I slapped on a new set of normal-tension Savarez Corum Alliance strings about a month ago. I’ve been wondering for, oh, the past forty years or so, if somebody would one day come up with a viable alternative to nylon strings. Leave it to Savarez to finally get the job done.
If you play a classic guitar much at all, you most likely know full well how nylon strings behave, their strengths and weaknesses. Beautifully mellow and perfect for yanking with bare fingers probably sums it up.
But I’ve often yearned for a nylon string set that exhibited a bit of the sound and behavior of acoustic bronze-wounds. Something a bit brighter, with more robust resonance and punch, but not sacrificing the finger-friendliness intrinsic to nylon strings. I still wanted to be able to yank and dig into the strings as you can on nylons.
These new Savarez trebles are made of a composite monofilament, commonly called “carbon”, apparently. Here’s how Savarez describes them (in their somewhat stilted English translation):
The KF ALLIANCE fibre has the same density and elongation properties as gut. Its density is higher than the polyamide fibres. The KF ALLIANCE strings are thinner than the nylon ones. They can resist a 35kg tension (harp). The low internal frictions between the molecules increase the durability of the string beside a sustained sound. The G-3rd string provides a great homogeneous transition between the B-2nd and the D-4th. It ideally balances with the other strings of the set in terms of sound quality. It is no longer necessary to use a G wound string to balance the set.
Now, the basses are also a bit different:
Our technological discoveries enable us to manufacture strings of greater pliability unlike anything else in the world, offering a very quick and accurate response. Their flexibility allows the musician to build his own sound, to create many other colours of sounds and nuances. Their design has been based on a reduction of the internal frictions. The string hardly vibrates, the sound lasts longer at a higher level. The CORUM basses offers a perfect balance coupled with the KF ALLIANCE trebles, exclusive to Savarez.
This “reduction of internal frictions” sounds interesting. I’m not sure what the hell that means, but I sure could use a lowering of my own internal frictions from time to time, so I’m good with it.
My impressions after a month:
- The strings, once they settle in, hold tune remarkably well.
- The sound is unmistakably brighter, and more resonant. I find the tone quite suitable for classical, jazz and flamenco stylings. Very nice sustain in both registers, and not at all harsh to my ear.
- Durability seems decidely better than nylons. After a month of gigging several times a week, both basses and trebles still ring well, and judging from the fret wear on them (which seems less than one would get from nylons), I suspect they will last another month without problem.
- While the trebles are a bit thinner in diameter than nylons, I’m not noticing any issues with regards playability or comfort. I can play hard without discomfort.