Using .008's

Discussion about guitar playing from a diverse group of people with different tastes and levels of experience.
Crow
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Re: Using .008's

Post by Crow » May 31st, 2012, 3:01 pm

racetruck1 wrote:I've also gone from a tight action to one thats a bit high. I get a better tone and less "undesirables" aka fret buzz and fretting out. I'm not a speed freak and I pay more attention to the nuances of the ringing note while it rings. My personal faves right now are 13s when I can find them or 12s if I can't, for both acoustic and electric.

I've also gone from thin necks to thicker necks also, I can't actually say why for sure but that's what I've ended up with. I'm not a fan of Fender necks for this reason, I lean more towards Gibby "baseball necks", they fill my hands better. JMHO....

If not gigging, rarely change strings, when gigging, change after every venue. If I'm payed to play it is just good respect to the listener to have everything as perfect as possible, after all, I feel they are just putting up with me! :roll:
A man after my own heart. 8)

I think a lot of this stuff is about what you're used to. I grew up with a cheap acoustic with barbed-wire action & didn't even know you could change strings.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

TRGuitar
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Re: Using .008's

Post by TRGuitar » June 2nd, 2012, 7:40 am

http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... art_1.aspx

Interesting article on the subject.
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Crow
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Re: Using .008's

Post by Crow » June 2nd, 2012, 8:54 am

The article sets out to debunk...
...the mantra, myth, truth, cliché—whatever you want to call it—in strings: heavier is better. Surely, heavy strings produce better tone. And, surely, only a great player will be able to handle the thicks. So, it follows that if I play heavy strings I am great.
And nobody with any brains over the age of 13 would draw that conclusion. Certainly nobody here is saying you can't play great without heavy strings. If anything, those of us who play fatties are an eccentric minority, and we know it.

Interesting rundown of who plays what. Otherwise a load of rubbish.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

Cat
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Re: Using .008's

Post by Cat » June 2nd, 2012, 4:00 pm

I agree with Crow...

It's like hunting, I guess. Squirrel needs a .22 and rhino a 45/70. It depends upon what you want out of the end product.

(Quite a lot of acton on this thread! Cool!)

Cat
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cantankerousd
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Re: Using .008's

Post by cantankerousd » June 3rd, 2012, 10:54 am

I use EB super slinkys on all of my guitars. 9-42's. It just makes it easier to buy strings. When I am at my local music store, I buy a couple sets of strings and a couple of single 10 guage strings. When (not if) I break a high E string, (due to thinking that I am Johnny winter and love bends and vibrato) I replace it with a 10, therefore increasing the life of a set of strings. It works for me!!
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Crow
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Re: Using .008's

Post by Crow » June 3rd, 2012, 11:10 am

Cat wrote:I agree with Crow...
...which makes me nervous :lol:
It's like hunting, I guess. Squirrel needs a .22 and rhino a 45/70. It depends upon what you want out of the end product.
Right. There is no single load for every target. Anything more than a .22 will give you instant squirrel hash; anything less than 45/70 gives you a very angry rhino. I've heard what Cat can do with .008s -- they suit his style perfectly, and he makes them dance. I couldn't do that, but then I wouldn't care to, because that is not my style (if in fact I have a style). String-bending is just not part of my vocabulary, beyond the occasional half-step nudge around the middle of the fretboard, and I'm fine with that. This is strictly about personal taste.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

racetruck1
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Re: Using .008's

Post by racetruck1 » June 3rd, 2012, 12:04 pm

Time to throw a new monkey wrench in!

Is there such a thing as a standard "span" between all the strings in a pack in relation to the guages? I noticed some players like to make up their own sets while others just go with the flow and use a pack the way they come. Cantankerousd waits for his .009 to break and replaces it with a .010 for longer life of the whole set. I know mass has a lot to do with the way a string acts and also with the tension of the tuned string. Is there a formula or tradition in determining how a set is set up? Or is it just set up by the average tension? Or "feel"? I know you need the greater mass of the lower strings for better bass response, (slowing the vibration of the plucked string in lower notes due to their mass?) Is it really critical to get this ratio right or can you go overboard on this and just pick out any guages as long as they are greater than the higher ones in the upper register?

I noticed that the range of one of my favorite set in relation to TENSION is about 28 lbs for the high E to a maximum of 35 lbs for the A string with the low E slightly less due to a smaller diameter core. Does this mean that string mass is the only real important determinant in setting up a set? I'm obviously assuming a well built and set up instrument.

Start cursing me and discuss! :twisted:
When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming......
like the passengers in his car.

Cat
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Re: Using .008's

Post by Cat » June 3rd, 2012, 1:51 pm

I guess I'm responsible for the thread and need to chime in...after over a thousand reads by GNers.

First off...Race...HOW the ^&%$%^ do you know the weighted tension on your strings? :shock: :? :? :? I am in total awe...as are the rest of the world!

But, okay, personal taste aside, there is a big correlation between mass and tone. Yer spot on about that, matey. For those of us that "live" playing directly through the board and out through great phones (as well as the monitors) there isn't a more discerning way to hear your own playing. (Like "duh"!) What is missed over monitors is very prominent in the phones...which means you'll start hearing where the mass does make a difference...(C-24 board, Beyer 770 phones, Dynaudio monitors, ProTools...including my left ear stirrup-bone having been replaced with a platimum/teflon one.)

So...yes...I do "mix and match" my gauges. (There's a 12 string set I usually butcher.) I also use a split pickup (EAD panned to the hard left and GBE all the way to the right) and the bottoms do need more mass as I can see it...so I will go heavier depending on if I want a chunky sound or not. The high three...where all the finger finesse comes from (for me) is easier to take care of because it's on it's own EQ'd (and effected) output. I most often compress the low three and slightly reverb the high three (using the ProTools 'brick wall' reverb setting).

As for changing them often...

If I am just noodling...no, it doesn't matter. But if I am recording something...and need to get back to it...it's nigh on imposkibubble to get the EQ right exactly as it was unless I simply put a new set on. As for breaking the high E...okay, they go but not as often as you'd think. On ultra lights you just GOTTA play lightly...OR WHAT'S THE POINT??? The axe I use is an old Ibanez Artist...1977. The icon on their pickups have a guy's hand with butterfly wings on it. (Ya gotta love the Japanese metaphors!) Seriously, everybody, it's the VERY "up close & personal" sound I get from playing lightly that I like. Certainly, it's frustrating to get used to them...because everything is in yer face...including lots of finger scraping/string tapping/string releasing/squeaks/pops & inadvertant chimes. You can (and WILL) come to incorporate these sounds in your style once all this slop is able to be played "in tune" where and when you want it. But, for me, this is the TOUCH I'm glad to cultivate...just like the way my wife likes it! :wink:

Cat
"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"

racetruck1
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Re: Using .008's

Post by racetruck1 » June 3rd, 2012, 5:05 pm

First off...Race...HOW the ^&%$%^ do you know the weighted tension on your strings? I am in total awe...as are the rest of the world!
I used an ancient and tried and true method, I read the back of the package of D'Addario phosphor bronze EJ17 medium acoustic strings! :mrgreen:

It lists the guage in English and metric and lists the tension in Lbs and Kg. On a 25.5 scale length.

You are the first person that I've heard of that uses a split pick-up that can sense lower and upper strings separately. Pretty cool! My guitar only splits the coil for in phase or out of phase within each pick-up.

Years ago, I researched the actual tension on a guitar neck because a friend said that there was like one ton of pressure on the neck of one of my guitars and I was curious about it. Found out that there is about 200 Lbs string tension alone. My experience is only through fairly large amps and not ideal acoustic environs when it comes to tone. It just feels and sounds better with heavier strings to me. I also agree that light strings and a light touch does a lot for nuances of certain songs as well as speed of playing. I like the effect of a quiet passage, played softly, and then dropping the hammer down and digging in to add dynamics to a song. Very effective! Think "Led Zeppelin".

How each of us uses their tools is what makes us different and isn't that the way we develop our own styles? I wish I had the experience and equipment you have, just like one of my students envys my old Traynor amp for its volume. Me I happen to like the clean response of it and the way it breaks up when pounded on.

Of course my ear is made of tin.......
When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming......
like the passengers in his car.

TRGuitar
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Re: Using .008's

Post by TRGuitar » June 3rd, 2012, 6:56 pm

Crow wrote:The article sets out to debunk...
...the mantra, myth, truth, cliché—whatever you want to call it—in strings: heavier is better. Surely, heavy strings produce better tone. And, surely, only a great player will be able to handle the thicks. So, it follows that if I play heavy strings I am great.
And nobody with any brains over the age of 13 would draw that conclusion. Certainly nobody here is saying you can't play great without heavy strings. If anything, those of us who play fatties are an eccentric minority, and we know it.

Interesting rundown of who plays what. Otherwise a load of rubbish.
?????? I didn't even give an opinion on this I only posted a link to an article I found and got what appears to be a hostile response that seems to imply I have less brains than a 13 year old?????? Sorry ..... just thought I would see what other sources had to say about the subject. :roll:
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --

dhodge
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Re: Using .008's

Post by dhodge » June 3rd, 2012, 7:15 pm

In all fairness, TR, I get the impression that Crow is describing the writer as the "13 year old" since it was the writer who drew the conclusions mentioned in the article. I truly don't think it was directed at you at all (I certainly didn't take it that way and people here at GN don't, as a rule, make personal attacks on other members of the community).

Peace

Crow
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Re: Using .008's

Post by Crow » June 3rd, 2012, 7:20 pm

TRGuitar wrote:?????? I didn't even give an opinion on this I only posted a link to an article I found and got what appears to be a hostile response that seems to imply I have less brains than a 13 year old?????? Sorry ..... just thought I would see what other sources had to say about the subject. :roll:
Hey TR, no hostility intended toward you -- only toward the author of the article. Your posts speak for themselves. You know your stuff. Lots of respect on this end for what you have to say. But this was about what the article's writer had to say. I enjoyed learning what string gauges Gibbons et al. use, but to base the article on a bogus argument about how you have to play .012s to be a great player is... bogus. I'll stand by that -- but it doesn't apply to you.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

TRGuitar
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Re: Using .008's

Post by TRGuitar » June 3rd, 2012, 8:52 pm

OK, I was just thinking it was probably the author you took issue with but wasn't totally sure you didn't think I endorsed the message. I was more interested in what the different musicians used for strings. I fully believe they make all those different guages because everyone is different. Sorry. Didn't mean to be so touchy. Won't let it happen again. Sorry again. :oops:
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --

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Re: Using .008's

Post by greybeard » June 3rd, 2012, 10:42 pm

There is a theory that says that the tension should be balanced on all strings.

How do you do that? Well, if you use D'Addarrios it's easy. They have a pdf file on their site, which lists all their string gauges and their tension at specific tunings.

Just find the tension that fits and build a set from that.
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Cat
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Re: Using .008's

Post by Cat » June 3rd, 2012, 11:04 pm

racetruck1 wrote: I used an ancient and tried and true method, I read the back of the package of D'Addario phosphor bronze EJ17 medium acoustic strings! :mrgreen: It lists the guage in English and metric and lists the tension in Lbs and Kg. On a 25.5 scale length.

You are the first person that I've heard of that uses a split pick-up that can sense lower and upper strings separately. Pretty cool! My guitar only splits the coil for in phase or out of phase within each pick-up.

Of course my ear is made of tin.......
Excuse the parphrasing:

The tensions are on the back of the package! Okay, I'm an idiot!!! :oops:

Split p'up is part of the ARP Avatar synth I bought along with the Ibanez in '77. I will NEVER go back to mono...NEVER!!! I also have some six-way p'ups, too...made for me by a guy in Brooklyn (NY)...Paul Rubenstein: http://www.ubertar.com (from memory, but I think that's the addy!)

As for the tin ear...platinum's way better!!! Seriously, I went from 8% hearing in my left to 92% with something called a "stapedectomy". No fun...it hurts as if a cork screw were twisted in yer head and yanked out again...long (and WEIRD) recovery with odd freqs for a couple of months. But, I gotta say, I was never diagnosed properly until I came across a good GP that recognized my problem.

More than ever, I love the sounds from my light fingered playing. I am no virtuoso...but I write and play with more than I deserve...and the intervals and overtones that linger prod even the most reticent players to chase after these tones with a great deal of pleasure. (Hey, you long time DENIZENS are welcome to PM me with an email addy to get a sample of what I mean.)

Still...it's all a matter of your own preference...but with near 1500 reads on this thread...an awful lot of folks are finding ultras an interesting way past where they are right now by just going light and messin' with newer sounds and a more refined technique.

What the hell. You'll never ever get to the end of figuring out this marvelous instrument, no matter what gauge you use! :wink:

Cat
"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"

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