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Anybody using Medium strings?


rbpicker

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I just put a set of Martin SP Phos Brz mediums on my J45TV and it sounds like it is 6 ft. long and 3 ft. wide. I love the sound,but would need to really work to get used to playing mediums again. At my age, lights feel so much better. Not sure it is worth the pain, but wanted to see what y'all are using on your Gibbys.

 

By the way, the set up is about as low as I can go.

 

Thanks

RB

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I like mediums. They really drive the top and produce good tone and volume. They also are somewhat easier to control, don't flop around as much. They allow a slightly lower action than I would want with lights or medium-lights. I have them on my Nick Lucas reissue, my '70 Martin D-18 and a couple of arch tops. I am thinking of putting them on my J-185, too.

 

Yes, they exert more pull and put somewhat more stress on the top and neck joint, but so what? A good luthier can keep it running. After a few moments of playing I barely notice any difference or difficulty with mediums. Medium gauge strings behave better on multiple pull-offs and other maneuvers. I pluck fairly hard and sometimes overpower light strings. *

 

Some guitars just seem better with lights. I have switched to mediums and then switched back.

 

*My tip: always spend some of your practice time playing very hard. It builds up your right hand.

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Interesting thread. Tonight I shared an outdoor stage with two musicians I've known for years. Before we played we were "talking guitars" and both said they had recently switched to medium strings on their guitars because they felt it gave their guitar more punch. I played one of their guitars and the strings didn't feel much different than the lights I have on mine. They did feel just a bit thicker, but aside from that they didn't feel any different. I'd have a better idea on how different they might feel if I played meds for a couple hours instead of 10 minutes. Anyway---food for thought.

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Interesting thread. Tonight I shared an outdoor stage with two musicians I've known for years. Before we played we were "talking guitars" and both said they had recently switched to medium strings on their guitars because they felt it gave their guitar more punch. I played one of their guitars and the strings didn't feel much different than the lights I have on mine. They did feel just a bit thicker, but aside from that they didn't feel any different. I'd have a better idea on how different they might feel if I played meds for a couple hours instead of 10 minutes. Anyway---food for thought.

 

I do a lot of lead playing in my duo and the 13's don't feel as different as I thought they might from 12's but when I'm digging into a string the 12's would collapse for lack of a better word and buzz like the note had no headroom left but with 13's that doesn't happen.

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Played the 45TV most of the evening last night, did a minor truss rod tweek, and got used to the tension after about an hour. I tune all my guitars down a half as well, and these mediums really shine. Think I'll keep them on.

 

Thanks for the responses everybody.

 

RB

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SJ, JB, J-200 all get medium's (13s) tried them on my J-45 and it seemed a little choked and action a bit high. The other guitars were all set up for mediums.

 

 

same here, my J-45 TV choked ( muffled sound ) with mediums, all the others have mediums and like um

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Just recently tried mediums on my J-45 TV. I usually play lights and the mediums just didn't do it for me. I didn't get any sonic benfits from them and they were just harder to play on. I'm back to lights...

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I have mediums (Masterbuilts) on the Blues King and tuned down a tone - wonderful sound especially the 3 bass strings between the nut and 4th fret for deeper blues runs....these spots sound too thin with lights.

 

Except if I am playing slide, most of my guitars are light MBs (12). I have been meaning to try 13s on my J45 Standard, but every time I play it I like the sound too much to change it....

 

It all depends on the guitar and setup, I suppose. My National M14 with 1.825 nut feels easy to play with 13s (Pearse), but my National Tricone (set up higher for slide) feels like it has heavies with identical 13s. The exact same Pearse strings on my metal body Dobro feel like lights, even with a thicker (15 ) 1st string for slide. Who knew? You just have to try them all.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I have never cottoned to light gauge strings although on some of my oldest instruments thay are a necessary evil. Generally though if the guitar has a truss rod, I slap 12s or 13s (depending on the guitar) on and keep the action up a bit.

 

I always wondered though if light gauge strings and a low action is symptomatic of and a nod to the number of folks moving from electric to acoustic guitars rather than the other way around like it was back when I was a young 'un. Or maybe they can just build them - particular the el cheapo ones - more precise these days.

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I was initially impressed and wowed by 13's on the Gibsons, marvelld at the big tone but then realised that they may have more presence but also kinda choke the tone, in particular the bottom end. I felt they didnt allow the guitar to breathe and hence went back to 12's which Im very happy with.

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To me how light the build is seems to factor in. My 1930s Stella with its 13 1/8" lower bout, three tapered end ladder braced top (rather than the more typical four) and no soundhole bracing (which is not necessarily a good thing) can be driven with a lot lighter gauge strings that my more heavily built 1946 LG-2. When it comes to something like my wife's 1960 J-200 which is a tank and remains the heaviest guitar I have ever played, the thicker the string the better.

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I always wondered though if light gauge strings and a low action is a nod to the number of folks moving from electric to acoustic guitars

That's crossed my mind as well, specially for folks used to bending strings. I dont bend much in my playing so that's not an issue for me. I use a compromise set, 12s with a 13 on top and 56 on the low end. Gives it a little more bottom, and a thicker top, which comes in handy when I pull out my slide.
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Yamaha FG something-or-other came with the usual 'light' strings. Easy playing, but Jean had a VFW hall quality voice, more of an echo. I strung her with mediums and she is a brand new guitar. Turned her into a real thunder stick.

 

My fingers acclamated to her new strangs in a couple days. To hear her low sultry voice was worth every callous. [love]

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I've played mediums on dreadnaught guitars forever but have used lights now & then. Probably 95% mediums.

 

I have 12s on my AJRI right now but 13s on my old J-45. The longer scale AJ sounds good with the 12s but I can't really hammer it as much as I'd like so it'll likely have 13s on it again.

 

IME over 40+ years any guitar built for mediums & in decent shape can handle 'em. There is no reason to be concerned about them causing more 'strain' or whatever unless your guitar already has problems.

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