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8 Apr 2010 09:42 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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I have read up on some of the advantages and disadvantages to string gauges. Seems heavier string generally speaking produce more volume and possibly better tone/ However, they put more stress on the guitar itself and are much more difficult to bend the strings. Lighter strings would obviously have the opposite impact.

Are the more pros and cons to string gauge? Also, what is your personal preference for string gauge, particularly for acoustic, and why? I just got an acoustic (will post pics later!!!) and was wondering about this issue. I figure after reading up some on it, I would not ask some of you.

Thanks for the information!
8 Apr 2010 10:40 | Quote
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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I like a heavy string in general but I think with acoustics you have to let the guitar be the judge. I have seen some guitars that sound better with lighter strings and some sound better with heavier strings. Just try'em out. Heavier strings do require more finger strength when you do bends, bar chords and things like that but when you get use to them you don't even notice.
8 Apr 2010 11:19 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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btimm says:
I would not ask some of you.

hahaha TYPO?
Like les paul said, you will find the heavier gauge to be more difficult to fret the barre chords, but man, it's an excellent way to strengthen your fingers! I have noticed a deeper "richer" bass tone to my martin when i use "mediums". And when i switch back to "light" strings all of my little fretting problems dissapear, so......put on a pair of heavier strings for a month or two and enjoy. In some ways it will force you to play cleaner because it will show up your weaknesses (if you have any). I wouldn't worry about neck stress caused by a string change.
Obviously lighter strings are easier to play because it takes less pressure to fret a note but that can (depends on player) lead to sloppy techniques. Having said that I mostly use light strings and on occasion put on some heavy strings (mediums). My guitar actually shipped from the factory with medium gauge strings and i've never had neck problems when using lighter gauges strings.
8 Apr 2010 11:24 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Ah, yes silly typo. I meant to say I would NOW ask some of you. Hahaha.

Thanks for these responses guys, I think I will see about some heavier strings then, because I want to improve as a player and Lord knows I have a lot of improving to do!!

I am not surwe what the factory strings are for the guitar (Ibanez AEL20E), but it does sound deep to me, but then again, my reference point is an electric guitar, so who knows. I will keep looking online and if I can't find out, I will ask someone at the store when I buy some strings.
8 Apr 2010 13:56 | Quote
Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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rahahahaha i got 13-52s for my acoustic :D
8 Apr 2010 14:01 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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do you still have your squier? get some 10s or 11s and put them on your squier and see how it feels. i accidentally did this myself. i had 10s then 11s on the squier. i prefer the .009s. aside from the fretting and bending, the thicker strings were harder for me to strum! the changing in strumming was the most apparent thing to me. also keep in mind that changing string guage can lead to changes in intonation, action, and others. and make sure your guitar neck can handle it. i don't think going from 9 to 11 will do anything, but thicker strings take more tension to produce the same frequency when strummed --- this means more torque on the neck.
13 Apr 2010 20:37 | Quote
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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I will be lightly repeating what you said btimm but with my own opinions thrown in.

Acoustic Guitars (in my ears) sound ten times better with heavy gauge (0.012+).
As for Electric, I prefer 0.010 . 9's are too light and 11's are just a tad bit too heavy sounding/feeling.

Remember you can also buy string individually to mix and match sizes. Some string sets do that. I like the sound of "Light-Heavy" packs since they'll have light high strings but heaver low strings for bass. SO feel free to experiment on your own (plus it's more fun that way.)

I especially hate heavy sets on electrics because it messes with the guitar waaayy too much. I currently have adjusted the truss rod, saddles and bridge for this heavy set (I ran out of light strings) and it is still giving me horribly high action. It is a cheap guitar, Fender Mex Strat... so consider action with your string choices.

The only time I would remotely consider heavy gauge on an electric (besides being broke and having access to them and only them), is when you've down tuned (Not Drop D but almost all the strings, ie. EBEBEBE.) Why? loosening the strings means less tension on the guitar which means lower possible action, less work is required to press on the strings, etc. This will also add more roundness to the electric to get heavier feeling bass (after all you are down tuned.

I cannot wait to get some new strings, I feel like my guitar's neck could snap at any second now....

13 Apr 2010 21:10 | Quote
Joined: 30 Sep 2009
United States
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Always remember that every time you switch string gauges, you should re-do your guitar setup. Adjusting the truss rod may be needed, definitely check your intonation and action. When I do setups, I typically ask the player what range of string gauges he/she uses and set-up the guitar to sound as best as possible.

To add: I use heavier gauge on my guitar set-up for slide, it has a higher action so I don't "fret" the note with my finger but let the slide do the work.

On my others I use 10's, as I find they give the best sound with my bends.
13 Apr 2010 21:25 | Quote
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I have always used medium strings on my old epi. However, when I bought my new Larrivee... it came with light strings on it. I have used them on it forever...

In the end, I agree mediums/heavies sound much better than lights. However, when you have a guitar that just sounds so damn good with lights, there is no reason to change strings :-P

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