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Results from my string gauge test...
Old 20th January 2013
  #1
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sam c's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Results from my string gauge test...

This was time consuming. These three guitars were used.

Gibson LP Standard-American
Fender Stratocaster-American
PRS Custom

All three had 11's on top cause when I started this was my gauge of choice.

I strung all three up with 10's.

Lastly, strung 'em all up with 9's.

I recorded a song with each guitar as a clean rhythm track and a slightly dirty rhythm track. I then did a slightly dirty lead and a more aggressive lead with all three. The recordings and settings were identical for each song and guitar. The only difference was string gauge.

I could not hear any difference between the 9's and 10's. either could two guitar playing friends.

The difference between the 11's and 9' was barely noticeable. But, we could all three pick the 11's out.

11's vs 10's there was very little if any audible difference. Not enough to say, wow! I need 11's.

Quite frankly I could use the nines and my tone wouldn't change enough to be a negative.

So all I really got from this test was tired from changing strings and setting intonation so often in a short period. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to move to10's or stay with 11's. tough decision too cause I'm very used to 11's but 10's do feel good!
Old 20th January 2013
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
chaosgow's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Could you post the songs or at least the same part of the guitar track for each guitar/string combo? Not naming them for a week or so would be great too
Old 20th January 2013
  #3
Eat
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
holy electron microscope batman... you've taken the art of pedantry to cosmological levels!
Old 20th January 2013
  #4
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Igotsoul4u's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Have you ever tried DR tite fits? They are a bit stiffer overall and have some interesting sets with heavier bottom strings like the big and heavy's.
Old 20th January 2013
  #5
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litepipe's Avatar
We're the tests through a DI or amp?

Some people just aren't sensitive to the differences. There are definite differences. Especially between 11's and 9's. you're a lot less likely to hear this through a DI chain, but they are there.

Of course you can keep your tone no matter what strings you use because true tone is in your fingers. However, the gauge effects the EQ is your guitar a bad. None of it will sound bad as its really about what you're playing rather then what you're playing through.

With that being said there is a lot of details left out of your test. What kind of amp was used? How hard we're you playing the guitar? (That's a big one!!).

Scientifically they sound different. Lighter strings kind of "compress" earlier.
Old 20th January 2013
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
what is a bigger determining factor is your touch, if you wack the guitar you want heavier strings if you have a light tough you can go lighter.
Old 20th January 2013
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eat ➑️
holy electron microscope batman... you've taken the art of pedantry to cosmological levels!
Wow. Really? To me that read more like 'barely scrathed the surface. Not even a mention of brands. Strings can change a guitar in fundamental ways.

Sent from my GT-I5800 using Gearslutz App
Old 20th January 2013
  #8
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sam c's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If it matters I was playing a mic'd Marshall JCM 2000.

I played like I always play so hard, soft, and in between. But the same way each time according to the tune so it was easy to replicate.

I know it is not particularly scientific but I'm not sure that matters. If the end result is three very good sets of ears hear very little difference, including mine...then I found out what I needed.

I might post the tunes if I get up the energy...kinda burnt on it right now.

I have 10's on my LP and PRS Custom and 11's on my Strat and 335 guitars. 12's on my HB II... I'm going to take awhile and see if I want to move them all to 10's.

FWIW they are all EB Strings.
Old 20th January 2013
  #9
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
This is what I would expect... difference but very subtle differences. Not to rehash an old thread, but string gauge I would expect to have more of a difference than type of wood in a solidbody electric. So this aligns with my expectations and experience.
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #10
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BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Wow. Really? To me that read more like 'barely scrathed the surface. Not even a mention of brands. Strings can change a guitar in fundamental ways.

Sent from my GT-I5800 using Gearslutz App
True. I'd be embarrassed to admit how hard I've geeked out of strings in the past. For each of my 15 or so guitars, I have found a favorite brand and gauge of string. I recently moved and found unopened packs of strings I never even remembered buying, in styles that are no longer made, in the oddest gauges.
Just when I thought I had that all sorted out, now I'm developing a curiosity for classical strings.
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOWIE ➑️
True. I'd be embarrassed to admit how hard I've geeked out of strings in the past. For each of my 15 or so guitars, I have found a favorite brand and gauge of string. I recently moved and found unopened packs of strings I never even remembered buying, in styles that are no longer made, in the oddest gauges.
Just when I thought I had that all sorted out, now I'm developing a curiosity for classical strings.
On classical strings, try Giannini Classic Super Extra Heavy. The fattest things going with beautiful feel and LOTS of fundamental in the tone. Am hooked but only for bottom three, top three usually Aquila Alabastros high tension.
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #12
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BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
On classical strings, try Giannini Classic Super Extra Heavy. The fattest things going with beautiful feel and LOTS of fundamental in the tone. Am hooked but only for bottom three, top three usually Aquila Alabastros high tension.
Thank you. I was hoping you might have a recommendation for me.
BTW, it's a Ramirez R1 which is a cheapish~ $1500, entry-level. It's not as crisp and responsive as a high-level classical, but that's actually why I bought it, because the fatter tone works well for integration with electric guitars and bass. What do you recommend for getting a good, focused sound and minimizing boominess? I really want it to speak in the mids as I'm getting a bit too much brilliance in the highs and bloom in the bass.
Old 21st January 2013
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Bristol Posse's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I always end up back with 10-46
I have certain brands that I like the sound of better with each of my guitars due to individual tonalities and the interaction of the guitar, pickup and strings (that was a long experiment to find outwhat my preferences were) but 10-46 always feels right to me, personally

and when things feel right to play, the sound is almost always better
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOWIE ➑️
Thank you. I was hoping you might have a recommendation for me.
BTW, it's a Ramirez R1 which is a cheapish~ $1500, entry-level. It's not as crisp and responsive as a high-level classical, but that's actually why I bought it, because the fatter tone works well for integration with electric guitars and bass. What do you recommend for getting a good, focused sound and minimizing boominess? I really want it to speak in the mids as I'm getting a bit too much brilliance in the highs and bloom in the bass.
Faced with the same issues I actually sold my more full sounding classicals and ended up with a cheap old Giannini guitar, which doesn't have too much top or bottom but the older wood speaks nicely in the mids. Also a REALLY cheap thing called a Lorenzo, with a ply body from the 60's out of a charity shop window. This one was untuneable but had somehow a great special tone, so I had a new fretboard put on her and she rocks now. They both run on Giannini/Aquila strings, the Giannini sometimes on a whole set of its own.

I found that classical guitars which work well for classical tone are actually not what you want for what you describe. Kind of like fingerpicking on a J200 and wondering why it doesn't sound like Nick Drake. Pick up an old second hand Giannini on eBay. Mine cost Β£100. Has lovely storytelling tone and good intonation.

OP, sorry for the OT.
Old 21st January 2013
  #15
Gear Head
 
DrewA's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam c ➑️
This was time consuming. These three guitars were used...
Wow - you are serious about this! I guess the bottom line is, use whatever gauge, brand feels right!
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
sam c's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewA ➑️
Wow - you are serious about this! I guess the bottom line is, use whatever gauge, brand feels right!
For my own sake I was really just curious to see if I would notice a difference for my playing and recording, there is always so much talk about this I thought for me it was the only way to find out. Only took me 30 years!
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 
DrewA's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam c ➑️
For my own sake I was really just curious to see if I would notice a difference for my playing and recording, there is always so much talk about this I thought for me it was the only way to find out. Only took me 30 years! ;)
Well, better late than never as they say :)
Old 21st January 2013
  #18
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
For me, string gauge is more about feel and response, than drastic tonal changes on an electric guitar.

If you want a different tone, a smoother tone, try a set of 11 flats.

At least you've gotten plenty of experience setting up guitars.
Old 21st January 2013
  #19
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
PRS Custom 22 or 24? Vastly different sound!
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam c ➑️
Only took me 30 years!
Hey, better now than never.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Faced with the same issues I actually sold my more full sounding classicals and ended up with a cheap old Giannini guitar, which doesn't have too much top or bottom but the older wood speaks nicely in the mids. Also a REALLY cheap thing called a Lorenzo, with a ply body from the 60's out of a charity shop window. This one was untuneable but had somehow a great special tone, so I had a new fretboard put on her and she rocks now. They both run on Giannini/Aquila strings, the Giannini sometimes on a whole set of its own.

I found that classical guitars which work well for classical tone are actually not what you want for what you describe. Kind of like fingerpicking on a J200 and wondering why it doesn't sound like Nick Drake. Pick up an old second hand Giannini on eBay. Mine cost Β£100. Has lovely storytelling tone and good intonation.
Thanks! I'll keep an eye out.
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