String tension, guages, "optimization"

String tension, guages, "optimization"

Postby tatittle » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:18 pm

Strings are likely the most commonly overlooked aspect of tone, due in large part to the fact that 99% of strings come in "standard" guages and relative string tension, and guitarists seem to have no choice without serious effort and research. I am curious to know what others are doing here re: string choices: both brands, types, and in particular- solutions to the discrepancies in equal string tension among big name sets (the B and low E string are less tension than the rest). I also imagine these discrepancies will affect intonation, which has become a debilitating obsession of mine now---it is never good enough to my ear (properly compensated nuts havent been tried yet).

There are "optimized" string sets available that increase the tension equitably as you go from high E to low E. Will replacing the B and low E strings with higher guages give the same result? On the wound strings in particular, the same diameter string can vary in string tension because of its composition.

How about for different styles? Jerry tone? Tele tone? 24 3/4" scales (these are especially prone to low E being too low tension)?

As I become more experienced in clean playing dynamics this issue has become much more conspicuous for me. With a ton of "liquid gain" e.g. I imagine it doesnt matter near as much, as the distortion commandeers the tone.
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Re: String tension, guages, "optimization"

Postby tatittle » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:41 am

Well I am not sure how long they have been out, but D'Addario now has a balanced set (.010; .0135...) available so one doesn't have to pay extra marketing for
"signature" sets. I also saw GHS has at least one, "big core"..(.0105; .0135...).

I just bought some .014's and .0135 to beef up the B string which is the most obvious discrepancy to me...I have heavy hands, this is great for manhandling blues stuff, but I have found it can be an impediment to articulate crystal clean Fender/JBL/Strat tones. Maybe Ill give those .105's a try, or even .11's which is what I played long ago.
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Re: String tension, guages, "optimization"

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:56 am

Q: What kind of strings do you use?

Paul McCartney: "Long shiny ones."

sorry, carry on....
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