared with other brands’ DADGAD sets, the sixth string seemed to be a little heavier, which I liked a lot, as it helped when I dropped the string even lower to C. And this, of course, leads to another aspect of DADGAD sets: they’re not limited to playing in DADGAD. They work well for any D-family tuning, such as D major or D minor, but I also like using them for “Orkney” tuning (CGDGCD), and have come to appreciate the extra tension on the trebles when playing in standard or dropped-D tunings. DADGAD sets have, in fact, become my favorite sets for most of the tunings I regularly use. As I’ve found with other Santa Cruz sets I’ve tried, the strings have very good longevity and a nice warm tonality I’d compare with phosphor-bronze strings.

Guitarists looking for DADGAD-specific sets have fewer options than those who use standard strings, and the Santa Cruz sets are an excellent new choice. santacruzguitar.com

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The Santa Cruz founder and flatpicking virtuoso team up for a presentation about the company at Organic Sounds Guitars.
 
 
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com