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Anyone else using .011 gauge strings?


Fleece

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I brought my new Midtown custom in to get set up today, and the luthier recommended trying D'Addario 11's so I said why not.

 

After two half hour sessions playing (mostly blues), I'm not sure how I feel about the switch from 10's.

 

Bending is obviously tougher, but I'll likely get used to that in time. And I definitely had moments where I felt confident I'd made the right decision.

 

But I don't really think I got that "OMG this guitar sings" feeling that I had with 10's, despite their being stock strings (I assume Gibson Brite Wires?).

 

Granted a few other variables changed: the action was lowered, the pickup height was adjusted (lowered), and the brand of strings was switched to D'Addario. So I don't quite know the cause, but I feel like it's missing the 'sweetness' in the tone.

 

It definitely feels warmer, bigger, and the strings feel like they can really take a thrashing, which I like. And strumming clean sounds noticeably better (more in harmonically tune, somehow). But I dunno...overall my beloved axe didn't make me grin quite like it did yesterday.

 

But again, I've only spent an hour with them so I won't rush to judgment. In the meantime, I'm curious what experiences others may have had. [confused]

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Interesting post Mr F [thumbup]

 

I have travelled a similar 'journey' this year...

 

Being a die hard 10-er on electric and acoustic

 

I started doing more acoustic work, strung with 12's...and realised it wasn't so bad as I expected

 

I have a couple of guitars strung with 11's and they are a good compromise...

 

So currently I have guitars strung...9's,10's,11's and 12's

 

And each are good in different ways...

 

The 'wound 3rd' on 11's can be a new experience tone wise [thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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12 is the thinest I go, 12 and 13's is the way for me.

It is personal, go for what you find the best playing set, the best soundinbg set.

 

I use to have this idea:"the thinner the better" until I played with a guitar that had 12s, and I was sold, the richness in that sound, maaaan. And if I bend a string now I don't over bend it, I just have to push it to the correct level, and the work I have to put in that makes it sound more subtile. But as I said, that is my own personal opinion.

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Yes, I switched to .011s several years ago.

The 'bending' thing sorts itself out real quick.

 

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact 'problem' as you changed a few things at the same time.

 

Assuming there is no fret-buzz lowering the action shouldn't (IMX) alter the tone.

Did you lower the p'ups to compensate for the lower action? Altering the height of the p'ups suggests they could have lost that 'sweet spot' where they perform best. Try raising them by small increments to see if 'it' comes back.

 

Personally I've never liked the tone from D'Addario's. In fact I tried them out once more last string change (I had been gifted a set) but an hour later took them off again.

Try a different brand of strings. I always use (Rotosound) pure nickels. Gibson nickels sound great.

 

Keep us posted!

 

P.

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I use 11s on all my electric Gits except a Ibanez Jazzbox that have 12s, after a while 10s and especially 9s feels like rubber bands and you can´t control bends.

I´m under the impression that the heavier gauge the thicker tone but that´s just me, i´ve heard that the Reverend Gibbons use 8s and he´s tone is not so thin :-)

I like that both the open chords and bends gets easier to control with heavier gauges and the mentioned tone soo...

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If you're trying to decide between 10s and 11s, I believe D'Addario has strings that are halfway between regular 10s and 11s.

 

I wanted something different for my Midtown Custom. I like the sound of the 10s it came with, but I wanted lighter strings on the treble side. I replaced the G, B and high E strings with D'Addario XL Super Light Plus strings. The G is .016, the B is .0115 and the high E is 0095. They are halfway between regular 9s and 10s!

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Interesting post Mr F [thumbup]

 

I have travelled a similar 'journey' this year...

 

Being a die hard 10-er on electric and acoustic

 

I started doing more acoustic work, strung with 12's...and realised it wasn't so bad as I expected

 

I have a couple of guitars strung with 11's and they are a good compromise...

 

So currently I have guitars strung...9's,10's,11's and 12's

 

And each are good in different ways...

 

The 'wound 3rd' on 11's can be a new experience tone wise [thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

And that my friend...is why your name is Versatile! Haha

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Yes, I switched to .011s several years ago.

The 'bending' thing sorts itself out real quick.

 

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact 'problem' as you changed a few things at the same time.

 

Assuming there is no fret-buzz lowering the action shouldn't (IMX) alter the tone.

Did you lower the p'ups to compensate for the lower action? Altering the height of the p'ups suggests they could have lost that 'sweet spot' where they perform best. Try raising them by small increments to see if 'it' comes back.

 

Personally I've never liked the tone from D'Addario's. In fact I tried them out once more last string change (I had been gifted a set) but an hour later took them off again.

Try a different brand of strings. I always use (Rotosound) pure nickels. Gibson nickels sound great.

 

Keep us posted!

 

P.

 

That's a very good point about the pickups, and one which I brought up with my luthier today. He said that he had lowered the neck pickup so as to keep a proper tonal/volume balance between between it and the bridge pup, which remained rather high. he demonstrated what he was talking about and it made a lot of sense.

 

He still heightened the neck pup a little bit, just to appease me, but he said he thought that the change I was noticing was more than likely due to the thicker gauge strings.

 

I decided to go with a hybrid, and he put 10's back on the G, B and E for me. (Did it right away and refused to accept any payment, which I thought was very cool).

 

Having now played with the new setup, I'm extremely pleased. The bottom strings retain a nice big, harmonically rich sound, while the upper strings are once again bright, slinky, and have the sharper attack I love.

 

While I'm confident I would've acclimated physically to bending 11's, I think the brightness and attack of 10's were the "mojo" that I had suddenly found missing. Very happy to have found it again! [love]

 

Next string change, I'm going to try something other than D'Addarios, just to continue my search for perfection. Again, I really loved the stock Gibson strings. I wish they made a hybrid set

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I believe many guitarists prefer 'light top, heavy bottom' string sets

 

As implied above

 

For rich strong bass

 

And emo-bendy-bluesy stuff in the upper register [biggrin]

 

I heard somewhere that Rev Willy G uses .007's...but maybe he was just joshing :blink:

 

Fit 'em, Tighten 'em, Tune 'em, Stretch 'em, Pick 'em, Bend 'em [thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Glad to hear you are on the right road again.

 

[thumbup]

 

Expanding on a topic which Versatile brings up; there are many string manufacturers who offer 'Light Top, Heavy Bottom'. Have a nose around and see what you can find!

 

I heard somewhere that Rev Willy G uses .007's...but maybe he was just joshing :blink:

 

:-({|=

No; you heard (partly) correct. In an interview with his guitar tech it was stated that the Rev uses .007s for his slide work (.008s for 'regular' stuff).

 

P.

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Don from D'Addario strings here - further to the comment about a set between .010 and .011 - we make EXL110+ which has .0105 string. Originally designed for players tuning down to Eb, players have found all sorts of uses for this, including the land of in-between for .010 players and .011 players - http://daddario.com/DADProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=3769&productid=22&productname=EXL110__Nickel_Wound__Regular_Light_Plus__10_5_48

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Don from D'Addario strings here - further to the comment about a set between .010 and .011 - we make EXL110+ which has .0105 string. Originally designed for players tuning down to Eb, players have found all sorts of uses for this, including the land of in-between for .010 players and .011 players - http://daddario.com/DADProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=3769&productid=22&productname=EXL110__Nickel_Wound__Regular_Light_Plus__10_5_48

 

Thanks so much for pointing these out, Don! I had no idea they existed, let alone the fact that they're available through Amazon Prime. To quote one of the reviewers on Amazon, "the fact that these exist is crazy cool." I purchased a set immediately to try out. $6, free delivery by Wednesday. Awesome sauce. Thanks again.

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Interesting post Mr F [thumbup]

 

I have travelled a similar 'journey' this year...

 

Being a die hard 10-er on electric and acoustic

 

I started doing more acoustic work, strung with 12's...and realised it wasn't so bad as I expected

 

I have a couple of guitars strung with 11's and they are a good compromise...

 

So currently I have guitars strung...9's,10's,11's and 12's

 

And each are good in different ways...

 

The 'wound 3rd' on 11's can be a new experience tone wise [thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

 

The wound 3rd intrigues me, but it's probably my favorite bendy bit, so I'm a little reluctant. [confused]

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I used to play 11's, now I'm back to 10's. My shift to 11's was because I thought they would yield a "heavier" tone, and they did. But then I started looking at Tony Iommi's setup a little more closely, and he uses 8's. So obviously depending on string gauge to fatten the tone was a crutch.

 

Then I heard a pro luthier say something to the effect of: you can make a crappy guitar sound decent by putting heavy strings on it, while a good guitar will still sound good no matter what gauge strings are on it.

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You must try the new Ernie Ball Cobalt strings regardless of your guage of choice. A soon as I put these on my LP I was stunned by how much better the guitar felt, played and sounded. I now use these Cobalts on all my electrics. They seem to last quite a bit longer than regular nickle plated Slinky's as well They are not coated but a different alloy on the windings.

 

Do yourself a favor and try a set. You will not be dissapointed.

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Hey Barack ... nice to see you on this forum instead of the golf coursemsp_lol.gif ... anyways, 11s on my Firebird for sliding - D'Addarios. Why D'Addarios?? because when your sliding, you can forget about any 'tonal' quality brought about by the strings in contact with metal or glass. I play a lot of slide and they're fairly inexpensive.

 

On the other hand, the 335, LP & SG all get Gibson Vintage Reissues 10-46. For me they 'ring' and last longer as long as you're constantly wiping them. More pricey but worth it economically over time.

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Hey Barack ... nice to see you on this forum instead of the golf coursemsp_lol.gif ... anyways, 11s on my Firebird for sliding - D'Addarios. Why D'Addarios?? because when your sliding, you can forget about any 'tonal' quality brought about by the strings in contact with metal or glass. I play a lot of slide and they're fairly inexpensive.

 

On the other hand, the 335, LP & SG all get Gibson Vintage Reissues 10-46. For me they 'ring' and last longer as long as you're constantly wiping them. More pricey but worth it economically over time.

 

(Haha...there's a whole new side of me the American people are going to see, now that Mitt's pretty much out of the race!)

 

Funny you should mention the Vintage Reissues. I just ordered some, along with some Gibson BriteWires and "Humbucker" strings. And a set of D'Addario 10+ just for good measure. Never hurts to experiment! Except for that one time in Mexico...

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(Haha...there's a whole new side of me the American people are going to see, now that Mitt's pretty much out of the race!)

 

Funny you should mention the Vintage Reissues. I just ordered some, along with some Gibson BriteWires and "Humbucker" strings. And a set of D'Addario 10+ just for good measure. Never hurts to experiment! Except for that one time in Mexico...

 

Yuppp ... I can hardly wait for socialization to take hold of our guitar making industry ... probably re-name them to Gibsonoff & Fenderovamsp_lol.gif ...

 

IMO ... your string choices for experimentation are right on!

 

 

 

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