#1
Hey guys, I have a fender Hellcat thin bodied acoustic guitar. It's got a solid mahogany top, and maple neck.

Anyways, I've been using 11s on it, because I thought putting a lower gauge string would make it sound brighter. Well, it did a little, but it also seems a little quieter. If I put 12s on it (Phos bronze or 80/20?), would it make it a little louder/more defined? I want it to sound fairly bright though too.

One last thing, I have a fretbuzz problem. My 2nd fret high e and b buzzes like nuts. I have the action really low for a little bit of a buzzy acoustic sound, but these two notes buzz out completely. Would changing to 12s from 11s help or make this problem worse? I assume I need a fret job either way, but those are really expensive, just curious.

thanks.
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#2
13

Dat beefy tone.

Higher gauges will most likely reduce the buzz, unless its a serious case or your frets are uplifting themselves. My Classical/Nylon string has a fret that's coming loose which results in a permanent buzz unless I want it refretted.
Last edited by Life Is Brutal at Jan 24, 2012,
#3
Well, Fender ships with 80/20 brass strings, and these are brighter than PB in whatever gauge you choose. I never tried .11s ("custom light"), but generally the heavier the string, the better the bass, and higher the volume.

I have a Fender, "Sonoran" and I can't wait to get rid of the 80/20s. The strident,"TUH-WANG", is way too much for me. They're trying to set a Tele/Strat type sound character with many of their acoustics. "So-Cal lifestyle", seems to mean being able to hear the guitar over 10 foot waves. Your taste, and of course results, may vary.

A very low action contributes to muddiness in an acoustic guitar, period.

As to the buzz, the top nut could be filed too deep, the action could be too low, the strings too light, or *those specific frets could be too high. *(The latter is not something I suggest you try to fix on your own, think ,"qualified tech").
#4
how does low action make the guitar sound muddy?

Also, would I have to make any adjustments anywhere to the guitar if I changed to 12s? I probably will switch up to a higher gauge of 80/20s.
~~~...:::My Gear:::...~~~
~.:.ESP LTD H-1001FM.:.~
~.:.Peavey Vypyr 15W.:.~
~.:.DigiTech RP355.:.~
~.:.Roland MicroCube.:.~
#5
Quote by Diesel Weasel
how does low action make the guitar sound muddy?
When the action is higher, the tension is higher, and the string motion is better controlled. It also transfers more energy to the soundboard.

Quote by Diesel Weasel
Also, would I have to make any adjustments anywhere to the guitar if I changed to 12s? I probably will switch up to a higher gauge of 80/20s.
Actually, upping the gauge might help stop the buzzing all by itself. Heavier strings raise the action a bit on their own.

It doesn't pay to get the lowest possible action out an acoustic. Nor does it really pay to be lazy about building the hand strength to play one. Just an observation, from personal experience.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 24, 2012,
#6
Alright thanks. So when i put 12s on it, itll increase tension and action by a little. Judging by what youve said, thatll help a lot.

Are coated strings worth it? Like elixr nanoweb 12-53 80/20? Otherwise im just thinkijg about getting non coated 80/20s.
~~~...:::My Gear:::...~~~
~.:.ESP LTD H-1001FM.:.~
~.:.Peavey Vypyr 15W.:.~
~.:.DigiTech RP355.:.~
~.:.Roland MicroCube.:.~
#7
Quote by Diesel Weasel
Are coated strings worth it? Like elixr nanoweb 12-53 80/20? Otherwise im just thinkijg about getting non coated 80/20s.

I think coated strings are worth the extra bit of money. Both Fender and Ibanez ship most all their acoustics with coated .012 to .053 strings. Ibanez uses phosphor bronze, Fender the brighter 80/20

As to Elixir, there are devotees and pundits, many here use D'Addario "EXP" coated strings also. These would be your choice in this brand: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/daddario-exp11-coated-80-20-bronze-light-acoustic-guitar-strings/100966000000000

I think coated strings are worth the extra money. The coating seems to stretch the "burn out period" out quite a bit.

As I said earlier, the 80/20 strings on my Fender Sonoran are far too bright, (to my old ears), when new. That doesn't mean I'm trying to change your mind about using 80/20. Your guitar has a mahogany top, mine a spruce top, which is possibly somewhat brighter. It doesn't hurt to try Elixir once, D-Addario, or perhaps even another brand the next time, until you find "your perfect sound".