#1
So I recently upgraded from a peavey raptor I, to a American Standard Strat. Huge jump. The strat only cost me 600 too! a steal. But I had a question about the string gauges. I realize it comes stock with 9 gauge strings and it plays like a dream with them. Im used to 11's on my old guitar, but the Fender manual says changing gauges will cause some difference in playability or somthin like that. I dont really have the cash to get it set up if somthin goes wrong and I REALLY dont want to screw up this guitar. Its freakin gorgeous So what do you guys recomend doing?
My Rig:
Fender American Strat w/ texas specials
Martin DX1
Blueridge Br73
1968 Domino Californian
Stagg bass
2006 Fender hot rod deluxe
Gretsch Electromatic compact amp
among others
#3
Change the string guages anyway, it's going to be worth it if you realize that you play better and your guitar sounds more full with the heavier/thicker strings. Just my opinion, you should just try everything out.

Have you got it set up yet? Before I mean? Well, if you get the money, I reccomend in doing so...


By the way, nice price on the guitar man! Pics?
Co-Founder of the Orange Revolution Club


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-Fulltone OCD
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-Larrivee D-03R
#4
If you change string gauges, I would add at least one more spring to the trem block. Then be sure to adjust the height of the bridge. You should do these before to adjust the truss rod, which is the final and step.
#6
sure ill put up a pic but i dont know how lol. Gimme a quick pic overview and ill put it up. thanks
My Rig:
Fender American Strat w/ texas specials
Martin DX1
Blueridge Br73
1968 Domino Californian
Stagg bass
2006 Fender hot rod deluxe
Gretsch Electromatic compact amp
among others
#7

Her names kitty and she plays like a fukin dream man
My Rig:
Fender American Strat w/ texas specials
Martin DX1
Blueridge Br73
1968 Domino Californian
Stagg bass
2006 Fender hot rod deluxe
Gretsch Electromatic compact amp
among others
#8


It's beautiful man! Great stuff.
Co-Founder of the Orange Revolution Club


-Esp/Ltd Ec-1000 w/ BKP Mules
-2-channel Titan
-Oversized Bogner 2x12 Cabinet
-Fulltone OCD
-RMC Picture Wah
-T.C. Electronic Nova Delay
-Larrivee D-03R
#10
Quote by psycadelicart

Her names kitty and she plays like a fukin dream man


Congrats! Beautiful guitar.

As for the strings, it should be fine.
#11
nice guitar man. super sexy. im lovin the color
[IMG]http://img398.imageshack.us/img398/9148/dawhip005jf4.jpg[/IMG]

Quote by SuperSamuraiGuy
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JCM900 FOR SELL!
#12
pro setup for a gauge jump that big
2006 Fender Deluxe Players Strat w/ Stephens Design Mojo pickups
Gibson SG Special
Carvin DC727 w/ Bareknuckle Nailbomb 7 and CWP 7
Mesa Boogie Mark IV head
Mesa Boogie 2x12 Cab MC90/EV200w

VP of Carvin Club but call me Il Duce
#13
try to get used to the lighter string gauge on the strat.. they sound better.. if u really find it hard to play and really need to get strings.. have it set up.. other wise ur neck will get screwed up for sure..
#14
Quote by TylerCasket
try to get used to the lighter string gauge on the strat.. they sound better.. if u really find it hard to play and really need to get strings.. have it set up.. other wise ur neck will get screwed up for sure..

No, Fender necks are strong. If it's not set up, chances are the action will just be really high, like mine. I don't think that the nut is cut right for 10s, and definitely not 11s.

Get a new nut cut for 11s, preferably made of graphite or some other friction reducing materials (LSR roller nuts are supposed to be good too). When I first got my strat, I loved it to death, but hated the tuning problems. So that should help a lot. Locking tuners would help even more so. Getting it set up professionally should help a lot also, but it's not something that you couldn't do yourself.
#15
Quote by banjo1735
No, Fender necks are strong. If it's not set up, chances are the action will just be really high, like mine. I don't think that the nut is cut right for 10s, and definitely not 11s.

Get a new nut cut for 11s, preferably made of graphite or some other friction reducing materials (LSR roller nuts are supposed to be good too). When I first got my strat, I loved it to death, but hated the tuning problems. So that should help a lot. Locking tuners would help even more so. Getting it set up professionally should help a lot also, but it's not something that you couldn't do yourself.



yea. he pretty much got it. i recommend getting one or two more springs for the tremolo, since the 11 gauge would cause more tension, but u don't want really high action like an acoustic (thats an assumption). personally for me, i don't use the tremolo so i just took out the bar, and put in a block of wood to block the tremolo from moving.
Call me "Shot".

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#16
10's should be fine. 11's - maybe not - go buy a pair and put them on and see - don't take this ^ guys word for it. Would you take your car in to a shop to change a flat tire - if the answer is yes then don't mess with the guitar. If not I don't understand why you would need a pro to set it up. If the extra tension raises the string action, why do you need a pro to add an extra spring or two or lower the saddles?? If the neck bows (which I don't think it would) couldn't you find the proper allen wrench and give it a quarter of a turn and check?? It's not rocket science and there are plenty of websites dedicated to step by step DIY guitar projects. I don't ever use the tremolo and put in two extra springs to lock it down to the body and with 10-46 it plays awesome. Its a MIM and I play the shit out of it and it always amazes me how good it stays in tune so I don't know where all these tuning problems come from - maybe the extra springs help.
#17
Stevie Ray Vaughn used 13's on his strat and it was just fine. Also, being a ex-owner of a american strat, just go to a pro and get it set up. As long as you dont change the string guages, a setup needs to be done once or twice a year. A pro setup costs like $50. If you are in the san jose area, I know a guy who does it for $35 and he does an incredible job. Dont waste your time reading websites and stuff and messing up your guitar. i mess up my guitar a lot but regret a lot too. I can never get it to match a pro's setup. If you have a cheap guitar, that's one thing. But a expensive guitar really shows its true colors with a great setup.

cheers!

Grrr:
Peavey 5150 head
Marshall 1936 Lead 2x12 Cab
'06 Jackson SLSMG
Dean Hardtail Select
ISP Decimator
Planet waves tuner
Weber Mini Mass
Ibanez Delay & Chorus


time is like a fuse; short and burning fast -- James Hetfield
#18
Wouldn't a pro just set it up to their own personal preferences? But to each his own. I guess I look at it like if I get it done by someone else every year, I'll never be able to do it myself. I want to be able to set up my own guitar at least as well as the local guys. I mean pro may be an overstatement - it's not like we all live down the street from Eric Claptons tech. The only way to gain experience is to just get in there and do it yourself. Expensive guitar or not - unless you're doing something that can damage the guitar, take some time and learn how to maintain and make it your own and not rely on someone else.
#19
When you go from 9's to 11's there's much more tension on the neck and trem. The trem will pull up and the neck will bow. Both can be adjusted out though, you could go to www.projectguitar.com and learn how to do it yourself or you can take it to a shop and have a tech do it for you.

Pros/tech don't set it up like they like it unless you ask them to. You give some basic info like string gauge, action, and pickup output and they make the appropriate adjustments. Normally this would run about $80.
It's a fine line between clever and stupid.
#20
Here's the thing:

It's impossible to tell how a guitar react until you make the change. And Strats are incredibly user friendly - anything that would be done in a "pro setup," you can do yourself. It's not rocket science, you won't ruin your guitar if you respect the fact that it's not indestructable, and you only need a few simple tools. The guitar won't have any problem handling .11s.

Congrats on your purchase, BTW.
Hi, I'm Peter
Last edited by Dirk Gently at Jan 24, 2007,
#21
its not the question of ruining the guitar or not! Its the question of how much you can get out of a good instrument. if it was a squier, I would say, do all the experiment you want! But with a american strat, when you paid top dollar for it, I say, get it setup to top-notch so you can get the best sound! but if this is your only guitar, then go ahead and experiment with it like the others said. Who knows, you might get it just right like the tech's and make it sound excellent. Good luck!!

Grrr:
Peavey 5150 head
Marshall 1936 Lead 2x12 Cab
'06 Jackson SLSMG
Dean Hardtail Select
ISP Decimator
Planet waves tuner
Weber Mini Mass
Ibanez Delay & Chorus


time is like a fuse; short and burning fast -- James Hetfield
#22
My strat I ungraded to 10s and took about an hour setting it up perfect after. I think 11s would be a bit of a tight fit in the nut, I used 11s on my squier but 10s on the Fender as they play amazingly on it! Nice colour btw.
My Gear :
Fender American Strat in Metallic Red
EHX Big Muff
Boss ME-50
Boss SD-1
Fender 15 Watt Amp (Upgrade soon to a Marshall )
Red Furry guitar strap

John Frusciante - The Greatest Guitarist EVER
#23
thanks everybody. Ive decided to stick with either 10s or 9s i suppose. And to the replies about the color, Guitar center had a HUGE price drop (like 500 off) because, get this, THEY HAD TOO MANY BLUE ONES. I was like jeez I think ill take the blue one instead of paying 500 extra for a different color lol. Thanks everyone.

P.S Ive never had a guitar professionally set up before. What exactly do they do?
My Rig:
Fender American Strat w/ texas specials
Martin DX1
Blueridge Br73
1968 Domino Californian
Stagg bass
2006 Fender hot rod deluxe
Gretsch Electromatic compact amp
among others
#24
^ Make sure the neck has the proper amount of relief, make sure the action is where you want it (and still have the notes sound clearly), set the intonation, adjust pickup height so your sound is balanced (adjusting pole pieces, if necessary/able to), things like that. It's all stuff you can do yourself.
Hi, I'm Peter
#25
When I changed to 10s, I changed the tension of the tremolo (screwing it in more) and the neck curve a little (half a turn I think). It basically followed the book that came with it (you'll need feeler gauges and a good ruler). Took about an hour but now it plays so smoothly its unbelievable. Yeh, so take your time when you set it up for 10s (when I had 9s I broke 3 strings in a day!) and it'll be amazing - if you're unsure of anything taking it to a pro is the safest route. And that blue with maple fretboard is so sweet, makes me want another strat.

About pickup height; if you set it up perfectly, exactly the way its supposed to be with 9s but with 10s, you wont need to change the pickup height at all. Man Im lovin that blue
My Gear :
Fender American Strat in Metallic Red
EHX Big Muff
Boss ME-50
Boss SD-1
Fender 15 Watt Amp (Upgrade soon to a Marshall )
Red Furry guitar strap

John Frusciante - The Greatest Guitarist EVER
#26
A strat can handle 11's. You will need to adjust the truss rod, trem, intonation and nut. Excepting widening the nut slots, you can do all of these adjustments yourself, with some patience that is.

It sounds as though you like the set up it currently has. Before you restring take some basic measurements:

Check the neck relief: capo the strings at the first fret and depress the low e
string at the last fret. Then, using a feeler guage, measure the
gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the 7th fret.
Do the same for the high e string and write the measurements down.

Measure how high the back of the bridge is floating off of the body of the guitar.

Now restring the guitar

Adjust the truss rod (you will have to tighten it: turn the truss rod nut clockwise)
until it returns to your original measurement.

Tighten the screws that hold the spring-anchor
until the bridge returns back to its original position (retune the
guitar as you tighten the spring-anchor screws as the string tension
will increase as you tighten the screws). If you want more springs
you should add those springs before adjusting the trem.

Intonate: The link below is intonating a musicman bass but it's the same
basic principle. Be sure that all saddles are set so the intonation
is sharp to begin with and make sure the machine screws which
adjust the intonation are secure against the back of the bridge.
You want your final intonation adjustments to be made by
tightening the screws, this will ensure that the intonation will not
change due to movement in the intonating mechanism. Here's
how I do that: http://fingerlakesguitarrepair.com/pages/repair-descriptions/set-up/musicman-sting-ray-bass-set-up.php

Unfortunately, widening the nut slots should be done by your local repair tech
as this job is most easily done with nut slotting files. You could
adjust it yourself with an exacto saw but it's not worth the risk
as a new nut is not necessarily cheap.

Here's how I set up a strat: http://fingerlakesguitarrepair.com/pages/repair-descriptions/set-up/1993-strat-set-up.php

Good luck!