#1
So about 2 weeks ago I went out and bought myself a Gibson J-35 (2013 model, it sat in the store for a few months and still has the original strings) and I've got no clue what to put on it for strings. I don't even know what gauge string is on the guitar right now.

Does anybody have any recommendations for strings on a Gibson?
#2
Wanna give us a clue as to what it shipped with?

I'd say an acoustic light set is where to start. (.012 to .053) With such a large body guitar, some players would even bump that up to mediums. (.013 to .053)

Most agree that jumbo bodies don't give of their best tonal quality with less than an acoustic light set. With that said, different players want different things. If a big bass isn't that important to you, but ease and speed of playing are, you can go with a "custom light" gauge set. (.011 to .052).

In any case, the guitar will likely live longer if you don't go past acoustic light when you string.

There's two major brands D'Addario and Elixir. Both have fairly loyal proponents.

The gauge of the string set will determine the the overall output and bottom end potential, while the alloy, phosphor bronze or "brass", (80/20 alloy), will establish the overall tonality. PB is mellow, the brass strings are quite bright. Twangy, is another descriptor of brass strings. Sort of a Nashville sound.

D'Addario supplies it's strings in standard versions, and also the same sets in their coated, "EXP" series. So, with D'Addario you can experiment on the cheap, until you settle on the set you like, then bump them up to the longer lived coated version. With Elixirs, if you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound, as they don't sell anything other than their high end coated versions.

Sadly, neither I, nor any of my forum associates, can hear through your ears. So, it may take a few different sets of strings to zero in on the set that pleases you, and your Gibson, the best.
Last edited by Captaincranky at May 4, 2014,
#3
I actually have no clue as to what it was shipped it. I hear they ship with some D'Addario strings that are available exclusively to Gibson, can't remember where I read that though.

I think I'll try some light PBs from D'addario. Thanks!
#4
Here are the strings Gibson is claiming ship with the J-200. (Basically your guitar size, but maple body and a bit more bling). Notice the gauges, .013 to .056, and the composition, phosphor bronze. Those are mediums, which introduce a lot of energy to the soundboard, and are intended to get the biggest sound the guitar can produce, without snapping the neck off. In other words, impress people with the sound, right off the bat.

Only a couple of makers wind their own strings. Most brands you run across, are exactly that, brand in name only. D'Addario has a thriving business in supplying strings to various makers. My 2 Ibanez acoustic shipped with EXP-16s, the PB coated models.

I'd hazard a guess that, "D'Addario strings made expressly for Gibson", might be an allusion to keep customers coming back

In any case, the strings you've chosen are a good starting point for experimentation.

The link to Gibson string set: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/gibson-j-200-deluxe-phosphor-bronze-acoustic-guitar-strings--medium