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View Full Version : Changing from .010's to .009's ?


Super Locrian
11-04-2008, 05:40 AM
I'm thinking to change into .009 strings. I have 2 questions:

1. Will this give me a less "meaty" tone? This is actually desireable in my case, as I find my tone is a little too "full-bodied" in a band context.

2. Will I need to adjust the truss rod and intonation?

wildschwein
11-04-2008, 06:06 AM
1. Yes 9s are certainly brighter and less meaty in tone. They seems to wear out or go dull quicker than 10s though. Probably won't matter if you change them often.
2. Maybe - it would be a marginal adjustment only though; maybe an 1/8 turn at most. I have gone between 9s and 10s in the past without a truss rod tweak.

Waxhead
11-04-2008, 06:24 AM
Yes
No

spence
11-04-2008, 08:14 AM
I recently changed from 10's to 9's. Much easier to play now. Bends are much easier. If I need more "umph", I just goose the amp. As with most things in life, make your own choices. Don't follow the "bandwagon" mentalities of these forums.

shawntp
11-04-2008, 08:50 AM
I have often switch back and forth between the two (.09's and .10's) and finally fell in love with the Ernie Ball Hybrids which are the E-A-D from the ".10's" set and the G-B-E from their .09's set.

I like the 10's for rhythm and chording and .09's for playing lead and up on the neck. Also - one of the biggest changes I made to get more tone out (since I am using lower gauge strings) was switching to V-Picks for all of my picks. I got a free Medium pointed V-Pick with some WCR pickups/RS kit and i loved the thing so much I ordered a sampler pack. Now I am just deciding if I like the medium rounded or pointed better and am going to get a supply of them.

V-Picks are a tone saviour for light gauge string players!

spence
11-04-2008, 11:06 AM
Hey shawntp,
What is it about the V-pick that gives you more tone?

Spence

Garygtr
11-04-2008, 11:47 AM
I have often switch back and forth between the two (.09's and .10's) and finally fell in love with the Ernie Ball Hybrids which are the E-A-D from the ".10's" set and the G-B-E from their .09's set.
I like the 10's for rhythm and chording and .09's for playing lead and up on the neck.

I just tried a set of these after using .10-.52's on this particular guitar (Epi Riviera w/Bigsby, 24 3/4" scale). So far, I like it-more chime, easier on the fingers (I do a lot of pedal-steel type string bends), tuning stability still seems to be very good, even with the Bigsby. It does force me to lighten up with my right hand, which I think is a good thing as I'm certainly not getting any younger :cry: and I'm trying to relax more in my playing to help prevent those aches and pains.

AndyFender
11-04-2008, 12:03 PM
I have often switch back and forth between the two (.09's and .10's) and finally fell in love with the Ernie Ball Hybrids which are the E-A-D from the ".10's" set and the G-B-E from their .09's set.

I like the 10's for rhythm and chording and .09's for playing lead and up on the neck. Also - one of the biggest changes I made to get more tone out (since I am using lower gauge strings) was switching to V-Picks for all of my picks. I got a free Medium pointed V-Pick with some WCR pickups/RS kit and i loved the thing so much I ordered a sampler pack. Now I am just deciding if I like the medium rounded or pointed better and am going to get a supply of them.

V-Picks are a tone saviour for light gauge string players!

Agree! ( I use D'Addairo 9-46)

Andy

kevin hart
11-04-2008, 02:01 PM
I like the D'addario 9.5-44 set and find it's a nice compromise between 9's and 10's.

Julia343
11-04-2008, 02:18 PM
Then there's the D'Addario hybrid set of 9 - 46. That's my favorite of the bunch.:JAM

shawntp
11-04-2008, 02:23 PM
Hey shawntp,
What is it about the V-pick that gives you more tone?

Spence

I would say it just seems to strike the string and get more vibration articulation out of it. It could be a combination of size shape and material - but they definitely give me a bigger more articulate sound out of my guitars than my medium-heave Dunlop's did.

There is more info at the v-picks website but i suppose you would have to try and like them for it to be an option.

Hamer95USA
11-04-2008, 03:39 PM
I recently changed from 10's to 9's. Much easier to play now. Bends are much easier. If I need more "umph", I just goose the amp. As with most things in life, make your own choices. Don't follow the "bandwagon" mentalities of these forums.

Hey Super Locrian,

I agree with spence's remarks. I have played .010-.046 string guage for many years until a few years ago. I have minor tendonitis so changing to .009-.042 strings allows me to play guitar more easily without being in pain. Not everyone can handle playing heavy guage strings and it's not always good for your hands. Try it out and see if it works for you. I'm glad changing to a lighter guage string allows me to still play guitar without hurting my hands.

Guitar George

spence
11-04-2008, 04:13 PM
I think a lot of guys jumped on the "bigger is better" bandwagon due in part to the fact that Stevie used heavy strings. He had to have been incredibly strong to bend those telephone cables. Your guitar makes the biggest difference though. Some guitars play really easy and some you have to fight (Strats in general). I still get everything I need tonally out of the 9's (a good amp helps too....), and they're easier on the hands. Slap on a set and give em a spin.

AnthonyL
11-04-2008, 04:22 PM
I like the D'addario 9.5-44 set and find it's a nice compromise between 9's and 10's.


+1 - Both D'addario and GHS (Boomers) offer the the 9.5 - .44 set. Give those a try!

axemanjoe
11-04-2008, 04:33 PM
I used .009-.042's for years (started playing when I was 11, I'm 52 now). I went to the .095-.044 set for a while last year, went to the .009-.046 hybrid set for a few months not too long ago, but for the past few months I've been using a .010, .012, .016, .026, .036, .046 set that I'm happy with. I have to buy extra plain strings though.

There is a real difference between the .009 and .010 as well as the with the .011 and .012. I definitely do not like a .017 on the G, but I've found I can deal with the heavier tension in the E and B string to get the better tuning stability, and I find a difference in the tone with the .010 and .012 giving more definition, especially when you use a heavier attack. Same with the heavier stgrings on the bottom.

The .010-.052 set is popular with a lot of players I know and with a lot of pros, but I'm not wild about that set.

Try imagining it like the string on a bow and arrow, a heavier one may be harder to deal with but after geting used to it you may find you like the results which make it worth while.

pipedwho
11-04-2008, 05:15 PM
I used .009-.042's for years (started playing when I was 11, I'm 52 now)....
Yeah, 11 to 52. I use those on my acoustic. ;)

CHyde
11-04-2008, 06:00 PM
I just went from .10-.50 to .09-.46. Much easier on the hands and bending. It's all about what feels good to you. You can still get great tone.

Rod
11-04-2008, 06:56 PM
.009's are far more controllable for soloing, and you can get a more extreme vibrato more accurately than you can with 10's..IMHO..nicer on your hands also if you have any carpal tunnel issues

axemanjoe
11-04-2008, 07:38 PM
Yeah, 11 to 52. I use those on my acoustic. ;)


I use the same set on acoustic also.

But will I have to buy a .053 E string starting next year.

Dale
11-04-2008, 09:17 PM
I started playing acoustic when I was 10 (13's) and I am 48 now. I have gone to .09's as my arthritis and CTS has increased (even after 1 surgery so far). I have been playing Jags (HH) and LP's more (rather than teles and strats) more as well. Do they sound a bit different yes. But is not a bad thing to me.

mrface2112
11-05-2008, 01:13 AM
I'm a Hybrid Slinky player now (that's the 9-46 set). i used to play the same gauge in d'addarios, but my local guitarshop doesn't carry em and ever since guitarmart quit discounting strings, i got tired of having to order them. i actually like the tone of the Hybrid Slinky strings a lot, too.

i go for the hybrid set b/c i like the heavier bottom for chunky rhythm work, and i like the 9's for bending and b/c they're easier on the hands.

and my local guitar shop carries them, and i FAR prefer giving them my string business than anyone else.

i'm also a v-pick convert. love the shredder! i can't describe the change in tone from the old medium fender tortex picks, but i sure can hear and feel it!


cheers,
wade

Lucidology
11-05-2008, 01:25 AM
9's are a more fexible sound to my ears then 10's, as well as a different tone ..
A lot of guys sound better using 'em (IMO) ...

shane88
11-05-2008, 01:33 AM
Jimi, Jimmy + Billy used 9s or less..... that's all u need to know :bow

wader
11-05-2008, 01:48 AM
I've been using EB 10's for quite some time but have been considering going back to 9's.

I think the fact that Gibbons uses 8's or something swayed my mind about whether it made that much difference in tone.......just feel.

8^)

AndrewC
11-05-2008, 02:53 AM
Depends on the guitar for me. I like to be able to comfortably bend a minor 3rd on the E and a major 3rd on the G so most of my guitars have 9-46s (Elixir). On my Tele and my I-35 though I can still do the big bends with 10s so I use those instead.

catalinbread
11-05-2008, 03:53 AM
Depends on the guitar for me. I like to be able to comfortably bend a minor 3rd on the E and a major 3rd on the G so most of my guitars have 9-46s (Elixir). On my Tele and my I-35 though I can still do the big bends with 10s so I use those instead.

Exactly. I will be setting one of my tele's up with 9s pretty soon the rest of them 10s. Gibsons and that scale I use 10s. I use 9s on the Mustang. 10s on Strats tuned a half step flat. I am about to embark on a somewhat corksniffery experiment with alloy types, this is just like adding a Z axis to the mix.
:crazy

Jon
11-05-2008, 05:10 AM
I do a fair bit of practicing on acoustic with 12-53s - going back to electric with 10s feels so easy afterwards. I can understand the guys with medical issues going with a lighter gauge though - I have a bit of arthritis in the fingers, although it doesn't seem to affect my playing at all (yet!!!). I think the perceived benefit to tone when using heavier gauges becomes less if you tend to use a higher gain tone e.g. EVH and Brain May both use very light strings but both have great hi gain tone.

MGT
11-05-2008, 09:53 AM
I can understand using 9's if you have carpal tunnel or something like that but on a shorter scale guitar (like a LP or SG), 9's are EXTREMELY light - it's like using 8's on a strat! I find that 10's on my Gibsons are just hard enough to hang onto (like rubber bands) when playing fast or when trying to grab the strings for something other than a simple power/barre chord so I've been swapping out the E-A-D strings for those in a set of 11's.

It has nothing to do with trying to appear "manly" at all (too old for that foolishness) and if I was doing pedal steel type bends on a tele (where you need to bend a string, hold it & play a note with the index finger) then I'd probably go with 9's.

axemanjoe
11-05-2008, 10:10 AM
I can understand using 9's if you have carpal tunnel or something like that but on a shorter scale guitar (like a LP or SG), 9's are EXTREMELY light - it's like using 8's on a strat! I find that 10's on my Gibsons are just hard enough to hang onto (like rubber bands) when playing fast or when trying to grab the strings for something other than a simple power/barre chord so I've been swapping out the E-A-D strings for those in a set of 11's.

It has nothing to do with trying to appear "manly" at all (too old for that foolishness) and if I was doing pedal steel type bends on a tele (where you need to bend a string, hold it & play a note with the index finger) then I'd probably go with 9's.

Yeah, I notice a big difference when it comes to picking technique, I prefer the .010's if I want to do anything real articulate, that little bit of difference helps. But, on the other hand, the .009's are easier when it comes to bending. I'm still good with a .010, .012 and .016. The Gibson Dickey Betts set is the only one configured that way from a manufacturer, so I'll still have to buy two extras with each set unless I can find those.

Hugh DaMann
11-05-2008, 10:29 AM
.009's are far more controllable for soloing, and you can get a more extreme vibrato more accurately than you can with 10's..IMHO..nicer on your hands also if you have any carpal tunnel issues

I unfortunately have develped carpal tunnel with a pinched nerve to boot, likely from guitar. I'm making the switches to 9's on all my Fender scale guitars. It's a matter of necessity for me.