Can I put 11s on my 335?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by tomkatzz, Feb 19, 2009.


  1. tomkatzz

    tomkatzz Member

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    I just bought a Gibson 335. Dunno what size strings were on it but I immediately put Fender Silverbullet 10s on it.

    But the 10s are too light, I think. I'm getting unwanted sharps just depending upon how hard I press down.

    Do you think I can go to 11s and a) solve the problem and b) do so without having to make any adjustments to the truss rod or the nut?

    thanx
     
  2. magnido45

    magnido45 Member

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    Absolutely...I found that after putting 11's on my both my guitars, I did have to tweak the setup (adjust truss rod, raise low-E action,intonate) a bit to avoid fret buzz...if you hear a "ping" while tuning up...you need to widen the nut slot for that string a little...
     
  3. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    No problem with .11's on an ES-335 Tom. As always, you should check the relief and action at the nut and bridge when switching gauges.

    No prob with the tension though.

    Dana O.
     
  4. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    You'll probably have to adjust the truss, but not the nut. I use 11-52's on my ES-335.
     
  5. tomkatzz

    tomkatzz Member

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    Up or down? How do you tell if the distance from fretboard/pickup to string is correct?

    And, the "52" part of your figures refer to the first string? What's normal?
     
  6. GeorgeSunset

    GeorgeSunset Member

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    i did it with a ibanes as 83 (335 type). made a jump from 10 to 12 actually without problems - no ping´s (nut to small), needed a little neck adjustment.

    chanced the nut to bone later though.

    with the 12´s i never had issues with strings going sharp.


    With the neck relief i think it´s a question of taste. i like i bit higher action then most. but than again, it doesn´t "feel" high for me.

    but if you want the same relief with heavier strings, you need do adjust it down a bit, because the 11 will pull more then the 10´s.
     
  7. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    Absolutely! I LOVE having 11's on my 345 - gives her a really beefy, meaty tone... you might have to tweak the truss rod, but shouldn't have any problems.

    Have fun!
     
  8. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    Up or down? The truss doesn't adjust up or down, sir, it adjusts tighter and looser. When you add bigger strings, the guitar has more tension pulling on the neck. The truss counteracts that tension to keep the neck straight, so you have to tighten it to fight against the string tension.

    I set mine up by feel and good old eyeball measure. Setting up a guitar, contrary to popular belief, isn't an exact science. Some players have harder hands than others, so they need higher action, some play very light and get away with low action.

    11-48 is normal I think. I like LaBella 11-52 Nickel Blues strings since they have the fatter wound strings.
     
  9. alanwf

    alanwf Member

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    11s are great—I started with them on a 330, and now use it as my lightest gauge on anything. Its fun to play harder. I really recommend a wound 3rd; best cure for sharp lower positions I know. If you think your nut needs re-cutting, try some nut lube first, that will probably take care of it.

    Also, you should know that some strings have a lot less tension than others—so it really depends on what brand you're using to know whether you'll run into needing truss rod adjustments. Experiment some. Always wait at least a few hours after putting on different strings to decide if you need to do those types of adjustments, as necks take a while to settle in.
     
  10. speedtaco

    speedtaco Member

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    I heard that 335's were made for 12's and up. 11's should be good
     
  11. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    You can and you should. They will still feel lighter than a longer scale Fender and they will sound much beefier.
     
  12. puls

    puls Member

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    I know most hollowbody archtop guitars seem to like heavier gauge strings because (i figure) the mechanics of how the instrument works - the carved (or press formed in this case) shape of the top actually provides a lot of the structural strength. So, all of the hollow archtop electrics I've had really liked heavier guage strings. However, the 335, having a solid center block, is kind of a hybrid, and the few 335-type guitars I've had seemed to do okay with lighter gauge strings (10's to be specific). I haven't had any of them long enough to experiment with heavier strings (am currently looking for one I "bond" with...).

    That being said, are you considering a wound or solid strand G string set? Sets of 11's can come either way, you have to ask when you buy them. THAT WILL make a BIG difference in the saddles & probably the nut too.

    hope that helps

    jwp
     
  13. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Truer words were never, er, written (GRIN).

    Fret the low "F" with your left index finger, then fret the highest fret on that string with your right pinkie. Then, press/ tap the string down with your right index finger and note the clearance between the bottom of the string and the top of the frets at about the 10th fret.

    Repeat using the high "E" string - now you're looking to insure that the relief is the same; that the neck's not twisting.

    Relief should be around .010 - the thickness of a high "E" string.

    Frankie's exactly right though - setups are for individuals. You'll be doing yourself a big favor to decide the brand and gauge strings that you like, then take your really cool Gibson ES-335 to a good tech and have it set up right. This is a necessary step that all guitars require, ESPECIALLY new ones - it'll cost $50-$75, and you'll be amazed at how well you guitar will play with a good pro setup.

    Once that's done right, THAN you can get by with truss rod adjustments as needed seasonally.

    My opinion, hope this helps, Dana O.
     
  14. PLAYLOUD

    PLAYLOUD Member

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    isn't a 335 short scale? what about inntonation? My experience is that heavy strings with a short scale is inntonation is close be never quite right?
     
  15. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    11s rock on a 335
     
  16. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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  17. chaddy45123

    chaddy45123 Member

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    wound third for shure
     
  18. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Only if you don't want to bend the string.

    I've tried wound 3rds on guitars like that. I hated them. but ymmv.
     
  19. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    I put 10s with 'heavy bottoms' on mine. I like the ease of bending the G, B, and E, and the bigger bottom end I get from the wounds. I'm currently using GHS Nickels.
     
  20. Jerryr

    Jerryr Member

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    The 335's really need 11's or heavier. The short scale combined with the fact that it has an acoustic property require the heavier strings. I guess heavier string plus slightly harder playing means more energy transferred to the body. Think acoustic guitars were the strings are generally stiffer.
     

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