#1
Could someone please explain the difference in 10-46, 10-52 and 11-52 gauge strings in terms of the difference tones they give out and their playability (how hard they are).

I'm currently running on 9's and are looking at ernie ball's. Not sure whether to go for regular slinkys, or the cobalts.. I like to do crispy high ends and also jazzy warm sounds. Anyone running on them?

Thanks
Last edited by Volcz at Mar 19, 2012,
#2
Thicker strings generally have a warmer, rounder tone. More bass response. Thicker strings will have more tension too so they will be harder to bend. That's about it.

Experiment with different gauges and find out what you like!
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#3
Well the higher the numbers, the thicker the strings. Differences in tone are fairly insignificant, nothing a little bit of amp tweaking can't change. There is a little more roundness/fullness to thicker strings though. And to anyone that's going to naysay me, talk to Iommi's .7s.

Slinkys are solid strings, I used them forever until I got a deal with Elixir. If you're looking for something different I'd try .10-52 slinkys. All you can do is experiment though.
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#4
Quote by stonyman65
Thicker strings generally have a warmer, rounder tone. More bass response. Thicker strings will have more tension too so they will be harder to bend. That's about it.

Experiment with different gauges and find out what you like!


this.

-Tony
#5
Anyone tried the regular cobalts? And can you get regular slinky in 10-52? I can Only find 10-42.
#6
Got EB 9s on my Ibanez RG. My other Floyd Rose guitars have 10-52s (i.e., Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom) 'cause they're in lower tunings. Got 10-46s (i.e., 10s) on my Strats and Mustang.

10s on a Mustang are like 9s on a full scale guitar since it's only a 24" scale.

So your scale length makes a difference.

The tuning you're using, your scale length, and whether you're doing a lot of trem picking are all factors to consider.

I'm not convinced that the string gauge makes that big a difference in tone compared to the pups, effects, and amp. Maybe about as much difference as the wood, or maybe a little more. But not all that significant, really.

You know Tony Iommi uses 8s (or is it 7s?) yet has a very heavy, dark tone.

SRV used freakin' rebar for strings, but his inline Tube Screamers and Dumble amps had a lot more to do with his tone than those strings. But they did help him play faster. Same for Dick Dale, except different gear, obviously.
#8
I always love these "what effect does this have on tone threads" lol.
No really, I do.

The way I see it, the more metal physically vibrating in front of the pickup, the more 'fully" the magnetic field is affected. Think of it like blades on a fan. The bigger the blades, the more air is moved. Bigger the strings, more field is moved. And the more fully that field vibrates the more energy is transfered into the coils. In short, thicker strings = more output (more voltage). Whether or not that output is voiced more in the lows mids or highs... who knows... it depends on all kinds of shit.

-Tony
Last edited by X-plorer88 at Mar 19, 2012,
#9
Thicker strings will have less pick attack compared to the lighter gauges if you take the same picking approach. I use a .70 on my ESP in Drop G, took a while getting used to playing with such a heavy string, I'm sure it isn't the same case with a jump from a 48 - 52 or so.
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#12
Quote by falcon1439
Anyone had any experience with the new cobalt strings from EB?


+1

Apparently they are really bright with crisp highs. But surely just putting the mids up can solve that? Haha.
#13
Never used slinkys but I played D adderio 10s for years, tried 9s those are too thin I grab the neck so hard I will fret 9s out of tune.
I switched to 11 gauge jazz lite(D adderios) 11-48?and those are my favorite right now, very loud, more full sounding.
I also just put a set of D adderio Chromes in 11 with a wound G string those are too smooth too hard to grip for bends but have no string squak when sliding, so that's cool.
Jumping 1 gauge either way you wont hear much tone difference.

Find what artists sound you like and find out what strings they use. I really dug the tone on Rust In Peace back in the day and started using D adderio because of that.

I like the hex core strings. And recently just bought elixers because of the hex core and the coating to use on my really nice guitars. I am finding with 7 guitars the strings corrode before I can wear them out on a few of my guitars
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#14
In comparison to all the other things that affect tone, not a lot, contrary to conventional wisdom.

Find what works for you and play 'em...
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#15
Quote by Mopy
Thicker strings will have less pick attack compared to the lighter gauges if you take the same picking approach. I use a .70 on my ESP in Drop G, took a while getting used to playing with such a heavy string, I'm sure it isn't the same case with a jump from a 48 - 52 or so.

Paul Gilbert uses 11s in E standard and you'd be hard pressed to find someone with better pick attack than him.
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#16
I do warm jazzy pieces (like g benson to bright crispy rhythm sections and light overdriven bright solos (mainly seen in "indie" music). Playing like John Mayer, Geroge Benson, then my own stuff and indie bands are the bright ones.

I think I'll go with Regular Slinkys, don't know how they'll feel. The Heavy bottom Skinny top are my other option (get some good power chords)
#17
^^^ Well, you're in good company with EBs. As for the cobalt, I probably won't even try them. Don't think it would be worth it to me unless I had a 7-figure salary.
#18
The thicker the strings, the more string tension you have. This makes it a bit stiffer for chords and general lead playing which is nice, but you need a bit more effort to pull bends.

And string gauge does have a bit of an effect on tone if you play a lot of clean stuff. Add a moderate amount of distortion and it's meaningless though.
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#19
Quote by jetwash69
^^^ Well, you're in good company with EBs. As for the cobalt, I probably won't even try them. Don't think it would be worth it to me unless I had a 7-figure salary.


Damn, you must go through quite a few sets! lol

I've literally only ever used EB 9s for the better part of a decade. I may try those cobalts at one point. hmm

-Tony
#20
Quote by X-plorer88
Damn, you must go through quite a few sets! lol

I've literally only ever used EB 9s for the better part of a decade. I may try those cobalts at one point. hmm

-Tony

I've tried a few other strings, but didn't like them. Really hated the EB Stainless Strings.

6 active guitars x 2-4 string changes per year each = 12 - 24 sets/yr. I'm just cheap and would rather spend on more guitars/amps than on strings. The Cobalts seem to cost 2-3 x more than the regualer EBs.
#21
Yeah I hear ya. I've seem to always have at least one guitar that needs a new set.
I've always figured strings are strings. But I guess if you don't try them all you don't know what your missing. I did try elixirs once. I liked the coating but they were 3 times the money and only lasted twice as long. I tend to replace them then when they start sounding dull or just start to rust. I used to hang my guitars on my wall next to an open window and the humidity would wreck my strings. I'm keeping them in the cases now and they last much longer.
#22
I find the bigger the string the fatter the tone and the more sustain it has. I have an sg that started with 9s on it, then moved up one step at a time to 12-56's and I LOVE them. Some people think they are too hard to play, but I don't think so at all, you get used to them fast and build callouses. As for the cobalts they are really really bright, someone mentioned tweaking amp settings, but it's still too bright for my taste even if you kill off the treble. But I have to agree with one of the above posters, try everything and pick your favorite. Everyone is different.
#23
Have you tried looking at pure nickel strings, or flatwounds? They're generally warmer and more vintage-y than the more common nickel-plated steel roundwounds that everyone and their mother makes/uses.
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#24
I do believe that the feel of the strings is much more important than the little tonal change they can bring. You should always priority for the string gauge that feels the most comfortable for you.

Thicker strings have more tension which make them harder to fret and bend. The advantage of it is that the higher tension let you lower the action further without fretbuzz. They are also more durable.

Thinner strings has less tension, easier to fret and bend but will are more easier to buzz. They are also more fragile and prone to break more.

My favorite is 10-46 for 25.5" and 11-50 for 24.75". Thinner than that they feel too loose, thicker too hard to bend.


I've tried Elixirs for electric before. They last a bit longer but not 3 times longer than my current GHS Boomers which costs a 1/3 of the price. Not worth the money imo.
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Last edited by hminh87 at Mar 21, 2012,
#25
Yeah, I think I'll try on the EB regular slinky's this weekend. Might have to raise the action a tad as I can see when fretting that the string is hitting another fret up the board creating buzz.