String gauge---Does this settle it once and for all?

Roberteaux

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I use 10-46 on my Gibson guitars and on my Telecaster... and I use 9-42's on my Stratocaster...

I use whatever's lying around for my PRS Artist V... but then, I don't play that one very much.

I am not picky about manufacturer or any of that. D'Addario, Ernie Ball, Brite Wires-- whatever. If there's something I don't like about the tone I'm producing, I usually just dial it into something more preferable using my amplifier. I never found a particular manufacturer or string type that was so superior (or inferior) that I couldn't just change things to my preference using the guitar and amp controls.

I never needed coated strings. Apparently the oils oozing from my fingers aren't incredibly corrosive. I also never found metallic string coatings (cobalt, nickel, whatever) to make an enormous difference... not enough for me to develop a strong preference for any of 'em, that is.

However, for my acoustic 6-string, I tend to strongly prefer bronze 12's. For acoustic 12-string, I use whatever they've got. For my Rickenbacker electric 12-string, I order Rickenbacker strings.

And that's about as picky as I get. Some of my friends are extremely finicky about strings and such... but for reasons unknown, I've always been easily satisfied.

--R
 
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mdubya

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I say whatever you like is the right gauge.


I also feel that if the amp had been adjusted for each set of strings, they could have ALL sounded the same.

I do agree, though, that 9's are the sound of classic rock.
 

LtDave32

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Pyramids are really well-made strings. And actually made by Pyramid.

Funny string story..

So on this other site I used to frequent, a "British Invasion" and 60's music site, there were quite a few Beatle aficionados and so-called "experts" on Beatle gear, Beatle lore, down to the last detail.

All these Armchair Experts who were free and easy with their "qualifications" and resume of expertise; a few were they who played the role of a Beatle in the show "Beatlemania", several members of various and somewhat famous Beatle tribute bands, yadda yadda.

They all owned Rickenbacker 325's, all owned various Rickenbacker 12 strings, Hofner 500, Country Gents, etc etc.

They all came to consensus that according to their heightened sensitivity and arduous training of their educated ears, they could discern that the Beatles used Pyramid strings, a popular brand at the time.

They harrumphed and cleared their throats, smashing down any contrary opinion that happened along. They, being the qualified experts they were, were never, ever wrong. -about anything "Beatle", and if you offered up a contrary opinion, you were "naive".

Well, one member of that forum had about enough of that crap.

And he, was the lead guitar player in the old Liverpool band "The Undertakers". They frequently played on the same bill as the Beatles at the Cavern, the Litherland Town Hall, various other gigs around town, and played in Hamburg at the same clubs the Beatles played. There is photographic evidence of this. This man's name is Chris Huston. He's a good friend of mine, and I made him a replica of the 1960 Les Paul special that he had special-ordered from Gibson at the time.

Very good friend of the lads, especially Lennon.

He is the one who put the Bigsby tailpiece on Lennon's 1958 325, after John got sick and tired of that awful Kaufman Vibrola that came stock. Chris had a Bigsby B5 on his LP Special, and Lennon wanted one. So Chris did the paperwork and got him one ordered through Hessy's music in Liverpool. When it came in, Lennon pulled Chris off the stage at a gig to go put the device on immediately. Off they go to Hessy's. They asked for a screwdriver. Jim Gretty (owner) said "You're going to put it on right here, are ye/? and gave them the driver. Lennon held the neck, Chris lined it up and screwed it down.

And there you have that. Told to me when I visited him in Franklin, TN delivering the guitar. Right out of the horse's mouth.

So after that quick diversion, back to the strings and that site of "qualified experts".

It so happens that Chris and a few of the Beatles often went to the music shop to buy strings and picks together.

Chris remembers this well. Their string of choice (John and George) were Gibson Sonomatics.

-Not Pyramids.

After reading all the hype and BS and "harrumphing expertise of trained ears", he let it be known that they were all wrong. Gibson Sonomatics, every time.

Here they are, faced with someone who trumps their "expertise" by a country mile. He was actually THERE buying strings with them.

They didn't like that. Not one bit. There was some nervous fumbling of words, some excuses, some feeble argument put up without taking it further, sort of a "post n' duck" ...well, I know a guy who knows a guy who met the roadie Mal Evans, and he swears that while touring in the states.. "

I just love "armchair experts". Sorta like Monday Morning Quarterbacks and Internet Generals.
 

DotStudio

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I just play whatever comes on the guitar and buy a new one when they wear out.
 

CB91710

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I thought they were all wrong, and the 10's sounded the best.

But it's all subjective, so..
I really did not like that twang that Rhett got on the low E attack, and it was only really harsh with that one set. I could still hear it on the 8s, but it wasn't irritating.

But overall, it pretty much confirmed... the 11s were stronger on the bottom end, and IMHO, an easier tone to control.
As they went lighter, more overtones started creeping in, which supported the midrange nicely on the 9s and 10s... and the 8s were just missing that support from the bottom end.
In a full band mix with a bass and 2nd guitar? I'm sure they'd be fine.

Personally, I'll stick with 9s on my Fenders. I've been running 10-46 on the Gibsons, but have been considering... and this video pushed me over the top and I placed the order... of trying 9-46.
When I tried 9's on the LP, they were OK, but just a bit too floppy (feeling, tone was fine) on the bottom end, and dropping to DADGAD, the low E felt like a rubber band.
 

Bill Hicklin

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Actyally I heard a pretty astonishing difference in how the sound got more trebly as the strings got lighter. The 11s sounded like the tone knobs were rolled off.

I've always favored 10s or 11s on electrics just because I started on acoustic and got sort of ham-fisted- playing light gauge strings I wind up bending everything even when I don't wanna!

----------------------

Having said that, string composition can make a big difference too. These were all EB Slinkies, which was the correct way to do this particular test- but I think Rick should do a companion test using the same gauge of different brands and lines- will EHS and D'Addario 10s sound the same as Ball 10s? I don't think they will, but...
 

Bill Hicklin

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Pyramids are really well-made strings. And actually made by Pyramid.

Funny string story..

So on this other site I used to frequent, a "British Invasion" and 60's music site, there were quite a few Beatle aficionados and so-called "experts" on Beatle gear, Beatle lore, down to the last detail.

All these Armchair Experts who were free and easy with their "qualifications" and resume of expertise; a few were they who played the role of a Beatle in the show "Beatlemania", several members of various and somewhat famous Beatle tribute bands, yadda yadda.

They all owned Rickenbacker 325's, all owned various Rickenbacker 12 strings, Hofner 500, Country Gents, etc etc.

They all came to consensus that according to their heightened sensitivity and arduous training of their educated ears, they could discern that the Beatles used Pyramid strings, a popular brand at the time.

They harrumphed and cleared their throats, smashing down any contrary opinion that happened along. They, being the qualified experts they were, were never, ever wrong. -about anything "Beatle", and if you offered up a contrary opinion, you were "naive".

Well, one member of that forum had about enough of that crap.

And he, was the lead guitar player in the old Liverpool band "The Undertakers". They frequently played on the same bill as the Beatles at the Cavern, the Litherland Town Hall, various other gigs around town, and played in Hamburg at the same clubs the Beatles played. There is photographic evidence of this. This man's name is Chris Huston. He's a good friend of mine, and I made him a replica of the 1960 Les Paul special that he had special-ordered from Gibson at the time.

Very good friend of the lads, especially Lennon.

He is the one who put the Bigsby tailpiece on Lennon's 1958 325, after John got sick and tired of that awful Kaufman Vibrola that came stock. Chris had a Bigsby B5 on his LP Special, and Lennon wanted one. So Chris did the paperwork and got him one ordered through Hessy's music in Liverpool. When it came in, Lennon pulled Chris off the stage at a gig to go put the device on immediately. Off they go to Hessy's. They asked for a screwdriver. Jim Gretty (owner) said "You're going to put it on right here, are ye/? and gave them the driver. Lennon held the neck, Chris lined it up and screwed it down.

And there you have that. Told to me when I visited him in Franklin, TN delivering the guitar. Right out of the horse's mouth.

So after that quick diversion, back to the strings and that site of "qualified experts".

It so happens that Chris and a few of the Beatles often went to the music shop to buy strings and picks together.

Chris remembers this well. Their string of choice (John and George) were Gibson Sonomatics.

-Not Pyramids.

After reading all the hype and BS and "harrumphing expertise of trained ears", he let it be known that they were all wrong. Gibson Sonomatics, every time.

Here they are, faced with someone who trumps their "expertise" by a country mile. He was actually THERE buying strings with them.

They didn't like that. Not one bit. There was some nervous fumbling of words, some excuses, some feeble argument put up without taking it further, sort of a "post n' duck" ...well, I know a guy who knows a guy who met the roadie Mal Evans, and he swears that while touring in the states.. "

I just love "armchair experts". Sorta like Monday Morning Quarterbacks and Internet Generals.

To riff on "what the old guys put on their guitars"-- Clapton said that when he was starting out, you couldn't get anything in England lighter than 10s. So what he would do is take an .008 from a banjo set and make it the high E, install the 10s from the B-slot down, and chuck the low E.
 

Rocco Crocco

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Been using 9s forever, but because they are easier to play. I always thought 10s sounded a little better.
 

Bud Stoner

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I have a sneaking suspicion that several string companies share a common manufacturer.

Kinda like Pearl Brewing Company and several cheap, classic old brands. -all made by Pearl Brewing Co.
When I worked at Carvin, their Carvin branded strings were GHS Boomers.

But you're correct in your suspicions.

I wonder who else does that.
 

Tone deaf

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I have a sneaking suspicion that several string companies share a common manufacturer.

Kinda like Pearl Brewing Company and several cheap, classic old brands. -all made by Pearl Brewing Co.
Like Starbucks ice cream...made by Edy's.
 

JTM45

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It's a greater effect, since there's no amp, but similar to what I described above. I forgot to mention heavier strings have more dynamic range, which is also more significant on acoustic than electric. How sturdily braced the top is will make a big difference in what strings it will accept. That will be a case where a heavier string can sound fuller, if the lighter string can't vibrate the top sufficiently.

Thank you for posting that vid, That’s a great watch
 

mdubya

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When I moved to Appalachia, I was lucky that the local Walmart carried GHS Boomer 9-42. I played Slinky 10-46 at the time, but being the lazy bastard I am, it was easier to by the 9-42 Boomers along with my Grape Drank and TP than it was to place an MF order for Slinky 10-46.

By the time I got around to trying 10-46 again, I was hooked on 9's.

When I got a 335 with Gibson Pure Nickels, I was hooked on Pure Nickel. First Gibson Vintage Reissue and now D'Addario Pure Nickel 9-41.

In case anyone cares (I know you don't :lol: ).
 

mdubya

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I put 9's on my steel string acoustic, too.

I play my nylon string acoustics more, but electric 9's on the steel string acoustic are a lot more fun to play than regular acoustic steel strings.
 

fry

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On the subject of strings, I’ve read that some folks on here have had good luck with the Musicians Friend house brand strings, musicians gear. I have used them too, I think they are fine. They are a bargain, and right now you can use a 25% off coupon code. I just ordered 10 sets for $18.34.
 

Dolebludger

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I couldn't hear any difference at all. Maybe a test like this won't work through little computer speakers?

FWIW, after decades of experimentation, I use 9-42s. 10-46s slow me down. I pull 8-38s out of tune. I have rather small hands and fingers. My guitars range from 24" to 25 1/2" scales, but that doesn't seem to make a difference to me.

This is only personal experience. Playing guitar is a physical activity, so choice of string type really depends on the player's physical make-up.
 

CB91710

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To riff on "what the old guys put on their guitars"-- Clapton said that when he was starting out, you couldn't get anything in England lighter than 10s. So what he would do is take an .008 from a banjo set and make it the high E, install the 10s from the B-slot down, and chuck the low E.
That was not uncommon, even in the US in the early days.
It's why the pole stagger on Strats is so messed up... it was designed for the wrapped-G available in the day, and it continues today "because we always did it that way".... well... that, and numbnuts cry that it's not vintage correct if they're flat across the bobbin.
 




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