#1
Hey!! So basically I have a Crafter acoustic guitar which I really like, but the action is really high for what I like to play. I'd really like to set it up to play as nicely as possible. I was thinking of putting size 9 strings on it, and also lowering the action. I've got two questions concerning this; will size 9 strings sound alright on my acoustic, and also, how can I get my acoustic action as low as possible.

Thanks!
#2
I dont think its possible without getting any sort of fret buzz. Im not an expert, but, if I was in your situation, I'd just take it to your nearest guitar shop and let them check it out.
#3
Quote by BluesRockerEden
Hey!! So basically I have a Crafter acoustic guitar which I really like, but the action is really high for what I like to play. I'd really like to set it up to play as nicely as possible. I was thinking of putting size 9 strings on it, and also lowering the action. I've got two questions concerning this; will size 9 strings sound alright on my acoustic, and also, how can I get my acoustic action as low as possible.

Thanks!

.
Crafter guitars - which are generally very good instruments - usually come set up for acoustic use. It may be possible to lower the action a little more by sanding down the base of the saddle. You can certainly fit 9 gauge strings if you want - lots of people will probably heap scorn on the notion but if you want your guitar to play more like an electric it's a valid option (IIRC the UK string maker Rotosound have an acoustic 9 gauge set). You may need to slacken off the truss rod if you drop to 9's.

Lots of info about DIY set up here: http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/pagelist.html
#4
9s would sound tiny and weak on an acoustic. To an extent an acoustic is a different animal than an electric and so you can't make an electric play like an acoustic without surrendering too much ground. You're trying to make an apple taste like an orange really. That's kind of a common problem that electric guitarists have when switching to acoustic but unfortunately they can't have their cake and eat it, too. Acoustic players have the same problem when going to electric but you can realistically throw heavier strings on an electric whereas you can't realistically throw 9s on an acoustic.

A setup would probably be a benefit but unless your setup is horrible right now you want see the improvement that you are hoping for because it just isn't realistic. As much as you probably don't want to hear this, the only thing to really do is suck it up and learn to deal with heavier, tighter strings and stiffer action.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#5
I agree with Kristen, steel string guitars need some mass and tension in the strings to drive the top and sound good. - But if you are happy with the sound of very light strings, that's OK.

I assume than any guitar, regardless of price, will need a basic set up at the very least - neck relief and saddle height, in that order, maybe also nut height.
#6
Quote by theogonia777
. . . . 9s would sound tiny and weak on an acoustic. . . .

. . . . . whereas you can't realistically throw 9s on an acoustic.. . . . .


Yes, you can realistically fit 9 gauge strings on an acoustic. Yes, the tone will tend a little more to treble and the volume will be a little less than heavier strings but they do work OK. And both D'Addario and Rotosound make 9 gauge acoustic strings specifically intended for electric players.

Here is a very good video comparing strings from Extra Light to Medium gauge. You can hear differences as I've mentioned above but I would not say they are hugely dramatic ones.

#8
Quote by Tony Done
Garthman

I don't think I could ever get on with 9s, but Bert Jansch used 11s to great effect - mostly on a Yamaha L10. I remind myself of this every time I advocate mediums.


I use 10's, 11's and 12's on different guitars. My Recording King ROS-16 has the 12's, my Indie and Eko dreds have 11's and my Crafter dred has 10's. I've tried 11's and 12's on the Crafter but 10's sound best to my ears.
#9
12s is the lightest I've used, and they certainly sound better than 13s on my old L-00, so you have to keep an open mind on string gauges. I've successfully tried nylon strings on a reso, and I think for some genres, like gypsy jazz, skinny strings on a reso could work very well. - The early Maccaferri-Selmer guitars were designed for very light strings.
#11
Quote by TobusRex
I can hardly hear any difference between those strings.


Precisely. You would have expected to hear much more of a difference, wouldn't you? Especially when you read many of the comments made on forums. Just goes to show . . . . .
#12
Quote by Tony Done
12s is the lightest I've used, and they certainly sound better than 13s on my old L-00, so you have to keep an open mind on string gauges. I've successfully tried nylon strings on a reso, and I think for some genres, like gypsy jazz, skinny strings on a reso could work very well. - The early Maccaferri-Selmer guitars were designed for very light strings.


I forgot to mention that I keep my RK guitar tuned down to D standard so those 12s on it have about the tension of 10s LOL

And, like you, I've also successfully replaced steel strings with nylon. I first did it close on 15 years ago on a cheap all-laminate dred. It rapidly became - and still is - my most-played guitar. I've done the same with an old Ovation-type deep-bowl. That guitar has the advantage of a straight-through bridge so I can tie on loop-end nylon strings the same as for a classical. I use high tension sets on both guitars. Between them they account for probably 2/3rds of my playing.