acoustic stings gauge/brand for TONE

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jtodds, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. jtodds

    jtodds Member

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    Playing the acoustic more and more these days, really loving the immediacy and tonal qualities. I just picked up a McPherson that has some great character contrasting my HD28. Very piano like.
    It came with Elixir Medium 13-54. The low end was amazing, clear and round with a great upper register. Problem was that it was a little fatiguing on my hands. I play 10's on my electrics mostly, some 11's.
    I switched on a set of SOB 12-53 acoustic and it "felt" better but I lost a lot of that special quality I was enjoying especially in the lower register. I like SOB strings so I think it has more to do with gauge.
    I am not a strummer per se on acoustic - listening a lot to Django (I know about the selmer thing) Russell Malone, Bela Fleck, Tony Rice - mostly a flatpicker.
    Should I just try and adjust to the bigger gauge or is there a brand that is "bigger" sounding but in a lower gauge?
    I play for hours daily and seem to gravitate almost completely to acoustic these days but the 13's were challenging after some time so I was tuning down.
    Advice?
     
  2. Ooogie

    Ooogie Member

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    Dang, 13s could definitely be a workout...must be a big dread.

    The thing with acoustics, especially the higher end ones is that they are designed and braced for a certain amount of string tension to get the optimal vibration of the top. I imagine the McPherson site has specific recommendations for string gauge since this does directly affect the way the guitar "performs". Of course this doesn't mean you can't experiment and try to find something you like better but as a general rule it's good to stick fairly close to the manufacturer's recommendations on acoustics...

    Mark
     
  3. jimfear

    jimfear Silver Supporting Member

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    I think the type of strings depends a lot on the guitar. My HD-28 hates Elixirs, but my Taylor loves them. I get a better sound on the HD-28 from Martin or D'addario phospher-bronze.

    AFA the gauge, I've settled in the 12 camp, but I'm not much of a heavy strummer, more of a finger picker. I think if I were playing bluegrass or something with a lot of heavy picking, I'd go for 13s.
     
  4. sqadan

    sqadan Member

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    I use John Pearse phosphor bronze... but I must admit to using "light guage" ;-)
     
  5. SkydogFan81

    SkydogFan81 Supporting Member

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  6. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    why not stick with 13s and tune down a half step??
     

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