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RonSenf

L-00 String Gauge

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Hello. I have a 2014 Keb Mo; natural finish top (no sunburst). Spec's call for .11 - .52 gauge. I want to install D'Addario Nickle Bronze .12 -.53 gauge. Would this slightly heavier gauge pose and structural problems to the guitar?

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I suggest contacting Gibson Customer Service with your question. To get their feedback, how, if at all, it impacts the warrantee, etc.

 

Personally, I never pay any attention to what strings come with a guitar when it's new. Which, to me, is all the specs are saying...the strings it comes with. I have only used either .012s or 0.125', or 0.013s on all of my guitars...always taking off the factory strings as soon as possible. Never .011s. I have always felt .012s were the optimal pressure on the neck and .013s were okay, too unless the guitar was 40 years old and needs a little less neck tension on it to help it get to 90 years old.

 

That's my approach. Some may disagree. But, I can't see how .012s can do any harm.

 

Just my two cents...but, it's your guitar. (And, sounds like a cool one at that!). Check with Gibson, is my official advice.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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Hi RonMustard,

I’d definitely run it by customer services as said, but I would be very surprised if it couldn’t take 12s.

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Hi RonMustard,

I’d definitely run it by customer services as said, but I would be very surprised if it couldn’t take 12s.

 

Nice you picked up on the last name. Some have called me Colonel Mustard. I'm just gonna run with 12's. I finished leveling the fret board and installed and leveled frets too. New bone nut and saddle are next. Not my first rodeo. The guitar came out of the factory with the fingerboard extension ramping slightly upwards; which prevented me from dialing in the action and the occasional buzz when I dared to venture above the twelfth. Very annoying and no warranty since I'm the second owner.

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Does it have a truss rod if not I would go with what it says.

 

Most all modern guitars come with a truss rod. My concern was to the top bracing and bridge plate being able to handle the added load from a slightly heavier string gauge.

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Most all modern guitars come with a truss rod. My concern was to the top bracing and bridge plate being able to handle the added load from a slightly heavier string gauge.

 

Unless the top bracing and bridgeplate are substantially different from those on other L-OO models, 12's should present no problem on the guitar. The longer scale (25") and 12-fret neck joint mean that the bridge is shifted further towards the tail block, and presumably the top bracing is aft-shifted as well. Slightly longer scale generally means slightly more string tension as well, but the difference between 24.75" and 25" scale length is pretty minimal.

 

Specs for the guitar talk about a "thin, lightly-braced top", so perhaps it is a bit more vulnerable. It may also be that with those top characteristics, 11's will bring out the properties of the guitar better than heavier strings. Heavier is not always better.

 

Having made a string gauge recommendation, I'd be surprised if Gibson gives you other advice if you enquire.

 

You might also check string tension tables to see the difference in tension required for nickel bronze vs. phosphor bronze strings, and for 11's vs. 12's in the same material and string construction (hex core vs round core, for example).

 

My gut feeling is that the change should be ok, but it's not my guitar.

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