fitted 8's to the R0

Brek

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and not hating them. Different in all ways, need a really light touch playing chords at the 'cowboy end'. very easy to press too hard and go way out of tune. Tone is not the thin and weedy mess I expected though. What is really great is the much reduced effort to bend, I am thinking of sticking with them as my forefinger and ring finger are showing signs of age damage as in tendon is tight and cannot close the fore finger fully and joint pain in the ring finger joint. so as much as I have repeated the 10's for tone mantra, my limited time with the 8's is proving that ain't necessarily the case.
 

Lungo

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I think most people would have similar experience. Use what works for you and don't fall into the misconception that heavier strings will give you "more tone."
 

el84ster

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I dig lighter strings but break them on the gig. I have to go with 10s then it’s cool.
 

Dolebludger

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Your problem with going out of tune at the cowboy end of the neck may be the result of the nut slots being cut too high. I have seldom got a guitar new or used wherein the nut slots were not too high, so I filed them down.

As for the 8s, I have tried them, and have had the problem of bending some notes in a chord sharp, and that doesn’t sound good, so I use 9 - 42s. But that is just me. If you aren’t having this problem, 8s are fine, and easier to solo with too. If the 8s sound too “thin” some amp and/or FX adjustment should solve that problem.
 

Brek

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I just got it back from having it set up for 8’s, I will have a few sessions with it this week, I think 8’s are a whole new technique, and I may have been better leaving 9’s on, that being said, it’s going to make me really focus on right hand control, they seem to be way more sensitive to hand resting on strings, but the positive trade off ref bending for me maybe worth persevering with the 8’s. I have a few peddles now so can mess about with settings for a couple of preset tones for this guitar. Not finding tone as is lacking at home playing levels right now though. The nut looked a tad high on the bass strings, I did check fretted notes on the first fret and theY were 100% in tune (But I am no setup expert by a long shot) so I think it’s me pressing to hard occasionally.
 

Mockbel

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I keep recommending this video again and again.. play what just makes you feel comfortable.. bigger strings = better tone is just bullshit !

 

Dolebludger

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Yes, string gauge size only matters as it affects the players' ability to play. It's all a matter of feel and coordination. Naturally, players with big strong hands and fingers often prefer heavy gauage strings (and thicker necks too). Those of us with smaller hands and fingers often prefer lighter gauge strings (and thinner guitar necks). It is just a matter of fitting the guitar to one's anatomy.
 

Tdurden032

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I have pretty large hands and have tried all sorts of sized strings but I always wind up back at 9’s (usually Ernie ball super slinky’s). I’ve never tried 8’s, but may test them out next time I restring something. I bend like crazy but ironically haven’t ever had an issue with string breakage, which is why I kept going back to 9’s...
 

Brek

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8’s are proving to be quite interesting, very responsive and snappy sounding, which is doing all sorts to my ‘tone’, very mid to late 60’s, even at low overdrive it’s there. Going to be a while to get my touch to work with the thiness in first few frets, once at third fret and beyond I find it much more consistent in terms of fretted note accuracy. Very easy to press just a bit too hard with 8’s, although I can feel already by fingers are happier, consciously using less pressure and I can feel my fingers are less strained. The guitar is yielding that ‘old’ tone. So some combination of putting an old bridge on, softer brass saddles and screws, stringing the traditional way, original custom buckers back in and it’s there. Quite spooky how close it is. Still not 100% happy about certain build quality elements but they are cosmetic and will live with them. What I have decided though is I only need one guitar that sounds like this, so will probably sell/trade the R9/8 for high end strat and a tele next year, will keep the gold top.
 

dc007

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Been trying some lighter strings myself. The lighter touch is definitely a requirement. I have not dropped any lighter than 9's yet. I seem to get along good with the Ernie Ball 9.5 in between thing they have going on. But with those 9's the step and half bends are a piece of cake.
 

Dolebludger

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Brek,
if you are having problems with fretted strings near the nut going sharp. I say again check the height of your inut slots! Nut slots should be cut so that the height of an open string above the first fret is no higher than the height of the string above the second fret when fretted at the first fret. Too many guitars simply have nut slots cut way too high As they come from the factory. And too many guitarists don’t recognize the problem that is easily fixed with cheap diamond files and a very thin hacksaw blade. Nut slots too high can cause fretted strings on “cowboy chords” to go sharp, and can cause F and F# barre chords to be painful if not impossible. I wasn’t aware of this problem (and the fix) until decades ago I played a friend’s Gretsch which had a “zero fret”. Chords down by the “neck bottom” were so easy, compared with the Gibson I had (and still have). After that experience, I figured out the problem pretty quickly and filed and cut down the nut slots on the Gibson, and it worked! Since that time I have acquired many guitars (some I didn’t bond with and sold and some I still have). But to give each one a fair trial, I checked the nut slot height, found all too high, and fixed that. It is a common problem That is too often unrecognized.
 

Brek

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Copy that, will check the slots, I should learn to do this stuff so will practice on my cheapo strat Copy first. Do you just eyeball the height above frets or do you use feeler gauge? I think I have a set somewhere.
@dc yeah they are much easier, might have a go at some Gilmore stuff lol. My fingers thank me they are much happier, the right gauge for your hand is probably a fundamental many do not even know about, man, I struggled with tens to play and bend fluidly, like for years. I last attempted this stuff when I had the page’s Round about 05/06 and gave up in the end, with you tube nowadays lots of good teachers so progress is much better this time.
 
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