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Do you use "unusual/uncommon" string gauges?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by steam-powered, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. steam-powered

    steam-powered Tele-Meister

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    Knowing that lots of folks on TDPRI have been playing for decades, I'll bet there's also plenty who've devised "custom" string gauges based on their unique preferences. For example, Ted Greene experimented quite a bit over the years, Jerry Donahue uses "10's" on plain strings and "9's" on the wound strings, James Burton uses "spider webs" 9-38, etc.

    Personally, I've experimented dozens of times over my years, going from rather heavy to really light to various hybrid sets. Lately, the following sound and feel best on my tele-builds in standard tuning:
    10, 12, 16, 29w, 40w, 50w. You'd think that having such heavy strings on the bass side would feel to uneven, but to my hands they have just the right amount of tension on every single string.

    For years I've loved the feel of 10-52 strings (swapping an 11 for the 10) on one of my Gibson guitars (24.75 scale) but could never find a set that had that same feel/tension on a tele. Then I discovered, on the internet, D'Addario string tension pro, and a minute later was able to identify exactly what strings would offer the closest feel.

    How about you, using any oddball string sets?
     
  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Hmmm... I used to use these -- black nylon tape wound!

    [​IMG]

    More recentlt La Bella has come out with white nylon top wound strings, too. That 067 E string can be a bear to get though the hole in the machine head!
     
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  3. steam-powered

    steam-powered Tele-Meister

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    A 56 "A" and 67 "low E" string? Wow! I've used some heavy flatwounds in my time, but never anything close to that!
     
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  4. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    It's the tape that make them chunky. The tension isn't extreme and if you are finger picking chord melodies, you can thumb the E string and get some nice sounding bass lines.
     
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  5. WigWam

    WigWam TDPRI Member

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    Lately I've been using Pyramid nickel Classic Regular/Heavy, so 10, 13, 17, 30w, 42w, 52w. Great for bending the top three strings while keeping a nice bass for chords and such. Before that I was using DR blues 11s. I guess it's worth noting I'm on a 24.75 scale guitar too.
     
  6. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    where do you get those? , Long & Mcqude doesnt stock Labellas I used their flat wound bass strings for ever, but I cant get them here in town

    I have one guitar that uses mediums 9s or something like that and I put 11's on the "E" and "B" i dont break strings and it gives me more tension in the high registers.


    P1011377.jpg
     
  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I buy online from http://www.juststrings.com/ or http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/.

    Last week Strings and Beyond had a discount code that gave you an additional 20% of Thomastik-Infelds, and I finally sprang on some George Bensons (They are normally $35 and their list price is $70 :eek:).

    It pays to buy string online, unless you stumble across a clearance sale.
     
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  8. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom.
    Playing Tele in a Folk Trio with no Bass.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I stay pretty 'ordinary' when it comes to strings.
    Stock sets and gauges. Makes it that much easier when changing strings.
     
  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I use a common D'Addarrio .11 set on most of my electric guitars.
    I like to replace the .11 with a .12.
    The .12s stay in tune better, and provide a little extra tension.
    Slide stuff works a little better, and when I (occaisionally) drop the high E to D, the tension feels better.
     
  11. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    My bari set is pretty wild - a 30"bari with 13-56 tuned to open D. This is very tight, but chime and sustain are excellent and you get sympathetic drone if you don't damp the open strings.

    I only play slide on electrics, and, apart from the bari, I haven't found any advantage in using heavier than 10-46 for open E or A.
     
  12. xStonr

    xStonr Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I currently have a set of 9.5-44's with a 18g wound G on a guitar. Does that count?
     
  13. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thankyou, Ill check it out , with 22 guitars and basses I go through strings like underwear( underwear doesnt work foir strings)
     
  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    It should.

    To me, people who have really exquisite needs should expect to have to concoct their own sets. That's just common sense.

    But what seems arbitrary to me is that D'Addario makes these huge Bulk Packs in 9s and 10s and 11s, but not in 10.5 or 11.5. I have WAY too many guitars to be trying to create custom sets for scores of guitars. I can't afford it, year after year. I would sincerely love to see D'Addario come out with EXLs in 10.5 and 11.5. This is IMO very obviously a "Build it and they will come" type of circumstance.

    I've settled down to a more normal interval of thickness, one string to the next because

    INTONATION

    I just feel like my intonation is not so good with Hi-Lo sets. A wound G I can just use a straight saddle for, but Hi-Los cause problems for just about anyone.
     
  15. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    9-46 Hybrids Pure Nickel wrap. Les Paul sigs on my Les Paul and Slinky Hybrid Classic Rock n Roll on everything else. Been that way for years. I didn't think it was uncommon until I get the new guy at the local store and get the? No I want pure nickel wrap not nickel plated.
     
  16. steam-powered

    steam-powered Tele-Meister

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    One thing I always liked about using "stock" string gauges was being able to replace then anywhere. Using custom sets requires purchasing
    Indeed, I experience problems with intonation, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages for my needs. Glendale makes a set of intonated saddles for folks using heavy E and A strings (wide twang set) and they help quite a bit.
     
  17. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Light/heavies for the tele. Everything else normal 9s or 10s. All D'Addarios.
     
  18. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

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    Back in high school I used skinny top heavy bottoms when all I knew were barre chords, then I went through the 11's stage back when everyone wanted to be SRV. Before I lightened up my grip a bit, I used a wound G because I was always pulling it sharp. When I finally learned how to play I switched to standard 10's. But it's all a matter of individual feel.
     
  19. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    Nothing too mixed. I use D'Addario 12-52 with a .024 wound G. When I was using 11s with a plain G, I would by single .022 wound strings and swap one on in place of the plain G.
     
  20. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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