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Electric Strings on an Acoustic

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schwinnson
(@schwinnson)
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Topic starter  

Does it matter a whole lot if you throw electric strings on an acoustic? I just picked up new strings for the first time today and wasnt really paying attention, just noticed they were electric when I got home.

If it really matters, its a pack of Ernie Ball regular Slinkys (10,13,17,26,36,46)

Thanks


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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They will work, and will not cause any damage, but ... will likely sound a bit thin and generally won't have quite the same acoustic string timbre, which is usually a bit more harmonically rich than that of an electric.

Also, since the gauge is likely to be much lighter than your regular strings, the tension on the neck will be less and as a result, the neck relief may require adjustment (via the truss rod). If your acoustic has a compensated saddle, you may find G intonation to be a little more out than usual, as most acoustic bridges are compensated assuming a wound G (Regular Slinkys have an unwound G).

One last thing: the thinner electric strings may sit too low in the nut slots -- or rattle because the nut slots are too large.

-=tension & release=-


   
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Anonymous
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If you just bought them and it is not too far out of the way, couldn't you take them back and exchange them?


   
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Nils
 Nils
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If you just bought them and it is not too far out of the way, couldn't you take them back and exchange them?
Good suggestion. I would add to take your guitar with you to make sure you get the correct size. My guess is that yours has 12's on it as most acoustics have 12's and unless you want to go through a setup as Gnease outlined I would go with the same size.

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yoyo286
(@yoyo286)
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Yeah, go take em back... 8)

Stairway to Freebird!


   
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yoyo286
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BTW welcome to guitarnoise, schwinnson! :)

Stairway to Freebird!


   
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Nils
 Nils
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BTW welcome to guitarnoise, schwinnson! :)
Oh yeah, good idea... Welcome

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lord_ariez
(@lord_ariez)
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Anyone ever tried acoustic strings on an electric?

ohh... and welcome to GN!

'You and I in a little toy shop, bought a bag of balloons with the money we got"

feel free to talk with me on msn at [email protected] no icq anymore


   
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DemoEtc
(@demoetc)
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Yes. Sounded a bit thin because the mag pickup was reading just the cores on the wound strings.


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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Yes. Sounded a bit thin because the mag pickup was reading just the cores on the wound strings.

Right on the money -- I think well designed magnetic soundhole pups for acoustics must have a different magnetic field strength distribution as compared to an electric guitar pup -- esp since acoustic versions rarely have adjustable pole pieces. A friend to went to electric strings on his Epi J160 acoustic that has built-in mini 'bucker near the neck -- it became significantly louder and a bit boomier with the electric strings.

-=tension & release=-


   
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Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
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In addition, re the original question, since the tension is less, the top won't be driven as well.

Regarding the last couple of posts, maybe that's why acoustic pickups are so pricey. My Rare Earth Humbucker was $150, Fishman single $120, PUTW was in that ballpark.

I did just pick up a Lawrence hand wound soundhole pickup for $20 off of ebay.


   
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gnease
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Yeah -- My Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker cost more than the guitar it's in -- pretty sad. OTOH laminated spruce doen't feed back as easily as solid spruce :wink:

The reason acoustic pups are comparitively pricey is simple: volume of sales, which is a lot lower for acoustic pups than electrics. Per-piece manufacturing costs drop significantly as the numbers increase. The acoustic pup technologies aren't really all that special. I'd be willing to bet the retail price is 5x to 8x the manufactured cost.

Sorry ... back to the original topic. Thought it was obvious, but I should have said this in my first post: Return the strings.

-=tension & release=-


   
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