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Rick Beato on string gauge

Tom Morris

Power User
been using 10's for 440 for 15 years plus, but I really hate the tension you need for a Floyde Rose with 4 springs. Just found that it was easier to cord without bending out of tune on 10's, not that I'm heavy handed. Three years ago I crushed my left hand in a tree trimming accident and shattered my forth finger tip so 10 are pretty tuff now. Plus with a piezo system as well I don't know I would like 9's. LOL the second photo was a few weeks after when the playing callous peeled off.

fingertip.jpgtipgone.jpg
 

chucma

Power User
been using 10's for 440 for 15 years plus, but I really hate the tension you need for a Floyde Rose with 4 springs. Just found that it was easier to cord without bending out of tune on 10's, not that I'm heavy handed. Three years ago I crushed my left hand in a tree trimming accident and shattered my forth finger tip so 10 are pretty tuff now. Plus with a piezo system as well I don't know I would like 9's. LOL the second photo was a few weeks after when the playing callous peeled off.
My worst nightmare!! That looks very painful!!
 

xX144Xx

Member
I've been using the Ernie Ball 9's for as long as I can remember. The tension feels right, they last a long time...they just do it for me.

I have a 7 string that I always wind up in a dilemma whenever I go to restring it. Apparently the 'heavier is better' mentality rules the marketplace. I don't like the feel of .10's, but I do prefer the heavier bottoms as I tend to tune that guitar a whole step lower. I don't play it very much so it's not a big deal.
 

ak301

Experienced
Any chance of anyone giving a tl:dr version of what Rick was saying? It's like everyone on youtube these days has to stretch a simple 1 or 2 minute point into a full feature length vid.
He preferred the low end 8's gave him when they compared 10's, 9's and 8's.
They recorded 3x different guys (Rick, Rhett Shull and the tech who did all the string changes) playing their own riffs through the same rig and did a listening test at the end
Take away was Rick preferred the 8's
 

ak301

Experienced
Yeah, I'm gonna have to disagree with this. If you use a heavier string, as I do (I like 10s), you need to lower the bass side of your pickups. I used 9s for decades and then switched to 10s when I started the 3-piece band I was in. The fuller low end and less buzz of the 10s was important in that context.

Playing clean or slightly dirty stuff with 9s sounds anemic. Put a set of 10s on and it's powerful and helps fill out the spectrum. The other problem with light strings is when you first hit the strings the thinner strings will deflect more causing fret buzz. The heavier the string the less deflection is needed to cause the same magnetic flux. So I like 10s with high action and big frets. Lots of power and clarity.

Tough on the hands though. Got tendinitis a few times and had to go back to 9s temporarily.
I had this with the amount of typing I was doing at work and when I went up string gauge and string height, preferred the tone

Correct desk posture and this video sorted it
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
My problem with 009s is that I play heavy, and they swing farther out of tune when you bang them. I'll stick with 010s. I'd play 11s if I had the hands. Anyway, the kinds of tonal "issues" we heard in the video are trivial to fix with a Fractal Audio product. In fact, a true apples-to-apples test would be to dial in your best Pre-EQ/Post-EQ for each set of strings then try all string sets on all amp settings.
 
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Rick

Fractal Fanatic
Some guy on the Internet is making everyone question their preferences! Omg we need to all change!
^ This. Like I said, my guitars sounded great before, they sound great now. I might have to change due to the mechanics of getting older one day, but the concept that you’ll cut through better on a recording or stage because you dropped or added .001 to a string is a little silly to me. The thickness of pick you use, or don’t, is likely to have at least as much effect. This is ”getting lost in the weeds.”
 
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Warrior

Power User
Used 10's for years. Switched to hybrid 9-46 and loved them for years. I started to feel like the 9 was a bit too loose so I went back to standard 10's and found them too stiff and realized how much I liked the feel of the 9 on the high E.

I bought a set of 9.5-46 to try but haven't done so yet.

IMO, there are so many variables that it's really not valid to state a certain gauge string will or won't produce a given result for another player (within certain parameters of course). Yngwie uses 8's and he can conjure tones that would knock your face off. Eddie uses 9's and we all know how that has worked out.

Now those gauges wouldn't work for Stevie Ray Vaughan because he developed his style around using heavy gauge strings. But I would bet he could have adapted to a lighter gauge with little perceived difference to most players and probably none to general listeners.

I would think we could all agree we can feel/hear a difference between brands of the same gauge so that adds even more fuel to the "discussion".

We'll spend all day arguing about how "tone is in the fingers" when discussing amps and how to achieve certain tonal characteristics. I would say the same argument applies to strings. I think there's an overlap of string gauges that will work equally well to achieve a certain tone just as there's an overlap of certain amp types that will achieve a certain tone - all in the right hands.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
I started out with 9s, went up to 10s and really high action during my "blues phase". After a wrist injury in my fretting hand, I went back to 9s. Honestly, I prefer the sound of 9s. You can manipulate the string much more. There are certain things, like wide vibrato and major third bends, that just don't work the same way on 10s. Some of the attitude is gone. Also, legato on 9s vs 10s sounds better. The notes "glue" together in a more pleasing way.

I use 13s on acoustic nowadays, but there is no bending there, and it's actually easier on the right hand when crosspicking.
 

Kamil Kisiel

Power User
My problem with 009s is that I play heavy, and they swing farther out of tune when you bang them. I'll stick with 010s. I'd play 11s if I had the hands. Anyway, the kinds of tonal "issues" we heard in the video are trivial to fix with a Fractal Audio product. In fact, a true apples-to-apples test would be to dial in your best Pre-EQ/Post-EQ for each set of strings then try all string sets on all amp settings.
Exactly. I was actually surprised they chose the 8s as the best sounding on their setup, to my ears they had very little meat to the low end and riffs played on the 6th string. I thought the 10s sounded the best with their settings.
 
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bjjp2

Experienced
I play much better with lighter strings (9s or sometimes 8s) and for me that outweighs any other considerations.
 

shemihazazel

Fractal Fanatic
13-56 with wound 3rd. I downtune to C# and I'm never going back to a plain 3rd. Anything lighter is a floppy nightmare of fret buzz and wildly out of tune notes when I'm playing on 24.75 scale guitars.
 

Vinny Boombatz

Inspired
Set up guitar for 9s, EQ amp for 9s, compare different gauge strings and ... 9s win. Imagine that.
That's why they make blank nuts, and dials on the guitars and amps.
 

lyricbread

Experienced
My problem with 009s is that I play heavy, and they swing farther out of tune when you bang them. I'll stick with 010s.
This. I choose my string gauges based on this and this alone. I fret and pick hard. Yes, I could relearn 30 years of fretting and picking habits, but’s it’s much more easier to just use 10’s. Is there a difference in tone between different gauges? Of course. But it definitely isn’t as obvious on an electric as it is on an acoustic instrument.

The only time I deviate from 10’s is on shorter scale guitars or when I’m tuning down. I adjust gauges accordingly to reach the tension of a set of 10’s tuned to standard.
 

jefferski

Fractal Fanatic
I could care less that Rick says "you should..." do something. It's just the internet. As a group, we (experienced guitarists and well-informed FAS users) aren't exactly his target demographic. But if he makes people think about their choices, that's a good thing - for example, all the people who just go "I've got thicker strings than you bro." And it's good to know that if you do need to play thinner strings due to tendinitis, etc, you can still get good tone.

For that matter, I could *barely hear a difference anyway, although it probably was more noticeable in person, without youtube processing. Also agree that it's easier to hear on an acoustic - my Taylor is very different compared to the stock 12s. And yea... a little pre-eq would keep the amp from flubbing too much when you hit the distortion w/ those 11s.
 
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