Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

I switched to 11's

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Ryan McCall, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Ryan McCall

    Ryan McCall TDPRI Member

    Dec 14, 2015
    Stillwater, OK
    I've used 10's for years. Decided to try 11's out so yesterday I put them on my Tele. They sound great! They are not as twangy as the 10s but they sound powerful and big. Much louder unplugged too. My fingers aren't too sore but I can tell they are doing more work!
  2. speedingjet

    speedingjet Tele-Meister

    Yep. 11-49 or 11-52. It is a different feel. I noticed an improvement when I changed 20 years ago. I was always too heavy handed for lights. I'm useless on a guitar with 9's.
    6stringcowboy and Piggy Stu like this.
  3. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    I use 11s as well.
  4. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    Everyone I know who restrung with 11s felt the beef injection in their tone

    But I know a lot of people who like beef: not for the vegetarians
    blj725, ftbtx and bftfender like this.
  5. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nah, they's a buncha ukulele players.
  6. MusicCityGrooves

    MusicCityGrooves TDPRI Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Nashville, TN
    I ran 11-50's on my Ibanez Artstar semi-hollow for a couple of years, and I really dug the tone. Around then I also developed carpal tunnel syndrome, so I went back to 10-46's.

    The carpal tunnel issue was fixed, but I've been afraid to try 11s again, so I dial back the treble and push the bass a bit. Not the same, of course, but... :^|
    JayFreddy likes this.
  7. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2017
    Denver, CO
    I've been on power slinkys for at least a decade, they're awesome. If it ain't broke don't break it!
    JayFreddy likes this.
  8. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    I feel like thicker strings often have a better dynamic response and better sustain.
  9. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    Brent Mason uses 9s. So do I... At least for standard tuning.

    Heavier strings means more metal in the magnetic field of the pickups, and in the case of passive pickups, that translates to more gain in your signal right out of the guitar.

    You can achieve a similar effect by adjusting the height of your pickups and/or using a preamp, or just by adjusting the settings on your amp.

    I have osteoarthritis so I use whatever strings allow me to play with a minimum of pain. I also have a light touch and do a lot of bending, and most players I know who use 11's or heavier simply don't bend the way I do.

    If you've found happiness using heavier strings, great.

    I know this will make me sound like a curmudgeon, but I am weary of people who associate their masculinity with the size of their strings, and yet couldn't accurately bend a minor third if their first born son's circumcision depended on it.

    But yeah, if it works for you... Lol

    I use the power slinkies for DADGAD and some open tunings.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
    Evil Funk, RoyBGood, unfamous and 2 others like this.
  10. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    Stating you think they sound better isn't the same as claiming you are some macho stud who can wrangle them
    nojazzhere likes this.
  11. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    I know, I was just being a curmudgeon by preemptively anticipating the macho circle jerk that inevitably ensues in a thread about heavier strings.

    More likely, I'm the jerk. As I said, whatever works for you.

    I think a lot of the perceived increase in gain is from the added metal in the magnetic field.

    It's real. But it's not the only way to achieve it.
  12. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013
    Fingers aren't the problem but especially as you get older your wrist might prefer thinner strings.

    That being said alle string sizes have the advantages and disadvantages and I have 9s, 10s and 11s depending on the guitar and what I'm after
    Gene O., Piggy Stu and JayFreddy like this.
  13. speedingjet

    speedingjet Tele-Meister

    I'm not saying anything about my or anyone's masculinity, but if I couldn't bend with 11's I wouldn't play with 11's.
    I tried 12's a while back but got sick of having to find a separate unwound third string. (Plus, I wasn't man enough – my hands hurt after shows Ha ha ;)

    It's strictly a taste thing. Personal style and physicality. Some amazing players use 8's, some go up to 13's – gauge is both a personal preference and rather irrelevant when amplified. I'm just too ham-fisted (not a brag, could easily use the word "oafish") for lighter strings. Especially when I'm singing the "loud part of the song" at the same time.

    If I'm being totally honest, I have a firebird that felt over-burdened with 11's so I took it back to 10's. What feels better on a specific guitar and a specific pair of hands is more important than saying "I play heavy strings".
    Piggy Stu and JayFreddy like this.
  14. Dentron

    Dentron TDPRI Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    Fort Worth, TX
    I've used Power Slinkys on my Bigsby equipped Tele. They sound awesome and I stay in tune.
  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
  16. misterdontmove

    misterdontmove Tele-Meister

    Mar 25, 2011
    I used to do 11's on Gibson scale length guitars and 10's on Fender scale length. I recently went 10-52 on everything I own! I can buy in bulk now and not have to think about whether I have the right strings. It's a nice compromise and I'm happy with the sound and feel.
  17. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

    Jan 21, 2007
    Cleveburg, USA
    Funny. I'm in the process of switching back to 10s.
    ksargent likes this.
  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    There must be some cosmological value being preserved.
    JayFreddy and SomeVelvetMorning like this.
  19. Recce

    Recce Tele-Afflicted

    May 3, 2016
    Northern Alabama
    I use 9s or 9.5s. I am past the point where I wish to make things harder than they are.
    TelePlank likes this.
  20. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

    Jan 15, 2008
    I had used 9's most of the last 43 years. I tried 10's about 15 years ago as they sounded better but I couldn't do it and settled on 9.5 as an excellent compromise. A couple years ago I gave up playing electric and went strictly acoustic. I have a couple Martins and I would play lead on them and I played them hours a day and got to the point where I could bend almost as well as I could on electrics. I got good at effortlessly doing pull offs and hammer ons and I use 13 to 56.
    So when I came back to playing electric recently I thought I should be able to handle 11-49. I tried it and kept them on for a couple weeks but in the end there were just some things that I do on electric that was more effort than I wanted it to be. The low E, A and D were fine at the gauges 49, 38 and 28. But I needed to go a bit lower gauge on the other three strings. So on high e, b and g I go with 10, 13, 17. I find this custom gauge set perfect. Nice balance and tone and enough slinkyness on the high strings that I can bend and move around quickly.
    JayFreddy likes this.
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