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Harmonics101

Gibsons sound better with PB Lights

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I was reading another thread with an off topic question and wanted to answer.

 

Being the gentle soul I am [flapper] I figured it would be better to just start a new thread and ask a generalized question.

 

How many of you Gibson players find that PB lights just make your Gibson sound so much better than mediums ?

 

Sure, I hear you NEED mediums to move the top but i'm thinkin' that's pure bunk.

 

There is not ONE Gibson I have that sports PB mediums. Not a single one and this is what i blame to all these folk that are trash talking Gibson and sayin' they sound like thunk cuz those peeps haven't tried lights on that Gibson.

 

Lights on a Gibson can make the difference of the world.

 

Sure, there are SOME Martins that sound better with PB lights, like the Special or the GE in my most humblest of all opinions.

 

But mostly in general terms, the Martins just need mediums while the Gibsons need the the lights to make their signature sound come through.

 

Sure, there are exeptions to this rule, probably most likely in the AJ area though i can't say i have first hand experience in that particular department.

 

Anyway, if yer griping about your Gibson and you think it sounds like the turds, well lemme tell ya, you need to slap on a set of PB lights on that axe and just make sure its not a matter of strings that's makin' it sounds like socks.

 

Pick on ladies and gents and just thought i'd pass on some Gibson insider advice late in the evenin' :)

 

Harmonics101

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I have PB's on all my Gibsons as I find it brings out the woody, dry, midrange focus of Gibsons the best.

 

However I like both lights and mediums. Currently I have lights on all of my Gibsons, but my Bird' and SJ also sounded great with mids. The rosewood SWD sounded too boxy with mids however, in particular on the bottom end.

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would you not get sore fingers sooner from mediums ? much difference ? or if i get sore fingers after a long night's playing it would be in the morning after

i have used lights (12's) for as long as i can remember ..

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I think it is a matter of individual guitars and particular players. Blanket statements usually only apply to blankets. I do like lights on both my H'Bird and my J45TV, but I change the high E and B to a .013 and a .017 respectively......I like the little bit of extra tension and snap from these two larger gauges in these positions. I did try a set of Pearse New Medium PB on the Hummingbird and found that the heavy E (.056) dampened the top and choked the low end. Not tried this set on the 45 and likely will not as I really like this hybrid set on this guitar. But every player is different and some get great results from a heavier string set on a Gibson. It's like shoes......one size does not fit all.

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I think it is a matter of individual guitars and particular players. Blanket statements usually only apply to blankets. I do like lights on both my H'Bird and my J45TV, but I change the high E and B to a .013 and a .017 respectively......I like the little bit of extra tension and snap from these two larger gauges in these positions. I did try a set of Pearse New Medium PB on the Hummingbird and found that the heavy E (.056) dampened the top and choked the low end. Not tried this set on the 45 and likely will not as I really like this hybrid set on this guitar. But every player is different and some get great results from a heavier string set on a Gibson. It's like shoes......one size does not fit all.

 

is there a set like this buc? , like the john pearse bluegrass ones with the heavier bass strings

or you just take the hit and buy a set with two spares each time ?

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is there a set like this buc?

 

No off-the-shelf set like this, no. I bought 24 sets of the Pearse PB Light set and single .013 and .017 strings. I'm saving the .012 and .016 singles I take out and I will trade them in for .013 and .017 next time I have to buy sets. So the first time, yes, I took the hit but next time I have trades for the singles. The guys at my old music shop will swap them for me......no charge.

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No off-the-shelf set like this, no. I bought 24 sets of the Pearse PB Light set and single .013 and .017 strings. I'm saving the .012 and .016 singles I take out and I will trade them in for .013 and .017 next time I have to buy sets. So the first time, yes, I took the hit but next time I have trades for the singles. The guys at my old music shop will swap them for me......no charge.

 

ah , thats cool . nice of them

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While I do use lights on my pre-War el cheapo guitars, I have never had a Gibson in my hands I felt sounded its best with light guage strings. They take the punch and volume right out of a guitar (especially a big 'un) although they sure are easier on the fingers.

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I use lights on all my Gibby's. I do use 80/20's on the hog guitars, I find the PB's too dark sounding on them. PB's on my Dove and AJ, cuts down some of the brightness. My Martin's sound best with mediums.

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Well, I'm trying different brands and gauges with my new Songwriter Studio and I'm now using what I consider the best until now: Martin SP PB medium .013-.056 (loud,and smooth)

The next I intend to try are Elixir medium PB.

The above is related to playing only acoustic and obtaining enough volume but it's a different approach when plugged cause in this case light gauge might be ok.

Imho strings choices is a subjective matter according to playing style, sound preferences, playability etc...

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Maybe it is just the nature of my guitars, but none of them have ever sounded better when I've experimented with a set of lights, and I have always gone back to mediums -- and usually pretty quickly. Light-gauge strings just don't do it for me, and the one time I tried them on my J-45, I came away thinking, "Well, that experiment certainly failed." To me, a J-45 just doesn't sound right with anything less than medium-gauge strings.

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Maybe it is just the nature of my guitars, but none of them have ever sounded better when I've experimented with a set of lights, and I have always gone back to mediums -- and usually pretty quickly. Light-gauge strings just don't do it for me, and the one time I tried them on my J-45, I came away thinking, "Well, that experiment certainly failed." To me, a J-45 just doesn't sound right with anything less than medium-gauge strings.

 

for what reason ? not loud enough? not enough bass ?

i'm gonna have to try a set of mediums , for the sake of 5 quid its worth a shot i guess

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Mediums give the top more of a shake, so you arguable get a deeper tone.

 

However, that is not necesarily something they everyone likes, especially given the J-45 has an attractive sweetness to its tone which might be a bit lost with mids. On the other hand if you want more of that midrange drive, then mids will be the way to go.

 

I like both, but right now Im enjoying the sweet tone of 12's but if I feel like a bit more attitude I might go for 13's next time.

 

for what reason ? not loud enough? not enough bass ?

i'm gonna have to try a set of mediums , for the sake of 5 quid its worth a shot i guess

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I'll have to agree with it depends on the guitar. My advanced Jumbo is a mediums only guitar. Simply because I want all the power and volume it has to give. I don't own a J45, but if I did I'd probably give the lights a go around on it for playability. It's not a powerfull in your face guitar and mediums would most likely be unessisary on it for me. I use lights on my old Kay archtop guitar and there sweet! A hard drivin bluegrass guitar like my AJ or the HD28v I had definitely mediums. It does make a difference

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Pertaining to the PB Lights, what type are you using? eg; phosphor bronze? bronze wound? pure nickel? 80/20? Currently have DR phosphor bronze(12's) on my J-185, not too fond of those. I like the 10's, will go to 11's if need be, what would you pros recommend?

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Pertaining to the PB Lights, what type are you using? eg; phosphor bronze? bronze wound? pure nickel? 80/20? Currently have DR phosphor bronze(12's) on my J-185, not too fond of those. I like the 10's, will go to 11's if need be, what would you pros recommend?

 

 

PB = Phosphor Bronze

 

I like John Pearse 'PB' Lights on my HB TV. I find them to be the perfect match for this guitar. I have tried heavier bass strings and they just did not 'bloom' like the lights do. I also have used D'Addarrio PB Lights and found them to be too slinky feeling compared to the John Pearse light strings, even though the gauge was almost the same.

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for what reason ? not loud enough? not enough bass ?

i'm gonna have to try a set of mediums , for the sake of 5 quid its worth a shot i guess

 

With lights on the guitar, there was just less "there" there. Less volume, less tone, less presence, less oomph. Less of everything.

 

I think we have to keep in mind that light-gauge strings are, for the most part, something that electric guitarists brought over to acoustics. Their electrics were easy to play and they believed their acoustics should feel the same. But the two guitars are different animals and different physics produce the sound. There's no reason a properly set-up acoustic with medium gauge strings can't be easy to play. My guitars sure are easy to play.

 

And yes, if you slap mediums on a guitar that you've always had lights on, there may be a need for a different set-up or a need to tweak the truss rod. The strings are different so they're not going to sit on the nut like light-gauge strings did. And it may take you a set or two to really feel and hear the difference. But were I a betting person, I would wager that if you put mediums on your guitar and judge them dispassionately, you'll hear an improvement across the board in the sound of your guitar.

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With lights on the guitar, there was just less "there" there. Less volume, less tone, less presence, less oomph. Less of everything.

 

I think we have to keep in mind that light-gauge strings are, for the most part, something that electric guitarists brought over to acoustics. Their electrics were easy to play and they believed their acoustics should feel the same. But the two guitars are different animals and different physics produce the sound. There's no reason a properly set-up acoustic with medium gauge strings can't be easy to play. My guitars sure are easy to play.

 

And yes, if you slap mediums on a guitar that you've always had lights on, there may be a need for a different set-up or a need to tweak the truss rod. The strings are different so they're not going to sit on the nut like light-gauge strings did. And it may take you a set or two to really feel and hear the difference. But were I a betting person, I would wager that if you put mediums on your guitar and judge them dispassionately, you'll hear an improvement across the board in the sound of your guitar.

 

Do you ever worry about the greater tension on the neck by using mediums David? I'm not sure if you have any vintage Gibsons in your stable but personally I'm not super keen on the idea Mediums on my vintage guitars. To be honest, I tend to play a half step down even using Lights at home thinking its all going to avoid any future problems...If I'm playing with friends I'll tune up to pitch.

 

Am I crazy?

 

[omg]

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Do you ever worry about the greater tension on the neck by using mediums David? I'm not sure if you have any vintage Gibsons in your stable but personally I'm not super keen on the idea Mediums on my vintage guitars. To be honest, I tend to play a half step down even using Lights at home thinking its all going to avoid any future problems...If I'm playing with friends I'll tune up to pitch.

 

Am I crazy?

 

[omg]

 

i doubt any harm will come , but surely if a guitar is designed for taking concert pitch strings then having not enough stress on the neck is just as bad as having too much ?

i personally dont think any harm will come , there are guys with guitars open tuned all the time and no harm done

 

guitars take a fair amount of abuse .. its usually people who play them at home only , polish it everytime theyre finished playing and keep a humidifier in the case at all times that worry .

nothing wrong with cherishing your instrument , but that doesnt mean that if you dont it's gonna fly apart .

dont keep it in the car boot in january and bring it into the house and sit in front of the fire , but stick whatever strings you like onto it . itll be ok

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