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June 2012 - I bought myself a Songwriter Deluxe Standard, after many months of searching guitar stores in my area. What a beauty! Beautiful rich sound, and great action. I love this guitar, but the strings it came with are .013 to .056 gauge Martins (so they told me). I find these are too heavy for me. I'd like to put some .011 to .052 Gibson Lights on, but It will reduce the stress on the truss-rod by many in-lbs.

So, I don't really want to adjust the truss rod myself, so I'll probably have a luthier do it for me. but does anybody know just how much of an effect this will have on the neck? - Just trying to be careful....

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June 2012 - I bought myself a Songwriter Deluxe Standard, after many months of searching guitar stores in my area. What a beauty! Beautiful rich sound, and great action. I love this guitar, but the strings it came with are .013 to .056 gauge Martins (so they told me). I find these are too heavy for me. I'd like to put some .011 to .052 Gibson Lights on, but It will reduce the stress on the truss-rod by many in-lbs.

So, I don't really want to adjust the truss rod myself, so I'll probably have a luthier do it for me. but does anybody know just how much of an effect this will have on the neck? - Just trying to be careful....

 

just stick some 12's on it and see how it feels , depending on the way it is now , you might not need to adjust anything ....

a trip to the luthier is best if you are totally green and do no harm at all after buying .

but stay and watch him , then you'll know next time what to expect , if everything is working ok with the guitar then truss rod adjustments are simple enough .

 

have fun with the new guitar !!

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I use 12's on my electrics and 14's on my archtops, so I'm probably not the one to comment on this thread! BUT.....

 

There are three things that will happen as you get more experienced and proficient on your instrument:

 

1. Your string gauge will increase.

2. Your pick thickness will increase.

3. Your "action" will raise.

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I use 12's on my electrics and 14's on my archtops, so I'm probably not the one to comment on this thread! BUT.....

 

There are three things that will happen as you get more experienced and proficient on your instrument:

 

1. Your string gauge will increase.

2. Your pick thickness will increase.

3. Your "action" will raise.

 

i dont really see how this is the case larry ?

unless everyone eventually wants to be doc watson or somethin??

maybe i'm just not old enough yet , hasnt happened :)

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I use 12's on my electrics and 14's on my archtops, so I'm probably not the one to comment on this thread! BUT.....

 

There are three things that will happen as you get more experienced and proficient on your instrument:

 

1. Your string gauge will increase.

2. Your pick thickness will increase.

3. Your "action" will raise.

 

 

Hi Larry...agree with #1,#2, but went the reverse of #3....(old and knarly digits)

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Strings are replaceable. If you try 11's and they don't work, it's just a matter of taking them off again. You won't loose anything you can't get back.

 

Really, it IS good, AND wise to be cautious. But also, at some point, you are going to have to learn these things. Unless you want to hire a full time tech or run to the shop every time you need a tweak, it might be good to start getting used to the idea of making minor adjustments on your own sooner than later.

 

A truss rod adjustment of 1/8th of a turn should absolutely be safe, and often that's all it takes.

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Thanks for the replies and good advice, guys. I will swap my .013-.056 for a set of .012-.053 and play it like that for a few weeks. I can tweak the truss-rod myself if it really needs it, but I'll wait to see if it moves on its own first.

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Press Low E at 2nd Fret..then with palm of your hand same string where neck meets the body....

While holding those down press the midpoint & examine if you have space there. If there is nearly no space, truss rod is correctly adjusted and when you put your 11's it will gradually reverse (give it some time to do so).

Then take the guitar to get truss rod adjusted.

 

On the other hand if it has a lot of space at that midpoint as a lot of new guitars do,you may not need a set up.

Then if you are happy with 11's and after some time you see space still at that midpoint when you check...then a slight adjustment is what it will need.

 

First few years new guitars neck s move.I had my Lowden set up well..but it just reversed.It is a 2009 guitar.If set in place & are not adjusted too much they settle in to that spot Ive found.

Good luck

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I've been swapping out my 12's for 11's and really don't notice much difference in sound/volume/tone....just less stress on my hands....which I really appreciate. One exception is my Martin D-18, which I tune to D#, and really needs 13's to sound halfway good. Often the switch to 11's doesn't require a truss rod adjustment......

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I've always used 13s exclusively on my dreadnaughts. Recently, I decided to try something lighter. For my J-45 Legend, I debated on 12s or 11s. Eventually said "screw it!" And went straight for the 11s. I have not needed to make any adjustments to the guitar at all, and it plays sweet. May be because the neck is really huge and the change in string tension didn't do much to it. I think the action may be a tad lower now, which is fine with me because I felt it was a bit high before.

 

The big surprise has been in the tone. I was worried about losing out on the tone with this move, but have found I actually think the guitar sounds better now. Maybe not as powerful and forceful as before, but I think the guitar sounds more open now, perhaps more lively. I think that the heavier strings may have been choking the guitar somewhat. Also, as someone stated above, the reduced string tension makes the guitar more comfortable to play. All in all, a big win for me.

 

I am going to try 11s on my AJ next and see how that goes.

 

Good luck!

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I've always used 13s exclusively on my dreadnaughts. Recently, I decided to try something lighter. For my J-45 Legend, I debated on 12s or 11s. Eventually said "screw it!" And went straight for the 11s. I have not needed to make any adjustments to the guitar at all, and it plays sweet. May be because the neck is really huge and the change in string tension didn't do much to it. I think the action may be a tad lower now, which is fine with me because I felt it was a bit high before.

 

The big surprise has been in the tone. I was worried about losing out on the tone with this move, but have found I actually think the guitar sounds better now. Maybe not as powerful and forceful as before, but I think the guitar sounds more open now, perhaps more lively. I think that the heavier strings may have been choking the guitar somewhat. Also, as someone stated above, the reduced string tension makes the guitar more comfortable to play. All in all, a big win for me.

 

I am going to try 11s on my AJ next and see how that goes.

 

Good luck!

Yes .... I have 11's on my J-160E and they are perfect. Great sound but not as loud as 12's might be !!! [thumbup]

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  • 4 weeks later...

My experience? ... the opposite of the earliest recommendations.

 

Throw in some s-e-r-i-o-u-s medical issues, but my first priority for a player is enjoy it enough to play ... and play ... and play more. So I would definitely advise to error on the light side (but do not forget - you are not married to those strings!)

 

Go with a lighter set to enjoy playing and switch out to heavier strings as you feel comfortable ... but not quite fulfilled with the fullness of you sound. IMHO - heavier strings equate to more fullness and sustain. Down Side? tougher on the fingers.

 

Play with a lighter gauge until your fingers are happy. Then challenge them with a step heavier (or 1/2 step, as is available from D'Addario).

 

But #1? Enjoy the thrill of makin' music! IMHO.

 

~ john

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My experience? ... the opposite of the earliest recommendations.

 

Throw in some s-e-r-i-o-u-s medical issues, but my first priority for a player is enjoy it enough to play ... and play ... and play more. So I would definitely advise to error on the light side (but do not forget - you are not married to those strings!)

 

Go with a lighter set to enjoy playing and switch out to heavier strings as you feel comfortable ... but not quite fulfilled with the fullness of you sound. IMHO - heavier strings equate to more fullness and sustain. Down Side? tougher on the fingers.

 

Play with a lighter gauge until your fingers are happy. Then challenge them with a step heavier (or 1/2 step, as is available from D'Addario).

 

But #1? Enjoy the thrill of makin' music! IMHO.

 

~ john

 

 

Some guitars are so over built and the response is stiff..fault of guitar not strings. If lights is what you need to play more and better,thats best the way to go.

Right now I use 12's and most of the time they feel pretty good on 2 of my 4 acoustics..Im considering going to 11's..or selling the two guitars off.

I suspect that I prefer short scale acoustics.,,and/or need 011's : )

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