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  #1  
Old 03-18-2023, 05:45 AM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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Default String gauge choice are we really open minded?

I saw this U-tube on string gauges on an acoustic guitar. Done with a wood guitar but not sure it wouldn’t apply even more to the qualities of a carbon guitar. They did it was a lot of precision and they concluded that the lightest gauge strings worked the best because it gave the player the best precision in their playing. I had some extra light Didarrio PB I use on my hybrid and put them on my Rainsong BI JM1000, I got a feeling they are correct just easier to play and they sound pretty awesome? My gut with a light carbon guitar like this huge Rainsong, the guitar is so responsive you probably gain little truly noticeable sound inprovement going up to higher gauges?

https://youtu.be/kWqbQ5qXaCQ
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Old 03-18-2023, 10:40 AM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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I'm a subscriber to Rick's channel and saw that video the day it was released. I agree that light strings allow the player more "command" of the instrument, or at least give a greater sense of overall playing confidence. Does that matter to players or are they more likely to get used to what they like? I don't know. I also appreciate how they did the experiment and find it one of the best ever done; same room, high quality recording gear, same players, same guitar. Yes, I understand the concerns about these "scientific" approaches like mic placement, can't play the same thing exactly the same way twice, etc. But if we are splitting hairs like that we may as well talk about variations in humidity levels, or what shirts the player wore that day.

I also completely agree with Rhett's assessment about what he heard. The lighter the string gauge the more you hear of the guitar's inherent top end, and as you increase gauges you hear the pick attack more (on the medium set I can really hear it). One thing that I hear is that there is more natural compression and a softening of the sound as they moved up in gauge, especially when strumming.
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Old 03-18-2023, 10:53 AM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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I was just surprised that the extra lights had what were certainly positive attributes. How many of us have ever even tried extra lights on their acoustics? I’m a strummer, hybrid picker, palm muter and I did find the extra lights gave me the extra control they were talking about. Before seeing this video I had put mediums on my favorite wood guitar. I think it stifled it a bit and certainly was not as easy to play in my style. I think Rick was a bit surprised by the results?
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Old 03-18-2023, 12:29 PM
Joe Beamish Joe Beamish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubleneck View Post
I was just surprised that the extra lights had what were certainly positive attributes. How many of us have ever even tried extra lights on their acoustics? Iím a strummer, hybrid picker, palm muter and I did find the extra lights gave me the extra control they were talking about. Before seeing this video I had put mediums on my favorite wood guitar. I think it stifled it a bit and certainly was not as easy to play in my style. I think Rick was a bit surprised by the results?

It depends on what youíre playing, and your approach to the guitar and amplification (if any.)

Thereís some great live video of JJ Cale playing an Ovation with obviously tiny super light strings. It goes well with the funky style (a mix of strumming with his index finger and picking lead lines also with his index finger.) Heís got a couple of mics on the Ovation. I love his style.

I have indeed put extra lights on different acoustic guitars and donít like them very much for most of what I play. Same goes for electric guitar, where I vastly prefer flats over rounds. But whenever I copy this particular style of Caleís, itís pretty cool to have those extra light strings.
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Old 03-18-2023, 03:11 PM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubleneck View Post
I was just surprised that the extra lights had what were certainly positive attributes. How many of us have ever even tried extra lights on their acoustics? Iím a strummer, hybrid picker, palm muter and I did find the extra lights gave me the extra control they were talking about. Before seeing this video I had put mediums on my favorite wood guitar. I think it stifled it a bit and certainly was not as easy to play in my style. I think Rick was a bit surprised by the results?
Custom lights (11-52) are the lightest I've ever used. I was surprised by how good they sounded and even put thought up here on AGF. Having said that, I totally get why a "one size fits all" mentality doesn't work with the AGF crowd (too many variables), but it was a good video showing the experiment- so long as one stays in standard tuning anyway .
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Old 03-18-2023, 05:40 PM
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I much prefer heavier (ie: Medium) strings on my two carbon fiber RainSong guitars mostly because they are short scale and lighter strings are not great for strumming - too floppy.

Heavier gauge strings equals more volume and tension. Light gauge strings are for electric guitars and newbies that have delicate fingertips. And those crappy 'easy-playing' guitars they sell to newbies on TV!
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Old 03-18-2023, 10:35 PM
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Try keeping up with a banjo or mandolin with 11s.
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Old 03-19-2023, 03:04 AM
marciero marciero is offline
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Those guys are very electric centric. Rhetts content is almost exclusively electric. I've not owned a dreadnought that did not sound better with medium than light strings.
On my Selmer style, light strings sound better for some reason. We're talking 010 vs 011 because the scale length is much longer, though I typically use an 011 E. It also depends what you are going for. Singer songwriter strummed vs flatpicking, etc.

Last edited by marciero; 03-19-2023 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 03-19-2023, 07:05 AM
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Try keeping up with a banjo or mandolin with 11s.
Iíd just pull out my Amicus strung with 8s and blow them both away
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Old 03-21-2023, 04:24 PM
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oooooooooooo
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Old 03-21-2023, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
Custom lights (11-52) are the lightest I've ever used. I was surprised by how good they sounded and even put thought up here on AGF. Having said that, I totally get why a "one size fits all" mentality doesn't work with the AGF crowd (too many variables), but it was a good video showing the experiment- so long as one stays in standard tuning anyway .
Way to go, you made me order a set of 11-52 Martin Retro . Never played anything lighter then 12-53 but I figured I don't know until I try.
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Old 03-21-2023, 05:50 PM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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Way to go, you made me order a set of 11-52 Martin Retro . Never played anything lighter then 12-53 but I figured I don't know until I try.
Iíd do it too, if I played in standard tuning. Most of the time, my X20 is in open D or DADGAD, which means that a 12-53 set is at around the same total tension as an 11-52 set. Iíd be a little wary of things being a tad sloppy in the lower tuning.

That being said, I think that thereís a real over-emphasis on how Ďloudí a guitar needs to be. Surely, how comfortable and encouraging it is to the user/owner/player is the most important thing?

If youíre playing with a group of people who donít have the courtesy to back off and hear what you have to play, then itís just an appendage-waving event, and yet another example of the idiotic guitar-is-a-competition mentality.
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Old 03-21-2023, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
Way to go, you made me order a set of 11-52 Martin Retro . Never played anything lighter then 12-53 but I figured I don't know until I try.

I was pleasantly surprised the 2 times Iíve tried custom lights. Both were Díaddario; XT in Phosphor Bronze and a set of Nickel Bronze. I just ordered a set of XS, so I guess we are both adequately enabled. [emoji23]
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Old 03-21-2023, 08:54 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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oooooooooooo
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Last edited by casualmusic; 03-21-2023 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 03-22-2023, 02:48 AM
DownUpDave DownUpDave is online now
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Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
I was pleasantly surprised the 2 times Iíve tried custom lights. Both were Díaddario; XT in Phosphor Bronze and a set of Nickel Bronze. I just ordered a set of XS, so I guess we are both adequately enabled. [emoji23]
Your recommendation for Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze on the Journey OF660 worked out well so you got "street cred"

FWIW the OF660 is now wearing Elixir Nanoweb PB mediums 13-56 and I like them. Again you never know unless you try
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