String Gauge (optimal) for SG?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by richey88, May 1, 2021.

  1. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    It’s more that i have never had issues with any other modern production guitar doing that and I’m still annoyed that epiphone wouldn’t fix it under warranty.

    My jag is pretty tuning stable even when i use the vibrato, and it doesn’t seem to be binding in the nut at all. I also put 12s on my mim tele and that held up to it just fine. This seems like penny pinching on materials.
     
  2. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    My 2020 Epi LP Special has the lightning bolt wraparound tailpiece and it's made for a plain 3rd. So I tried some different sets and settled on these....

    0416212317.jpg

    That plain .024 is a stiff one but it intonates fine.

    I do tune down a half step or even a whole step at times. So the set feels like 11's.
     
  3. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    One step up from what you run on your Fenders. I did flatwound 11's on an Epiphone G400 and it sounded pretty cool.
     
  4. arlum

    arlum Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Between '71 and '75 my main guitar was an SG Deluxe, (this version of the Deluxe was a mahogany bodied / walnut stained SG Standard with Les Paul type trapazoid neck inlays and a killer set of "Black Back" humbuckers). I started using Gibson, and later, Fender 009s but within six months switched to Ernie Ball Extra Slinky 008s and stuck with them. Loved them. For that time period the SG Deluxe black back pickups were "very hot" and "mid rich"" for a production shop pickup. 009s sounded like 010s or 011s. The 008s were super easy to do any type of technique with and sounded perfect with the pickups the SG came with. A perfect match. Out of the maybe 50+ electric guitars I've owned that SG is tied with one other for the fastest playing neck I've ever owned. On all other guitars I've owned I've never been able to get 008s to deliver the same tone. They always sound thin. I guess late 60's / early '70s SGs were just a perfect match for that string gauge.
     
  5. fretflip

    fretflip TDPRI Member

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    I just read an old rig run down of Angus Young, back then he used 009-042. I got 010 from factory on a new SG, and using 011 on another downtuned SG, but now I got really curious about trying 009 on an SG, I only used 009 on my strat till this day.
     
  6. kjatexas

    kjatexas Tele-Meister

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    I use D'Addario 9.5-44s as standard. I find 9s a little too light, and 10s a little too heavy.
     
  7. skypilot

    skypilot TDPRI Member

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    On my 1965 SG it’s Ernie Ball skinny top heavy bottom.
     
  8. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1. As much as I love stringing my guitars with 0.011s or 0.012s, I've had to widen the nut slots in every guitar I've ever purchased to get the strings to ride at the right height above the 1st fret without pinching. It's not a matter of "quality", it's how the factory expects the vast majority of their guitars to be used. (The Rickenbacker manual explicitly states that when using heavier than factory strings, the nut slots may need "re-grooving".)

    Even if nothing immediately broke when throwing 0.013s onto a brand-new Fender, I'd be surprised if the intonation wasn't way sharp at the first couple of frets. Maybe some people (and musical styles) aren't as sensitive to that...
     
  9. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Afflicted

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    "Tony Iommi used the following gauges (from high to low) on his SG guitars tuned down to C#: .009, .010, .012, .020, .032 & .042"-copied from Sweetwater

    • "Iommi has two main guitars for D# and C# tunings, and he has a custom set on each: D# Standard: .008 – .008 – .011 – .018w – .024 – .032 C# Standard: .009 – .010 – .012 – .020w – .032 – .042 These string sets are light by any standards, but especially so when you consider that’s he’s tunings the guitars down below standard. Still, no one can argue that the riffs that come out of Iommi’s amps are as heavy as anything out there."- copied from string joy
    Can you imagine how buttery and slinky his strings must feel?! They must feel like rubber bands? The point that I'm making is that you can't go too lite. I prefer to start with .009 or .008 on mine with standard tuning, but plan to explore his setup in the future.

    ;)
     
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  10. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Afflicted

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    When I think of the SG Angus Young is the first name that comes to mind.

    "Angus has always played 9-42 gauge strings and has been an Ernie Ball endorsee for around four decades." copied from Guitar World
     
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  11. Indian Joe

    Indian Joe Tele-Meister

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    SIT puts a special set together for me that works well on solid bodies where I bend more- 9.5/11.5/ 16/ 26/ 36 /48/. The big 48 provides an authoritative sound for low end riffs, signature licks, & solid chunk on rhythms. Been using their strings for years, great tone, consistent. I do use pure nickel 10's on my hollow body, and knuckle slide solid body. Been playing for 60 years, played with most everything over the years, this set-up works very well.
     
  12. nortally

    nortally TDPRI Member

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    My personal guitar god recommended this when I picked up my first SG as I was used to 10's on Fender scale. I totally don't noticed the difference going from the Strat to the SG now.
     
  13. Voxguy

    Voxguy TDPRI Member

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    I have gone back and forth on gauge in my SG. I found the 9's to be easy to bend, but fingertips wear out... must be getting old. I went back to 10s a few months ago and like it better. I bought a 20 pack of 10s and changed all high e's on my 2 strats, 335 and two custom buiilt hollow bodies.
     
  14. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Tony Iommi had to invent a pack of 'light strings' to put on his guitars after he chopped the ends off of his two middle fretting fingers. At the time, there were only 'strings'. He has NEVER sounded weak or thin on the guitar.

    Use what you like. Let the amp do the rest.

     
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  15. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Works for me too.
     
  16. DeckerPhan92

    DeckerPhan92 TDPRI Member

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    Do you have the stop tailpiece screwed all the way down? If so, raising the stop tailpiece make the tension a lot looser.
     
  17. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    Actually like this on a Strat, we shall see on the SG...
     
  18. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    Doesn’t it need to be down tight? Would think there would be some rattle?? Do tell....
     
  19. Len058

    Len058 Tele-Meister

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    .010 / .013 /.015 / .026 / .032 / .038, the Hendrix gauges. I know he played strat but I really like them and they might be a nice compromise.
     
  20. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    No rattle issues, ever. They come from the Gibson factory slightly elevated so that the strings don't break on the rear of the bridge.

    Some guys like them locked down on the body to "improve sustain". YMMV.

    Some guys like to lock them down and do the wraparound across the top of the stop piece to "make it easier to bend" (much debated) and increase sustain via the lock down (again, debatable).

    Some guys like them elevated to avoid the rear of the bridge break, but they want the lock-down to allegedly increase sustain, so they put spacer washers under the posts to lock against while keeping the bridge elevated.


    I'll take no position on sustain or bending... but I will note that all choices work just fine and nothing is loose.
     
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