String Gauge Question

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by DogEarDave, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. DogEarDave

    DogEarDave Member

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    I used 10s on 25.5" scale guitars for years, but as I aged they started to cause me discomfort.

    My question is this: What sounds better on 25.5" scale guitar, 10s tuned down a half step, or 9s tuned to pitch? Is the tone pretty much the same?

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  2. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    9's with a little more relief. I wouldn't suggest going down in pitch without considering larger strings.
     
  3. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Of course, it depends a lot on your situation. Personally, I avoid tuning down, would go (and do go for) changing the gauge, as tuning down poses more problems for 1) playing along with songs that are not SRV or Hendrix. And 2) means my band the keyboardist and bassist woud have to either play in weird keys or also adjust.

    It depends on the guitar too. I used to use tens, went to nines, and just (mainly because I noticed I had a LOT of ten stringsets) went back to tens. Seems like the only intonation adjustments I had to do were on the third string (quite a bit there) and a little on the second string, all the rest checked out ok.

    But with the Strat I had to adjust the floating bridge a good bit to get it where I like it.

    If I find I don't like tens, will go back to nines.
     
  4. meowmers

    meowmers Member

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    Discomfort eh?

    Could be a neck relief issue if you haven't had your guitar set up for awhile.

    In my experience, different relief affects string bending at the various parts of the neck. You have to find the optimal one that's comfy enough.

    Dropping to 9s will cause an audible change in tone and feel.
     
  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Also, one specific (unless it's all in my head) string bends change with gauge, how far you have to bend to get to the same note.
     
  6. meowmers

    meowmers Member

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    That's a given, but it comes with a tonal shift and lighter feel.

    I like fighting with my guitar
     
  7. paulvcarter

    paulvcarter Supporting Member

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  8. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Try 9-46? That's what I prefer.
     
  9. kevin hart

    kevin hart Supporting Member

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    Try 9.5-44 at standard pitch.

    I always found them to be a nice compromise between 9's and 10's.
     
  10. AXEnGEAR4J

    AXEnGEAR4J Supporting Member

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    First of all tuning down goes to the music you play and usually not for the reason of tension. Why is it discomforting? do you bend a lot? If I use 9's I like the Super Slinky that has light tops and heavy bottoms.
    I found if 10's are what you feel sounds better to the music you play and you like to bend it's a matter of finger strength and callous build up . You can make those 10's do almost anything in comfort those 9's can which means practice..practice..practice!
     
  11. Bopcat

    Bopcat Member

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    I'm 63 and have had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands and tendonitis on and off through the years. I had so much trouble that in my forties I gave up guitar and played saxophone for about ten years. I've been back to playing guitar for a while now. I play a lot of slide but still play some non-slide electric and acoustic guitar. What's helped me has been getting the frets professionally leveled and then setting the neck with a minimum of neck relief. I find an action higher at the saddle with an almost straight neck easier to play than more neck relief and a lower saddle height. I use a 9-42 set on my Telecaster.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  12. paulvcarter

    paulvcarter Supporting Member

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    The Albert Lee musicman is supposed to be very player friendly for players with injuries etc.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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