Acoustic Warriors - Give 10 Gauge A Try


JeffS65
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JeffS65
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01/26/2022 8:09 pm

So, after waiting months upon months, my lazy self decided to go ahead and switch my acoustic to a new gauge strings. And I love it!

My Taylor came from the factory with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Mediums (13-56), and I kinda always hated them. They always felt too stiff and were very much broken in (I almost never break strings and these were much, much broken in). Recently, it got to the point where I just didn't really want to play the acoustic.

But, I'd long planned to change to a different gauge but never got around to it. Until last weekend.

I did the swap to Ernie Ball Earthwood Silk and Steel Extra Soft (10, 14, 20, 28, 40, 50). I love these strings. The lighter gauge is so much more enjoyable to play. When you change to a different gauge, you have to make sure you do the proper setup for that guage so I did some very minor truss adjustments and she was ready to roll.

I post this as many folks ask about learning or playing on acoustic. As a player of many decades, It's not that I couldn't play on a heavier gauge string most common on acoustic guiatars, I just no longer wanted to. Something to consider if you take the acoustic path and if you're in the beginning phase, will help a lot. It may require a setup at first but if I had to pay for a setup with the change, I would have been happy to. Fortunately, I can mostly do my own.

Anyway, my thought on that subject.


# 1
mjgodin
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mjgodin
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01/27/2022 1:44 am

Thanks Jeff,

I've used the earthwoods 11's before and really liked them, but haven't tried tens. Right now I'm using daddario's 12 cause they came with the guitar and I'm doing ok with them up to about an hour then my fingers get tired and sore so these are worth a shot. I'm just not comfortable adjusting the truss rod yet, but maybe my next trip into my music store I'll look into it. [br][br]

Moe


# 2
ddiddler
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ddiddler
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01/27/2022 2:25 pm

As a beginner I've used 10-47 on an earlier guitar

I now use a Parlour short scale which came with Elixir 12-53s

I manage Ok and not so confident to drop a gauge on a short scale

I have some d'Addario and John Pearse to try next , both bronze 12-53

I really want to try a mixed set , keeping the 12 but something like 47 as heaviest and spread the range between.

When we talk as beginners it's usually the heavy strings that give us the grief when fretting

Not having any issue with my Faith Naked Mercury

A couple of steps up from my Tanglewood Blackbird which was my beginners acoustic

Any advice around strings for the short scale

Dave


# 3
john of MT
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john of MT
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01/27/2022 4:45 pm

Any comments about the difference in sound noticed from the different gauges?


"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 4
JeffS65
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JeffS65
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01/27/2022 6:25 pm
Originally Posted by: john of MT

Any comments about the difference in sound noticed from the different gauges?

The first caveat I need to state; I went from some old tired strings to new strings, so the sound brightened up nicely. Meaning that could taint my assessment.

That being said, I really like the sound of these strings. Quite a lot. Even when new, the Elixirs I had on the Taylor didn't really do it for me. Like everyone, there's a sound in your head for how you want that something to sound. The Elixir's never did that even with a new set. But, it's what Taylor had on their guitars new so I figured there must be a reason.

Nope...

For lack of a better way to put it, the heavier guage seems a little too heavy and dull sounding. These strings seem to have a bit more life but without being too brassy or ringy. Kinda like they breathe more. More balanced sounding to my old, tinnitus-laden ears anyway.


# 5
john of MT
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john of MT
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01/28/2022 12:47 am

Ahhh... tinnitus. If only my high-fret playing was as consistent and clear.


"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 6
manXcat
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manXcat
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01/28/2022 8:56 am
Originally Posted by: JeffS65

I did the swap to Ernie Ball Earthwood Silk and Steel Extra Soft (10, 14, 20, 28, 40, 50). I love these strings.

[p][br]Ta for the heads up JeffS65. [br][br]Brand and construction material/method matter as much as size IMPE. Personally can't abide Elixir Xxxxweb anything on electric, so never bothered trying them on my acoustics. But we've found common ground in that conversation previously.

Uncoated D'Addario EJ16 .12s are my go to for acoustic. Love 'em, but I might give these a try on my APX600 e-acoustic in .11s out of sheer curiosity. Anything facilitating lighter faster fretting without significant loss of tone is good. Be interested to hear what kind of service life you get from them, the only potential downside I can foresee.


# 7
Vantage06
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Vantage06
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01/28/2022 3:39 pm

When I'm not using D'addarios I use these. The two are my faves and my goto's; esp. the D'addario fresh out of the box. Still a beginner's opinion tho, so.


# 8
Vantage06
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Vantage06
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01/28/2022 4:02 pm

And speaking of beginners...

... I see something about a live lesson from GT on tonite but on YouTube. And I'm wondering if thats something for us Full Access guys? I go to GT at 5PM Pacific? Or Youtube? Anyone. Thanks


# 9
GordonAll
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GordonAll
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01/28/2022 4:11 pm
Originally Posted by: JeffS65

The first caveat I need to state; I went from some old tired strings to new strings, so the sound brightened up nicely. Meaning that could taint my assessment.

That being said, I really like the sound of these strings. Quite a lot. Even when new, the Elixirs I had on the Taylor didn't really do it for me. Like everyone, there's a sound in your head for how you want that something to sound. The Elixir's never did that even with a new set. But, it's what Taylor had on their guitars new so I figured there must be a reason.

Nope...

For lack of a better way to put it, the heavier guage seems a little too heavy and dull sounding. These strings seem to have a bit more life but without being too brassy or ringy. Kinda like they breathe more. More balanced sounding to my old, tinnitus-laden ears anyway.

It must be a tinnitus thing Jeff; I tried a number of Phosphor Bronze gauge options but couldn't get rid of that brassy (almost harsh) sound from the bass strings, eventually switched to silk & Steel (D'Addario EJ40's, 11-47) & fell in love! Got them on my Faith Blood Moon Venus, Washburn D10SCE, & Taylor Mini GS. I thought they might flap about with the lack of tension on the short scale Mini GS but they sound ace, the only (slight) negative I've found with the short scale is holding the tuning - regularly adjusting.

Cheers,

Gordon


# 10
ddiddler
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ddiddler
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01/28/2022 8:01 pm

Vantage

Dave Celentano does a lesson on Thursday, available on GT Facebook page

Mike Olekshy has been doing Friday lesson/workshops for a good while now.

Available to anyone on GT YouTube channel.

Always worth catching. [br]Lasts for one hour , covers skills at all levels

Dave


# 11
Vantage06
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Vantage06
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01/28/2022 9:17 pm

Thank you Dave. I'll catch Mike's tonite then.


# 12
manXcat
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manXcat
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01/28/2022 9:49 pm
Originally Posted by: GordonAll

.switched to silk & Steel (D'Addario EJ40's, 11-47) & fell in love!

Gordon

[br]Wasn't aware of these D'Addario equivalents. Thanks for the pointer finger.

Reading D'Addario's spiel and tonality description though, in reconsideration regardless the feel, the tone and unamplified volume probably won't work for me on the thin cutaway body of the APX where the EJ16s tone excels and is just what I'm wanting. [br][br]Might well given the EJ40s a try out on my Concert acoustic instead of those Ernie Balls in .11s. The downside. Even compared with EJ16s they're pricey in my country single set buy ($25), x2½ times their street price in the USA. Ouch! I've been conditioned to sourcing and buying all my strings in x10 pack bulk for too long. o.O


# 13
GordonAll
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GordonAll
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01/29/2022 5:33 pm
Originally Posted by: manXcat

[br]...Even compared with EJ16s they're pricey in my country single set buy ($25), x2½ times their street price in the USA. Ouch! I've been conditioned to sourcing and buying all my strings in x10 pack bulk for too long. o.O

Not cheap in the UK either, best price over here is usually Amazon @ just under £12 but I prefer to use the local shops (not the big chains), even if it costs a couple of quid more.


# 14

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