#1
im at a toss up on my gauge i use, i'm figuring out what's best for me between D'addario/GHS and 11 or 12 gauge- now from i see, the B and E strings arent wrapped, so i correct in assuming the two strings would only be a little easier to play, and a lighter tone sound in the 11 gauge over 12?- or is the difference almost irrelevent?
#2
The E and B strings are plain steel - this is the case for all gauges of acoustic guitar strings. Generally, the lower the gauge the easier it is to play the strings since the tension increases at the string gauge increases. The difference in sound between 11 and 12 gauge is minimal.
#3
The main difference is in the bass strings, the .012 gauge strings will get a little fuller bass response. The .011 gauge will be a little easier to play, there is a difference, I just went back to .012 on my acoustic to get the fuller sound.

I use the Dean Markley strings, been using them since mid 70's. I've tried everything they make for acoustic, electric too really, even used electric strings on the acoustic for a while because I do a lot of acoustic leads and wanted a plain G string for bending it. Finally went back to standard acoustic strings, trying out the Blue Steel acoustics now, they seem to be doing pretty well. I've used the Blue Steel for electric for a long time, they tend to last well and stay brighter, can't say about the acoustic version yet, I've only had them a couple of weeks. Their standard acoustic strings have always been good, bright sound and don't seem quite as stiff for some reason. Not quite sure what that is, the same gauge should feel the same...maybe it's my imagination but I liked them the first set I played, about 1977 or 78, been with Dean Markley ever since.

If you like the GHS, try their Kurt Mangham series, I used a few sets a couple of years ago and liked them too, a friend at a vintage guitar store recommended trying them, I used about a dozen sets and they seemed to be very good.

Don't know a thing about D'Addario, the only set I ever used was about 1985, didn't sound great on my Epiphone and went dead in a few days. Never got another set, I was trying everything I could find a the time, ended up going back with Dean Markley. I hated Martin strings, Fender was OK but nothing special, ditto for Gibson, those were the only options for acoustic at the time. Not sure GHS even existed then, Ernie Ball was available but didn't like those either...I was playing 5 nights a week, 6 or 7 hours a night, ended up changing strings every day and Dean Markley was the only one that would last 2 full nights...and I didn't usually risk that.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#4
I was just reading a book on guitar history and it seems some 1960-era arch tops were strung with strings as heavy as 15s and these had wound 2nd strings.
#5
As Dave says, I remember a Guitar Player interview with a jazz rythm player who used an archtop with such heavy strings in a band context. They asked him how he got through gigs, and he said, "I sweat a lot".
#6
Quote by davebowers
I was just reading a book on guitar history and it seems some 1960-era arch tops were strung with strings as heavy as 15s and these had wound 2nd strings.
That was during the depression era, and guitars were committing suicide in droves.
#7
Quote by harpspitfire
im at a toss up on my gauge i use, i'm figuring out what's best for me between D'addario/GHS and 11 or 12 gauge- now from i see, the B and E strings arent wrapped, so i correct in assuming the two strings would only be a little easier to play, and a lighter tone sound in the 11 gauge over 12?- or is the difference almost irrelevent?
The are 'mixed" set of strings. They are called , "light tops, heavy bottoms", or things along that line.

So no, the gauge of the upper strings, doesn't have to indicate the diameters of the strings overall..

Convention has "acoustic light" at .012 to .053, and "custom light at .012 to .052.

These are from a quick web search: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EJ19

I'm pretty sure there are other gauges around. I think "bluegrass" is another term. Or, you can "roll your own", so to speak.

For more choices: http://www.daddario.com/DADProductFamily.Page?ActiveID=3768&familyid=9&sid=aae7cd11-3a1d-430f-8b58-5d760d70a66d
#8
OK I wasn't going to confuse things more by bringing that up, but Cranky is right. You can also get light top heavy bottom, which uses standard wound strings for E,A and D, and lighter ones for G, B and E. Usually still a wound G though.

Before they were available I bought my own, found a shop in Austin that would let me pick out custom individual strings and sell them to me at set of strings prices, mainly because I bought 3 or 4 sets at a time. I was getting .010 to .052 sets, with a .018 plain G string so I could do leads. A few years later they started appearing in music stores, but I still couldn't get anything for acoustic with a plain G string, can't find any right now as far as I've been able to find so if I want them, it's expensive...most places won't make me the deal I got there...Now you can find that type sets for acoustic and electric almost anywhere, and if your local music store doesn't stock some, ask about it.

I use Sweetwater too, excellent seller.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...