changing string gauge on acoustic electric


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jazz_webman
11-08-2007, 04:50 PM
Greetings,

I have the Alverez acoustic electric and it came with Elixir 12s I believe. Does anybody know the reason behind using 12s? I want my son to be able to learn guitar on this one but since it is a relatively heavy gauge for him I want to change them.

Is it ok to use Ernie Ball 10s ? ( more precisely the Ernie Ball 2047 Earthwood 80/20 Bronze Silk & Steel).. or is there another type you would recommend?

Also ... If I switch to those strings do I need to adjust the neck ?

Thanks a lot in advance for your input!!

roamingbard13
11-08-2007, 05:26 PM
The guitar is designed to have the tension of .12s on the soundboard...so it'll always sound better with .12s on it then with lighter gauges. If you must go down, I really wouldn't recommend going lower than .11s. Its a good compromise of playability and tone. .10s would be too low in my opinion.

If you are going to make this change permanent, I would take the guitar to a reputable luthier and all him to change the strings and do a setup on a the guitar. It may cost $50-60, but it'll be worth it in the long run, especially if the guitar has never been set up before.

jimtaka
11-08-2007, 06:18 PM
How old is your son? I'd actually recommend leaving the 12s on there. Provided that the action isn't too high, it would be much better for him to learn on 12s than 10s. Teaching him to play on extra light strings is just going to make it extra frustrating for him when he gets good enough to want the tone of 12s, 13s, or heavier and has trouble with guitar all over again.

As roamingbard13 said, this guitar is also set up for 12s and will always sound better with heavier strings just like any acoustic.

newaccount
11-08-2007, 06:57 PM
just tell him to stick with the hurting for about two weeks. it will get better! Just make sure he plays for like 2 15 minute sessions a day. Then when his fingers can take it, he can practice a lot more.

jazz_webman
11-08-2007, 08:26 PM
Thank you all for your advice.

My son is 11 and growing so I guess it's better for him to learn on this type of gauge.

I will keep the 12s. Is there a particular brand that you would recommend for this type of guitar? I think someone mentioned Elixir nanowebs 12s are good. . . what do you think?

Thanks again!!

teegee420
11-09-2007, 04:51 AM
Coated strings(like the Nanowebs) are a little easier on the fingers than non-coated. Might as well stick with those.

roamingbard13
11-09-2007, 08:45 AM
Alvarez guitars come with Elixir Polywebs on them...if you wanted to stick with elixirs, I would get the nanowebs instead. Their coating is thinner and doesn't flake off the way the polywebs do.

To be honest though, D'Addario EXPs are just as good or better that the Elixirs (I like them better), and they are about $5 cheaper than a set of elixirs in my local shop. They are all I use on my 12 string.

Paleo Pete
11-09-2007, 09:45 AM
I started in 1960 at age 5 on an old Silvertone with strings that must have come off telephone poles, and the only strings I knew existed until 1974 were Black Diamonds, which were probably .013. I was able to handle them, it may involve a bit of determination and will definitely involve some sore fingers, but he can play the .012 strings with no real problems once he builds a little finger strength and some callouses.

I'm using GHS Curt Mangan .011 strings, I like them better than most acoustic strings I've tried the past few years and they sound really good. I'd like to go with .010 but they tend to buzz more on my guitar so I'm sticking with .011 for now. I tried 3 or 4 sets of the Elixers when I first got my Takamine, they seem to be pretty good but I didn't think they were worth the higher price, especially for sitting around at home practicing.

jazz_webman
11-09-2007, 01:23 PM
All right .. I was about to order the D'addario EXPs 12 gauge... (I think the model is the EXP16).....anyway.... I was about to place my order from amazon.com when I saw a link to the Martin 12s being sold for $5.75!! .....so.... before I push the click button ....Has anyone used the Martin 12s (more especifically Martin MSP4100 Light SP Acoustic)?

and are these also good for the Alvarez acoustic electric?


Thanks a lot!!

roamingbard13
11-09-2007, 02:18 PM
^ Those strings aren't coated. Coated strings last about three times longer for me. I replace normal strings every 3-4 weeks, and coated ones about every 2 and a half months.

jimtaka
11-09-2007, 03:43 PM
It's just a matter of how often you want to change your strings. The amount of money spent ends up equaling out for me. I have to change regular strings about every 2-3 weeks if I want to maintain good tone. Coated strings (like the EXPs) last me about 5-6 weeks typically.

teegee420
11-09-2007, 03:54 PM
All right .. I was about to order the D'addario EXPs 12 gauge... (I think the model is the EXP16).....anyway.... I was about to place my order from amazon.com when I saw a link to the Martin 12s being sold for $5.75!! .....so.... before I push the click button ....Has anyone used the Martin 12s (more especifically Martin MSP4100 Light SP Acoustic)?

and are these also good for the Alvarez acoustic electric?


Thanks a lot!!I'm using the Martins right now. They're good, but not great. The EXP's will be easier on the the fingers. They're more expensive, but as others have stated, you won't have to change them as often as non-coated strings.

Guitar Hack
11-09-2007, 04:15 PM
I use .10 all the time. Makes my guitar much easier to play. I don't notice any problems with sound. Have seen articles that say it doesn't make any difference. To make that change you may have to have the neck adjusted. Take it to your local guitar store and have them make the adjustments.

If your son finds the guitar too hard to play he won't stick with it.

johnos
11-09-2007, 09:47 PM
It's just a matter of how often you want to change your strings. The amount of money spent ends up equaling out for me. I have to change regular strings about every 2-3 weeks if I want to maintain good tone. Coated strings (like the EXPs) last me about 5-6 weeks typically.

Depending on the guitar and how much you play this changes alot too.
For instance on a crap guitar, I find that strings start not sounding as good alot quicker. They dont actually wear quicker, just the tone, or lack of good tone of the guitar will show up more with bad strings. If its a good sounding guitar then even when the strings start to wear theres still the tone of the guitar there if you know what i mean.

MetallicGod07
11-09-2007, 11:58 PM
Thank you all for your advice.

My son is 11 and growing so I guess it's better for him to learn on this type of gauge.

I will keep the 12s. Is there a particular brand that you would recommend for this type of guitar? I think someone mentioned Elixir nanowebs 12s are good. . . what do you think?

Thanks again!! OK so your sons 11. I would get D'Addario EXP strings in a 10 gauge. Bright tone, and easy on the fingers. They last a good month or two.

jimtaka
11-10-2007, 05:19 PM
Depending on the guitar and how much you play this changes alot too.
For instance on a crap guitar, I find that strings start not sounding as good alot quicker. They dont actually wear quicker, just the tone, or lack of good tone of the guitar will show up more with bad strings. If its a good sounding guitar then even when the strings start to wear theres still the tone of the guitar there if you know what i mean.
Very true. The time periods I listed are just averages.

bikersbasin
11-10-2007, 05:27 PM
seriously keep him on full gauge strings for the acoustic, my electric was broke for a whilst and took it in to get repaired, and it took 2 months!, during them 2 months i was doing my electric stuff on my acoustic and when i got my electric back my playing was so much more technically advanced, my sweep picking was pister, my general picking was faster, and i was getting some really nice guitar licks and riffs coming out.

so keep him ont he full gauge strings!