#1
Ok, was buying new strings for my electric yesterday. I usually use Ernie Ball strings. I noticed, granted not the first time i've noticed but this time it got me thinking. What the heck is the difference in strings? I know there are different materials they are made out of.. But then there is also different gauges of them.. so i'm assuming it makes different type of sound. So any ideas? Thanks! May sound like a dumb question but..
#2
Different materials are used, which will change tone and how long they last.
Gauge is just really a preference, and help with dropped tunings.
There are other things in strings too, like coating (i.e. Elixirs [personal favorite]), which will change the life, and a slight change in tone, I believe.
Where's Waldo?
#3
Cool, thanks.. Which would be the best for more metal sounding tone.. crunchy etc.? Or is that something that is more Amp/pickup related?

I've been playing 6 string off and on for years, mainly played bass before. So the string thing is a bit new to me.
#4
Strings are very important component for playability and tone.

I have not put 9-42s on any guitar since I was 18 (38 now) and have even had 11-49s on a guitar. They just sound to thin for me, you have to lean more on your amp to get yout tone. I like it being mostly about my fingers and guitar and less on the amp and pedals. (I've had a lot of crap amps.)

Bigger strings equal more metal for the pickups to do their stuff, lower action (If you have a tech who knows what he is doing) do to tighter vibration and better dynamics and more deffinition.

They are harder to bend and I felt that 11-49 on my old PRS sounded great but slowed me down too much so I went with GHS 11 1/2 - 48. That is the Grail to me for a 25" scale git. The hig e and b are a half gauge bigger the g and the d arethe same as in a set of 10s and the a and low e are 2 gauges higher, it's a nice balance of sound and bendability.

I use 10-46 for standard pitch and 10.5s-48 for flat on 25.5" scale. I like 11-49s on 24 3/4 scale. Makes it less of a deal for me going from 1 git to another.
#5
Quote by FurElise
Cool, thanks.. Which would be the best for more metal sounding tone.. crunchy etc.? Or is that something that is more Amp/pickup related?

I've been playing 6 string off and on for years, mainly played bass before. So the string thing is a bit new to me.



In the stoneage (late 80s and 90s) we used 9-42s and 10-46s with the occassional 08- 40s and the rarer 11s.
#6
i have both my jacksons strung with 9-42 and can get super low action and great sound. i play megadeth metallica fine with 9-42.. i say get what ever gauge you want and is good for you
Guitars: IBANEZ RGA42FM
Strings: Elixir Nanoweb 9-42
AMP'S: Peavey Vyper
Effects: Zoom G3
#8
Quote by FurElise
Cool, thanks.. Which would be the best for more metal sounding tone.. crunchy etc.? Or is that something that is more Amp/pickup related?

I've been playing 6 string off and on for years, mainly played bass before. So the string thing is a bit new to me.



amp and pickup are more important, but it depends what type of metal you wana play. If you are playing really heavy stuff in a low tuning you will need a thicker gauge string in order to tune down and not sound like crap. I use ernie ball slinky top / heavy bottoms for drop c and they work fine.
#9
First of all, what type of pickups do you have in your guitar? Active pickups "hide" some of the character of the guitar, but passive pickups will pick up a lot more subtleties in your instrument (wood type, construction, strings, etc.) If you're playing high gain music with active pickups, I doubt you'd notice much (if any) difference by changing strings.

HOWEVER, if you play any lower gain (or clean) stuff with very responsive pickups, you can totally tell the difference between heavier and lighter strings. I've read that a big part of SRV's tone came from the fact that he played with 12's strung on his guitar. If you put his guitar next to another guitar strung with 9's you would easily tell the difference in tone (even unplugged).

Heavier strings = bassier, more full sound. Lighter strings are easier to play, bend, etc, but they will sound thinner in comparison.

But like I said, if you're playing through active pickups and a crap-load of gain, then pick up some thin strings, dial in an extra touch of bass on your amp and wail away!
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#10
great info there Goldtop.... the pickups I've got are EMG HZ-H4/H4AM Pickups... Schecter Damien 6.. great guitar thus far I like it a lot better then my Ibanez... play ability wise mainly.. least for me its more comfortable