Interesting video by Rick Beato about string gauge.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Thin white duke, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

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    Strings are a very personal things. Not only gauges but who makes them. I've been playing years but as with most (contentious) issues around tone I admit I struggle to hear the differences, if there are any.
    I played 11s for years but as arthritis has come to call I've dropped to 10s for purely practical playing reasons. If there's a difference in tone, I can't hear it.

    Go with what suits you, simple.
     
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  2. fuzzjunkie

    fuzzjunkie TDPRI Member

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    As usual, I'm late to the party. I was going to stir the pot myself.

    Is this whole thing not a rehash of the "if your not playing heavy strings, you're a wuss/losing tone, blah, blah, blah" thing of the 90's? So, in another 30 years, will people be going back to heavy strings? To me the tone of videos both came across as you're a Neanderthal if you are using heavy strings and don't have "expression and touch." They said the heavy string mentality was a mob thing and now if you read the comments, they've creating another one.

    I tend to enjoy Rick's videos, but this one rubbed me wrong because it seemed to present itself as factual when string gauge is about as personal as boxers or briefs.
     
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  3. Rev Rhythm

    Rev Rhythm Tele-Holic

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    I moved up from nines simply because I wanted to use a wound third on my Tele. I haven't struggled much with the increase in gauge.
     
  4. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    I found this video to be quite interesting. I generally run a 9-48 (25.5") or 10-52 (24.75") set on my electrics at standard tuning, because my standard tuned guitars also spend time in open G and drop D, and those gauges are a good compromise over the three tunings.

    I also have a couple guitars that live in low tunings: drop C or C standard, and an 8 string that was tuned as low as double drop C at one point (that's a story for another time), and has been through several 'non-standard-to-8-string' tunings. I have always gone with custom gauges on these guitars to replicate the tension on my standard tuned guitars, which was more for a consistency in feel and to avoid the low-tension 'fart on a snare drum' sound of strings tuned with not enough tension. I never really considered the tonal aspects beyond that.

    In my own experience I can't confirm what Rick and Rhett say is happening in these videos (because I haven't paid that much attention), but I tend to give them credence on most subjects related to music and the industry. They are both excellent guitarists with career successes to back their words. I say that even though what we each hear is subjective (in everything tone-related). Listening to Rick's video on one earbud this morning, I could barely perceive a sound change from one gauge to another, and that could be chalked up to difference in strumming strength (or any number of other variables). Maybe it would be different on the system in my car.
    (Disclaimer: I tend to think that most claims of "better tone" are bunk. Different tone, maybe. IMHO "tone" is the buzzword equivalent of musical cleavage- used more often than not to get unsuspecting guitarists to look twice.)

    That said, when I watched these videos this morning, I immediately thought of something I saw on the Stringjoy website in their string tension calculator: "As gauges increase, so does overall output and bass response. Because of this, when you get to the very heaviest string (or strings in the case of a 7 or 8 string guitar or 5 string bass), you may find it best to ramp the tension down slightly to avoid excess bass response overpowering other strings in the set."

    To me, the statements that Rick/Rhett made about going lighter on string gauges to reduce bass and move the meat of the sound more into the mid-range spectrum and this statement from Stringjoy seem related- they both state that going lighter on the strings does reduce bass response. I would trust Stringjoy to have done more scientific testing in this area since they are a string manufacturer, and having had several in-depth conversations with the owner/founder of Stringjoy, I would trust his judgment over most others out there.
     
  5. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    I have had a hard time going lighter than 9's, except when trying the Dunlop Billy Gibbons 7-38's. they bend easy and hold their tune, and are a joy to play. They even held up in open G when I tried it. Something special about the pack I tried, evidently.
     
  6. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    Although I am currently settled in on just a couple gauges, I have had quite a few guitars that "liked" a particular brand/gauge of strings over others. Each guitar can be its own animal, for sure!
     
  7. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I think I wouldn't like going to 8's and probably not 9's either. I broke tons of strings when I used 9's, and 8's broke very very easily. I think that is one factor which affected me settling at 10's, along with liking having a preference for tactile tension when bending.
     
  8. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Holic

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  9. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    I tried watching this, I really did. And I “like” Rhett Shull. I mean, I like watching some of his videos, but some of them, like this string thang, is just click bait. I watched about half then realized that string gauge is sooooo subjective. I have always played 10’s (10-46 or 52). I’ll play 10s until I can’t anymore. I break 9s too easy and i do think 10s sound fuller. And I don’t have to watch a YouTube video to figure that out.
     
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  10. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    To a degree I agree but it was interesting about how the highs and lows changed so dramatically.

    In Rhetts defence he prefaced the video with the comment, This video is really for my own benefit and posted it as you guys might enjoy it. I dont think I recall him saying it was right for anyone but himself.

    I enjoyed it. Haven't watched Ricks one, probably wont.
     
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