The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58976   Message #937233
Posted By: Songster Bob
21-Apr-03 - 01:59 PM
Thread Name: How heavy are your strings?
Subject: RE: How heavy are your strings?
I tend to use standard light gauge strings on my flat-top guitars, and medium on the archtops, though I think I have lights on my Epiphone just now (by chance -- I was out of mediums at the last string change). I have standard 12-string sets on my two 12-string guitars, both tuned down to D, but might experiment with a medium set if I can find same (most 12-string strings seem to be light gauge, based on what they hand you when you ask for 12-string strings).

I have a National-styule guitar that I intend to string with mediums (or a designated slide-guitar set I ended up with), just to see if there's enough difference in the sound.

Normally, I recommend light gauge strings for flat-tops, mainly because they're built for them and you don't get enough improvement in sound by using mediums to make the stiffer action worth it all. I'm thinking, in fact, that mediums on the archtop don't improve the sound enough, either, so I may go back to lights for all my archtops, too. Conventional wisdom says medium-to-heavy for archtop acoustics, but my experience is that it's sometimes not necessary, and isn't much of an improvement in either tone or volume.

If you tune down (or up, as I see some of you do), you may want to try heavier strings (or lighter, for "uppers"). Use your ears and fingers to judge, and don't listen to "conventional wisdom" unless it agrees with your findings.

Now, for electrics, I tend toward what might be called medium-lights, since I want a more "acoustic" feel to the strings. Those .008 sets are like playing cobwebs.

Bob Clayton