Heavy bottom, light top strings can twist the neck: True or False?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by WilburBufferson, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Meister

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    Greater string tension would apply to all size gauges of strings. There is always going to be greater tension from the heavier strings than those of the light.
     
  2. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    False.

    If such were the case, the point where the neck attaches to the body should be hopelessly disfigured, don't you think?

    It's a system. A system where the forces in question are insufficient to generate the result being suggested. The tension difference in a standard configuration, between first and sixth string, are already significant...does this tech really think that the relatively minor increase in the hybrid state is going be dramatic?

    If I may be so bold, perhaps finding a new tech would be advisable.
     
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  3. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Back in the day I played with those god awful 10-60 strings on a Les Paul in standard tunning. tons of guys go 10-52. For years I have been 10-48. I assume it’s fine but I guess it depends on your setup and guitar type
     
  4. Euphonica

    Euphonica Tele-Meister

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    I have an 80s guitar that’s had 12 - 54s since the early 90s, and it’s definitely got a curve on the thick strings side. The side with the lighter strings is straight. It wasn’t always that way. It’s a cheap strat that I’d always loved. Oh well...
     
  5. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I'm sure its been shared, but just in case: standard string sets aren't balanced. Here's someones plot. The six points on the yellow line indicate the six strings and their tension. Same for the other colors as sets of strings:

    [​IMG]


    Notice none are flat, none are symmetric or balanced.
     
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  6. bobk

    bobk Tele-Meister

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    .10-.60 for years with ZERO problems........tech sounds iffy
     
  7. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    There's so many rumours when It comes to guitar necks, and all these rumours start from a place of guitar necks somehow being weak. The most common one is people who will only change strings one at a time as they once heard the ridiculous claim that taking all of them off at once can somehow hurt the neck. Of course anyone who's ever modded a guitar will know nothing happens to the neck, it's not made of balsa wood.

    There's no way a minuscule difference between a standard and hybrid set can cause neck damage.
     
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  8. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have been playing for over 40 years, and during the 70s-80s I earned my money as a guitar roadie. I have never experienced what your tech describes. It seems to me to be just another hysteria about nothing.

    My top #1 guitars were a pair of 168 Fenders, a Telecaster and a Strat. I changed strings on them all the time; and more importantly - I changed string sets and gauges almost every time I changed strings. I still do that, because it keeps the guitar interesting, and keeps me playing in slightly different ways.

    Over all those years, my necks never twisted. And I never once felt the need to adjust the truss rod. I sometimes think that these adjustments have become far too important to many guitar players, and that they hobby around changing all these things far more than they need to.
     
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  9. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ever since my son bought the guitar, and I've had it since before his passing, we have had 13-56 strings on our Martin MMV, no twist as far as I can tell. The neck is so good it requires almost no neck relief, and does not buzz period.
     
  10. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    patently false.
     
  11. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

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    I use 10-52s

    No issues.

    It would take some seriously heavy guage strings on one end to cause any permanent twist...

    If a neck twisted from a hybrid set of strings then the neck itself was garbage to begin with.
     
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  12. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    After 30 years using 11-52 and 11-54 never had a problem with that
     
  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    IIRC, most string sets have greater tension on the higher strings, not the lower ones. Going to heavy bottoms actually gets you closer to equal tension between high and low, in most cases.

    But even if this wasn't the case, your tech would still be wrong. The difference in tension wouldn't be enough to twist a neck any appreciable amount.

    Twisted necks are fairly rare, and usually have something to do with the wood itself having an inherent issue and/or being kept in a harsh environment.

    FWIW, I use straight sets and hybrid sets (11–52, 11-54, 9-46), and I have never had an even slightly twisted neck, across about 30 years of playing and probably 50 guitars. I have worked on them and seen them, having worked in a shop and doing their repairs. But I have never actually had one myself.

    Your problem is probably that, like most setups, your strings are too low for hard rhythm, especially on the bass side of the neck. Learn to play with higher strings. Also, make sure you continue to judge your acceptable buzz levels through an amp, not unplugged.

    And realize that a big part of the reason to play hard is to get controllable amounts of buzz that you actually use to effect. In other words, if you don't want buzz, then why are you playing so hard in the first place? You want to FULLY eliminate buzz, then you can't play THAT hard. I have a hard right hand, big strings, and high strings, and I can still make the thing sound like a sitar if I try...but I can also control it back to the point of no buzz at all. So some of this comes down to controlling your technique.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  14. dickey

    dickey Tele-Afflicted

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    I run the opposite,heavy top/light bottom (.010-.038) which is great for country chikin' pickin', so my necks are perfectly straight & not twisted.
     
  15. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    False.
     
  16. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Meister

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    Only on Gibsons.
     
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  17. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    The only thing I know of that does twist a neck is for the neck to be junk to start with.

    Dried improperly, poor wood choice or never right from day one.
     
  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Before you go chasing custom strung gauges, get the guitar set up by someone competent to see if that alleviates the issue with your your preferred gauge.

    As @EsquireOK notes, you may also need to raise your action a smidge.
     
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  19. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    10-52 forever... no problems.
     
  20. simond

    simond Tele-Meister

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    Maton, our local Australian guitar manufacturer, used to make a 9 string. Bottom three courses like a twelve string for thick rythym, and top three like normal for playing lead. Haven't seen one since about 1972 so maybe they died out with neck twist?
     
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