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Difference between 11s and 10s?

sickboy79

Member
Messages
13,577
Huge difference in my opinion between 10s and 11s. I like both. Most of my guitars are strung with 10s but, a handful with 11s. Definitely a stiffer feel. Bending/vibrato takes a little more muscle. But, worth it. Overall I find the tone to just sound bigger and fatter. More resonant as well.
 

Chill_Billy

Member
Messages
60
I recently upgraded from my trusty parts-caster(with .11s) to a real American Deluxe and I soon realized that there was a scale difference which really increased the string tension. My bend intonation was surprisingly and depressingly lame for the first few days but I recovered after a little pain and practice.
I'm curious about 10.5s and was wondering if there was a big diff ......
 

cbm

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,957
I'm basically a 10s guy.

11s (flatwound) on my Jazzmaster.
10s on most others.
09s on my G&L ASAT.

The Jazzmaster is on the bright side, so the flatwounds are great there.
 

medwards1969

Member
Messages
297
I play 10s on all my guitars as it is consistent. But some people tune down a 1/2 step and sometimes a thicker set helps you do that and get the same tension. The scale of a Gibson is shorter and may require a thicker set than a Strat due to the scale length. Billy Gibbons has actually played with 7s and that is one of the big secrets to his microphonics ladden tones!! And the amazing surf music guy Dick Dale plays hammering his pick all night on with 16s !! I swear, he brags about it at his shows! Also watch out some strings can really gouge your frets and so be careful that you pick something that will not mess up your guitar (I ruined my frets on my Les Paul long ago one time by using Bill Lawrence hexagonal flatwound strings) I also found that I could not keep a Floyd Rose tremolo floating and in tune by playing 9s on it like so many other players did, I was just too heavy handed with bending the strings with it. Be prepared you might have to adjust how many springs you put on the tremolo and whether you want the tremolo floating or pinned down. Also recall that once you pick your strings you may have to do a revision to the setup on the bridge you have. So it requires some experimentation and work and you really have to try stuff out. You might want a good guitar technician to work on it with you.
Good luck!:JAM
 
Messages
350
Yeah I'd say do what the guitar likes. My American Standard Tele just opens up with EB 9s, 335 with DAddario 10s and '69 Strat with DR 11s. Each guitar seems to have its optimal gauge.

I also play each guitar with a different pick gauge/material. Playing 9s with a 1.5mm pick is way too much where it is dynamically perfect on 11s.

Definitely experiment with different picks/strings on each guitar. I used to be a firm believer that thicker gauge would have more beef. These days, I hear a negligible difference but can be modified with a different pick or slight change in EQ. Also check out Nickel and Nickel-Steel. The generalizations of Nickel being darker are sometimes not true.

Best of luck!
 

DanSimon

Member
Messages
435
Been playing 11s for a while but recently switched to 10.5s. GHS makes them, i think most companies do. i tune down to Eb or drop C# .

i feel like i'm gravitating to the 10s or just the 10.5. 11 seems a bit stiff for bends. i dont think the sound difference is huge,

but its noticeable.
 

T92780

Member
Messages
8,250
If I'm fatigued or not playing much, .10s for me, but if I'm playing a little bit regularly, I prefer .11's, as the string tension helps me bend notes to pitch. Give me .09's, I tend to bend sharp and lose control when bending....I feel lost, or concentrating too much on what I'm doing on the plank.
 

hwatsky

Member
Messages
85
IMO, .11's give a thicker sound. I used to play .12s detuned 1/2 step (thanks to SRV) and LOVED the bassy goodness of them.

Nowadays, I play .10s for my GBE strings and .11s for my EAD. Best of both worlds - you get the thump out of the lower notes and are able to bend w/ ease without detuning. How often are you really bending your low notes? Some vibrato on the E/A string ain't hard to pull with thicker strings.
 

hapharriman

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
366
I have 11's on a Fender CS strat with action a little on the high side, great for tunings and slide, capoed playing and anything that doesn't require a lot of bends. I think the sound is superior to 10's.

10's on everything else, mostly bolt-on guitars for me.
 
Messages
811
No one sounds as thick and giant as Sabbath and Iommi has always used 8s even before they were commercially available, read his book. Yes, Butler fills in some of that space, but isn't that the point. Play what gauges feel good, they can all sound great with minor adjustments to picking, and amp tweaking. Personally, I use 9s and would use 8s if tuning was not an issue with my spastic vibrato bar use. How could you not want more control of bending, vibrato, etc. For those that say that if you go up a gauge or two you eventually do not notice, but what is the point other than a goofy prideful exercise. There are countless examples of recorded exemplary tones created using gossamer strings? (Iommi, Hendrix, Malmsteen, Gibbons). But then, YMMV
 

am83

Member
Messages
125
I prefer the 10s, the 11s were too muddy in my guitars. I lost definition in the lower strings
 

phazersonstun

Member
Messages
3,123
10s are my preference on Gibson & Fender guitars in standard tuning.
One group I play with tunes down a 1/2 step & I'm very happy with the feel of 11s on the LP & Tele I use with them.
 

jrockbridge

Member
Messages
4,998
For me going from 10s to 11s made my guitars- both fender and Gibson scales, feel bad with regard to bending and vibrato. It was dramatic, more so than the step from 9s to 10s, for me.

I've used 10s for about 10 yrs and I'm actually starting to consider 9s again as my arthritis gets worse, and I'm only 37...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

For standard tuning, I used to string my Strat's with 11s. Then, I switched to 10s and, later, 9s. I'm about to move to 8's. I use 9s on LP's.

I happen to have severe PA (Psoriatic Arthritis) which has damaged the bones in my feet. It affects my hands as well but, so far, no damage there. Luckily, my PA is under control.

When I was a younger player, my playing almost required heavier strings. It was all power and nothing subtle. I didn't have much touch back then. These days, I have a lot more control over my playing dynamics. I can make light gauge strings work for me.

I notice a difference between the way heavy gauge strings sound vs light gauge. But, I think it's fair to say which sounds better is subjective. There is so much sound shaping possible in the signal chain that it's easy to make light strings sound heavy IMO. But, if I tune down. I prefer to switch to heavier strings.
 

GTBJ

Member
Messages
462
> talking about whole sets of strings by specifying only the gauge of the high e

Why do people do this?
 

GTBJ

Member
Messages
462
Yes, because the difference between 10 and 11 high e strings warrants detailed discussion, while the difference between 10-46 and 10-52 is negligible, right?

I don't know about you, but I find it relevant to talk about the other five strings.
 




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