11 or 10 gauge strings on hollowbody


New Member
Feb 3, 2016
Buying a new core hollowbody, wanted some feedback on what string gauge to get it set up with.

I play rock music and all of my electrics have 10 gauge.

I see the HB has 11 gauge with a wound g syring.

Should I stick with the stock 11 gauge or go for the 10 gauge?
On my main HB I use 11's with the wound G (I have a variety of string gauges across all my HB's from 12-52's wound g/plain g on the Archtops down to 10-42's .. that's why you need more than one HB :D ).

I definitely prefer the sound of the 11's with wound G .. for me I always find that the tone of a plain G string never matches the rest of the strings and it aggravates me how harsh a plain G sounds. So I would recommend try the stock 11-49's with wound G, then if you find the wound G too hard to play with as it's a pain to bend (I use slides/hammer ons etc instead of bending it), then try a plain 18 G in the 11 set. If you still don't like it then move down to your usual 10-42's.

I have to say the piezo sounds tons better with the wound G though.
Jo- covered it.
I would try the 11s. Change to 10s if you don’t like them. I keep 11s on the piezo and 10s on the one without (stock strings when the HB first came out and I liked them so stuck with them).
If it comes with 11s, try them, see if they work for you and your sound and your playing. They'll have a bigger sound than 10s, and that wound G is harder to bend - if you do that.

Both my 1999 core HB-IIs wear 10s. The 10s (to me) give up a juicier chime and ring, and that works better for me and what I'm after.

But I've got a 1999 Archtop II that only wears 11s. I fingerpick and hybrid pick on that big boy, and the 11s have the bigger sound that works better.

I don't adjust action or intonation on any of them when I switch between 11s and 10s. None of them have intonate-able bridges anyway. They sound fine either way. Easy enough to experiment.

For what a core HB-II costs, the cost for a pack of strings is a rounding error. You bought a sweet ride - just experiment a little, with strings.

Whatever the gauge, I only use nickel wound strings. Calmer, sweeter tone, to my ears.


PS - Congratulations on buying one of the greatest guitar designs of the modern era. The HB-II is in a class by itself. There's a reason it has never gone out of production in well over 20 years.
I agree with everyone above.

But...I use a plain G and am ok with the tone. Adjust the volume down on that one string and it's a better match. I really agree that 11s sound better with the piezo.

Unless... the guitar has a trem, à la P-22. In that case, I'm down with 10s.
I used to be a hardcore elixir 9s on everything I had. When I got my Hollowbody I loved the thicker strings so much I kept them and haven’t looked back since. There is something about how the guitar plays and sounds with the 11s i love. It just feels more professional and controlled. I don’t bother with a wound g And I don’t feel like I’m missing anything without it.
Piling on:

I prefer 11s with wound G on my HBs with piezo.

My P24 and P245 SH came with 10s, and they both sound just fine. But they don't quite have the same tone as either HB.
I have an Archtop Jazz. I bought it used and it came with 11s which sounded good, but it sounded just as good to my ears when I went to 10s (plain G) which I prefer.

No need for 11s unless that's your general preference.