I run 10's on my Teles, 10.5s or 11 on hollows/semi-hollows, but on Strats...

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by DHart, Nov 8, 2019 at 12:06 AM.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    it seems I like Strats the MOST, when I've got 9's on them!

    9's seem to go so well with the unique tonal characteristics of the Strat, even when I've got un-traditional pickups in the Strat, like HS Filter'trons:

    [​IMG]

    I like this guitar, but hadn't really fallen in LOVE with it.

    Today, I did a complete (truss rod, action, intonation) set-up on it, with a set of 9's and all of a sudden.... ta-da, I think I HAVE fallen in love with it. :lol: The 9's bring out a totally different character in it, that I like, than the 10s did. And I've got a nice low and clean playing action on it now - it was too high previously, with the 10's.

    It seems like certain guitars really come into their own when strung with a certain gauge of string? Or may be I've just stretched the idea? :rolleyes: In any event, this one feels right to me now. And it's got my full attention - finally. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 1:44 AM
  2. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Meister

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    Nice when you find something that works#

    I think I've only ever used 10s since, like, forever.

    I might try 9s on my Tele.. If it goes somewhere, I'll venture to Strat territory. Problem is, Strat setups are finicky...
     
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  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used to use 9's on mine, but I kept breaking the high e string(Boomers), then I switched to D'Addario and everything was fine.
    6 years ago or more, I got type 2 Diabetes and that was making my fingertips sensitive. Felt like the strings were going to cut through my fingers so I went up to 10's and they feel good, but the lower E string sounds too dark on some of my guitars. I've been trying to find the right custom set, but I may have to start buying a smaller low E bulk to make the right set. The low E is .046 and I was used to a .042.
     
  4. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    This particular Strat really needed a truss rod tweak to counter some bow, so I took the opportunity to do that (at the heel, which required loosening the neck) and a complete set-up, and the change to 9's.

    I recent years I have transitioned from being a Strat & Les Paul guy over to being a Tele and semi-hollow/full hollow guy. So, my Strats don't get much of my attention anymore anyway. And aside from one Les Paul Special/Jr, my Les Pauls these days are ES-Les Paul (semi-hollow bodies).

    But with HS Filter'trons in this Strat, and now the 9's, I'm really enjoying Strats again. :cool: And, surprisingly, even with the FIlter'trons, this one still has very much of a Strat-like tonal character! :eek: The Strat body/trem bridge really impart a unique Strat "signature" on the tone of whatever pickups are in the guitar.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 1:29 AM
  5. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, sometimes the right set is one in which you pick the individual string gauges and make up your own set. I've just played D'Addarios like forever.

    I've been enjoying their 10.5 set on my semi-hollows, lately, and thinking about trying a set on one of my Teles. I do like 10's on the Teles, generally, though.

    With the Strats... I'm staying with 9's now - they just sound so good on Strats - to me ears. And it kind of feels like cheating (somehow?) going from the Teles with 10's to the Strats with 9's. They are wonderfully wiggly, with a whole different sound! :lol:
     
  6. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    Great thread as the tonal characteristics of strings are often overlooked. As I'm a "plug straight in – clean tone" guy strings and picks make all the difference.

    I use 10s on all my Fenders, but 11s on a Gibson's shorter scale. Lately I'm experimenting with flatwounds. I'm using a set of 12s on archtops – but a set of 12s is very different If I use e.g. D'Addario or Thomastik (the later has much skinnier wound strings), so there's even more romm for experiments – and thinking about going a bit thicker.

    My American Standard Tele came with a Set of 009s when I got it in 2016 and I remember it played and sounded great – maybe something I should try again. It had a more brilliant sound with the skinnier strings and as i t is my dedicated funk guitar that's something to reconsider.
     
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  7. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    nonsuch... indeed, my friend, I play a crystalline sparkly clean tone myself and there is a very noticeable difference in tone between D'Addario 10's and their 9's. The 9's just scream "Strat" to me, somehow. I think part of it is how I play the 9's... I handle them differently because they feel so slinky.

    And, I always play Jazz III picks, but depending on how I hold it, and what angle, and how much I choke up on it, I can get a huge range of different tones.
     
  8. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Meister

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    Little things can be large. Hehe

    I switched to the "correct" strings and even picks for my cover band project, and it's crazy how much more I sound like the artist.

    Makes me appreciate that I'll go back to original stuff and hence back to my old pure nickel strings and thicker pick (using the side), and sound like *me* again!
     
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  9. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Tele-Afflicted

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    I mainly use 9 to 40 on both tele and strat. Heavier gauge like 11 52 is for C or C# tuning for me
     
  10. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    You might try the 10-38 Hendrix type set.
     
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  11. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    9s on a Strat work best for me, always have. 10s feel too tight.
     
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  12. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    I don't generally like 9's... but I agree, on a Strat I like them. I run a '62 re-issue and get the tone/feel I want from 9's.
    My Tele gets 10's, my Les Paul gets 11's...
     
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  13. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    i use 11-50 on all manner of 25-1/2" scale guitars, both electrics and acoustics ... sometimes 12's for special tunings. as the fretboard scale length shortens, i'll go to a heavier gauge to maintain about the same string tension. "big strings" do not equate to big sound for electrics. that's why electrics require amplification. the use of heavier gauge strings will have some functional advantages, such as staying in tune better, easier intonation, allows a lower string action without string rattle, and simply being more durable. some of us heavier string users prefer the "tighter" feel, too, particularly for fingerstyle playing. most skinny string users may have tried heavier strings but quickly cut 'em off and went back to the noodle strings, citing too hard to fret and difficult for string bending. they gave up too soon and never allowed a few dayze of constant playing for their finger muscles to develop so they can get that "aha!" moment. :)
     
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  14. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    You might try some of the various Jimi Hendrix-inspired sets. .010-.038. Too light on top for me, but they worked for Jimi.
     
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  15. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Both of my 24 3/4" scale (Gibson size) Telecasters get .010-.046 strings. I'm not terribly particular about brand....most of the major brands are acceptable. Any larger than that is a bit too big for me, I don't play REAL low action.
     
  16. Paulie_Boy

    Paulie_Boy Tele-Meister

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    So that's what Excalibur looks like when drawn from the stone! Holy Hannah!!!
     
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  17. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah... I like 11's on my hollow bodies (D'Angelico EX-SS & Gretsch G6119T) and 10.5's on the semi-hollow bodies (Gibson ES-339, ES-Les Pauls, PRS SE Custom 22 Semi). 10's seem just right on my Teles.

    It's only my Strats which I seem to like 9's on, but 10's can work on them too. It's more the tone I get with the 9's on Strats that I like.

    Interesting how different types of guitars and different scale lengths seem to "like" certain gauges of strings. Usually I prefer slightly heavier over very light. But the Strats just get a really cool sound with 9's.

    I really like having the different "feel" on different guitars - it makes going from one to another a more unique and enjoyable experience, further differentiating them, from each other, for different styles of music and different tone qualities. I'm constantly playing different guitars around and around; I like the variety of tones and feel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 12:46 PM
  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I prefer 11s on Fenders too. I like the tighter feel, tuning stability and added durability. In my head, they sound slightly different too. Not "better" or "bigger" or "fuller". But under my hands they seem to emphasize the fundamental of the note more, and de-emphasize harmonics. I could be imagining that.
     
  19. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    Interestingly, I just tried to restring my 1991 Strat Ultra with the Wilkinson Roller Nut on it, and I brought home a set of 10-52's that I really liked when I had them on my Tele.

    I am here to announce that the 52 E string, will NOT fit into the Wilkinson Roller. I tried nice and easy, I tried forcing it, I tried stuffing it under and over and pulling with pliers... not going to happen

    It seems odd to me that the 48's will go just fine, with a tiny bit of tension pulling them through, but 50's are just not going to be in the cards.

    Anyone else run into this, or have a life-hack to fix?
    ~syf
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    We are quite alike in this regard. :)
     
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