How to tell what guage strings on a guitar?

vintage66

Member
Messages
6,880
Is there an easy way-I'm not sure just comparing the diameter side by side is reliable. It's a new guitar so I'm not sure what's on there (actually used guitar). I'm used to .10's but these kind of feel a little lighter but I don't think they're as slinky as .09's, but it's a Tele, which is new to me.
 
M

Member 1963

yep........in fact, i have a digital caliper from harbor freight, and for 4 years not it's worked great and i've tested it on known string gauges to see how accurate it is. It will tell a .009 from a .008. i actually bought it for valve shim measuring for a bike, but i tried it on strings a was surprised how accurate a $15 digi caliper could be.
 

vintage66

Member
Messages
6,880
Hmm, the caliper thing is pretty cool-don't know how much I'd use it after the one time though. I was thinking how easy it was to bend strings with it, then I played my strat with .10's and it was actually pretty close so maybe they are .10's. I'll try comparing some strings first-if I string it with .10's maybe I'll be able to tell right away if they're the same or different. I actually like being able to do those Jake E. Lee type overbends. I can't stand hearing someone with big strings underbend and come up flat because they can't push the strings, but that's another topic.
 

Bhodie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
609
My guitar repair guy uses a caliper.. and says it is extremely accurate.. his is not digital, but the old world, read the dials and figure it out kind.. but I am sure either works great..
 
Messages
8,090
I use a micrometer, but what about "how do the strings feel to you"? Do you like them? Good. Do you not like 'em? Change 'em to you your usuals.

I bought a Firebird a coupla years ago. The gtr arrived with low action and light strings. I generally prefer higher action and heavy (.052- .011) strings, but enjoyed playing this gtr as it was. I was shocked when I mic'ed the strings and found they were .009's! Put my usuals on and hated it. Went back to the .009's.

My point: sometimes it's better to not know the specs and just go with your visceral impressions, eh?
 

dspellman

Member
Messages
8,306
Is there an easy way-I'm not sure just comparing the diameter side by side is reliable. It's a new guitar so I'm not sure what's on there (actually used guitar). I'm used to .10's but these kind of feel a little lighter but I don't think they're as slinky as .09's, but it's a Tele, which is new to me.

You should own a digital calipers -- it's the accurate way to find out what gauge strings you've got onboard. Most in the $30-40 range will be accurate to within .0005".

A set of 9's on a Tele will have about the same tension as a set of 10's on a Les Paul because of the difference in scale.
 




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