8.5's~Anybody Use Them?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Lucidology, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Threw a D'Addario Set on a Strat I have... & it made a great difference...
    Not only providing more playability & easier bending ..
    but really adding the 'significant' quack to some dark sounding pickups I've had.
    Kinda of excited by this ... :)
     
  2. ledzep618

    ledzep618 Supporting Member

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    I mean no offense but is bending so hard you need 8.5s? I don't like to fight the guitar but damn might as well string up with floss
     
  3. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Silver Supporting Member

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    :nono
    Hey LZ have more respect for us old folks, you will be there some day too!:brick

    Kind Regards,:phones
    Steve
     
  4. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Yep, I use'em every night before going to bed...as dental floss.

    Sorry, I'm an 11s guy. :tapedshut
     
  5. THebert

    THebert Member

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    There was a guy at the old PRS forum, I think his name was Bill McDowell, 'Wild Bill'. He used a PRS cu24 and talked about 8s sounding good for him. Don't know if he is still around, but he was a straight up kind of guy.

    As for me, never tried 8s. And I like 10s better than 9s. Love the feel of the smaller gauge but find the 10s have more midrange punch than the 9s. Play what you dig and there is no law against changing things up every now and then. :) Variety is the spice of life!
     
  6. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Sounds like 'you' are the one offended ...
     
  7. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I didn't realize 8.5s were available. I'm all over the map with strings, having used everything from .008s to .013s on the same guitar.
     
  8. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Doesn't Billy Gibbons use 8's or 8.5's on all of his guitars? He certainly seems to draw a lot of tone out of those.

    I've gone down to 9's on all of my 25.5" scale guitars, but may consider that next half step at some point.
     
  9. Lumpy Trousers

    Lumpy Trousers Member

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    I've tried the 8.5s - I couldn't really tell the difference between them and 009s, feel-wise.

    I'm an old man with tendonitis/repetitive use issues in my left hand. I agree bigger strings give a fatter tone, but I like to bend 'em, so I generally use 008s, and occasionally 009s on shorter scale guitars.

    The Reverend Billy G uses 007s. I've tried those, and they're too light even for me.
     
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  10. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I haven't tried 'em yet, the 8.5's, but I'm going to.

    One of the best playing and best sounding Strats I've ever heard had real slinky strings in it. I asked what they were, and the answer was "Dean Markley 8's."

    I'm game for whatever works, I have no philosophical attitude about what constitutes 'proper' gauge strings. Whatever works for you is the best gauge. I've got some w 9's, some w/ 9.5's, some w/ 10's, a couple with bigger gauges.

    Joeseph the OP plays 5-10 gigs a week, some outside in the cold. When you play a lot of gigs, it can affect your string gauge preference, especially as you get older, I've noticed (GRIN, or should I say, GROAN). When I was younger I used 10's on my Tele, but after going on the road playing 6 nights a week, I found 9.5's to be a big relief to my joints after about 3 weeks on the road.

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
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  11. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I used .009s for about 25 years but changed to .010s about 17 years ago. The arthritis in my hands makes playing a real challenge so I tried .009s again last year. I couldn't use them. I press too hard and was forever bending chords out of tune. They also sound real plinky to me. I realized fretting isn't my problem, it's the motion/movement that my hands don't handle well so I stayed with the .010s.

    Use whatever you find easiest to play while getting the results you're after.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
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  12. SW33THAND5

    SW33THAND5 Member

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    8.5s would require a very light touch. my playing style would have to adjust quite a bit to play them correctly
     
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  13. The bear

    The bear Member

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    Light strings require a light touch and control. Often I see really great players use light strings and still get a fat sound out it. The OP is a hard-working professional and is able to get great sounds out of his guitars with light strings.
     
  14. Jp2558

    Jp2558 Member

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    Page, Santana, and Gibbons have all been known to use eights. There is no right gauge. Use what works for you!
     
  15. Baxter Stockman

    Baxter Stockman Member

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    When I first began playing Fender scale guitars I used 9s. I moved up to 10s as I eventually found the 9s to be too slinky when bending. My local shop ran out of 10s before a gig and I picked up some 11s, and have been playing those for years.

    Unfortunately, I've become rather ham fisted and playing anything lighter than 10s results in some pretty foul changes in pitch, be it bending notes or chording or strumming.

    I think I might be stuck with my chest pounding and 11s... though somedays 10s would be a nice bit of relief during the occasional 3 or 4 hour gig.
     
  16. BeardoCI

    BeardoCI Member

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    Mostly 9s here, tuned a half-step flat. For the guitar I have set up in dropped-C#, I use 9.5s :D
    If we were to go back to standard tuning, I'd probably drop to 8.5s because I like the springy feel of lighter strings.
     
  17. Dioxic

    Dioxic Member

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    I've been actually using them as a way to practice my "legato" for longer periods of time and figure I'll eventually step up gauges once my fingers get more accustomed to legato playing for long periods of time.

    One thing I noticed right away is that I had to be extra light handed / could coax a lot of subtle nuances out the strings with both my left and right hands. I could even get a really fat sound with distortion and single line runs, but on the flip side I've noticed that clean jazz type chords sound a little lighter or plinkier..?

    Great for r&b and funk style guitar, but doesn't quite get as fat as I want for chord melody type stuff.
     
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  18. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Yep ... I do like the lighter sound of the jazz chords too ...
     
  19. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I used to use 10's and 11's. Then I wound up with severe radial nerve loss in my left lower forearm. These are the nerves that give your muscles the strength to pull heavier strings.

    My hands now are so weak that I had to develop my own gauged sets from 7-34 and lower the strings as far down to the board as they would go in order to keep playing.

    While some may laugh at this, and that's o.k., at least I am still playing and working with my band. I've found ways to compensate for the thinner tone these strings give. I lost the ability to give a thumbs up sign with my left hand, my left pinky is numb from the tip half the way back, my middle finger is unable to be raised up at all, but I am still playing and no one seems to know unless I tell them.
     
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  20. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Silver Supporting Member

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    That is dedication!
     
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