string gauges

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string gauges

Postby rhirvine » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:31 pm

I have currently on my acoustic electric guitar what I used to call light gauge strings which I've decided I don't like the feel or sound of. The 'g' string is unwound which I don't like. Back in the day there weren't so many choices and I would simply buy "medium gauge" strings which gave me the sound I liked (I'm not much of a string bender). These days one has to know the individual string thickness. My question is this - which thickness of each string should I buy to come up with the old "medium gauge" strings? I would typically buy Ernie Ball strings which offered back in the 70's medium gauge, heavy gauge, regular slinky, super slinky etc. Please note that I want a wound "g" string. Thanks.
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Re: string gauges

Postby DagerRande » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:38 pm

Rich, I've found that if you choose the gauges of 1st and 6th strings then the those in between are sort of "naturally graduated". I've used everything from .007" to .013" for the first string and I prefer .010". The .013" were good for jazz but they always felt too heavy. For the 6th string I've used everything from .046" to .053" and I prefer the high .040's.
I consider the feel and the tone. I like a mellow overall tone but I don't like them too "sloppy" feeling and easily going out of tune. It's a personal preference and some people prefer to be able to choose the gauges of all 6 strings.
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Re: string gauges

Postby Roger Pratt » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:21 am

Hi Rich......You said that your guitar is an acoustic electric and that is what I play most of the time. I use D'Addario phosphor bronze strings 012 - 053 and they are always bright and last a good long time for me. I also use Martin MFX740 Flexible Core SP strings that Tommy Emmanuel prefers. He has a video on youtube telling about them. They are 012 - 054 guages. You mentioned that your 3rd string was plain not wound which leads me to believe that you are using electric guitar strings not acoustic. I use electric strings on my electric guitars only because I always felt that the sound was too thin on my acoustic. Hope this helps buddy!
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Re: string gauges

Postby LMark » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:16 am

Rich, what is the make and model of guitar? LMark
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Re: string gauges

Postby rhirvine » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:54 pm

My guitar is a less expensive thin body "acoustic" electric. Played without an amp doesn't sound good. I'm hearing from at least one of the posts above that electric guitar strings don't have a wound 3rd string which I want. I'm wanting what we used to call "medium gauge" strings which in the distant past had a wound 3rd string. I haven't bought steel strings for say a Gretsch Nashville (which I used to have) after 1980 or so. I was only restringing nylon string guitars i.e my Ovation Electric Country Artist guitar.
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Re: string gauges

Postby Larry Marchino » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:20 pm

My two cents worth: I too usually like a wound third. They usually seem to note better to my ear; however I used to play a plain third on my 335 Gibson for years and got along fine. I think it depends on the guitar. Often electric strings have a plain third but not exclusively. I suggest you check out D'Addario EXL110W or EXL115W strings. The W indicates a wound third. The 110s are 10-46 and 115s are just a little heavier 11-49 I think--maybe more of what I would call a medium gauge. I use both on different guitars. I like D'Addario strings myself, but there are other good ones out there. If you find some strings you like otherwise you can always buy just a wound third in most music stores and replace that one string. Hope this is helpful.
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Re: string gauges

Postby rhirvine » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:38 pm

Thanks guys! I think I now have enough information about strings to make a choice. I remember when I was younger and would try new strings, I was always excited to hear what difference they made etc. Nowadays as a senior they will probably just sound like "strings" to me and of course I'll be playing the same old crummy stuff :lol:
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