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Old August 8th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How much does string gauge matter?

So I got my CV 50's Tele back from the shop after a set-up. I had been playing 9's but I had him put on some 10's. As I was playing this weekend, my tones sounded better than they did before. I can't tell if my ears are playing tricks on me or what, but I really liked what I heard. I started thinking can going from 9's to 10's really make that much different in tone?

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Old August 8th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Everyone is different on this topic but I have found my personal preference on my Tele and Sheraton II is 12's with a wound G. Intonation seems very easy to accomplish and the tone just seems fatter than when I have tried anything less than 12's. To me, the wound G is the most important of the strings as I have never liked the tone from an unwound G string.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It makes a difference in how you play, how you pick, bend, strum, etc. The tonal difference between .8 and .13 will be significant if all other things are equal. Plus, if you use flatwounds compared to roundwounds, your going to hear some differences immediatley. Having your guitar set up proper will make the kind of significant change you are experiencing, as well.
Will anybody else notice? Not really.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There's been so many posts about this, there should be a separate forum just on it.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It makes a difference in how you play, how you pick, bend, strum, etc.
That's the right answer. Different string gauges make a difference in how you play, and THAT can make a difference in how you sound. I'm not saying that there aren't detectable tonal differences between lighter and heavier strings, just that it's a tiny difference that listeners aren't going to notice. The real difference comes from the impact on your bending, picking attack, etc. Buy the strings that feel best to you, and you'll sound your best.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 03:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been using .010-.048 for a good while now and have been enjoying them. They feel "comfortable" to me as far as fretting, bending, etc. and I am getting the tone that I like also. However, I have learned about .095-.044 in the last few days and I have orderd 3 sets of them to try.........one never knows.


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Old August 8th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I see it as a trade-off between ease of playing and sweetness of tone as the strings get thicker. For rhythm guitar and for playing that doesn't rely on a lot of whole-step bends, heavier strings with a wound G string are great. For lead playing, especially with lots of bends on the G and B strings, lighter gauges work best for me. I've noticed that lighter gauge strings tend to need retuning more often.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 05:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tele salivas View Post
It makes a difference in how you play, how you pick, bend, strum, etc. The tonal difference between .8 and .13 will be significant if all other things are equal. Plus, if you use flatwounds compared to roundwounds, your going to hear some differences immediatley. Having your guitar set up proper will make the kind of significant change you are experiencing, as well.
Will anybody else notice? Not really.
+1. With the right touch 8's can give a very full sound. With the wrong touch they can sound like a childs toy.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It matters as much as it matters.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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String gauge affects the sound. Properly set up you should have no problem playing 8s or 13s
Choose string gauge for the sound you want.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Plus, if you use flatwounds compared to roundwounds, your going to hear some differences immediatley.
What would be the noticeable tonal difference between flat and round wound strings? I've never played flat wound and am intrigued.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 06:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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15$ experiment,

buy a set of 9s, 10s, and 11s.

Try em all out. Really takes the mystery right out of it.

Personally, I think bigger strings sound better. Notice I didn't say smaller strings sound bad.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Increase in string size gives me slight increase in improved tone and slight decrease in playability....very subjective here...but I do notice a slight difference.
Like the nice Bright Damarrio's EXL 120, 9-42
Really like David Gilmore GHS Blue Boomer hybrids, (10,12,16-Steel - 28,38,48-Nickel)
Nice playability and tone
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Old August 8th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ask Billy Gibbons.....:)
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Old August 8th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ask Billy Gibbons.....:)
The point is moot...How do you know that you wouldn't like his tone better if he played 12's?

But then again, his guitar tones are so heavily processed that it probably wouldn't make a difference.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The bigger string guage does make a diference in the sound.

Whether you like it better or not is entirely up to you.

The bigger strings also feel different -- again, it's a personal preference.

The .010 string is more than 10% bigger than the .009. This extra mass will produce a bigger reaction in the pickup's magnetic field and produce a larger output than the previous string set. Again, this may be what you like, or perhaps not.

The most important thing is how you feel about it. We play guitar with our hands, so the different feel of the new guage is very important to you...or should be. Do you like it more? Does it seem to help you play? Do you like the sound better? Are you having fun?

It's your guitar. You are the only one who has to like it.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:18 AM   #17 (permalink)
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For me, going from D'Addario 9's to Curt Mangon 10 standard made an appreciable positive difference. Tones are richer and cleaner, stays in tune better, bends and vibratos more precise. For me I liked the change.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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i don't claim to have "the" answer, but regarding heavy strings i think peoples' ears may be getting tricked. your ears generally perceive louder as "better" (think BBE sonic maximizer). and when you slam a chord on those big old heavy strings, they're louder. food for thought.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have 6 different string gauges on my guitars, they all seem to sound fine to me.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:02 AM   #20 (permalink)
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It makes all the difference in the world. In your tone, your technique, everything. I can hear someone playing and usually guess about what gauge strings they're playing. Maybe only a musician would notice it from the audience, but everyone can hear your overall tone and like it or whether it blends well or not. I like my 10.5's and 11's on my Tele. You just have to find what works for you with your feel and the tone you want.
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