Electric Strings on Acoustic

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Octorfunk, Sep 13, 2021.

  1. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Holic

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    I've been wanting the playability of my electric guitars on my acoustic guitar, so I finally decided to try it.

    I had heard that string tension would be an issue, and to expect plenty of fret buzz.

    I started with 10s, and have actually had much less buzz than I was expecting. And surprisingly not much low-end loss. Very jangly, but not in a bad way.

    Does anyone else have experience/suggestions?
     
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  2. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have one of my acoustics strung with acoustic 11s right now, it plays great, nice and fast. It probably sounds fine plugged in, too, but I don't do that with that guitar. It did require a truss rod adjustment but that was easy.
    I don't know if I really get as rich of a sound as I would with 12s, but it's a beater guitar anyhow.
     
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  3. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    I do 10s on acoustic. I prefer how electrics play, but acoustic 10s on acoustic still sound like an acoustic but get you a similar playing experience. Sounds good to me.
     
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  4. fraser

    fraser Tele-Afflicted

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    I dont recall why i did it initially, but i had an old harmony archtop (1942) that i strung with 11 gage electric strings, (ghs boomers, or nickel rockers when i could get them) it lost a bit of projection and low end, but it was a very bassy, woody sounding guitar, and the electric strings seemed to balance it out.
    I ended up using them always on that guitar.

    of course it was easier to solo on, for sure.

    ive always read that Chris Whitley strung his acoustics with daddario electric strings...
    Unsure if thats wholly accurate, and he often amplified his acoustics, but he sounded good to me.
     
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  5. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    I read somewhere that Buddy Guy began using electric strings on his acoustic guitars in recent years. I’ve always wanted to try it but I’ve never gotten around to it, partly because of my sensitivity to buzzing.
     
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  6. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    My acoustic is strung with Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze 11’s. Tone is in the fingers, right. My fingers don’t do 12’s so 11’s it is. The truss rod and saddle height work with 11’s and the guitar is as easy to play as any acoustic I’ve tried. My guitar is a dreadnaught and the relatively bright aluminum bronze strings liven it up when I play finger style. There’s nothing for me to gain with electric strings.
     
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  7. fraser

    fraser Tele-Afflicted

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    yeah, thats the way to go-
    My earlier experience came at a time when i could not simply buy strings like that-
    I was stuck with whatever stock the local shop had really.
    Im guessing it was 1998 through 2003.

    the internet was just a word i heard sometimes lol.

    i would imagine i first used electric strings in that case because those were all i had at the time, and i liked the ease of soloing it afforded.

    since then ive always strung my acoustics with 12s or 13s and lived with it.

    good to know there are acoustic strings in that light gauge, i may try some one day, my fingers are getting old
     
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  8. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    My student model Washburn acoustic gets the same strings as my electrics. D'Addario EXL 110s

    They sound good to me and I don’t have worry about having acoustic strings on hand. Buying the 10 packs means I always have strings
     
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  9. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Afflicted

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    I put electric strings on my Taylor GS Mini.

    First 4-5 frets are ok,
    but higher up the neck the intonation is waaay out.
     
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  10. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    You can buy acoustic 10s. I play 10s or 11s on acoustic. Acoustic strings are made for optimal acoustic sound.
    Electric strings are made for optimal magnetic pickup sound.

    but of course, you can use electric strings on acoustic, but a cheap set of acoustic strings costs roughly the same as a cheap set of electric.
     
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  11. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    I use electric .011 gauge electric strings on my Gibson J-160E. It has a magnetic P90 pickup, but even unplugged it sounds great. You'll lose a little bit of the crystalline highs of acoustic strings, but for my tastes, that's okay.
     
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  12. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got .11s on my steel string acoustic. I've tried lighter but there's a drop off in volume or tone or fullness or something and .11s are the lightest my ears can take. I've gone to .09s on all my electrics now.
     
  13. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Tele-Meister

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    If it is a steel string acoustic then you can use electric strings on it but not if it is a nylon string acoustic. I Try different gauge and type of strings on all my guitars untill I find a match I like the most. On my archtops and acoustics I will use pure nickel strings 11's they have a more mellow sound then steel strings.
     
  14. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I play a light (.012) or extra light (.010) set of D'Addario phosphor bronze and put in an unwound 3rd string, usually 0.018. You can buy these in singles or 5 packs. That's all I need to have the ability to play a wide range of tunes on one guitar.
    (Edit- that was suggested to me by a brother in law about 30 years ago. Now He's deep into roots music and hates the idea. :lol:)
     
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  15. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Holic

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    I have EB 10s on my old Epi acoustic, sounds fine, no problems with intonation/fret buzz/whatever, and it feels GREAT to play…. I hate typical thick heavy “acoustic “ strings… Slinky’s work for me, but I’m just a home hack … ymmv
     
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  16. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    On my avatar, I use acoustic 10s for the simple reason it's 82 years old, has a great neck, and a truss rod that has no adjustment. I might sacrifice a little acoustic volume, but this old guy has scads more, and he plays like my electrics. YMMV:)
     
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  17. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've done it with .10s and it was easy to play, but sounded thin.
     
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  18. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Afflicted

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    There's lots of good options for light fast acoustic guitar strings available these days. With these you still get the sound of an acoustic. And with the right acoustic guitar, you get the playability and speed of an electric. I don't really like any one brand over another. They're equally good. The D'Addarios are all bronze and phosphor bronze 10-47s. The Rotosounds are 9-48 phosphor bronze, and the EBs are 10-52 bronze. These are just the ones I happened to have on hand. Martin also has some bronze and phosphor bronze strings in 10-47. I've used the Martin Marquis and they sound great, but I just didn't have any on hand for the pic.

    The guitars are a Kiesel AC-375 and a 1989 Washburn DC-60E.

    AcousticLiteStrings.jpg KieselAC375+.jpg WashburnDC60E.jpg WashburnDC60Eb.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
  19. HoodieMcFoodie

    HoodieMcFoodie Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My brother and I found that out the hard way when we were starting out. You could drive a bus under the strings on that guitar even with nylon strings. We soon graduated to electric guitars anyway.
     
  20. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    I use GHS White Bronze Acoustic strings. These have an acoustic sound but also work with the magnetic pickup.
     
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