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J45 Setup Idea


jrplefty

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Hello all. This weekend I decided to go from .012 to .013 on my J45. Knowing that Gibson recommends lights, and the mediums are going to be more difficult to play, I've had the thought of keeping the guitar tuned down half a step to decrease tension on the neck and also my fingers. I've only had it setup like this for 24 hrs. I'm definitely liking the tone that the mediums provide over the lights, and it's too early to tell how I'm going to feel about the detuning.

 

I'm just curious if you any of you J45 players have experimented with this for a longer period of time, and what your overall impression was as time went on.

 

JRPLefty

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Yes, I do this exact same thing on both my J45 & my Southern Jumbo. I've been running the Elixir Meds tuned down a 1/2 for quite some time now. I just use a capo when I need std tuning (which isn't often). Here lately, I've gone to lights on the E,A,D and stayed with the meds on the G,B,e .. still down a 1/2 of course. I really like this new set-up but I also think either way works great.

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I never understood putting light guage strings on a big box guitar unless it is really old and yoy have to worry about the tension. If you want to try something else, you could raise the action and possible tweak the neck a bit. Granted some folks do not liek to feel like they are "fighting" the guitar but a higher action and neck bent slightly forward allows you to dig in more and gives ya a thicker and fuller sound.

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To my ears there is a very significantly stronger, fuller tone on Gibson mahogany dreads with 13's compared to 12's.

 

I even went back to 12's just to try it out again on my SJ after using 13's for a couple months, and the 12's lasted about 45 mins before I switched backed to 13's.

 

It might sound weird but i actually prefer the feel of 13's as the strings sort of stay in place better and dont wobble as much as 12's. Granted, bends, hammer ons and pull offs are harder but you get used to it after a while.

 

I dont feel any major difference in terms of fatigue on my fingers, actually i think it does my fingers good by making them stronger ..... kinda like a finger gym for them.

 

Also, there was no need for any truss rod adjustments when switching between the two, the actions stayed constant for both gages.

 

Im curious which gage will be better for my new J-150 which is due to arrive this Friday, but Im guessing it will also be 13's. I imagine the loudness will scare the pigeons that are mating on our terrace..

 

Hope that helps.

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