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Accoustic Guitars - Observations and questions

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 7833

There are indeed acoustic phosphor bronze 9s, and I've tried them on a parlor guitar. Sounded good, and didn't give up noticeable volume. Felt kind of floppy to me. 10s are what Gibson shipped me 10 packs of with the SJ-200. They obviously think that's the proper gauge for a jumbo.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1247

Hey Roy :D

Well, my opinion after listening to the two clips is:
The 11's sound warmer, though not as full as the 12's.

The warmth I'm hearing in the 11's could be that they sound more balanced on that guitar than the 12's do.
The 12's seem to have a bit of tonal separation in them.... almost a multi-dimensional sound, only an
annoying one.
There seems to be a bit of mid/high ringing out in the 12's that is not there with the 11's....
Well, it is there with the 11's, only it's more balanced with the rest of the tonal spectrum.

There also seems to be a strange sound from the 12's - almost like a 'chorus' effect of sorts (during the strums);
Maybe a bit of a buzzing from not being able to properly fret the heavier strings?

I say, the 11's sound good, and seem to be easier to work with....
Maybe experiment with different metals/or brands to find a bit more *fuller sound....?


ps - I use DR Rares (Green box) on my acoustic, which is a long scale.... Cedar top though.
They give it a nice woody/warmth - and not too bad of a full tone.


"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles

Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2241

This has certainly been an interesting read...

I was pondering string gauge for acoustics having played my Martin a lot over the last week, rather than my Ibanez acoustic. The Ibanez has 10's on it, Ernie Ball Earthwoods, though I'm considering trying other brands out a bit. The Martin has heavier strings, not entirely sure what gauge, whatever they shipped with (it's a Martin D15 if anyone happens to know standard string gauge for factory), and I'm finding it a lot harder to perform the more intricate end of the fingerpicking I do, compared to how things go with the Ibanez.

I'm getting used to it though, and switching back to the Ibanez is a breeze. You have to work the Martin harder, but it pays dividends, as you get much better dynamic control and tone (how much that is guitar construction, and how much is sting gauge, I don't even wanna think right now). But for public performing, or possibly even for long recording stretches, the Ibanez would be my go-to guitar. In fact, I'd use that baby on anything I record which is at the difficult end of the Scrybe-scale of playing. Else I'd be there all year! I was wondering how much more difficult things like tapping become with heavier strings on an acoustic, and what gauge the elite in this area use, as they seem to get a much nicer tone than I can achieve on those sort of techniques using my Martin. On the Ibanez, it really sings though.

I doubt I'd go heavier on the Ibanez. The top is laminate, and it feels/sounds about right the way it is.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
Topic starter  

I'm still quite happy with the 11's I put on the Taylor. I was playing it just the other night out on the deck. Still not perfect, but works good enough to not mess with the nut yet. I was tempted and got some tips on make-shift tools to use instead of the high dollar nut file kits. I'd have to say that it's very good, but could be a little better still.

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 10

Agree strongly with those who note that the truss rod is not to be used to adjust action.

My opinions, dismiss them if you like: A Taylor 214 may be Taylor's "beginner" model but it's a still a very fine guitar and, properly set up, holds it own very well in performance and recording. The 214 is a Grand Auditorium design, so it's designed to sound and play its best with .012-.053 strings - a bit lighter than you'd use on a comparable dreadnought, but not as light as what you're using. Strive for the very minimum finger pressure sufficient to elicit clear tone from the .012s. Spend the extra few dollars for the elixirs, they really do hold a lively tone longer, and be diligent about washing your hands before playing, each time.

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