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Semi Custom String Set


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I tried my 1st stab at a custom designed string setup using non standard gauges. I basically installed a light set of Elixer strings for the middle four strings and used a medium gauge string for the two outside strings(.013 and.056).


I had more trouble tuning this setup on my 6 string than I did when I replace all 12 strings on my 12 string. I had never had any trouble tuning a new set of strings before. This new custom setup seemed to confuse my Enote tuner. Dunno why. I finally had to tune it by ear to get the job done.


Has anybody used custom string gauges and had to relearn how to tune them? I basically just mixed two packs of string. I mixed a med and light pack. I got this idea from an article I read Monday on Leo Kottke. I haven't played this new setup enough yet to say if I like it or not.

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  • 3 months later...
Did you have to change string gauges?



No. I am using a lighter string than when I first started to play, but that's just because I find that I have a little better luck with sound systems, pickups, and microphones with a slightly thinner string. I used to use a .013 to a .056, and I'm a .054 on the bottom now. I still have a .013 high E, but no it's a .016 instead of a .017 for the B., a .024 instead of a .026 for the G, and so on. I like the heavier high E, though,, because it has more body than a .012. To my ears, a .012 is a little too thin. Then again, it depends on the guitar, too. Some guitars sound fine with them.


I pasted this from an interview with Leo Kottke. He describes using two string gauges on his 6 string guitar.

I tried it and liked it very much. Adds a touch of playability you can barely notice but yet you do notice.


Here is the interview http://www.guitarmusic.org/kottke/ggpn87.html

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I just started using custom strings about a month ago and it makes a huge difference for me. I am using regular phosphor bronze in these sizes at the moment on my 1965 J-50









I prefer the light upper strings since it's easier to bend them for blues, and the heavier lower strings really bring out the bass sound. I plan to experiment a bit more in the future, but this seems to work very well. I also have something similar on my 2008 J-50 and it works equally well.


No problems tuning, in fact I think the heavier low E and A strings are easier to tune than the thin ones that come with a set of light strings.

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