Heavy/Light Gauge String Sets = stress on neck?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by cooljuk, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. morbidalex666

    morbidalex666 Senior Member

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    Agreed

    Old (as in 30 years old plus acoustics) require a neck reset in most cases, because of the stress they have been under by 12-13 gauge strings over such long period. And these acoustics usually have pretty bulky necks.

    Electrics on the other hand tend to not be stringed with that heavy strings and thus, may not require such process. But on the other hand, many have skinny weak necks on them (SGs, Ibanez style instruments). In the event that they do twist however, it will most likely depend on the type of stress they were under and the strength of the particular piece of wood that is the neck. This strength may not symmetrical.

    How much of a twist though? My belief is that if the neck is sterdy enough to begin with; the possible twist will not pose a problem and will be dealt with so little as a simple fret level.
    A weak neck, like an early Ibanez Wizard neck which was extremely thin, single piece maple, will likely have more trouble.

    There are also many other reason for a neck to twist, completely unrelated to string tension.

    Personally, I became kinda supersticious and switched to regular sets, after having used hybrid sets for a few years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  2. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    This might surprise you James.

    I remembered reading up on string tension a while ago and one of the things that stuck out is that contrary to popular belief the Low E wound string is NOT the highest in tension. When strung to pitch most MFG's strive for a balanced tension approach simply because it improves the feel of the strings under the fingers while playing.

    Don't let the outer diameter of the string fool you. All the strings in a given set have a near same diameter core as the rest. The rest is just wrapping layers built up over the core wire. These layers DO NOT contribute to the tension of the string as they are merely wrapped over the core and not fastened to it in any way.

    Ever broke a wound string and watched it unravel? That's my point... The core wire broke so the wrappings just come apart. They aren't holding any string tension when the core breaks.

    A lot of MFG's also use a thinner wire in the wrapped strings to make up for the heavier mass of the wound strings to make them more flexible and brighter by giving the wrapping less diameter core wire to hold on to.

    Conversely strings made for drop tuning can use a thicker core wire to help make the string LESS wobbly and still offer a similar stiffness of feel to standard strings.

    This thicker core, being the part that actually creates the tension, is why drop strings shouldn't be used at standard tuning! The resulting tension from the thicker wire and mass would be out of spec for a standard guitar tuning head and bridge parts of the guitar. Truss rod and neck will prolly outlast the other 2, but you're not doing it any favors either.

    Example from D'addirio
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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  3. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Hey James, I thought you might enjoy a detailed look at a different kind of winding! Enjoy!

     
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  4. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Senior Member

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    @DarrellV - since he hasn't posted in this thread since 2009, tagging him might get his attention better @cooljuk ;)
     
  5. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Well, SOB! I've GOT to start checking dates more!

    If it pops up on the 'New Threads' I guess it never occurs to me that its old. I'm confused...:confused:
     
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  6. garybaldy

    garybaldy Senior Member

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    We are on the same wavelength - I was going to suggest an Epi!:naughty:
    I've done similar on threads in the past but no-one's bitten.
    BTW I have seen twist in some guitar (and/or may be bass) necks. Probably some from my own collection.
    I don't think it's because of any radical difference in string tension, it's just what can happen.
     

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