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Old September 24th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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String gauge tip

I've used just about every combination of string I can think of over the years , from rediculously heavy , to remarkably light , and dipped my toe into most styles at one time or another .
As i've gotten older , i've started to appreciate harmonies between notes a lot more , and though I still play single note runs , i'm always looking out for the opportunity to add a double stop , triple stop , faux steel bend etc , and i'm really not a country player at all .
After recently suffering a ring finger break , and spending the past 6 months getting my finger working again , I decided that I needed to find a match across the six strings which gave me the flexibility to bend more than 1 string with ease , whilst not losing too much feel or tone in the process .

I'm now playing all my country / blues / tele rockabilly ( not semi ) etc with a set of 9's , but with a twist .

A standard set of nine gauge comprises of :

.009
.011
.016
.024
.032
.042

I'm now using :

.009
.010
.015
.024
.032
.042

I have found that this balances the strings much better , and believe it or not , loses no tone , but actually helps me to do exactly what I want with the strings , therefore increasing dexterity , and also increasing finger speed .

I still have big strings on my semi's , which I tend to bend less with , and i'm fully aware of the ' big string is better ' attitude amongst some players ( I used to be one of them ) , but if you are open minded , and enjoy the lap steel type bends and hybrid picked running double stops etc in your playing , then I really can't promote this gauge balance enough
Especially if you float between 9's and 10's as your normal gauge .

Give it a whirl , and feel the difference

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Old September 24th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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so do you mix and match? or did you find a stock set like this. It sounds interesting, I use 10's and 11's and maybe I could implement something similar...
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aznrambo481 View Post
so do you mix and match? or did you find a stock set like this. It sounds interesting, I use 10's and 11's and maybe I could implement something similar...

I normally buy spares for the G B E strings about 6 of each for example .
I then replace the G & B with the new 15 and 10 , and simply use the other strings as emergency backup .
This way , my full sets remain full . I normally use Daddario , and have toyed with GHS and DR strings recently too .
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Big City String advertises here that they will customize the plain steel strings in a GHS set to your specs for no extra charge. They list the GHS nickel plated steel Boomers here for $4.25.

(I have no affiliation with Big City String or GHS.)

I might try that particular guage spread myself. I like the tone and feel of 9s.

On the 1st/2nd strings' and 3rd/4th strings' saddles in a straight set, that guage spread might provide better intonation than the typical 9/11 and 16/24 pairings.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had the same thing with my 5 string bass. I swpped the low B for a .125 instead of the .130 that it came with. Much better for what I want.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 08:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do the same thing 42-32-24-16-12-10
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I started using ghs thin/thick 10-52 and I really like the sound. I came from acoustic and have never liked very thin strings. This is a nice compromise and warms up the bass nicely while maintaining some bite and twang on strings 4,5, &6. Not sure if this is common with teles or not but I just bought ten packs so I might be stuck for a while
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Old August 26th, 2013, 11:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Several places online will let you order your own guage strings. I am currently, (as with everything else, subject to change) using 10-12-14-30-34-38. Works for me, but not for everybody.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 06:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Every guitarist who is "any good" should experiment with this stuff to the nth degree. Especially with the plain strings, as they are all about the same, and can be bought for little money.

The OP's choices would be rated by me as unplayable "rubber bands". Yet, he likes them! The way you figure this stuff out to your own "needs" is by trying them all, when you are getting it all together.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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To the OP, D'Adarrio Balanced Tension sets might be just what you are looking for. They are designed to have similar tension across the whole set. I use either the .009 BT set or the regular .008s set on my Tele.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleprompted View Post
I started using ghs thin/thick 10-52 and I really like the sound. I came from acoustic and have never liked very thin strings. This is a nice compromise and warms up the bass nicely while maintaining some bite and twang on strings 4,5, &6. Not sure if this is common with teles or not but I just bought ten packs so I might be stuck for a while
I use the D'addario version - light top, heavy bottom, Tele and Strat. They work really well for me for the same kind of reasons.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I order all single strings. Usually 12 of each gauge in 6 different gauges.
I can get the set I want (I use modified hybrid set 9-46, but lighter G string than used in packaged sets).
I get mine from Just Strings and a bonus is that it's cheaper to buy them this way.
I get 12 sets for the price of what 10 packaged sets would cost.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 03:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have ordered a custom set kind of like this except starting w/ 10.5 from naked strings dot com. I like it pretty ok. Not that different from a set of 10's or 11's though. Not enough to obsess over
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