String gauges

Timmy

New Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
115
Hey Pete, that was my initial thought too when I ordered the 8-40s, maybe too slinky.
The 9-42s on the 594 are pretty slinky on the bass strings, but I'm getting used to 'em.
We'll see how the 40's feel on the CU24.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
28,861
Location
Suburban Chicago
Update here on my experiment.

I found the Rev Willy 8-40s to be a little TOO light in feel on the unwound strings. That said, those are on my Hollowbody 594, so I am going to leave them on there (at least for now), that is actually is a good match IMO, as the guitar is almost weightless, and their isn't enough weight in the guitar to "fight back" to move heavier strings for bends a vibrato. So I intentionally tried the 8-40s on that particular guitar.

I liked the D'Addario XL 8-39s. They feel almost like 9s, and sound like 9s, IMO. Just a little lighter in feel on the bends.

I liked 9s the best, a mix of D'Daddario XLs and ThroBack Pure Nickel. I don't like 10s, too heavy for my tastes.

So my strategy is to roll with 9s for the most part, but have a couple of guitars strung with 8.5s to mix it up and have something to go to if my fingers are hurting on a particular day, which happens if I play a lot in one day.

That is what I think will work for me on my 594 guitars, YMMV...

I'm a 9 guy. Find them perfect for the 594.
 

grausch

New Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2016
Messages
495
Hey Pete, that was my initial thought too when I ordered the 8-40s, maybe too slinky.
The 9-42s on the 594 are pretty slinky on the bass strings, but I'm getting used to 'em.
We'll see how the 40's feel on the CU24.

Try some of the 9-46 sets if 42s are too slinky on the bass strings. I really like these “hybrid” sets as a lot of the stuff I play requires fast palm muted power chords. I find that having less flop on the bass strings makes it easier to get those rhythms right.
 

Timmy

New Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
115
Hey Grausch, ya I was using 9-46, gone down to 9-42.
I'm really liking the feel, but it definitely takes some getting used to.
 

jxe

babe en der wood
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
2,627
Location
portland.or.us
anyone else here switch to a bass vi after hearing the weak tone in that one video? HEAVY EYELINER
 

Mark Maxwell

Dead Souls Waiting Room
Joined
Feb 14, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Liverpool U.K.
So my experimental move to 9's has actually been really positive. I don't actually hear much difference in "tone". They seem a bit brighter but that's about it. I had the Santana cranked though my /13 the other day and it sounded fantastic. It's a nice change in terms of playbility. I'm a serial string experimenter so I may go back to other gauges some day but so far I'm really liking the 9s and may move most of my guitars to them for a while. Definitely easier on my hands.
Hi there, I am used to 9's and am thinking of changing the standard 10's on my new PRS CE. May I ask? Will I have to have my guitar set up when I change strings? Thanks. :)
 

stratlanta

How do brushstroke birds fly?
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
171
Location
Atlanta
Hi there, I am used to 9's and am thinking of changing the standard 10's on my new PRS CE. May I ask? Will I have to have my guitar set up when I change strings? Thanks. :)

Hi there! Hard to say for sure but I doubt that a full setup will be required. I've moved all of my PRS to 9's over the last few weeks and haven't had any real issues. The only thing you may have to do is adjust the trem springs in the back of the guitar - you may have to loosen them a bit to compensate for the lower string tension and to keep the trem flat/parallel to the body. Of course every guitar is different and a setup never hurts when making changes. Some necks move more than others but so far most of mine have been very stable. If all else fails you can go back to 10s. ;-)
 

Timmy

New Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
115
On the 549 going from 10s to 9-46 I didn't have to do anything.
9-42 got a slight TR adjustment, 8-40 got another slight TR adjustment and
a slight intonation adjustment.

Neck got a slight adjustment and the springs got a turn on the CU24 after
going to 9-42.
 
Last edited:

Micky!

Dragon trainer
Joined
Apr 6, 2019
Messages
138
Location
France
It's about scale length for me. 10s on 24.5 to 25. 9s on 25.5.

So, I put 9s on my Silver Sky and liked it better.

Same for me. I am just lost with low tuning. I use my CE-22 in D standard, it was sounding good with 10, but it was missing some tension. I put some 11 on it and now it way too fat... I think I will go back to 10 even for D... I will maybe try the same trick that I use on my LP custom that I tune in drop D, I use 10 with a 50 low E string.
 

Bob Hundemer

New Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
233
I just got a 2020 594 and I believe it came with 10s. For the time being I'll keep them on mainly because they feel ok. The rest of my guitars all have 9s. Including my 98 McCarty.
 

Timmy

New Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
115
It's taken awhile to lighten up on both hands, but the more I play the 8-40s, the more
I'm likin' em...
 

Rider1260

New Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Messages
3,021
I can play on 9s but I need more girth to feel comfortable so 10s on my 25" scale and 9.5s on my 25.5"
If I was to get a 594 I would try 11s fo a bit. I really liked the one DGT I played will 11s so much control when you play hard.
When I was young I always played 11s with a wound 3rd on my Strats , ate frets and twisted that old 3 bolt neck but sounded great.
 

Summer

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
224
Definitely right on that! I used to wonder why the titles and lead pictures were so needlessly controversial or inflammatory until I learned that clicks = cash. Then the light came on...

As I get older (turning 60 in March) I might have to go lighter to be kind to my joints, but otherwise I like the middle ground 10s occupy for me. I pick up my co-guitarist’s axe and play it fine, and he uses 9s, which I also used for a long time. I started playing in the 70s and don’t recall anyone I knew using 8s then, as Beato says. Everyone was using 9s. Maybe a regional thing. Anyway, I have no crusade going for a string gauge or set; everyone should play what they like. I just wasn’t going for “add or deduct .002 from a string and it’ll sit better in a mix!” Hogwash.

I'm 60, played 10's forever, have developed pretty bad arthritis and causes pain in my thumb mainly with my playing. May have to have surgery if physical therapy doesn't work so starting this weekend, all 6 guitars going to 9-46. Kind of hate to do it but I'm an intermediate player and my guess is the guitars will be much easier to play and bend. Just an FYI to ya. have fun.
 

Simon Says

A Dentist for the Lawyers
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
825
Location
UK
I appreciate Rick Beato's view on that but I play what feels best under my fingers. I was fat bottom regular top type of a guy since my teenage days but I'm playing 11-50 D'Addario Balanced Set for past 3 years and I love it. I'm tuning half the step down and I have enough bounce / easy enough to bend ratio. I initially got them to build up the straight post 2 months playing hiatus after arm injury but I kinda sticked to these. Just got another 20 sets from Bax so I will stick for few more months I guess
 

LSchefman

Historical Entity
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,799
Location
Michigan
I'm glad this thread came up again. I really think a player would have to be hard of hearing not to tell the difference between string gauges or manufacturers.

A few years ago, the That Pedal Show guys did a similar comparison with much cleaner tones, and it was clear that heavier strings sounded fuller (which for me = better) on single note stuff.

The main difference in these distorted chord riffs in the video between the string gauges is obvious. It is caused by one simple thing: As you remove bass, it accentuates mid and treble frequencies due to unmasking of those frequencies as the bottom end is reduced. The midrange frequencies weren't more 'focused', word that was used in the video. Quite the contrary, they were simply unmasked when the bottom end was removed, changing the overall balance perceived by the ear.

What's the big damn deal about that? It's hardly surprising that's what happens. Bass strings are thick for a reason, right? This is NOT a mystical revelation. :rolleyes:

It's the same thing that happens when using a high-pass filter. Move the frequency of the filter higher, and it does the exact same thing.

Here's the deal, however: You can't add frequencies that aren't there with EQ. You can only take them away.

I play .010s, and I'd go to .011s if I wasn't having issues with the nerves in my fretting hand. This is because I can easily filter out excess bottom end, but there are times I really want that bottom end to add some oomph to a track. Another reason I play .010s is because I don't bend the strings out of tune just by fretting a chord. Again, no surprise!

I've got nothing against using whatever lighter gauges people want to work with, more power to them! But players should clearly understand that strings - whether it's gauges, materials, manufacture, etc. - involve tradeoffs, as does every other part of an instrument.
 

elvis

Hamfisted String Banger
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
2,254
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
I went from 0.009 to 0.010 decades ago when I was breaking strings and they sounded shrill to me. Moved to 0.011 on teles.

I gave Rick’s video only a passing attention when it came out.

Later I hit a point where I was struggling to get bright strat-y tones out of my SS no matter how I dialed my amp. I checked in with a local strat aficionado who recommended either pure nickel or 0.095. Went with the latter and am really happy with them.

That pushed me to try 0.009 on one of my rock guitars. I do much like the tone better, but am still struggling a bit with the light feel. I just moved another guitar to 0.009 because it was sounding muffled to me and I love the tone.

Night and day for tone and feel.

Granted I am angling for EVH tone at the moment, and he played 0.009.

So I prefer the feel of the heavier, but the tone of the lighter.

All this will certainly change again.
 

Summer

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
224
The Beato and Shull shootout helped me alot. I'm Beato's age and let me tell ya, I'm feelin it gettin older. I'm trying to avoid surgery but the pain
takes alot of the fun out playing. So my situation is a bit different. I'm goin to lighter strings to prolong my playing and hopefully avoid surgery and
end up like Steve Morse (one of my favorites) who plays with gloves on each hand now. I'm sure he's in pain. Hobby for me but do play in a band and
gig out so I'm just tryin to prolong my playing years. My Strat and P Stock have 9's and feel good. I like the bottom end of a thicker string but I can't
do it any longer. I wanna keep playin. I'll slap 9-42's on my 594 and my Paul's guitar and get after it. Love those guitars. I will, for now, keep 10"s
on my Les Paul. That guitar is my rock/kick ass machine that requires 10's, i don't care what Beato says. Love that set up but don't play it often, just for
harder/Metallica stuff. LP's rock. Anyway, great discussion and I appreciate all of your comments, opinions and recommendations. thank you.
 

Summer

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
224
I went from 0.009 to 0.010 decades ago when I was breaking strings and they sounded shrill to me. Moved to 0.011 on teles.

I gave Rick’s video only a passing attention when it came out.

Later I hit a point where I was struggling to get bright strat-y tones out of my SS no matter how I dialed my amp. I checked in with a local strat aficionado who recommended either pure nickel or 0.095. Went with the latter and am really happy with them.

That pushed me to try 0.009 on one of my rock guitars. I do much like the tone better, but am still struggling a bit with the light feel. I just moved another guitar to 0.009 because it was sounding muffled to me and I love the tone.

Night and day for tone and feel.

Granted I am angling for EVH tone at the moment, and he played 0.009.

So I prefer the feel of the heavier, but the tone of the lighter.

All this will certainly change again.

It's amazing how Jimi, EVH, Jeff Beck plays 9's, Billy Gibbons can rock like they do with 8's and 9's. So cool. Again with me, I have bad arthritis and am aging so it's not an option if i want to keep playing. i'm goin to 9's, may end up on 8's. I just gotta keep playin to keep my sanity. Love it. I recently bought a silver sky, tried it for 2 weeks with 9's and returned it. that 7.25 radius really hurt my hand as well as the strings up so high. i could not pull them down without wearin me out. loved the guitar but 7.25 not for me. I'm a 9.5 to 12 player, that feels ok. thanks, have fun.
 

Simon Says

A Dentist for the Lawyers
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
825
Location
UK
If I could have the bass bounce of 11's with violin tone of 10's and pull-off's with 9's then I would be all over this s***
 

HANGAR18

Drummer With A Guitar Habit
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Messages
2,694
Location
Northern VIrginia
I’ve been playing 9’s for years. I like the sound and feel. Every so often I try 10’s to keep up with the Joneses but I never like the sound and feel. Everyone I know likes their 10, so I just shut my mouth about it and don’t talk about my 9’s.

I came across this Rick Beato video this weekend. Shows an interesting string shoot out.

Rhett Shull Was in the video and also created his own with his own equipment.

Watch both videos in their full before commenting. It may surprise you.



I saw these videos and started putting 8's on my McCarty 594's except for one which put a set of Billy Gibbons #7's. Of course in each case I had to make setup adjustments. The verdict so far is that I'm going to stick to the NYXL #8's. Next I'm going to try out the #8's on my CU24's.
 
Top