#1
Hey was wondering if anyone could help me with some info on 'Modding' an acoustic guitar. Well I've recently started playing guitar, my Girlfriend bought me one when she visited New York last Summer and I'm enjoying it so far.

So some guy in the pub the other night was talking to me for ages and he mentioned Stevie Ray Vaughan, who I've heard of and listened to before and quite like, and he told me he gets his distinct sound because he uses higher gauge strings on his guitar, and seeing as I'm due a new set soon I thought I'd give it a go, to mainly hear what it sounds like, and also because I'm guessing heavier strings are harder to play and will thus improve my playing.

So I sort of guessed you couldn't just slap on some higher gauge strings like that and after a bit of research about the truss rod and all that, I know just putting them on could snap my guitar's neck, so two things really.

1. SRV plays electric guitar so the obvious question is can I even do this on my acoustic, and if yes, is it even worth it?

2. And pending yes on that question, is it something I can do myself? I'm guessing that's why my guitar came with an Allan key?

Oh and it's a Blueridge BR-40 Dreadnought

Thanks
#2
I suggest trying the heavier gauge strings on another guitar to see if you like them, they're not for everybody as they have a different feel, and from what I hear, Stevie Ray Vaughan has a very unique setup, meaning high gauge strings and high action while most guitarists prefer lower gauge strings and action towards the low side. I don't think it's worth it to change your strings to get Stevie Ray Vaughan's tone, since basically, you can't with an acoustic. If you get an electric, it's not that much of a hassle and it might be worth it. As for doing it yourself, there's tons of tutorials on the internet, but if you're new to it I suggest getting a pro to do it for you, it's not that expensive I think.

||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||

#3
Firstly, SRV's tone comes from a plethora of sources and mods that are far too complicated to list. But you can sum it up by saying simply using higher gauge strings will not get his tone.

I prefer my acoustics with light red copper bronze strings. And electric guitars (and I might be wrong) usually have truss rods designed to compensate for higher gauges.
Pain is an illusion.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/ Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz Combo
Pitchblack | Bad Horsie 2 | DS-1 | BF-2 | ISP Decimator | DD6
YouTube Channel
#4
Do not do it, my friend.

If you are going to change the gauge of your strings then you should get your guitar setup professionally to accommodate the higher tension.

Regarding the SRV tone, it is true that the higher gauge of strings contributes to his tone but you will still be far from it on an acoustic guitar. I highly reccomend the Elixir Custom Light strings as they have outstanding tone and, what I think is, the perfect tension. The name is misleading in the sense that they don't feel like light strings at all. The higher strings have enough give to them to still do some bending and fairly effortless vibrato.
2005 PRS McCarty (20th Anniversary Edition)
Custom 67' Tele w/Bigsby
Gibson Les Paul Double Cut Standard
Larivee Acoustic
Fractal Audio Axe Fx II
Apogee Ensemble
Yamaha HS80s
#5
Quote by sesstreets
Firstly, SRV's tone comes from a plethora of sources and mods that are far too complicated to list. But you can sum it up by saying simply using higher gauge strings will not get his tone.

I prefer my acoustics with light red copper bronze strings. And electric guitars (and I might be wrong) usually have truss rods designed to compensate for higher gauges.


SRV tone is not overly complicated by any means. He used a strat with texas special pickups, TS-9 tube screamer and fender amps.

You can hear outstanding duplications of SRVs tone with strats (even mexicans) and a fender blues junior ($500 amp) online. There is a guy who runs the site steviesnacks.com who actually shows you his setup and his "research" into tone.
2005 PRS McCarty (20th Anniversary Edition)
Custom 67' Tele w/Bigsby
Gibson Les Paul Double Cut Standard
Larivee Acoustic
Fractal Audio Axe Fx II
Apogee Ensemble
Yamaha HS80s
#6
Heavier strings will certainly give you a better tone.

I put 13's d'addario chromes on my Jagstang after playing with 11's and it was amazing. The improvement in tone is going to be more significant with an acoustic.

I LOVE that acoustic you have so look at it this way: If you have any doubt in your ability to do this task then just dont do it. Take it to a tech. Its not worth the tears if you wind up damaging the neck just to save a bit of money.

That being said, you could easily do it yourself safely as long as you are smart about it. Take it VERY slowly.

Personally I would take it to a tech.
<*ELECTRO*>
XXXXX
XXXXX

______________________________________
Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

#7
Thanks for all the advice guys, though I have to be honest and say I'm still in two minds. I mean I recognise the dangers involved, and because this is my only guitar it would suck to destroy it's neck.

I think the best idea is maybe to take some money out of my savings for an electric and buy a decent enough acoustic and try it on that, and see how that goes? And I think I'll take dudebud's advice and get those Elixir Strings. Thanks again!

Oh and, does anyone by any chance know any musicians who have done this to their acoustic to even maybe listen to?