#1
I did something that many may find unorthodox but it worked for me.

Summary:

Bought a dreadnought 5 months ago, a Yamaha FG700. 5 months down the line my playing is leaning far more to fingerpicking than strumming. I've since gone back to the shop and played 2 amazing sounding smaller bodied guitars.

Parkwood PW 320
Guild GAD 30

Both guitars have IMO a really nice balanced tone with a prominent midrange.

Going back to my dreadnought I was disappointed in the rather "boxy boom and hard treble tizz" sound.

Problem, need to save a few months for a new smaller bodies guitar, what to do in the meantime.

Well I had on my Yamaha Dread a set of typical gauge strings so I put on a set of x-light strings. The number on the left is what I had, on the right is what I'm using now. They were and are phosphor bronze.

e: 0.012 to 0.010
B: 0.016 to 0.014
G: 0.024 to 0.023
D: 0.032 to 0.030
A: 0.042 to 0.039
E: 0.053 to 0.047

The result? While it's nowhere near as classy sounding as the more expensive smaller bodies guitars, I have no bass heavy boom, a softer treble and a far more open and prominent midrange. Obviously I've lost some pure raw power but I can live with this tonal balance while I save for a better guitar.

I figured I can't reduce the size of the box but I can reduce the gauge on the strings.. and as a temporary tide me over it's done the job!

I'm curious if anyone else has ever done similar?
#2
In my experience, if you're going to go below the normal 12-54 light gauge, Martin Silk & Steel Folk strings are the way to go. Some people say they sacrifice tone for playability - but this is compared to a 12-54 set. Compared to the 10-47 sets, you get better tone with about the same playability. They have a "mellower" tone to them, so instead of just being really bright-sounding like a typical steel string set, they have this really balanced, almost classical/steel hybrid-like sound to them. And they're this really sexy silver/white color.
Last edited by i_don't_know at Sep 24, 2009,
#3
Quote by i_don't_know
In my experience, if you're going to go below the normal 12-54 light gauge, Martin Silk & Steel Folk strings are the way to go. Some people say they sacrifice tone for playability - but this is compared to a 12-54 set. Compared to the 10-47 sets, you get better tone with about the same playability. They have a "mellower" tone to them, so instead of just being really bright-sounding like a typical steel string set, they have this really balanced, almost classical/steel hybrid-like sound to them. And they're this really sexy silver/white color.



This. I love those strings for fingerstyle.
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#4
Quote by Artemis Entreri
This. I love those strings for fingerstyle.


I love them too, but unfortunately I can't use them because I pick certain notes quite hard for added emphasis and dynamics, and the Folk strings buzz quite a bit when I do that. I think Martin should make a set in a 12-54 gauge as well as a 13-56 gauge. I would buy them for the rest of my life.