From the May/June 2021 issue of Acoustic Guitar | By Mark Small

The late 1940s saw a major advancement in classical guitar strings when World War II restrictions caused Albert Augustine and Andrés Segovia to pioneer nylon sets—an innovative leap from gut strings toward reliability, tone, and improved intonation. The company still produces the “Classic” monofilament nylon Blue, Red, Black, and Gold lines of strings that built its reputation.

Augustine Strings has relaunched the premium Imperial and Regal classical guitar lines with new packaging to enable guitarists to easily identify which of the four sets will best serve them. The core products, utilizing Augustine’s special Crystal Nylon treble strings and silver-plated basses, have been available for 20 years. Colorful new packaging makes it clearer that the Regal line ($9.99) features its high-tension trebles paired with high-tension basses or in a hybrid set with medium basses. Alternately, the Imperials ($9.99) offer their medium-tension trebles paired with medium basses or in a mix with high-tension basses.

Typically, I find a brand and gauge of strings and stick with them for years. Trying these sets on two of my instruments stirred me from complacency. Stringing my Pepe Romero, Jr. cedar-top guitar (660mm neck scale) with the Imperial hybrid (medium trebles, high basses) energized it. Each treble string is merely 0.01mm greater in diameter than my former strings, but produces a different feel, timbre, and sustain. They’re powerful and sensitive to vibrato. The high-tension basses are between 0.02mm and 0.05mm heavier (from fourth to sixth strings) and provide depth and a secure feel. The Regals likewise enlivened my Antonio Loriente spruce-top (650mm).

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.

This article is free to read, but it isn't free to produce! Make a pledge to support the site (and get special perks in return.) LEARN MORE...