#1
Hey guys I just got some 12 gauge strings, but my guitar was previously set up for 10. Now that I have the strings on im realizing im going to need quite a bit of adjustment specifically in my action. I play a lot of lower tunings so what is a good action height to start out with. I am completely out of my depth on this stuff im completely new to it so anything helps really.
#2
What brand and model of guitar?
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#3
hell on earth 12 gauge will rip the bridge out of your guitar, even if you have an electric, I used 12 gauge on a BC rich warlock with a tune o matic and the bridge ripped clean out.
#4
Quote by 094568029434geo
hell on earth 12 gauge will rip the bridge out of your guitar, even if you have an electric, I used 12 gauge on a BC rich warlock with a tune o matic and the bridge ripped clean out.


Not with a lowered tuning. The strings are more slack then. It's common to use >10 gauge strings for that type of stuff..
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#5
Hopefully if your guitar is of reasonable quality 12 gauge strings will not rip your bridge out in E standard. The guitar will just not like it too much, depending on the quality and setup etc. and you might wear your components down quicker. In fact you may be busting strings before you can even tune up to E standard.

With drop tunings you'll be fine. There are measurements for string action but depending upon your professionalism, playing nice and sounding nice is all you need to worry about. I imagine that your lower strings will be flopping on the fretboard a bit, so you may need to give them a bit of clearance so you do not get a lot of fret buzz.
Last edited by Will Lane at Apr 23, 2016,
#8
Quote by 094568029434geo
hell on earth 12 gauge will rip the bridge out of your guitar, even if you have an electric, I used 12 gauge on a BC rich warlock with a tune o matic and the bridge ripped clean out.


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#9
Quote by 094568029434geo
hell on earth 12 gauge will rip the bridge out of your guitar, even if you have an electric, I used 12 gauge on a BC rich warlock with a tune o matic and the bridge ripped clean out.

I use 12's on a P90 tele tuned to open e which is higher than standard and have no problems at all. Perhaps you just had a shit guitar. Oh wait - BC Rich Warlock - wtf do you expect? If 12's pull out the bridge don't blame the strings.
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#10
Quote by 094568029434geo
hell on earth 12 gauge will rip the bridge out of your guitar, even if you have an electric, I used 12 gauge on a BC rich warlock with a tune o matic and the bridge ripped clean out.

Less a problem with the gauge of string and more a problem with the fact that it's a BC Rich buddy.
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#11
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#12
Good chance you may to adjust your truss rod as well. Action is a matter of preference so you should set it as high or low as you like. But do make sure these strings fit properly in the nut.
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Apr 24, 2016,
#13
Quote by danrterry2
Hey guys I just got some 12 gauge strings, but my guitar was previously set up for 10. Now that I have the strings on im realizing im going to need quite a bit of adjustment specifically in my action. I play a lot of lower tunings so what is a good action height to start out with. I am completely out of my depth on this stuff im completely new to it so anything helps really.


If you liked your action when you had 10's on the guitar, set it up for the same action.
Try starting with action no higher than 4/64ths (bottom of the largest string to the top of the fret) on the bass side and 3/64ths on the treble side at the 12th fret. That's not *really* low action (I have guitars that are 4/64ths at the 24th fret with no buzzing).

The lower you go, the more important it is that you have absolutely level frets and an accurately adjusted truss rod. If you don't know much about this ("out of my depth") I suggest picking up a book called "How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great" by Dan Erlewine. It's about $15-20 on Amazon. Probably the best money you'll spend on your guitar, ever.

StewMac sells an action gauge that will help you accurately set your action height:


#14
Quote by 094568029434geo
hell on earth 12 gauge will rip the bridge out of your guitar, even if you have an electric, I used 12 gauge on a BC rich warlock with a tune o matic and the bridge ripped clean out.

Bullshit. Anything that isn't made of plywood can handle 12s in standard. I've done it on a basswood Jag and an ash Tele and nothing budged (not to mention that acoustics are very often strung with 12s).

Quote by Will Lane
The guitar will just not like it too much, depending on the quality and setup etc. [...] In fact you may be busting strings before you can even tune up to E standard.

Also bullshit (at least as far as any guitar worth more than about £100 is concerned), but bullshit that falls within the bounds of reasonably sensible speculation. With a less stable neck there's almost certainly truss rod adjustment to be done, and the usual setup, of course. Besides that you're golden.

Quote by Will Lane
and you might wear your components down quicker.

True. My experience is that frets tend to suffer somewhat from bigger strings, but since I keep to E standard about 95% of the time I don't know whether that depends on tension or if it'll still be the case for bigger strings at a lower tuning to give roughly the same tension.

Quote by Will Lane
There are measurements for string action but depending upon your professionalism, playing nice and sounding nice is all you need to worry about. I imagine that your lower strings will be flopping on the fretboard a bit, so you may need to give them a bit of clearance so you do not get a lot of fret buzz.

Yeah, personally I think if you're setting up your own guitars the action is best done by incremental adjustment and trying it, since the two things which matter about it - feel and sound - can both be observed directly.
Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Apr 24, 2016,
#15
Quote by K33nbl4d3

Yeah, personally I think if you're setting up your own guitars the action is best done by incremental adjustment and trying it, since the two things which matter about it - feel and sound - can both be observed directly.


All true based on your experiential level.
OTOH, the TS is unfamiliar with any of this, and having a measured place to start from will probably serve him better.
#16
Quote by danrterry2
Hey guys I just got some 12 gauge strings, but my guitar was previously set up for 10. Now that I have the strings on im realizing im going to need quite a bit of adjustment specifically in my action. I play a lot of lower tunings so what is a good action height to start out with. I am completely out of my depth on this stuff im completely new to it so anything helps really.


What tuning do you intend to play? You might require slight truss rod adjustment and some bridge height adjustment at max. Don't set the neck flat and straight like a laser pointer. Make sure to leave a very slight bow between the 7th and 9th frets to allow the strings to vibrate freely. This will ensure that you don't encounter buzz even when you pick harder or softer.

Standard norms state .9s for E, .10s for D#, 11s for D, 12s for C# and so on. I personally use 10s for D standard and 11s for Drop C tuning. I sometimes use Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Slinky for Drop tunings depending on my guitar setup.

Quote by 094568029434geo
hell on earth 12 gauge will rip the bridge out of your guitar, even if you have an electric, I used 12 gauge on a BC rich warlock with a tune o matic and the bridge ripped clean out.


Strings are the weakest thing on a guitar. The strings should have snapped and not the bridge.

Hell, SRV used to play .13s on 1/2 step down (D#/Eb) tuning on his Strats. And he still did those big ass bends on Texas Flood.
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Last edited by sigma005 at Apr 26, 2016,