String Gauge - Let's Talk!

Bogner

Redwood Original
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
456
1) What gauge(s) of strings do you use?

2) Do you use different gauges on different guitars and if so how many different gauges do you use?

3) What brand(s) of string do you use?

4) What are your tunings?
 

Bogner

Redwood Original
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
456
1) For MANY years I used (and still do) 11-50 and in some cases 11-52. I have since tried some other gauges and like them 10-48 and 9-46.

2) On my Teles I use the lightest gauge I use. They are 9-46 Hybrid set. On Everything else I use the 10-48 or 11-50.

3) I have been with DR for a very long time. I have since tried some other strings and like the Ernie Ball 10-48 and 9-46. Their Hetfield set (11-50) is nice as well but I haven't tried them extensively. I am also testing out the 10.5-48 set as well.

4) I am usually in standard tuning. If I drop to a lower tuning it is balanced across all strings and I only go a half step or whole step at the most.
 

JasonE

New Member
Joined
May 1, 2012
Messages
187
Location
South Florida
1&2) I use 10's on everything electric and 11's on acoustic guitars.

3) I have been using D'Addario strings for many years. I used to use Ernie Ball Slinky, 9's, back in the day. I took a break from playing and when I came back I had issues with bending them out of tune when playing. I remembered thinking that D'Addario strings were very stiff feeling to me back in the day so I decided to give them a try again and go up to 10's. That has worked out well for me. The Ernie Ball strings used to go dead on me after about two gigs. The D'Addario's last much longer for me.

4) I am either in standard tuning or a half step down. Most of the bands in my area play a half step down. It is a bit easier for us older guys to hit those notes vocally. Using 10s with a half step down feels good. It takes a little adjustment when going back to standard tuning. On occasion I have put D'Addario 9's on a guitar just to try something new.
 

RickP

Established 1960, Still Not Dead
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,366
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
I was a Fender player early on, played GHS Boomers for many years, then EB Slinkys. About a dozen years back I changed to Elixir strings, and have stayed there for anything electric. The 10 set on regular electrics, 11 set on Taylor T5s, and 12 set on acoustics, except my HD28, which sounds too good with Martin strings to change.

I might make the switch back to a standard 9 set at some point, but I’ve got a ton of strings to use up in my gear cabinet to make any changes soon.
 

Bogner

Redwood Original
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
456
I used to be primarily 10-52, with occasional 11's but switched to 9-42 and found I much prefer the sound of them so they're on everything atm.
That is a pretty big change. I have found the response and overall sound of smaller strings on recordings to be better. That is what got me to try getting off of 11's.
 

Bogner

Redwood Original
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
456
I was a Fender player early on, played GHS Boomers for many years, then EB Slinkys. About a dozen years back I changed to Elixir strings, and have stayed there for anything electric. The 10 set on regular electrics, 11 set on Taylor T5s, and 12 set on acoustics, except my HD28, which sounds too good with Martin strings to change.

I might make the switch back to a standard 9 set at some point, but I’ve got a ton of strings to use up in my gear cabinet to make any changes soon.
When you can strike gold on an acoustic I would keep the same strings as well. I think I have the same guitar as you. Aged wood and toner but isn't beat up looking. The case smelled so strong of glue I about passed out when I opened it...lol. GREAT GUITAR ! ! ! I am with you as well on having a ton of strings needing to be gone through.
 

Bogner

Redwood Original
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
456
1&2) I use 10's on everything electric and 11's on acoustic guitars.

3) I have been using D'Addario strings for many years. I used to use Ernie Ball Slinky, 9's, back in the day. I took a break from playing and when I came back I had issues with bending them out of tune when playing. I remembered thinking that D'Addario strings were very stiff feeling to me back in the day so I decided to give them a try again and go up to 10's. That has worked out well for me. The Ernie Ball strings used to go dead on me after about two gigs. The D'Addario's last much longer for me.

4) I am either in standard tuning or a half step down. Most of the bands in my area play a half step down. It is a bit easier for us older guys to hit those notes vocally. Using 10s with a half step down feels good. It takes a little adjustment when going back to standard tuning. On occasion I have put D'Addario 9's on a guitar just to try something new.
I tried out the Ernie Ball strings just for the gauge size. I saw some video of Steve Stevens talking about somebody finally doing this specific gauge set and it caught my eye. I really like the Hybrid set of 9's they make. I bet you would as well. 9-46. I am also considering bulk in each string size and making my sets rather than using packs. Probably easier that way once I decide what I like and will go with.
 

Birdsofprey

All Birds that Fly.
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
635
Location
Northern, Massachusetts
I tried out the Ernie Ball strings just for the gauge size. I saw some video of Steve Stevens talking about somebody finally doing this specific gauge set and it caught my eye. I really like the Hybrid set of 9's they make. I bet you would as well. 9-46. I am also considering bulk in each string size and making my sets rather than using packs. Probably easier that way once I decide what I like and will go with.
I used to use DR 9/42’s, now Ernie Ball Super Slinkies on every guitar I own. A comment on the bulk idea, I used to have extras of everything then a few times I would pull out a specific gauge to use and the string would be corroded . I started going through my stash and I changed my mind about tankering strings. So now I keep six sets at all times to do string changes. Now a little background as I keep two guitars out on stands and pretty much will rotate those out every six months. There are also times I just pull the guitar that hasn’t got attention in a while and restring it just to keep it fresh. My house is not over dry or damp.
 
Last edited:

Going Modal

I should be practicing right now.
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Messages
933
Location
Metro Detroit, MI
1) 0.010's [and 0.0105's on one] for electrics; 0.012's and some lesser-known 0.011's for acoustics.

2) For the electrics, it's all standard 0.010-0.046 except for my newest, an ES-335 whose setup seems a little better "centered" using a touch heavier gauge, so the 0.0105-0.048 set works well there (they still feel like 0.010's).
For acoustics, it's standard 0.012-0.053 phosphor-bronze on my bigger J45; but I really, really like the 0.011-0.050 "Slightly Light" phosphor-bronze set from John Pearse on my smaller 000 & 0 acoustics.

3) Have always been D'Addario for everything, until I started using the John Pearse "slightly light" acoustic set, which you can't get from even D'Addario. So now to keep it common/similar, it's all D'Addario electrics and John Pearse acoustics.

4) Standard across the board.
 

andy474x

Knows the Drill
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
4,377
Location
West Michigan
1) What gauge(s) of strings do you use?

2) Do you use different gauges on different guitars and if so how many different gauges do you use?

3) What brand(s) of string do you use?

4) What are your tunings?
1/2) I use mostly 10-46, but for some odd reason I’m liking the feel of the plain strings on a 9.5-44 set on my 594, even though it’s a shorter scale length already. The downside is the wound strings, especially the low E, doesn’t always play in tune as well. I need to go back to the 10-46 set and see how it goes. Everything else, regardless of scale length, is the 10-46 set, so not sure why the difference doesn’t bother me, but it’s less strings to keep stocked.

3) I used to be big on DR as well, not sure why so many other players supposedly had problems with them, but I never did, liked them a lot. Mostly used the Pure Blues, but sometimes the Tite Fits on guitars that needed the extra brightness of nickel plated steel vs the all nickel Pure Blues. The only reason I switched was I tried the new(er) PRS strings when they came out with the Classic and Signature sets - the Classics sound like the best of the Pure Blues and Tite Fits all at once, and cheaper, and the Signatures are just plain great. Plus, they feel just like the DR’s.

4) Mostly playing in Standard. I do have one guitar in drop C, and I still use DR’s on that, a DDT set, purely because there isn’t a PRS set with the same gauges.
 

LSchefman

Historical Entity
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,816
Location
Michigan
I use .010s on the electrics - pure nickel-wrapped (not nickel-plated) Sono-Tone Vintage. Most pure nickel strings sound a little too warm to me, the Sono-Tones have more treble.

I like the way the fundamental note sounds with the pure nickel. Nice and solid, but also good overtones with this brand. They feel good, too. So that's what I buy. I use the same strings on electric guitars regardless of scale length. .009s tend to feel a little too flexible when strumming. I need the firmness of the .010s. On solos, the .010s give me the tone I like, too. So it's a win-win all the way around.

I have a few nerve issues with the fingers on my fretting hand, but I wasn't happy going down to .009s, so I do what I gotta do.

Our own Kingsley Durant (who's an incredibly good musician - his records are magnificent) turned me on to these strings. He was right. Thank you Kingsley!

On the PS acoustic, D'Addario Bluegrass, light tops, medium bottoms, 80/20 bronze, coated. That's what came on the guitar, and after much experimentation over the past nine years, I always come back to them.

I guess the guitar was voiced with those strings, and it just sounds wrong with others I've tried. I've always felt there's also a 'hoarseness' with Phosphor Bronze on some guitars. Isn't that weird? But regardless, I prefer the 80/20, it seems clearer to me in the upper midrange. These worked with my Collings SJ, too.
 

RickP

Established 1960, Still Not Dead
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,366
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
When you can strike gold on an acoustic I would keep the same strings as well. I think I have the same guitar as you. Aged wood and toner but isn't beat up looking. The case smelled so strong of glue I about passed out when I opened it...lol. GREAT GUITAR ! ! ! I am with you as well on having a ton of strings needing to be gone through.
It’s a 2016 model if I recall and, yes, solid gold. The most even-toned acoustic I’ve ever owned. I totally lucked into that one, buying it sight unseen. It plays like a Martin, which isn’t electric-easy like the Taylor it replaced, but the sound is glorious and totally worth it.
 
Top