Anyone ever put electric strings on an acoustic?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by FluffyDog6, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. FluffyDog6

    FluffyDog6 Tele-Meister

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    How did it sound?
     
  2. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    sounds crummy unless it's a Gibson J160.
     
  3. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    They sell 'em now that they claim are interchangeable
     
  4. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    The Dickens you say !
     
  5. DOC DYA

    DOC DYA Tele-Meister

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    Depends of what sound you want to hear. I put Thomastik flatwounds on my Telecoustic (OK, it's not an acoustic), because I wanted it to sound less bright to play some jazz and brasilian tunes. It works for me... but that's just me...
     
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  6. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    "Electric stings" (nickel, nickel plate, Monel, stainless, chrome plate, etc), pre-date electric string instruments. I use EJ22's on several pre-war instruments, better matching the fav strings of the time.
     
  7. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Afflicted

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    Weedy
     
  8. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

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    I guess we are talking about acoustics with metal strings, not nylon.

    Same string gauge (metal) ---> same string tension (more or less). A different string tension could damage your guitar.

    You should be OK as long as the string gauge is close. Except for the G string.

    Usually the G string on acoustics is a wound string (as E, A and D) electric guitars today usually use a plain G string. This would affect intonation, your G string would not play play at the right pitch on the high frets (12th fret for example).
     
  9. Oldgitplayer

    Oldgitplayer Tele-Holic

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    I use a set of standard 10's with an unwound G on my Tele.
    But a couple of years ago on my ES335 I tried a set of 10's with a wound G because that's how electric string sets were back in the 60's. I confess to liking it like this.

    I thought of trying the same set on my acoustic and see how 10's worked for acoustic blues.
    Haven't done it yet, but I will experiment soon and post the results.

    Watch this space ............
     
  10. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    Did it like 16 years ago, was not impressed with the sound.

    But it could have also been my crappy playing :cry:
     
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Putting 9s or 10s on an acoustic is like putting 7s or 8s on an electric. You just need to be careful not to crush the strings out of tune when playing. The volume will be slightly lower. For kids learning to play it's a good solution to avoid finger pain.

    Just don't put steel strings on an acoustic designed for nylon, I've seen a few necks ripped off their bodies.

    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  12. syrynx

    syrynx Tele-Afflicted

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    Why, yes... Yes, I have. And it sounded... Well, it sounded delightfully cerulean blue, with undertones of single malt Scotch, Galopagos Tortoise, and hang glider.

    @FluffyDog6 , it's very difficult to answer your second question meaningfully in words. And your first question appears to be founded on a misconception. Bronze-wound strings generally are perceived to be unsuitable for "electric" guitars, because magnetic pickups don't respond to the bronze wire with which they're wound. But there is no reason whatever, except personal preference, why nickel-wound, nickel-plated steel-wound, stainless steel-wound, or Monel-wound strings should not be used on an acoustic guitar.

    Probably no one is perceived as more of an acoustic purist than Norman Blake. But in a sidebar accompanying Norman Blake: Still Keepin' It Real in the current issue of Premier Guitar, interviewer Jack Silverman states:

    Well, GHS White Bronze strings are, as the GHS Web site coyly puts it, "Wound with Alloy 52™ these strings are magnetically active which makes them ideal for acoustic/electric applications." In other words, they're electric guitar strings. And Martin Retro? They're Monel-wound, just like Gibson electric guitar strings used to be back in the '50s when I was comin' up. Martin started making the Retros at the request of another hardcore acoustic purist, Tony Rice, whose signature set includes his preferred Retro gauges.

    So, Tony Rice and Norman Blake... Any others? Sure. Leo Kottke endorsed and used GHS White bronze for a time; don't know if he still does. I never tire of linking to this clip of Gábor Szabó, playing flat wounds on his D-45 through a DeArmond 210 into probably a Twin Reverb.



    I've been using "electric" strings on my 1935 Martin 0-18 and all my other acoustics since 1978. In that year, I installed a then new to market Bill Lawrence FT-145 pickup in its sound hole. The bronze-wound strings I had been using sounded terrible through the pickup. A magazine ad informed me that Lawrence "Stainless phosphorus chromium strings" (AFAIK, the first stainless steel guitar strings ever offered) were specially formulated to work with this pickup, so I tried a set, and was hooked.

    Though Lawrence branded strings are long gone, almost every string manufacturer currently offers them. I used Lawrence stainless as long as I could get them, then switched to SIT stainless. For a couple of decades I used GHS Boomers/Dynamite Alloy (they're the same, nickel-plated steel-wound). Lately, I've been using D'Addario XL ProSteels, which to my ear sound exactly like the Lawrence strings I fell in love with nearly 40 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  13. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I cut my teeth on flattops and have owned & played a truckload. Also love me a good Fender.

    IME for pure acoustic tone on a flattop stick with acoustic strings. If you want to go slinky then get extra light acoustic strings. If you're playing only thru a pickup then it doesn't matter, but leave it plugged in.
     
  14. malred71

    malred71 TDPRI Member

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    Yep I have been for a few years now. I started with my resonators. I have a magnetic pickup in it for playing live and was getting a very unbalanced signal. switched to nickel wound strings to fix it and found the acoustic tone was mellower. This suited the resonator just fine. I since have used nickel wounds on various acoustics some sound great some not so good. I always try to keep the tension close to the same. Too low of tension whether its phosphor bronze or nickel or whatever and it just wont drive the top hard enough to make much sound. One added benefit for me is nickel seems to react less to my sweat. I can get 10 plus gigs out of a set of strings using nickel and sometimes only 1 out of phosphor bronze.
     
  15. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Like malred71, I use electric 13-56 or 14-58 on my resos, which have electric guitar-type magnetic pickups. Acoustically, they work OK in that context, but sound a bit dull on flattops.
     
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