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What gauge ya'll playing?
#3012087 10/12/19 08:34 PM
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I've played 9s on pretty much every guitar for near 30 years. Now I've got a couple tuned lower and use heavier gauges on them and I notice there is actually a tonal difference. I'm not sure if it's the guitar much more than the gauge - I have to try something like 11s on a guitar I usually put 9s on and see, I guess. Have any of you noticed this difference? Seems silly I shouldn't know this after so long playing, but - like I said - I always used one gauge.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012089 10/12/19 08:49 PM
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.010-.046 DR Pure Blues on both of my Gibson SG Specials, and both of my Synth Access Guitars (Godin Freeway SA & Brian Moore iGuitar 20.13). Martin Silk & Steel on my Ovation Custom Legend (.0115 - .047), D'Addario Chromes .010 - .048 on my Epi DOT. Still looking for the right ERG, 7 or 8-string, and so haven't fixed on an ERG set as yet.

I tend to prefer a .011 - .049 set, on a bolt-on neck, like a Strat, but no Strats on hand, right now. The Freeway is pretty close, in terms of body design, if not woods, but I've stuck with the Pure Blues .010's just to keep things simple, by always having some on hand.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012094 10/12/19 09:31 PM
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D'Addario XL 110's, 010-.046, Been using them for many many years, started in the mid 80's and perhaps before that even. I was using the Guitar To MIDI stuff back then and someone recommended them to me for better tracking. I have liked them ever since.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012095 10/12/19 09:45 PM
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I generally prefer medium to heavy strings, for a number of reasons. Besides the tone and response to my playing technique, I like the way the fatter diameter plain-trebles feel more forgiving and cushy to my fingers; thinner, lighter gauge plain-steel strings feel like they're cutting into my fingertips.

DR Pure Blues round-core pure/solid-nickel .011" - .050" sets are all I put on my Les Paul; I used to have another Les Paul with P-90 "soap-bars" that I tuned to and strung for Open-D (and Dm and "DADGAD") with custom mixed-gauge .012" - .015" - .024" (w) - .028" - .038" - .052" sets of the same type.

I've been using .012" - .050" Thomastik-Infeld BeBop "Jazz Wound" round-wound, round-core, pure/solid-nickel sets on a hollow-body Ibanez 'Artcore' AG95, which I was about to put a .021" or .022" wound-3rd/"G" on in place of the plain (well, brass-plated) .020" 3rd/"G"; BUT, just this morning, I ordered some Thomastik-Infeld Swing flat-wounds, .013" - .053" w/ a wound-3rd. I think I'll like those even better for that guitar.

I love the Pure Blues 11's on my Les Paul, and they're my go-to Rock brand, type, and gauges. But those T-I BeBop strings are really fine, sweet sounding strings that are similar but just a little warmer, smoother, and rounder sounding yet; they'd be my go-to "R&B" strings for, say, a 335 semi-hollow or the like. The DR Pure Blues have some bite and growl to 'em! GREAT for warming and fattening up a thin, cold, overly bright sounding "Metal" guitar- they add more mids and low-mids with just a little less high-treble, compared to the more 'scooped' sounding tone of typical nickel-plated strings. I've put DR Pure Blues 10's or 11's on ESP LTD and similar axes for friends and they always appreciated the improvement in tone.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012101 10/12/19 10:28 PM
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Before I got my Carvin, I used 9-42's all the time, usually Ernie Ball Super Slinkys. When my Carvin arrived, it came with 10-46 strings and stainless steel frets. Those polished stainless steel frets made bending strings so ridiculously easy that I saw no need to go back to 9-42's. So now, I'm used to playing with a 10-46 set on all my electric guitars.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012117 10/13/19 03:01 AM
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Depends on my tuning.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012124 10/13/19 04:03 AM
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I run 10 - 50's GHS pure nickel "Roller Wound" strings on all my guitars. The set I order with the wound 18 gauge 3rd string comes with an 11 on the 1st string. So, I have to order 10 gauge singles from JustStrings.com. I even use this gauge on my two acoustics. The acoustics do not have a lot of volume unplugged using nickel, but plugged in, they work just fine. These roller wound strings are also known as "Semi-flats". They have less squeak than round wounds but do not sound dull or thumpy like flat wounds. I think the wound 3rd string makes all guitars sound sweeter and less tinny when playing open chords. These strings are easier to bend with the 18 wound 3rd string (which are the lightest I can find) and the lighter 10 gauge 1st string. I usually only do half bends, so these work great for me...9's on the 1st string are too light for me and I like a 50 gauge on the 6th string...I only use standard tuning. cool

Last edited by Larryz; 10/13/19 04:06 AM.

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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Larryz #3012125 10/13/19 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Larryz
I run 10 - 50's GHS pure nickel "Roller Wound" strings on all my guitars. The set I order with the wound 18 gauge 3rd string comes with an 11 on the 1st string. So, I have to order 10 gauge singles from JustStrings.com. I even use this gauge on my two acoustics. The acoustics do not have a lot of volume unplugged using nickel, but plugged in, they work just fine. These roller wound strings are also known as "Semi-flats". They have less squeak than round wounds but do not sound dull or thumpy like flat wounds. I think the wound 3rd string makes all guitars sound sweeter and less tinny when playing open chords. These strings are easier to bend with the 18 wound 3rd string (which are the lightest I can find) and the lighter 10 gauge 1st string. I usually only do half bends, so these work great for me...9's on the 1st string are a little on the light side for me and I like a 50 gauge on the 6th string...I only use standard tuning. cool


I used semi-flats on a fretless bass before. That's an interesting choice on a guitar.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012126 10/13/19 04:15 AM
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@ Mark, The Roller wound (semi-flats) were a signature set GHS named for Eric Johnson...so I gave them a try and "fooled around and fell in love". love I used to run flat wounds as I hate a lot of squeak. These were the best compromise between flats and round wounds. GHS also makes a "Burnished" set which are just polished strings to get less squeak. My buddy has put them on 4 of his guitars and we are going to test them against each other this Monday. I'll report back as we have two guitars by the same company with identical pickups for the comparison! The burnished sets only come with a plain 3rd so I'm going to keep an open mind. Pyramid made a polished nickel set but I can't recommend them for anyone as the 6th strings would break at the ball end on two sets as I was putting them on. I won't waste my time with them or order them again... cool

ps. I just looked at an article on Fretless bass players using semi-flats. It said it was a good choice as it was easier on the fretboards especially on rosewood as most players have fewer problems with ebony. The concept is the same using inverse tighter compressed windings to smooth things out a little. I think the GHS 6 string guitar sets copied the idea...they do work great and stay in tune. The article was on SIT bass strings (which stands for "Stay in Tune"):

https://bassmusicianmagazine.com/2018/01/sit-silencers-semi-flat-compression-wound-strings-review/

cool

Last edited by Larryz; 10/13/19 04:42 AM.

Take care, Larryz
Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Larryz #3012130 10/13/19 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Larryz
@ Mark, The Roller wound (semi-flats) were a signature set GHS named for Eric Johnson...so I gave them a try and "fooled around and fell in love". love I used to run flat wounds as I hate a lot of squeak. These were the best compromise between flats and round wounds. GHS also makes a "Burnished" set which are just polished strings to get less squeak. My buddy has put them on 4 of his guitars and we are going to test them against each other this Monday. I'll report back as we have two guitars by the same company with identical pickups for the comparison! The burnished sets only come with a plain 3rd so I'm going to keep an open mind. Pyramid made a polished nickel set but I can't recommend them for anyone as the 6th strings would break at the ball end on two sets as I was putting them on. I won't waste my time with them or order them again... cool

ps. I just looked at an article on Fretless bass players using semi-flats. It said it was a good choice as it was easier on the fretboards especially on rosewood as most players have fewer problems with ebony. The concept is the same using inverse tighter compressed windings to smooth things out a little. I think the GHS 6 string guitar sets copied the idea...they do work great and stay in tune. The article was on SIT bass strings (which stands for "Stay in Tune"):

https://bassmusicianmagazine.com/2018/01/sit-silencers-semi-flat-compression-wound-strings-review/

cool


Very cool. Thanks for the link and the info,


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012153 10/13/19 01:16 PM
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@ Mark, thu


Take care, Larryz
Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012172 10/13/19 04:34 PM
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I've been using D'Addario EXL 10-46 on my main giggers for years.
Last year D'Addario sent me a set of NYXL 10-46 to try out. I liked them a little better than the EXL set but I bought 2 boxes of 10 or 12 sets each (I forget) of the EXLs when Guitarget had them on sale and I still have a few sets to use up.
A month ago D'Addario sent me another set of strings (10-46) in a black package labelled "X", not sure the actual designation. I put those on my number one, tuned it and left it overnight. Checked the truss rod - OK. So I played it hard to stretch the strings in and they barely went out of tune. I tuned it, played a gig that night and just minor tuning tweaks a couple of times. They've been VERY stable.

FWIW my number one is a Frankenstrat with a blocked bridge, Warmoth left handed strat neck with 1 7/8ths wide nut, fat back, refretted with Jascar Super Jumbo and fully scalloped. The tuners are locking Hipshot. I play with a very light touch overall but I do stretch the strings often and sometimes a couple of steps or so. I also use vibrato freely, scalloped board means zero fretboard friction.

So once I use the last few packs of EXL I will probably switch. These strings feel like they will last a long time and the reduced "break in" time is compelling since I will play at least 100 gigs this year.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012180 10/13/19 06:05 PM
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Depends on feel and touch. That depends on several things. Scale length, string core, how you attack the guitar. On electrics I tend to play 9-42. I was playing Cleartones. They are stiff. They must a heavier core. I’m back to SITs they always reminded me of D’Addario strings. I went to a DR clinic and they strung two of my guitars. I was asked which ones I wanted. I told them I liked the feel of D’Addario 9-42 so they recommended their Tite Fits. I like them. I run heavier strings on Juniors due to shorter scale and the I playJuniors with a heavy touch. SIT 10s right now.

On acoustics Martin has a new string with a flexible core but heavier winding to give you the same gauge with a softer feel that I want to try on my Martin. The propaganda from Martin says Tommy Emanuel uses the same string. I was taught as a classical guitarist. Used high tension Augustines for years. I’ve switched to D’Addario high tension strings due to local availability and like them.

Last edited by CEB; 10/13/19 06:07 PM.

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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
KuruPrionz #3012186 10/13/19 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I've been using D'Addario EXL 10-46 on my main giggers for years.
Last year D'Addario sent me a set of NYXL 10-46 to try out. I liked them a little better than the EXL set... once I use the last few packs of EXL I will probably switch. These strings feel like they will last a long time and the reduced "break in" time is compelling since I will play at least 100 gigs this year.


What specifically is different in their design and/or materials, KuruPrionz? How do they sound different?


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Caevan O'Shite #3012187 10/13/19 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I've been using D'Addario EXL 10-46 on my main giggers for years.
Last year D'Addario sent me a set of NYXL 10-46 to try out. I liked them a little better than the EXL set... once I use the last few packs of EXL I will probably switch. These strings feel like they will last a long time and the reduced "break in" time is compelling since I will play at least 100 gigs this year.


What specifically is different in their design and/or materials, KuruPrionz? How do they sound different?


According to D'Addario, they've been working on improving the alloys for the steel core and the wrap. They have also developed a micro thin coating and coat both the core and the wrap before winding the wound strings. Tonally, brand new strings sound maybe a couple days of use. I've had them on for several gigs now and they still sound lively. Friday we gigged and I checked my tuning after each set. Very slight adjustments on a string or two. Mind you, I stretch the hell out of them and give them a good pummelling or three during the course of a set. We are a rock/country/blues/funk dance band so sometimes it is not exactly delicate.

FWIW, I've been a playing for 50+ years, a guitar tech for over 40 so I've changed a LOT of strings. I have no affiliation with D'Addario other than being a member of their Players Circle (points from buying strings and recycling old strings will get you new strings) and a customer. I'll use Ernie Ball lime pack if that's what's available - with no complaints. Most strings are really good.

In my opinion, these are exceptional. I am going to leave them on as long as they sound good and stay in tune. I sense that they may have a significant improvement in overall life span = less string changes per year and less time spent tuning. I like those things!!!!


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012204 10/13/19 09:26 PM
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It’s a tech thing. 😀😀😀.

My tech gets all anal about strings. Back in 2009 or 2010 I played a lot with a big boat load of guitars and banjos and Dobros. The open air outdoor season is brutal in the Midwest. I didn’t have a string deal and started using Webstrings. They are less than $3 a set. My tech hated them. Said they didn’t oscillate correctly. They felt good to me. They played easy. The fact is fresh steel for every show trumped any technical differences in alloys and construction since the humidity, rain, heat and sweat destroyed my strings. Tech also thought my body chemistry came into play. Had a new Chinese Fender for slide stuff and in 4 months the hardware plating was destroyed. Strings were trashed after one or two nights. I had to change them constantly so I went cheap. He hated these Webstrings. He’s OCD but hell of a tech. He put one of my Teles on his bench and pluck a wound string and have me looks at uneven oscillations. 😀 I don’t play so much anymore and sleep in my own bed now. Back to buying more regular brands but these work well enough and when new sounded like new strings.

https://www.webstrings.com/

Last edited by CEB; 10/13/19 09:33 PM.

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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012234 10/14/19 02:21 AM
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For me,

Upgraded American Standard Strat- Fender Original 150s nickel 9-42
Godin Icon Type 2 Classic and Epiphone ES-335- Elixir nickel 10-52
ESP LTD KH 602- Elixir nickel 12-52
Ibanez AG-10 and Ovation Celebrity acoustics - D'Addario bronze 10-47


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012930 10/19/19 12:58 PM
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I have used 9-42 or 9-46 nickel wound strings on electrics since the 70's. I use 11-54 for slide and acoustic, nickel wound for electric and bronze for most acoustics. I tune down to DGDGBDfor slide mostly, so that lightens up string tension a bit. I'm not very particular about the brand, although I've noticed Ernie Ball strings don't seem to last as long as D'Adddarios.

A few years back, the craze for heavy gauge strings was a biggie around KC, and there is a noticeable difference in tone. But at 66, I'm noticing the beginnings of Ol' Arthur in my fingers(it's already fairly advanced in my feet), and I don't see sufficient benefit in wearing out my joints faster for the difference I'd get.

I have experimented with 8-38 gauge strings, and I didnb't hate them. I may end up having to go that way to keep playing eventually.

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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012953 10/19/19 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Music With Marky
I've played 9s on pretty much every guitar for near 30 years. Now I've got a couple tuned lower and use heavier gauges on them and I notice there is actually a tonal difference. I'm not sure if it's the guitar much more than the gauge - I have to try something like 11s on a guitar I usually put 9s on and see, I guess. Have any of you noticed this difference? Seems silly I shouldn't know this after so long playing, but - like I said - I always used one gauge.

How much lower are you tuning? 11's tuned down a whole-step should feel close to the looser tension of the 9's you've been using at Standard-Pitch. Even lower? Try a set of 12's or even 13's. For real.

Heavier gauges will definitely have a different tone than lighter gauges, especially if you're tuning down; fuller and stronger with better definition. They'll be less floppy and buzzy than lighter gauges when tuned down, as well.

I really, REALLY HIGHLY recommend DR Pure Blues in 11's or 12's for your down-tuned axes. Besides being heavier gauges to handle the lower tension from tuning down, they have fuller, stronger mids and low-mids which will hang in the mix well, where scoopier sounding strings can seem to disappear in the mix when playing down-tuned lower pitches.

If you want to retain that more mid-scooped tone with brighter treble and tighter, deeper bass, DR even actually makes strings specifically for tuning down; DR DDT "Drop Down Tuning" strings, including 7-String sets. Designed to hold their intonation when tuned down!

[Linked Image from s.yimg.com]

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Update on my previous post: The Thomastik-Infeld Swing flat-wounds, .013" - .053", are FANTASTIC on my hollow-bodied Jazzbox Ibanez AG95! Love 'em! They made this a whole new guitar! rawk love

Added bonus- these flat-wound strings are also really cool for slide! They get a great retro, vintage lap-steel tone and purring, smoothly gliding feel under the slide.


I think that it's no accident that my three very favorite electric guitar strings (and my favorite flat-top acoustic guitar strings) all use round core-wire under their wrap-wire on their wound-strings, instead of the much more common hexagonal core-wire. That is, the DR Pure Blues, Thomastik-Infeld BeBop (round-wound), Thomastik-Infeld Swing (flat-wound), and DR Sunbeam (phosphor-bronze acoustic) strings. With the exception of the Sunbeam acoustic strings, they also all use pure/solid-nickel for the winding-wrap on the wound-strings.

The Thomastik-Infeld BeBop and Swing strings have brass-plated plain-trebles, as well. Very smooth feel and warm, smooth, round tone. Rrrrreeeaally niiiiiiiiice... On my Les Paul, I'm even going to switch to mixed/hybrid sets of Thomastik-Infeld brass-plated 1st/E, 2nd/B, and 3rd/G strings with DR Pure Blues 4th/D, 5th/A, and 6th/E strings; .011", .014", .018", and .028", .038", .050", respectively.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3012955 10/19/19 06:47 PM
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Either Fender or D'Addario pure nickel. 9s.. i do have some Ernie Ball's I picked up last year, 1 cobalt, 1 titanium and 1 nickel, also 9s.

Last edited by surfergirl; 10/19/19 06:48 PM.

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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Caevan O'Shite #3013198 10/21/19 07:53 PM
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Thanks for the info!!

I have a 6 string with 11s tuned to drop C. I have a 7 tuned to standard B, another 1/2 flat from there, another with drop A. My 8 string is usually the normal F#, but occasionally I drop the 8th string to an E. The one I noticed it on most is the 11s on the drop C guitar. It's so rich, even unplugged and I didn't know if it was the guitar so much as the strings. I would have to put 9s on it or 11s on another axe to really see in an empirical way, I guess.



Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted by Music With Marky
I've played 9s on pretty much every guitar for near 30 years. Now I've got a couple tuned lower and use heavier gauges on them and I notice there is actually a tonal difference. I'm not sure if it's the guitar much more than the gauge - I have to try something like 11s on a guitar I usually put 9s on and see, I guess. Have any of you noticed this difference? Seems silly I shouldn't know this after so long playing, but - like I said - I always used one gauge.

How much lower are you tuning? 11's tuned down a whole-step should feel close to the looser tension of the 9's you've been using at Standard-Pitch. Even lower? Try a set of 12's or even 13's. For real.

Heavier gauges will definitely have a different tone than lighter gauges, especially if you're tuning down; fuller and stronger with better definition. They'll be less floppy and buzzy than lighter gauges when tuned down, as well.

I really, REALLY HIGHLY recommend DR Pure Blues in 11's or 12's for your down-tuned axes. Besides being heavier gauges to handle the lower tension from tuning down, they have fuller, stronger mids and low-mids which will hang in the mix well, where scoopier sounding strings can seem to disappear in the mix when playing down-tuned lower pitches.

If you want to retain that more mid-scooped tone with brighter treble and tighter, deeper bass, DR even actually makes strings specifically for tuning down; DR DDT "Drop Down Tuning" strings, including 7-String sets. Designed to hold their intonation when tuned down!

[Linked Image from s.yimg.com]

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Update on my previous post: The Thomastik-Infeld Swing flat-wounds, .013" - .053", are FANTASTIC on my hollow-bodied Jazzbox Ibanez AG95! Love 'em! They made this a whole new guitar! rawk love

Added bonus- these flat-wound strings are also really cool for slide! They get a great retro, vintage lap-steel tone and purring, smoothly gliding feel under the slide.


I think that it's no accident that my three very favorite electric guitar strings (and my favorite flat-top acoustic guitar strings) all use round core-wire under their wrap-wire on their wound-strings, instead of the much more common hexagonal core-wire. That is, the DR Pure Blues, Thomastik-Infeld BeBop (round-wound), Thomastik-Infeld Swing (flat-wound), and DR Sunbeam (phosphor-bronze acoustic) strings. With the exception of the Sunbeam acoustic strings, they also all use pure/solid-nickel for the winding-wrap on the wound-strings.

The Thomastik-Infeld BeBop and Swing strings have brass-plated plain-trebles, as well. Very smooth feel and warm, smooth, round tone. Rrrrreeeaally niiiiiiiiice... On my Les Paul, I'm even going to switch to mixed/hybrid sets of Thomastik-Infeld brass-plated 1st/E, 2nd/B, and 3rd/G strings with DR Pure Blues 4th/D, 5th/A, and 6th/E strings; .011", .014", .018", and .028", .038", .050", respectively.


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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3013201 10/21/19 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Music With Marky
I have a 6 string with 11s tuned to drop C. I have a 7 tuned to standard B, another 1/2 flat from there, another with drop A. My 8 string is usually the normal F#, but occasionally I drop the 8th string to an E. The one I noticed it on most is the 11s on the drop C guitar. It's so rich, even unplugged and I didn't know if it was the guitar so much as the strings. I would have to put 9s on it or 11s on another axe to really see in an empirical way, I guess.

By "Drop C", do you mean, C G C F A D, lo-to-hi? A typical set of 11's would suit you well, perhaps even better with a slightly heavier-gauge string for that 6th/Low-C string.

I really enthusiastically suggest that you try a set of DR Pure Blues 11's, 12's, or even 13's, or a mixed-gauge set of those for some of your tunings that drop one string down even lower relative to the rest; or, those DR DDT "Drop Down Tuning" sets.

The Pure Blues are pure/solid nickel-wrap on round cores that have fat, full, rich mids and low-mids from the wound/bass-strings; by comparison, typical hex-core nickel-plated-steel strings sound scooped in the mids. Very classic and vintage in very good, good ways. A very real difference!

The DDT's will sound overall much like more typical hex-core nickel-plated-steel strings, that is, a little 'scooped', but with more solid intonation and tuning-stability when tuned low.



For a bit of a reference, tuned to "Standard", I string my my Les Paul with DR Pure Blues strings, .011", .014", .018" [plain], .028", .038", .050" . For any down-tuning or Open or Alternate Tunings that have any down-tuned strings, I go heavier and heavier yet depending on just how low.

For another reference, I used to have another Les Paul that I set-up and strung for Open-D Tuning, also going to Open-Dm and DADGAD with a quick twist of the 3rd-string tuner, using custom mixed-gauge sets of DR Pure Blues strings with a wound-3rd.

For Open-D I used, Lo-to-Hi: 6th/D .052" - 5th/A .038" - 4th/D .028" - 3rd/F# .024"w - 2nd/A .015" - 1st/D .012"

A .021"w or .022"w would have been a li'l better and more forgiving for that wound 3rd-string, especially when tuned up a half-step from F# to G for DADGAD tuning... ! =IF= those gauges had been available in the DR Pure Blues... I've noted for future reference when tuning that way again, that the similar enough Thomastik-Infeld BeBop round-wound "Jazz" strings DO have those gauges available...







Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
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Re: What gauge ya'll playing?
Music With Marky #3013255 10/22/19 02:22 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
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I just went up a gauge on my Strat. Fender 150s 10-46.


"Let me stand next to your fire!", Jimi Hendrix

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