#1
Ok, so Ive been experimenting with different string gauges lately. On my Ibanez I have 0.09 gauge Ernie Balls tuned to a half step down. I use it for a lot of metal, rock, hard rock, etc... And on my Strat I have 0.10 gauge Ernie Balls tuned to standard. I use it for rock, classic rock, just your average clean and crunch channel stuff. I just put 0.10's on my Strat and they aren't the most comfortable things in the world, I'm wondering, are there any advantages to using 0.09 vs 0.10? What do you guys use?
#2
10s will build callouses(sp?) faster
More tension

I'm using 9s atm but I'm gonna switch to 10s or 11s maybe.
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#3
It depends on what tuning you're playing in and also what you feel more comfortable in. .09 is pretty thin. I play on at least a .10, and the lowest I'll tune down in that gauge is Eb. Anything lower than that and I'll move up a gauge in strings.
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#4
thicker strings give better tone
SRV used 12's on his strat
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#5
Quote by fenderuser93
thicker strings give better tone
SRV used 12's on his strat


Shennanigans. Anyway it's all preference to however you like it, I love my 9's since I'm a sissy girl.
#6
the first time I played 9's I felt like it was cheating. way too easy to bend
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#8
The reason it may feel uncomfortable is because Strat's factory setup is done on 9's whereas 10's have a bit more tension. The added tension pulls on the neck a bit more and also on the bridge and it also changes the intonation. If you want to continue using 10s I would recommend getting a setup done.
#10
I love 11's on my Ibanez RG3620Z thats tuned down 1 step.

But i use multiple gauges for the guitars i own like the SLSMG that's tuned to Standard I use 10's since they feel better or the RR5FR that tuned to A gets a custom set of 14's(14,17,20w,32,42,52).

Just use the set that's comfortable to you.
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#12
Quote by Ashland112
i use 11's and i love em.


+1

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#13
To people claiming thicker strings means "better" tone, this is not true. All thicker strings do is give you a more bassy tone. Some would view that as a plus, some would not.

Jimmy Page and Toni Iommi would use thin gauge strings all the time, and they are recognizes for their tone all the time.

Just go with what you think feels and sounds good.
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#14
Quote by SG Man Forever
To people claiming thicker strings means "better" tone, this is not true. All thicker strings do is give you a more bassy tone. Some would view that as a plus, some would not.

Don't they also have more output because they're bigger?

And while this doesn't relate to tone, they allow for lower action because they vibrate in a more linear(but this might not be the right word) manner, right?
#15
I just put some .9's on tonight, sounds great for standard, but it really sucks for anythign lower than D standard. ^ thicker strings do give better tone, since they hold tighter and do hit the frets as much, why do you think SRV played with .13's in standard? Plus, lead sounds better when you use heavier guage strings in lower tunings.
#16
Quote by Sir Anonymous
Don't they also have more output because they're bigger?


I've never noticed a significant difference. I used to use a .42 for my low E, but now I use a .50, and I didn't notice a significant increase in volume, and that's a fairly large change in gauge.

And while this doesn't relate to tone, they allow for lower action because they vibrate in a more linear(but this might not be the right word) manner, right?

Not really. A string, for the most part, will vibrate in only one direction, with a little sway to it. As long as you don't have the action ridiculously low, it shouldn't affect it.

just for clarity, I also use a .09 for my high e.

Quote by ethan_hanus
I just put some .9's on tonight, sounds great for standard, but it really sucks for anythign lower than D standard. ^ thicker strings do give better tone, since they hold tighter and do hit the frets as much, why do you think SRV played with .13's in standard? Plus, lead sounds better when you use heavier guage strings in lower tunings.



Again, the term "better" is extremely subjective. Not everyone wants SRV's tone.

An example against your example would be Karl Sanders from Nile. He uses a .10 as his top string, and he plays in drop A. Or Yngwie Malmsteen, who uses .08's in e flat.
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Last edited by SG Man Forever at Nov 23, 2009,
#17
I use Ernie Ball 9's in all my guitars tuned either standard or half step down. Like said before its all subjective but going from 9's to 10's won't be that huge of a change but you'll notice it. Besides saying thicker strings will give you better tone is....meh. On Van Halen 1 Eddie used 9-40 Fender pure nickel strings and its regarded as one of the best rock tones ever recorded. Malmsteen uses 8's I believe and his tone doesn't suck. Page like stated before uses 9's.
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#18
.09's on guitars with 25.5" scales like your strat and RG will be easier to bend and looser. .10's will sound thicker, have more meat, last longer in life and sustain, and be louder. Personally I use .10's and plan to step up to .11's next time I restring.
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#19
You'll notice the difference on the top 3 strings more - and as mentioned above, your neck scale will play a part in how slinky the strings feel.

10s will help build strength in your fingers and give you more control when bending. Stick with them for a few months and you'll find playing on 9s a breeze - for lead work especially.
#20
I really love .10....I also played .09 but they are too thin for me (didn't feel comfortable)
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#21
Higher gague will feel weirder at first, but if you like what you're hearing, and stick with it, you will develop strength in your fingers to work with it.
#22
i use 10-52, and they feel great. give way way way better tone than .9s. i love the tone of thicker strings.
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#24
i've never looked back since going from 9's to 10's on my strat, tonal difference is amazing and you soon get used to the extra effort required for bends.

i would agree with an earlier post that a set up is required, bridge tension and intonation especially.
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#25
Quote by necrosis1193
.09's on guitars with 25.5" scales like your strat and RG will be easier to bend and looser. .10's will sound thicker, have more meat, last longer in life and sustain, and be louder.


This.

Generally, it is recommended that you use the heaviest gauge that feels comfortable for you. Also, when you tune down it is a bit like lowering your gauge. For example, if you have a pair of .11s and you tune them down a whole step, they will feel more like .10s.

In addition, heavier gauge strings tend to hold their tuning longer, so if you are constantly having to retune than it might be time to go up a gauge.
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#26
My new Suhr's set up with 9's, but I'm scared to get it set up for 10's, as I've never played a guitar that was set up this well.
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#27
The first thing I do when I get a guitar (after checking everything is OK, of course) is setting it up and restringing it with 11's or 12's, depending on the guitar and tuning (but mostly 11's, since I play 90% of the time in standard E tuning). I've got so used to thicker strings that whenever I play a guitar with 10's, it feels weird and goes out of tune like mad, and I better not say anything if it has 9's... let's just say if the high strings last longer than 20 minutes, it's a record :P
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#28
The heavier the gauge the heavier the tone usually, it also makes it easier to generate pinch harmonics.
I've 11s, moving to 12s.

9s are too easy to bend, they tend to bend even when playing chords under my fingers.
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#29
I used to go back and forth between 9's and 10's, occasionally 11's for lower tunings.

Recently I noticed 9's are too wobbly in Eb for me, so I use 10's on 3 out of 4 of my guitars. On my douglas I use 9's, but 10's for the rest as I have those tuned to Eb.
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#30
Quote by SG Man Forever
I've never noticed a significant difference. I used to use a .42 for my low E, but now I use a .50, and I didn't notice a significant increase in volume, and that's a fairly large change in gauge.


Not really. A string, for the most part, will vibrate in only one direction, with a little sway to it. As long as you don't have the action ridiculously low, it shouldn't affect it.

just for clarity, I also use a .09 for my high e.


Again, the term "better" is extremely subjective. Not everyone wants SRV's tone.

An example against your example would be Karl Sanders from Nile. He uses a .10 as his top string, and he plays in drop A. Or Yngwie Malmsteen, who uses .08's in e flat.



Crap man, I didnt even know they made .08's, I thought super lights(.09) were as thin as it goes.

But let me clarify, .10's are the most balanced string guage in my opinion, since they fit most guitars, they hold tuning well, they hold drop tunings well, and arent hard to push down in standard tuning.
#31
I've always used .10s and when I tried a Strat fitted with .09s in a shop it felt way to easy to bend so it felt like it was cheating.
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#32
I'm on 11s, and hey are a lot easier to break in, but that's 100% an opinion. It's probably because I'm used to them.