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9s for Fender, 10s for Gibson, right?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by charlie chitlin, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    As others have noted, longer scale = more tension. I use 10s on Fender-scale and 11s on Gibson- scale.
    Done that for years, but will be checking out the 'hybrid' sets like D'Addario EXL 110+ (10.5-48) as a 'common-ground' gauge.
     
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  2. blue17

    blue17 Tele-Meister

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    Perhaps the difference in feeling when playing barre chords is due to fretboard radius instead of tension? I have no idea which Fender (or Kay) guitars you have, but very few have the 12" radius that most Gibsons have. Smaller radius tends to mean easier barre chords for me.

    Also, as for unsolicited string preference...I use 13s on my acoustics if anyone was wondering.
     
  3. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    9s on 25.5” tuned to E flat, 24.75” 9s in standard.

    I like it a little floppy. Easier to play for me.
     
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  4. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    It all goes back to Pythagoras. He experimented with vibrating strings and determined that it’s 9s for Fenders and 10s for Gibsons, otherwise the planets will become unstable in their orbits and crash into each other.
     
  5. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Why such light gauge? :)
     
  6. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Too funny. I got into a keystone-cops argument once on the jazz guitar forum about string tension, with some wanna-be math nerds who could look up basic facts on the internet, but couldn't quite wrap their heads around mechanics. It's a waste of time ... like arguing religion or politics.

    String tension data from a lab with wire, two solid anchor points, and instruments (not the musical kind) measuring Newton Force ... not enough to describe what happens on a guitar. What we feel playing a guitar is more complicated than "tension". We feel "compliance" and resistance to deflection under a load. The formulas are more complex than basic laws of physics. We say "string tension" colloquially, because that's what it feels like, but really, that's all that matters ... what it feels like.
     
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  7. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    I’ve never heard that before. I would not consider ever putting 9s on any guitar. 10 would be as light as I’d ever go, and usually I go 11. I believe SRV used 13s, which I have before, but that’s a little too much IMO
     
  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well here's some professional physics for you then: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Waves/string.html.
    A longer string does indeed require a higher tension to reach the same pitch, all other variables being equal.
     
  9. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Tuned down half a step. Try that some time ... feels like chunky .011s. Pat Martino was using .015 or,016 "E" strings (I know, he doesn't bend much).
     
  10. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Ok...how about this idea...
    I think everybody experiences that the closer to the bridge you pick (or to the nut you bend), the string feels stiffer...less compliant.
    So...the further you get from the anchor points, the more compliant that part of the string is.
    Ergo (I never got to write that before...I feel smart as hell now!), on a longer scale instrument you can get further from the anchor point and the strings will feel more compliant...the most compliant being at the center.
    But if it more compliant at the center, it's more compliant along the way...not just at the center.
     
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  11. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    oh I know. And I have. I didn’t dislike the 13s, but to me, too much for Fender scale. SRV was a pretty aggressive player
     
  12. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Strong hands. He had big hands for a not-big guy. But, once again, it's all about technique. He had good technique for what he did.
     
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  13. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Holic

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    Educate yourselves..

    A9E23809-E9D7-4918-998D-3CBC2C485B44.png
     
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  14. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bends are easier around the 12th fret because that's the center node of the string, that's true; they've got the most room to move. But you're still fighting tension no matter where on the neck or which guitar you're bending on though.
    Put 10's on a Tele and 10's on a Lester, the Lester will feel more compliant because you're fighting less tension to get to pitch.
     
  15. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    There's the answer!!!o_O
     
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  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Whatever you’re feeling as being “looser“ on the Fender…it’s not due to lower string tension. Longer scale length equals tighter strings, end of story. It’s a physical fact.

    You are feeling something else in the Fender. Perhaps a curvier radius, a narrower nut, different fret size, perhaps better fret dressing, etc.

    Or, you’re just trippin’.
     
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  17. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Anybody could have written this.
    And...probably a guitar player!
    Terrible credentials :p
     
  18. Bangdapoontwang

    Bangdapoontwang Tele-Meister

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    I recently bought a new Gibson Les Paul Special off a friend who had just got it from GC. He changed his mind about it because he wanted “a proper Les Paul” I was happy to take the TV Yellow Special off his hands and as far as I knew it was brand new from the store. It still had plastic on the pickguard. Once I started playing it I was really disappointed! It played like crap and I had to do a full set up thinking how does Gibson let guitars this out of whack leave the factory!? There was zero neck relief, intonation way off, string buzz, etc. I couldn’t get it to play decent even after adjusting it. Finally after having a talk with the friend I bought it from he told me he changed the strings right when he got it to 9s. Bingo! I didn’t even consider that he might have done that. I put on a fresh set of EB slinky’s and changed the adjustments back where they needed to be. Boom, back in business. What a difference. I don’t know if it was just really bad strings he used or what but it was like night and day. I don’t think I would ever try 9s on a Gibson with wrap around bridge ever after that experience.
     
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  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Even with higher tension, I'm allowing for the possibility of the longer length making it feel slinkier.
    What I need is something like a high tech fish scale that I can hook on the string, pull a set distance, and see how much pull it takes to deflect the string.
    Well...what I REALLY need is less free time to let my mind wander.
     
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  20. gitold

    gitold Poster Extraordinaire

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    9 1/2’s on Fender scale, 10’s on Gibson’s and PRS, 10 1/2’s or 11’s on hollow body’s.Except Jazzmaster gets 10’s. Works for me.
     
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