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Will switching out the string guage cause issues?

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Thanks for your help, I feel silly asking but I kinda need to know so I thought I'd ask the experts.

 

I have a 2012 LP Studio that came with (and I assume was set up for) 10's. I have decided I would like to switch to 9's. Will this switch to lighter strings cause any issues/effects I need to be aware of with the guitar itself (neck, intonation, etc.)?

 

Thanks again

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By moving up or down one gauge you should probably be OK on intonation, string height, TRC adjustment, etc, especially for a "trail" period.

 

Once you settle in on a permanent string gauge, you may find you will want to have a "professional" setup done to adjust the neck, bridge, pickup height, etc, for optimum playability for that specific string gauge. A "setup" by a reputable guitar tech should be in $30-$60 range.

 

This also could provide an opportunity to learn how to adjust truss rods, bridge saddles, pickup height, nut slots, and all the other guitar related maintenance yourself. I learned how to do this stuff after paying a so called reputable tech for a botched setup. I've spent the last 30 years working on friends guitars for free just so they don't take it to THAT GUY.

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By moving up or down one gauge you should probably be OK on intonation, string height, TRC adjustment, etc, especially for a "trail" period.

 

Once you settle in on a permanent string gauge, you may find you will want to have a "professional" setup done to adjust the neck, bridge, pickup height, etc, for optimum playability for that specific string gauge. A "setup" by a reputable guitar tech should be in $30-$60 range.

 

This also could provide an opportunity to learn how to adjust truss rods, bridge saddles, pickup height, nut slots, and all the other guitar related maintenance yourself. I learned how to do this stuff after paying a so called reputable tech for a botched setup. I've spent the last 30 years working on friends guitars for free just so they don't take it to THAT GUY.

 

You are a gentleman and a scholar. Exactly the info I was looking for. Thank you. [thumbup]

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The only silly or stupid question is one that isn't asked because there will almost always be someone else with the same question. I had this very same question last night (which doesn't make it not stupid [biggrin] ) when I went from heavy bottom strings to regular gauge. So far so good but L5's response was great and what I will do when it gets settled in.

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I even wouldn't risk a trail period of only a minute. I recommend to try rather switching string gauges either with a friend at hand experienced in adjusting truss rods, or preparing to do it yourself. A 60's neck should take circa 45° to 60° turn counterclockwise of the truss rod nut when moving from 010s to 009s.

 

Correct intonation cannot be achieved before four or five days after any restringing regardless of gauge. In this case, it is likely that the strings must be set longer. It might be helpful to do so in advance since subsequent adjusting shorter will bring the bent area of the strings between bridge and tailpiece. This way it won't foul up tone after adjustment.

 

From 010s to 009s means 19% less string tension, so the neck will be curved backwards. Moreover, lighter gauges require higher string action. In case your guitar was set up properly for 010s, switching to any lighter gauge without immediate adjustment should definitely cause string buzz.

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Thanks for your help, I feel silly asking but I kinda need to know so I thought I'd ask the experts.

 

I have a 2012 LP Studio that came with (and I assume was set up for) 10's. I have decided I would like to switch to 9's. Will this switch to lighter strings cause any issues/effects I need to be aware of with the guitar itself (neck, intonation, etc.)?

 

Thanks again

 

It's never a stupid question when you're DIY (doing it yourself). you might find a little more string buzz with lighter gauges vibrating more against the frets. Your nut is cut for .10's but such a small guage change usually doesn't cause a problem. Do a complete setup when you change string gauge, truss, action, intonation ... I personally have a studio and went to .11's and wondered if switching would cut the nut slots larger than was standard and whether it would be a problem going back to .10's. You could be safe and get a new nut cut for .9's.

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Basically I'd echo Larry's suggestion.

 

I'd add one thing, though.

 

There's mention that lighter strings require higher action.

 

I disagree. Regardless of string gauge, the action should fit the player's technique. I "get away with" a much lower action than most folks because I play with a much lighter touch. Where many folks would be buzzing to the point you couldn't tell what frets were being fingered, for me the notes come through with proper purity.

 

In short, "setup" isn't just for string choice or some theory of how high the action should be, at some point a pro at setup will match the setup to the player and his/her technique.

 

I have guitars that I play differently that are set up differently by intent due to how I expect to play them. A cupla flattops have heavier strings and higher action than my normal low 9-42 strung guitars (flattop, archtop or whatever electric) because I expect to be doing a strumming rhythm type of playing stedda my normal light fingerpickin'.

 

Edit: I also agree that there's almost no such thing as a dumb question on guitar items. Thing is, a lotta the answers will be subjective when it comes to things like string choice and such.

 

m

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Basically I'd echo Larry's suggestion.

 

I'd add one thing, though.

 

There's mention that lighter strings require higher action.

 

I disagree. Regardless of string gauge, the action should fit the player's technique. I "get away with" a much lower action than most folks because I play with a much lighter touch. Where many folks would be buzzing to the point you couldn't tell what frets were being fingered, for me the notes come through with proper purity.

 

In short, "setup" isn't just for string choice or some theory of how high the action should be, at some point a pro at setup will match the setup to the player and his/her technique.

 

I have guitars that I play differently that are set up differently by intent due to how I expect to play them. A cupla flattops have heavier strings and higher action than my normal low 9-42 strung guitars (flattop, archtop or whatever electric) because I expect to be doing a strumming rhythm type of playing stedda my normal light fingerpickin'.

 

Edit: I also agree that there's almost no such thing as a dumb question on guitar items. Thing is, a lotta the answers will be subjective when it comes to things like string choice and such.

 

m

Dear Milod,

 

when combining the lines I emboldened in the quote, the very point may result: String gauge should match playing style, and all the rest will follow from this. Just my two cents... [rolleyes]

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Personally, I've experienced more (slight) "problems," going up a string guage, than down.

Of course, it depended on the slots in the nut, more than anything. Going down

a guage, shouldn't present any nut slot binding problems, or less so. Going up

a guage, might need some slot width adjustments made. IF you're not familiar with

doing that, have a good repair person, or luthier, do it for you. It's not expensive.

If you have a really good guitar dealer, they might even do it for you, for free?

 

What the other's have already mentioned, are all good points, regarding "trial" periods,

and minor TR, and intonation adjustments. Call me Crazy, but I think that some

times, string brands, or coated or uncoated strings can make some slight difference,

as well.

 

CB

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CAp...

 

<grin>

 

On these two commandments hang all the law, the prophets and good pickin'. <chuckle>

 

m

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Milod: I "get away with" a much lower action than most folks because I play with a much lighter touch

 

That is a very good point. Use Billy Gibbons for example (ZZTop) he uses 8 gage on 24 and 3/4 scale guitars and plays with a very light touch.

 

You watch him play it appears that he is barely fretting the strings, but he gets a big sound, including all the bends, octaves, etc... always impressed me.

 

In regard to strings I have never gone to 9s on my LPs, they all run 10s. On my Goto Strat I run 9s, but usually run 10s on Teles.

 

Best advice is from the above posters, learn neck adjustment, bridge height adjustment and intonation. Also should be performed in that order.

 

 

 

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CAp...

 

<grin>

 

On these two commandments hang all the law, the prophets and good pickin'. <chuckle>

 

m

Mentioning good picking is the most important add since circa two millennia. [biggrin]

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Mentioning good picking is the most important add since circa two millennia. [biggrin]

I recently went from 12's to 11's on my EJ200 and there's has been no problems. Good luck.

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Milod: I "get away with" a much lower action than most folks because I play with a much lighter touch

 

That is a very good point. Use Billy Gibbons for example (ZZTop) he uses 8 gage on 24 and 3/4 scale guitars and plays with a very light touch.

 

You watch him play it appears that he is barely fretting the strings, but he gets a big sound, including all the bends, octaves, etc... always impressed me.

 

In regard to strings I have never gone to 9s on my LPs, they all run 10s. On my Goto Strat I run 9s, but usually run 10s on Teles.

 

Best advice is from the above posters, learn neck adjustment, bridge height adjustment and intonation. Also should be performed in that order.

 

 

 

 

Billy plays 7's. He had a big interview where he spoke about Jim Dunlop finally perfecting getting a really good .007" string diameter and that's what he uses. BB King looked at him one day when he was using 11's or such and said to him; "Why you wanna work so hard?" and he has been stringing extremely light ever since...

 

RevWillysStrings-11.png

I double-checked a recent interview on Dunlop TV and he admits to using the Rev. Willy G "Super Light gauge strings." Which I'm pretty sure he means the super fine guage as advertised by Dunlop which is the .007"

 


What Larry said! msp_thumbup.gif 1 string gauge shouldn't make enough of a difference to make the guitar unplayable or bad. In fact in most cases it won't really even be noticed. I prefer .009" - .042" on my Les Pauls and immediately string them that way when I get them regardless of what came on them. I love the feel and the respond phenomenally with that gauge. (for me) I rarely have them set up immediately. I let a guitar acclimate to my climate after purchasing one that has to be shipped to me from all over the country. The I also let a new set of strings settle a bit before I worry about action and set-up. I have a tech guy that sets them up for me and approx. once a year I take them to him for a detail job where he cleans them up and tweaks on them a bit and it has made a great difference... Simple routine maintenance and the guitars play like a dream.

 

String gauge should be preference for the feel you like.

 

I also set up different guitars differently as Milo says... I have my Slide Axe, my semi-hollow-body, and my Les Pauls all set up differently and simply expect to play them differently...

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I've gone to the 9-46 set. Easier bends, and still a nice fat bottom end.

Kind of a medium version of "Heavy Bottom, Skinny Top," I used to use as a

"kid!"

 

CB

 

That's the Ernie Ball "Hybrid" Slinky set... I like them too... I string my Semi-Hollow-Body; Peavey JF1-EX with those.

 

I also installed a set of open-bobbin Gibson 490R/490T pickups on it and it sounds awesome!

 

I'm stuck on the Cobalts now, but I used to string it with the Titanium coated Slinky's...

 

If the thread author's worried about it; there's also always the D'Addario "Balanced Tension" strings...

 

I think I might try me some Super LIghts... .009" - .040" on my Les Pauls. It's peaked my curiosity...

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