#1
Ok i have been searching for this EVERYWHERE and can not find anything. I know i can do this but is it worth doing or is this just crazy talk... can i string a guitar with LIGHT BOTTOM / HEAVY TOP    Yes i said light bottom and heavy top as in a 13 for the high e and so forth for the g and b BUT like around a 52 give or take for the low E and so on with the A and D? 

NOT HEAVY BOTTOM LIGHT TOP!  I know they have sets for that everywhere. 


Is this a good idea bad idea? Or should i have my drinking water checked for chemicals that could be making me brain dead....   
i think what my initial idea was, was that i like the high crisp lower tones but also like my g b and high e string no not be as high of a tone... 

I haven't found anyone that has done this so im thinking there is a very obvious reason why.. but if im not crazy i was thinking of buying a medium set and probably just buying singles for the b and high e in a larger gauge....? 

Thoughts?

and sure wtf throw in opinions on string brands keeping in mind im looking for crisp sounds the crisper the better!
#3
vayne92  basically can i use strings from a "light set" for my E A D G strings but at the same time use strings from a "medium" set of strings for my B and high e?  Or is the guitar going to have problems? Or not sound right?
#4
So you mean could you use lets say .13, .16, .16, .24, .32, .42 or something ? If I'm understanding correctly then I mean sure you could.. I don't see why you would want to though. It would create a weird inconsistency in the string tension which I can't imagine being very nice to play.
Last edited by vayne92 at Aug 9, 2017,
#5
vayne92  i mean yeah about that. I'd probably not double up on. The .16 but yeah...  i mean im not to worried on feel more so as the soun d it'd produce i guess..
#6
Is this just for the sake of tone? There's absolutely nothing stopping you but I suspect you will find the results unsatisfactory.

If you really mean 13-52 as you say in the first post, it shouldn't feel too weird, just heavy across the board. However, the tonal difference, while it might just about be noticeable, is not going to get you the sound you hear in your head.

If you want light light strings on the bass side, like 42 or 46 or whatever, that is going to feel weird. It might sound different, but again probably not as much as you'd hope.

The likely reason nobody (well, probably somebody at some point, but nearly nobody) has ever done this is that in terms of feel it's pretty much the opposite of what you want - it means strings too heavy to fret more easily (or to bend, if you're into that) on the top and strings too light to pick heavily on the bottom, and because in general a balanced set feels more natural to play on.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Aug 9, 2017,
#8
Quote by Will Lane
I don't get why people use 12 or 13's at all on acoustics. 11's and 10's are much easier to play and they do not bend the guitar into a ranged weapon.


It's interesting you say that because an old old guitar teacher of mine specifically recommended i use 12-54s and not 11-52 instead. It's been a while now so I forget the exact reasoning but it was something along the lines of getting a fuller sound and it being good to train your fingers on something harder because it will make everything in the future easier. I didn't take his advice for very long though haha. F#ck 12-54 on acoustic
#9
vayne92 hahahaha lmao some old fart eh? I was more curious about the sound and less of the "this will make you better" aspect lol 
#10
Quote by Will Lane
I don't get why people use 12 or 13's at all on acoustics. 11's and 10's are much easier to play and they do not bend the guitar into a ranged weapon.
Because you can strum them harder* and get more volume out of them without the low strings doing that horrible wavering out of tune thing. To the inverse question - "Why do electric guitarists use such wimpy strings?" - the answer is that with electronic amplification the guitarist no longer needs to worry about the amount of volume they're producing themselves, so they can prioritise other things.

*This is not only good sound-wise, but is also more fun.

As far as "bending the guitar into a ranged weapon", you'd have to have a really shitty guitar or abuse it really badly in some absurd ways for that to happen. No guitar that's even halfway to being a real, playable instrument is going to have any trouble dealing with a six string 13-56 set. This statement kind of annoys me because it really is pure bullshit. Please stick to real information you have some basis for.

As far as 11s and 10s being much easier to play, first of all stop being such a pussy, second of all, the serious answer is that it's not that simple. For one thing, once you actually know how to play a guitar (i.e. beyond the beginner stage when a lot of people swear off heavy or even medium strings), it doesn't actually take all that much work to get used to heavier strings. There's a limit to that, of course. Mine was 12-54 on electric because while I could do it, profuse bending did nasty things to my fingers and left me feeling that it was probably not in my best long-term interests. Maybe if I had more practice time each day I could get used to it, but I don't so I couldn't. On acoustic, 12s are fine because there's not really much bending to be done. And I'm pretty wimpy, physically speaking. I'm sure you could manage if you gave it a shot. That's not to say you should, if you're happy with what you've got that's fine, but since you're talking about why other people do things... Beyond that, there are things which heavier strings actually make easier. Left hand muting, for example, is easier to do consistently because you don't have to worry so much about accidentally fretting a note you're trying to mute, and I find it's also easier for picking because the strings remain where they're meant to be when I pick them rather than being pulled along with my pick unless I treat them like the cobweb home of my best friend who recently turned into a spider in an unfortunate witchcraft-related accident.

So... That's why.
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#11
Quote by camcam1144
vayne92 hahahaha lmao some old fart eh? I was more curious about the sound and less of the "this will make you better" aspect lol 


Actually he was I think 28 or so at the time and he's still the best local acoustic player I've seen here in Western Australia. That bastard sure knew how to play..
#12
Quote by camcam1144
Ok i have been searching for this EVERYWHERE and can not find anything. I know i can do this but is it worth doing or is this just crazy talk.


I'm not sure if it's worth doing or why you'd want to do it.

You can get guitars that were designed from the outset to have less bottom end with standard string sets; that's easy.
#13
It's quite feasible, but most go the other way if they want to change the balance from that of a typical string set, light treble, heavy bass. - Which is what is usually called light top heavy bottom, as it refers to pitch, not location. - to get a relatively strong bass with easier fretting on the treble strings.

This old fart uses 13-56. Most American-style large body guitars are designed to work best with fairly heavy strings, insofar as they are designed at all.
Last edited by Tony Done at Aug 9, 2017,
#14
Quote by Tony Done
This old fart uses 13-56. Most American-style large body guitars are designed to work best with fairly heavy strings, insofar as they are designed at all.
Yeah, my little old Guild with its 00-style body sounded sweet with 11s. My 17"-across Epiphone archtop, by contrast, has a pretty pronounced step up between pretty much nothing and when the top really gets moving, and wussy strings won't get it up that step consistently.
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#15
Quote by Tony Done


This old fart uses 13-56. Most American-style large body guitars are designed to work best with fairly heavy strings, insofar as they are designed at all.


I had to double check, but I've always used the same old 12-gauge Martin Bronzewounds on everything acoustic.
#16
dspellman 

I use 12s on one guitar, my very old Gibson, for both mechanical and tonal reasons, but during my musically formative years, the mid-60s, heavy strings were the norm, and I've got used to their feel and sound. It would be interesting to know the relative numbers of acoustic string gauges sold. I would guess that 12s are the most popular, but a lot of folks these days seem to treat acoustics as "hollow electrics" and use lighter gauges. 

Some steel strings, eg, the Selmer Maccaferris were designed for very light strings, but they aren't typical.
#17
Contrary to what vayne92 said I encourage beginners to use light strings at the start and move up to heavier gauges.  The concept works along the idea of keeping things easy for them at the outset so they don't get discouraged and give up.
As far as the OP's question, no problem at all with a heavy top, light bottom.  If you like it, fine, if not, fine, you can always experiment.
#18
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Because you can strum them harder* and get more volume out of them without the low strings doing that horrible wavering out of tune thing. To the inverse question - "Why do electric guitarists use such wimpy strings?" - the answer is that with electronic amplification the guitarist no longer needs to worry about the amount of volume they're producing themselves, so they can prioritise other things.

*This is not only good sound-wise, but is also more fun.

As far as "bending the guitar into a ranged weapon", you'd have to have a really shitty guitar or abuse it really badly in some absurd ways for that to happen. No guitar that's even halfway to being a real, playable instrument is going to have any trouble dealing with a six string 13-56 set. This statement kind of annoys me because it really is pure bullshit. Please stick to real information you have some basis for.

As far as 11s and 10s being much easier to play, first of all stop being such a pussy, second of all, the serious answer is that it's not that simple. For one thing, once you actually know how to play a guitar (i.e. beyond the beginner stage when a lot of people swear off heavy or even medium strings), it doesn't actually take all that much work to get used to heavier strings. There's a limit to that, of course. Mine was 12-54 on electric because while I could do it, profuse bending did nasty things to my fingers and left me feeling that it was probably not in my best long-term interests. Maybe if I had more practice time each day I could get used to it, but I don't so I couldn't. On acoustic, 12s are fine because there's not really much bending to be done. And I'm pretty wimpy, physically speaking. I'm sure you could manage if you gave it a shot. That's not to say you should, if you're happy with what you've got that's fine, but since you're talking about why other people do things... Beyond that, there are things which heavier strings actually make easier. Left hand muting, for example, is easier to do consistently because you don't have to worry so much about accidentally fretting a note you're trying to mute, and I find it's also easier for picking because the strings remain where they're meant to be when I pick them rather than being pulled along with my pick unless I treat them like the cobweb home of my best friend who recently turned into a spider in an unfortunate witchcraft-related accident.

So... That's why.




 
Last edited by Will Lane at Aug 9, 2017,
#19
Quote by skido13
Contrary to what vayne92 said I encourage beginners to use light strings at the start and move up to heavier gauges.  The concept works along the idea of keeping things easy for them at the outset so they don't get discouraged and give up.
As far as the OP's question, no problem at all with a heavy top, light bottom.  If you like it, fine, if not, fine, you can always experiment.


So there!