You’re Probably Using The WRONG Guitar Strings

  • Опубліковано 23 січ 2020
  • Does size (String Gauge) matter? In this episode we test whether guitar string gauges actually make a difference in your guitar sound. Rhett Shull, Dave Onorato, Ken "Grand" Lanyon and myself compare strings sets of .011-.052, .010-.046, .009-.042 and .008-.038 sets of guitar strings with the same guitar and amp combinations for the test. The results are fascinating!
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КОМЕНТАРІ • 11 343

  • 0okamino
    0okamino Рік тому +7106

    I've found that my problem is far worse. I'm not using the wrong strings, or the wrong guitar. I'm using the wrong guitarist.

    • giveandsake77
      giveandsake77 2 дні тому +1

      First step to solving an error is to identify the error.

    • Bohemian Celt
      Bohemian Celt 3 дні тому +1

      I have the same issue - I'll let you know if I'm able to resolve and correct this. I think I need a full-time assistant who also plays all styles of music.

    • Mentalny
      Mentalny 5 днів тому +1


    • Paul Brown
      Paul Brown 7 днів тому

      @jwardcomo As well as the Messalodian?

    • Paul Brown
      Paul Brown 7 днів тому

      @R what's your ratio, I reckon 5:1 watching and thinking about it, versus actually holding a guitar 😝. Hopeless, and explains a lot 😥

  • C. P.
    C. P. 6 місяців тому +394

    What I learned:
    These four guys like light strings on a Les Paul through a heavy distorted Marshall.
    What I know:
    I prefer 11 gauge flatwounds on my Jazzmaster through my Space Echo into my Super Reverb. I'm not wrong. Neither are they.

    • T.R. Backenbaum
      T.R. Backenbaum Місяць тому

      @Jordan Lee With the original bridge, yes. But if you use a mustang-style bridge or a TOM or something else, 10s are just fine.

    • SustainiacManiac
      SustainiacManiac Місяць тому

      a Fellow C.P.😮

    • David Cross
      David Cross 2 місяці тому

      Dumb inaccuate comparisons..useing fuzz tones colors the tones up..bunch of amatures apparantly. Should have used clean tones going through a mxr channel dry, litl reverb maybe. Some things just never change...this whole video is a waste of time for anyone.

    • Ken smitb
      Ken smitb 2 місяці тому


    • Andrija
      Andrija 3 місяці тому

      @Victorovore Usually I play 10's, but recently bought a Jaguar and it came with 9's, no issues. A month or so later I put 11's on it cause everyone is like Jags/Jazzmasters need at least 11's or higher. I expected improvement but I was disappointed. Sounds muddier especially in the low end, trem arm much firmer, goes out of tune much easier.
      Yes it could be the strings i used or it could be a setup problem.. I'll do more testing but so far I am very surprised at how much I preferred 9's.

  • Marco Luz
    Marco Luz 4 місяці тому +47

    Very interesting. It would be interesting to make the same experiment but with a clean amp, clean sound, and see which string gauge would be the best in this context.

  • Mike D
    Mike D Місяць тому +11

    Great as always...I didn't expect the 009 and 008 to sound as good in the comparison....It's a pity you didn't do the exact same thing without any overdrive nor effect, it would have been interesting in another way....

  • Fred Gonzalez
    Fred Gonzalez 6 місяців тому +92

    I like the way the 9’s sounded the most, and that’s coming from a bass player!
    However, maybe in the mix, 8’s sound better. So can y’all please do a video doing the same comparisons but in a whole band situation? So that we can really see how each gauge shines..PLEASE??!?

    • ColorsFade Gaming
      ColorsFade Gaming 6 місяців тому +13

      Listening through it several times, I have to agree (much to my surprise, because I've favored 10's for years). The 9's sounded the best. The 8's sounded a bit thin. They were tight, sure, but thin. The 11's are dark and muddy. The 10's are fine, and maybe even the best for solos and leadwork, but overall the 9's sounded the best.

  • nSpyer
    nSpyer Рік тому +2373

    I love how as guitarists, we can find such joy in obsessing over things that most people don't notice or care about.

    • Love House
      Love House День тому

      thats so true in so many ways.

    • Love House
      Love House День тому


    • Moris Mihovilovic
      Moris Mihovilovic День тому +1

      Almost every hobby "suffers" from this. Once you scratch the surface, you start witnessing how obsessed people can actually be. Often in a good way, tbh.

    • QBRX 2157
      QBRX 2157 9 днів тому

      This is part of the reason I will never be a good guitarist.

    • naits95
      naits95 Місяць тому

      @Owen Chase science channel raise your action height, it gives the strings more room to vibrate - creating more sustain

  • Making a Stink!
    Making a Stink! Рік тому +54

    For me strings have always been about feel. 10-52 seems like the best of both world. I find like Rhett said lighter strings I tend to overpower, also a tad bit more resistance helps me control vibrato better. Would love to see a video comparing pure nickel vs nickel plated steel. -Chris

    • paigeguitarplayer
      paigeguitarplayer Місяць тому +1

      I like 10-52 for playing metal and lower tunings but anything else i like 9-42 those new ernie ball cobalt strings kick ass!

    • coda creator
      coda creator 6 місяців тому +3

      Plus, I’m just too sloppy for very light strings and have a harder time NOT bending them…

    • Watchinchemtrailz
      Watchinchemtrailz 7 місяців тому +1

      I use 10-46 and 10-52

    • john killen
      john killen 7 місяців тому

      I just purchased D'addario EXL140-3D / 10•13•17•30•42•52
      for my 83 Ibanez ROADSTAR 2 &
      SLICK SL-54T , both have single humbucker .

  • Alex Jackson
    Alex Jackson 5 місяців тому +18

    Personally I've always found the difference in how the gauges feel when you play them to be a much more significant factor than their tone when it comes to choosing which one's best. The fact that light gauges take a tiny bit less effort to play makes a big difference if you're playing technical lead stuff. They make your playing feel much more light and effortless

  • Rick Mathis
    Rick Mathis 6 місяців тому +73

    Interesting. When I first started playing, 8's were the norm, then later on 9's. Then you kept hearing that 10's were supposed to sound "so much better". So, I switched, but to be honest, I never thought there was much of a difference in my sound. As I've gotten older, I moved back to 9's just because it was easier on my fingers. I'm happy.

    • Kowloon Broadcast Tower
      Kowloon Broadcast Tower Місяць тому +1

      same, my friend. basically it was a period in my life when I moved to a 7-strings guitar and just because it’s so common point that these instruments should use some heavy strings to reach this “proper thickness” in sound, I tried basically every heavy set, but never was satisfied with anything above 9’s.
      I personally love that they ring more depending on how hard they are strummed, due to being relatively thin, when all sets starting from 10’s and above are almost dead locked and don’t get that much of amplitude that makes this ringing sound, which takes a bit of life out of performance, as for me.
      and yeah, of course they are also much more comfortable to hands, on top of everything above

    • Nick Evans
      Nick Evans 2 місяці тому

      Yep , my experience too!

    • Rod Morgan
      Rod Morgan 4 місяці тому +3

      My god, you are me. This is exactly the process I have gone through in my years of playing. I am very happy with 9's now because my fingers are older. 😃

    • Ibiza Rose
      Ibiza Rose 5 місяців тому +3

      Right, I always used 10s, but it's hard on my fingers, I just rcently switched to 9s, and Wow, bending is so much easier. I never tried 8s though, but if it's good for BB King, I will try it next time.

  • Daystardaystar Daystardaystar
    Daystardaystar Daystardaystar 5 місяців тому +75

    I love the idea of this test. They go through the scientific methodology of using the same guitar, same riffs, same cab, same signal path etc for each string gauge......Then they go and play it through a heavily distorted amp lol Tube distortion is an EFFECT than changes a guitar tone, compressing it etc. Just seems crazy that they didn't play the guitar clean - thats where the differences and subtlety would have been more evident. A distorted guitar is not just the same as the clean tone but louder - the EQ is literally transformed

    • Barry Bartos
      Barry Bartos Місяць тому

      I would have preferred hearing the demo using a Fender 5E3 Deluxe (or clone) on the edge of breakup.

    • Augrills
      Augrills 3 місяці тому

      @King of Spandex that’s a fair point.

    • King of Spandex
      King of Spandex 3 місяці тому

      @Augrills The REAL pitfall of this test is that it was only shown by itself, and not as part of a mix. That, after all, is what is going to matter 90% of the time.

    • Augrills
      Augrills 3 місяці тому +2

      Rick’s premise was what gauge works best for a rock guitar in a mix. A rock guitar is going to have distortion and this was minimal.
      You can do so many controls on this, but it’d be pointless. Hell, play it acoustic and you’ll notice real quick the tone and attack is different. Of course there’s a change. You just have to find what fits for your comfort and mix. I like playing with 9s on my Strat and 10s on my epiphone that’s like a 335 copy. That’s what sounds good to me for the styles of music I use them for.
      The 8s sound the clearest to me in the video. The 11s sound horrible to me.

    • DogSlobber Gardens
      DogSlobber Gardens 4 місяці тому +2

      @King of Spandex I agree. Most people watching this probably play overdriven or distorted most of the time. So... yeah, they used a distorted hard rock tone.
      It would still be fun and interesting to compare string gauges with a totally transparent, dry clean tone, and with a clean but very wet clean tone etc. I understand that point for certain.

  • He can see me
    He can see me Рік тому +1626

    I played 11s for years then heard Gibbons say that he was using 7s of 7.5. So I figured what the hell and tried them, and found out I was a dumb ass. When playing 11s I would break strings all the time. Now when I use 8s I almost never break strings, my hand lasts longer, I got a raise, lowered my house payment, and my wife and kid respect me. Honestly though lighter is better.

    • Eivind
      Eivind 14 днів тому

      @BabaLoochi Why? Really? What's the matter with you..? :/

    • Mikkeyboyy
      Mikkeyboyy 3 місяці тому

      @Nat Px never heard of 15s

    • Mikkeyboyy
      Mikkeyboyy 3 місяці тому

      @Philip Butler never

    • Scott Hamilton
      Scott Hamilton 3 місяці тому


    • waxxonmaxxon
      waxxonmaxxon 4 місяці тому

      11s tuned down to B. Not even once

  • Niko
    Niko Місяць тому +4

    I 100% agree with you , the 8's sound the best. I'm not a guitar player, but I would imagine the style of music would play a role in the strings used as well. If your music has a busy bottom end, you might want to play with the 8's , and even guitar pickups are probably important too. Humbuckers sound great to me with a solo guitarist, but I could see how they might overpower the lower mids for some styles of music in a mix.

  • brian grover
    brian grover 10 місяців тому +45

    First off, any of these subtle sonic differences you could do with with fairly small EQ tweaks; so, what is most important is what feels best to you. Also, you didn't really address the issue of sustain - again the differences are fairly subtle, but more mass generally means more sustain.
    For my tastes, I found the lighter gauges to be a bit shrill in your test.

    • Wee-LammTunes
      Wee-LammTunes Місяць тому

      In my opinion, we can influence sustain with subtle hand gestures and working with the amp instead of against it.
      I agree that we can fix many things in the mix, but expression largely happens before the output jack.
      For me, I like the 9-42 the best so far. They take less energy so I can last longer, I better micro-manage each string touch, and frankly they are nicer on vintage necks.

    • Heath
      Heath Місяць тому +1

      I like thicker strings because they are under more tension so they don't vibrate as much back and forth, hitting the frets etc. so I can hit them harder. Plus having much stronger hands than average has a bit to do with it.

    • J C.
      J C. 4 місяці тому +2

      It was all shrill to me with that amp/settings and speaker combo. Might not have got that impression with it in a mix tho.

    • Tim ODonnell
      Tim ODonnell 5 місяців тому +1

      true, but all “tweaks” start from a sonic baseline, so what you’re establishing with your string choice is not only a personal preference (feel, tone) but your overall sonic “baseline”, the point from which all your amplified sound departs.

  • Joseph Califano
    Joseph Califano 6 місяців тому +19

    the "right" strings depends on many things. One important issue is the style of music you are playing and the volume. I'm usually playing a 17 X 3" archtop at low volumes in a Jazz solo, duo, or trio format.....very different that what was being played in this video. This type of instrument at these volumes sounds much better to my ears with 12s or 13s (of course I'm not bending strings either). It would be interesting to make a comparison with more acoustic electric insrtuments (like a Gibson L-5 or similar) and see if the conclusion is the same.

    • J C.
      J C. 4 місяці тому

      Agreed. I've less experience messing with acoustic string gauge and formulations.

    • Stephen Truskol
      Stephen Truskol 5 місяців тому +1

      I agree. I'm a finger-style blues player using 13s on a dreadnaught with a soundhole pick-up. I love the idea of their experiment - one guitar, one amp, straight in. Meat and potatoes. Then, they add five side dishes, gravy, spices and dessert with all the mods, effects and level. To my ear, the comparison gets lost. A+ for the work in changing each set of strings onto the same guitar. The greatest difference between gauges then becomes a matter of how they FEEL to play. Great experiment overall.

  • Natan Artemiev
    Natan Artemiev 5 місяців тому +10

    I'm in love with 10s, but I also really like how 11 gauge sounds. Maybe I will try elevens someday.
    At the end of the day don't let anybody tell you which string gauge is better, it's ultimately up to your tastes and how it affects your playing.

    • Barry Bartos
      Barry Bartos Місяць тому

      I thought the 11's sounded best for the power cords... seemed "fuller."

  • Steve Wilhoff
    Steve Wilhoff 4 дні тому

    This totally surprised me. I started with .08s back in the 70's, and gradually ended up with .10s (.11s on my ES 135). I'm definitely revisiting the thinner strings now.

  • Skiba covers.
    Skiba covers. 7 місяців тому +7

    Would have been interesting to hear some licks opposed to chords. They all sounded pretty good to me, probably liked the 9s best but not by much.

    • Gabriel M.
      Gabriel M. 21 день тому

      and clean tones...

  • Richard@
    Richard@ 6 місяців тому +26

    One thing I learned from this video is that every string has a sweet spot, where the tension on the string will sound best for its given scale length, as you tune up a new string, you bring it up to pitch, listen to its tone as the tension rises, and you might hear the point where it sounds best, it will feel noodley when it's too loose, and as it tightens the tone will improve, but when it sounds the best you might not like the tension, so go to the next gauge up or down depending on if it feels to loose or tight and repeat, eventually you'll get the great tone with the tension you like, and when you do that with every string, you'll be dialed in, it's worth the effort.

    • Richard@
      Richard@ 6 місяців тому

      @Hobo with a Bass I buy the D'Addario custom singles

    • Hobo with a Bass
      Hobo with a Bass 6 місяців тому

      Its worse for Bassists.
      Simply cause of the cost of string packs

    • Spalien Acecraft
      Spalien Acecraft 6 місяців тому

      Top wrapping a Les Paul throws your theory into peril. :)

  • Intergalactic Mountain Bike Association
    Intergalactic Mountain Bike Association Місяць тому +2

    Interesting, I really prefer the sound of the 11’s, especially back to back with the 8

  • StrikeSideway
    StrikeSideway 2 роки тому +439

    The tonal variation is there, but so slight that it shouldn't be determining factor IMO. What is far more important is your playing style. If you're shredder, and bender with a light touch and hi gain, 8's are probably the way to go. If you're a heavy hitter or do a lot of finger picking and slide work, 10's or 11's might work better. I wouldn't base it on tone because lets face it, the tonal controls available today to the modern guitarist for compensation far surpass any of the nuanced tonal differences of the gauge . It should be based on what 'feels' best to your hands.

    • snicksnick08
      snicksnick08 6 місяців тому

      I will say that as a recording studio engineer, I aim for two things: 1) If the group/soloist are/is amateur, I do my best to make them sound better. 2) If I can limit my post-production times, I am also in favor of that. 🙂 Until this video, I had never given even a single thought about string gauge affecting the sound of a heavily-distorted electric much at all (and I've been doing this for over four decades!). In live sound, I used to try to faithfully recreate the sound of every single person and his/her instrument; the result was "all mud, all the time." 🤮 So I had to radically change my tactics, such as learning where in the audio spectrum an instrument or voice should lie. I have (begrudgingly) had to learn to back off of the bass on the bass, and especially the guitar! To me, it was sacrilege, but the fact is that my amps didn't have to work so hard, and the balance of the group was SO much better with my new way of thinking. That said, other than the "tightness" of the instrument's sound, I have been able to "fix it in the mix." That's what postproduction is for!
      Now for Rick to do a demo on the same cabinet/amp, with the mics separated hard L/R, so we can hear the difference between those two studio workhorses. And let's hear what those same strings sound like while running clean (or a very slight distortion). Such a great video, as-is, though!

    • John Harvey
      John Harvey 2 роки тому

      @Evan Abbott Not heard of them b4. Wonder why they're called Nanoweb.

    • Jim Gillis
      Jim Gillis 2 роки тому

      I used to use .008’s my first 6-7 years playing. It was the “rock n roll” set

    • Johan Hansson
      Johan Hansson 2 роки тому +2

      @Johnny Torpedo The muddines of the 11s vs the 8s are created in the amp with the distortion because distortion muddies up low tones. You can just cut a bit of lows pre distortion in the amp by getting a tech changing one capacitor. Or you can solder a capacitor in your guitar to tighten things up.

    • ryankm48
      ryankm48 2 роки тому

      Guage matters

  • mjk3mjk3
    mjk3mjk3 2 дні тому

    Brian May talks in his book about being a kid and finding out that some players were using light weight Banjo Strings on their guitars so that they could easily bend the strings. This was one of the defining moments in his career. If I recall correctly he now used #8 or #9 strings, strings that were unavailable when he was learning to play the guitar.

  • Evil_C B
    Evil_C B 9 місяців тому +5

    I do think it could have been more revealing had they used a single coil guitar on the clean channel, but I was also wondering if we’d be able to hear any difference between different brands of string (e.g. D’Addario, Ernie Ball, Rotosound etc.). It would also be interesting to hear the difference between materials (nickel wound or stainless for example). I tried stainless once and they sounded very bright.

  • mk win
    mk win Рік тому +14

    The test was mostly chugging primarily on the wound strings - I understand that would be the best way to hear the differences. But I wonder if a 10 - 38 set would be the best of all worlds: Less muddy on the wound strings, but still retaining a reasonably tight feel on the unwounds.

  • Howard B Bailey
    Howard B Bailey 10 місяців тому +6

    For this particular sound I think the results are nominal. My go to strings are D"Addario EXL115 (11 to 49) and on a couple of my guitars I even use a wound G. For myself I find the lighter strings (less than a 10 to 46) tend to frappe out and sharpen slightly on the initial attack. Better overall intonation with heavier gauges.

  • Pablo Landes
    Pablo Landes Рік тому +887

    For me, this is the real String Theory.

  • Ravvij
    Ravvij 8 днів тому

    Surprisingly, even through my phone's speakers there's a slight difference in the character of each string set. It's very slight, but it is noticeable. I'm going to listen to this in my car (like you said) and see if I hear those characteristics like I did just now.

  • Ron Carlson
    Ron Carlson Рік тому

    Fascinating! I have an older 335, stop tail and been playing 11s. I, unfortunately, have a very heavy grip, always have even though I get the thing Papa John Creach mentioned about having no more than just enough ‘down force’ to stop the string. I tend to strangle. Played 8s for a time mostly for finger comfort. I was always breaking strings. I’m certain the pick gauge and my attack figured into that. I moved to a set of 9s that Guild put out and found my ideal set (the G was wound-not plain). That set disappeared after a couple years. Decided to go 10s and they were okay, but just not the same. Bought into the SRV thought of heavy meant fuller tone and moved to 11s. What I heard (listening on an iPad) was a gradual loss of low end fullness along with an increased midrange focus in the test examples. For distorto guitar low end fullness is my preference. I play mostly clean. Until I get my left hand better controlled, I probably stick with the Power Slinky’s. OR maybe just go back to 9s.

  • David Wright
    David Wright 8 місяців тому +15

    It is probably my bias, but the 11’s were definitely “fuller” in the low-end, but lost something in the mids. I’m 63, so the highs are simply gone with all, oh well :-)

  • Daniel Tabor
    Daniel Tabor 2 місяці тому +3

    Immediately this massively depends on your guitar, the pickups you're using and what style you want. I can see why the 11's were more popular in the 90's and up. They lend darker somewhat muddier sound, but more importantly it sounds scooped on the les paul. Most people that gravitate to a les paul style in general in that time liked a more scooped heavy sound. The lightest gauge string was noticeably more thin and tight on the low E but absolutely had a brighter ring to the mids but quite shrill I'm the highs. Tbh I didn't hear what I really liked. Not one of them seemed really well balanced to me. The 10's were the closest to my ear. After that the bottom end really thins out, but they aren't quite as muddy in the mids as the 11's.
    Honestly this just confirms to me the same conclusion I came to myself over the years. The skinny top heavy bottoms by ernie ball are the closest strings to perfect to me. I'd do that set except change out the 3rd for an 18 wound. I'm no shredder. I really appreciate the the beefy low end but normal 11s usually lose a lot of clarity on the high end. The wound 3rd is simply because I HATE tuning g strings. It's always awful, and I'm super heavy handed to begin with so the added heft doesn't bother me. if you haven't tried this setup yet you should really give it a shot. Been using it for a decade now and I haven't found anything that sounds better. Sure feels nice on my fingers to play some 9's but it's just not there sound wise.

  • 5756strat
    5756strat 2 роки тому +548

    Comparing all four gauges on a 'clean' Strat would be interesting - and useful

    • Taylor DiClemente
      Taylor DiClemente 7 місяців тому

      That '80s rnb and pop rhythm sound is a strat with skinny strings and probably a lot of compression. It sounds anemic to me. Fender designed his old guitars with big flatwounds in mind. The staggered pole pieces on old strats were intended for use with wound G strings.

    • George Johnson
      George Johnson 8 місяців тому

      Rick will never do that. I love Rick and his channel but he will never do that.

    • MasterJediElf
      MasterJediElf 2 роки тому +1

      @Glenn Spence pretty sure Page used 8 or 9 on his Les Paul

    • MasterJediElf
      MasterJediElf 2 роки тому +1

      You would probably want to go the other direction with a strat. I like heavier strings on mine. Sounds too thin with 9s.
      It all really depends on who you are and what/how you play. There is a reason Slash plays power slinkys

    • Jared Bader
      Jared Bader 2 роки тому

      @brusekitt Page played 8's through the Zeppelin years. He switched to 9's in the 1980's

  • Chris Lynch
    Chris Lynch День тому

    I bought an Explorer a few months ago and I put new 10s on it and I just couldn't come to terms with the playability, and the pickups were a little muddy and undefined. I was going to sell it when a friend suggested changing gauge. I switched to 9s and it transformed not only the sound but the feel of the guitar as well. The pickups have more bite and definition with heavy gain and fretting and bending feels much more natural and smooth.

  • C Sc
    C Sc 6 днів тому

    Dave hits the strings hardest so I found the heavier gauges sounded great for him. But the 008 inspired him to go for that Brian May kind of vibrato which sounded pretty cool, too!

  • Stlvapor bw
    Stlvapor bw 28 днів тому

    I think I would like to try 8s for recording, but will probably stick to 10s for live. 10s are just more comfortable for me. Also Iam very bendy in my playing so I tend to break lighter gauges. Love those Ernie Ball Strings though.

  • Lonesome Crow
    Lonesome Crow 9 місяців тому +4

    I have never heard anything sound better than GHS BOOMERS 10-48 . The day I switched to them I was really floored at how much better the guitar sounded.

  • Al Cath
    Al Cath 2 роки тому +279

    I would like to have heard this whole experiment done with a clean tone instead of a dirty one. Don't you think it would be easier to discern tonal differences in string behavior without all that distortion?

    • Erik Arneberg
      Erik Arneberg 7 місяців тому

      @Bruce Hilliard I’m familiar with “beer goggle syndrome”, but have no experience with “beerphones” (bearphones??)

    • Iain McGuire
      Iain McGuire Рік тому +2

      Yes, because when people plug a Les paul into a Marshall, the sound they're going for, is clean tone, said nobody

    • Ledzucar Productions
      Ledzucar Productions Рік тому +3

      The more metal, the more tone! Heavier gauge strings break up the magnetic field of the pick-up more. Play it clean. The tone on heavier strings is richer. When highly distorted, the increased bass harmonics mask some of the higher frequency harmonics. The sound is 1st interpreted as fatter than with lighter strings. My experience. It's kind of analogous to a hum bucker fat sound vs single coil thiner sound. The magnetic fields are different.

    • asher platts
      asher platts 2 роки тому

      Probably not, distortion increases the gain so...

    • Craig Usselman
      Craig Usselman 2 роки тому


  • Bryan Drew
    Bryan Drew 5 місяців тому

    What's you're experience with string size and pick size? I've experimented with everything from 8s to 13s, and a variety of picks, and on different guitars. Finally settled on 10 to 46 and a .79 mm Dunlop pick (the yellow one) with my Nighthawk. But I use 9s with .60 mm pick with my PRS. These combinations seem to allow more pronounced differences in pick strikes, and more control of volume dynamics. But, I also have an Epiphone ES 360 that seems "compressed" because the pick strike doesn't seem to make a difference, regardless of string/pick combination.

  • David Donnell
    David Donnell Рік тому

    I specialize in acoustic 12 string in particular an Ibanez I play as standard & Drop D tuning and I have an Alvarez I keep in Open turnings. I make my own sets (using 9's sometimes 8's for the high 'E' mixed with 54-46's for the bottom 'E' ) but I'd be interested in any comparison for acoustic strings on 6 or 12 string guitars (Un-amplified clean mix).
    One of the 'other' types of guitar players - where $300 is a lot for a guitar - find a pawnshop diamond in the rough and pay a luthor to make magic.

  • Dave Webb
    Dave Webb 5 місяців тому

    I played .009s or (occasionally) .008s when I was younger, but I've become more heavy-handed as I've gotten older, so I'm a .010 guy now. I find they have a nice balance between articulation and warmth. This video was interesting, but I play a semi-hollow with Filtertrons, a T-style and I'm in the middle of building an S-style. I favour the neck pickup and generally play without a lot of gain, so hearing the gauges pinned to the bridge through a high-gain amp didn't really help.

  • Keiller B. Music and reviews
    Keiller B. Music and reviews 5 місяців тому

    Need to do a part two, recently found Ernie Ball, Zippy Slinky's in .007-.036. with your results these have to be super bright

  • jwpranzo
    jwpranzo 11 місяців тому

    This works on acoustic guitars too! I have an Epiphone EJ200 that I’ve used Elixer 12’s for years. It sounded good unplugged, but plugged in it was all highs - no mids or lows. It sounded terrible. I almost sold the guitar because I was so frustrated. I switched to Elixer 10-47’s and all of a sudden I have a new guitar. Mids and lows resonate yet highs are crystal clear. Thank you for this video!

  • Lex Vermazen
    Lex Vermazen 11 місяців тому +14

    Wow! That's an eye opener, although from a bassist's perspective this is sort of obvious. When you play a powercord on bass it's usually done on the A string or higher because on the E string or lower it's simply too muddy.
    That said, I think the riff the guy in the white shirt is playing is great with the 11's, so I would say it depends on the kind of vibe you want to create too.

    • Milkwalker Jones
      Milkwalker Jones 2 місяці тому

      If this is all true for bass the same as guitar I have a lot of strings to buy.

  • Worldwide Ghosts
    Worldwide Ghosts  9 місяців тому +15

    To me it's the guitar that picks the strings. I have a '57 archtop which sounded choked with anything above 10s but it really came alive with 9s. I have a 70s SG that plays well with 9s but 10s brings that one alive. It's all about the guitar I'd say!

    • Jason Harrod
      Jason Harrod 9 місяців тому +1

      Using 10s on my SG too, sounds better than the 9s I was using. Has really high, scalloped frets.

  • Stephen Truskol
    Stephen Truskol 5 місяців тому +9

    Great experiment. I would add B.B. King to the list of players to use 8s; didn't Billy Gibbons lighten his gauge dramatically due to B.B.'s advice?

    • UsuallyClueless
      UsuallyClueless 4 місяці тому

      Yep, he tried Billy's guitar and then told him "Why are you working so hard?".
      That's when he changed to thinner strings.

    • John Dorian
      John Dorian 5 місяців тому +1

      King: Those bends don’t sound right. Why are your strings so thick?
      Gibbons: I always figured bigger strings bring more sound.
      King: Turn up your amp and get smaller strings!

  • Master JoeDa
    Master JoeDa 2 роки тому +78

    I would've liked to hear what the treble strings sounded like. Also, to hear the difference on single coils. Great video! Perhaps you could do a follow up?

  • Beorn The Bear.
    Beorn The Bear. 3 місяці тому

    Because I frequently play a 5-string gauge with regular stainless steel round wound strings, I tend to like nothing lighter than a .10 (light guage) on my regular guitars. I tend to hammer down hard, making thinner strings sound sharp.

  • UberCrispy
    UberCrispy 3 місяці тому

    Right away I can tell the 11s were more scooped and “finished” sounding. The lighter gauge strings decreased bass and seemed to emphasize the mids. That can be good and bad depending on application. Too much mid can sound really foggy and loose

  • Charles Meserole
    Charles Meserole Рік тому +2

    Interesting aspect that wasn’t addressed at all the “bigger strings are better” concept, it’s not the low strings but the high Strings that are the issue .
    I don’t have big hands and I’ve generally used 09’s And the high E string always sounds a little thin and anemic to me The reason Stevie used big strings was because of the high strings. when you’re playing all those big bends,licks and melodies, the bigger those high string are the more body you get out of them, you get big fat notes, compared to 011 or even a 010 an 08 is a pathetic joke. I play a lot of blues and do a lot of bending and I’m always wrestling with the balance between heavier strings gage and my hands can handle. I’m currently using 9.5’s On a tuned to pitch Guitar and 010’s on guitars tuned down a half step.
    And of course there’s always this option of lighter low strings and heavier top strings!
    Possibly the best of both worlds?

  • Jim Lynch
    Jim Lynch 3 місяці тому +2

    Interesting. When I started playing in the late 50s my JazzMaster came with heavy strings. There was no such thing as different gauge sets. I had no idea what gauge they were but they must’ve been 12s or 13s.we used to swap the high E with a Hawaiian G and push the rest down to create a softer set. Interesting how times have changed.😎

  • Fender5621
    Fender5621 2 роки тому +191

    Great test. But like others I would like to hear some cleans and single coils.

    • Jose Rodriguez
      Jose Rodriguez 2 роки тому

      @Attila Lemy - YmeL For me, to the test be valid must be performed without distortion o whatever other effect, the results are also biased, when checking the different tones, it must be show something as "this is sound from set A, this from set B this from set C" etc, after agreement which set of strings sound the better, must be revealed which gage was used i.e for example "set B are 11's"

      CRUNCHCOLE 2 роки тому +1

      @Tim Newman on the other hand I could say 10s or 11s sound muffled compared to 9s. It's what you get used to and your amp settings

    • StratMatt777
      StratMatt777 2 роки тому

      @Attila Lemy - YmeL You probably need studio monitors or good headphones to hear the difference. (Except for the back-to-back 8s to 11s, which you can probably hear, depending upon how bad your speakers are).
      Rick: Yes, a strat clean with 9s vs 10s vs 11s would be plenty, and maybe some lead playing half-way up the neck or more?
      This was a great test for distortion though! I wouldn't have expected for it to have mattered so much with distortion.

    • Attila Lemy - YmeL
      Attila Lemy - YmeL 2 роки тому +3

      @Tim Newman yes, Rick's test is controversial. For me really makes no sense,moreover I cant hear differences, I would choose the one which is the best for my hand and to play.

    • Tim Newman
      Tim Newman 2 роки тому +16

      Exactly, anybody can turn the gain up with a bunch of distorion but it gives you very little indication of what the guitar actually sounds like.
      Lighter strings may be easier to play, but they are harder to intonate, keep in tune, and sound bright & "tinky"...
      A real test would be playing a Strat or Telecaster thru a Princeton or a blackface Deluxe with out any pedals, I think the results would be quite different!

  • Jeremy Callahan
    Jeremy Callahan 4 місяці тому

    it depends on a lot of things - including the person playing them and how heavy/light their attack is.

  • Ianto Jones
    Ianto Jones Рік тому

    The .10s sound the best in my opinion for this specific test. Fatter strings are just warmer-sounding and harder on your fingers as the gauge increases. The .10s are also a middle ground with sound and controllability. For me, anything below 9 is completely unplayable because there's just too much pitch wavering and I'd rather not have to be *so* conscious of my finger pressure. But I have a somewhat heavy fretting hand.

  • Petey Gone Mad Arts
    Petey Gone Mad Arts Рік тому

    I have couple different setups. I use medium ernie ball earthwoods , generally, on my 12 string acoustic. On electric guitars I use Ernie Ball 9s , classic rockers 9s and heavy bottom 10s . I do experiment with guitars when I first get them to see which string set give me the best tone to my ear but I always tune 1/2 down even when using drop d because it's just the way I always played . Even on my 12 string ... I did try tuning standard E on 12 string in beginning but kept breaking the one G string and 1/2 step down resolved issue so stuck with my personal standard tuning.

  • Giuseppe P.
    Giuseppe P. 10 місяців тому

    Nice test! Would it be possible to have the Fourier spectrum of a single note for each gauge? This will allow non musicians to visualize what you are explaining.

  • KozmykJ
    KozmykJ 2 роки тому +160

    I was waiting for the test to extend to a less distorted tone.
    I'd also be interested in hearing such a test with a Strat as well.
    Still an interesting investigation though.
    Me. I'm an old bass player who likes to dabble on thin stringers.
    It would take a lot for me to loosen my grip.
    I bent 9s out of shape without feeling the strain.
    I landed on 10s as a gauge I could play, bend and not squeeze out of tune.
    I was looking to try 11s on one of my 24.75" guitars, just to tighten them up a little.
    Typical of me to be going in the opposite direction 😜

    • Alex Nelson
      Alex Nelson 2 роки тому +1

      String gauge is mostly a person preference based on playing style, action, tuning, and scale length. Whatever you like is what’s best.

    • The Waldfe
      The Waldfe 2 роки тому +1

      Yes, having one overdriven riff, one clean funk lick and one lead line would have been more informative than three times more or less the same.
      Very interesting comparison though!

    • KozmykJ
      KozmykJ 2 роки тому

      @VitorTelles Yeah. A meeting between Rick & Pals and Mick & Dan would yield some interesting results. D&M appear to find that what works well with a LP gives very different outcomes for Strat and Tele ... AND very different at lower gains

    • VitorTelles
      VitorTelles 2 роки тому +1

      You should watch the comparison the guys from That Pedal Show did. They covered a variety of gain stages with a strat and a tele.

    • AttakaiMusic
      AttakaiMusic 2 роки тому +1

      i have always used whatever feels best on whatever guitar the strings are going on, as well as taking tuning into account. 10s are great in 1/2 step down on the guitar in my pfp, wheras i use 9s on a LPJ in standard and 12-60 on a prs and a strat both in drop c (d standard) and everything feels how i want it. i think that's what you should be going for

  • Jay Collins
    Jay Collins Місяць тому

    11,s... no question they have the best tone. I use 11-50 flatwounds on my Yamaha Revstar 502T and I play everything from jazz to blues to classical to Chet Atkins to fusion on them. I do though, change out the third string to a plain 17 or 18 for the bends.

  • Gary Wagstaff
    Gary Wagstaff 5 місяців тому +2

    Scale length is an important factor IMO…as is the style of music and/or function of the guitar. I tend to prefer 10s on my “shorter” (Gibson) scale guitars…and 9s on my slightly longer (Fender) scale guitars.
    I was always told that “bigger is better” but sometimes was just too lazy to swap gauges and re-setup the guitar. LOL So they often got restrung with whatever gauge the factory chose… As it turns out, it was quite often what I found I actually prefer…which is what a previously stated.
    Also depends on the use. I love my Dean’s for example…but “shredders” they are not. Turns out they have a Gibson or Gibson-esque scale length. And I prefer 10s on those. (11s if I’m down tuning.) On my Strats, Jackson, Fernandes, and other “Super Strats” or variations, like the Ibanez JS2410…I stick with 9s. I’m much more inclined to bend strings playing those than I am with a hard tail like an Explorer or Firebird. Not that strings won’t get bent on those or a LP…but perhaps not as much “pyrotechnics” will be going on.
    Regardless, in the end…play what you like and what sounds best or inspires you.

  • Brian Weber
    Brian Weber Рік тому

    It is my opinion (after watching this video 18 mo. later), a lot depends on the instrument as well. A Les Paul will sound slightly different than a Strat, which will sound slightly different than a Tele, etc. etc. Overall, I like the 9's better. Go to a Strat, maybe the 8's sound better. Also depends on how strong your fingers are and playing style. But, a very good demonstration! Thank you!

  • Mik'el
    Mik'el 6 місяців тому

    What about acoustic guitars?
    I think that, just as the electric guitars of this video, a "better" sound can be achieved with lower gauges even on acoustic guitars... if you use a magnetic pickup!
    But what about unplugged acoustics? Could thinner strings perform better than thicker strings in this case too?
    A few weeks ago I read for the first time, that: higher gauge = more volume, but also... less sustain! (While Lower gauge = less volume, but more sustain).
    What do you think guys?

  • Kolea Erin Dinneen
    Kolea Erin Dinneen 2 роки тому +23

    Great vid...loved how you had different guys play because we all know the person is definitely a big part of the mix. So....can you do this with acoustic guitars...please?

  • Jacob Pardee
    Jacob Pardee 10 місяців тому

    The Hendrix strings are 10-38, the Fender 150's. They make a set called the Voodoo Child set, they're a bit weird getting use to since they have a light G string and light low strings, but they have very even output

  • Patrick Willmann
    Patrick Willmann 3 місяці тому

    I used 9s for years, but have ended up with a skinny top heavy bottom set of 10s for the last several years. On my 7 string (my only guitar for now), it just keeps things much less flubby feeling, even in standard tuning. Whenever I get a 6 string again, I'll probably start with a set of 11s and see how it feels when tuned to D standard and drop C. My string choice has always been about feel, not tone.
    To that end, this test was really interesting... the 9s definitely sounded the best to me. Didn't expect that!

  • Steven Clarke
    Steven Clarke 6 місяців тому +4

    I am a massive fan of Dave Gilmore, and found that when I was using 09 gauge strings it was very difficult to bend strings, so I swapped over to 08 gauge strings and found it easier on the fingers.

    • Neon Blade
      Neon Blade 5 місяців тому

      David Gilmour gave me tendonitis

  • brick62345
    brick62345 Рік тому

    I play on 12s tuned to E standard on my strat. I find they are way louder but you have to get used to them and hit them harder. Someone not used to them probs wouldn’t get the most out of them. Also the vibrato is different with thicker strings, tends to be narrower as you can’t get super wide vibrato ontop of a bend (like Malmsteen) as the tension is too high. I like the feeling of really ‘trying’ on my bend vibrato (think ‘So Excited’ by SRV) as the physical effort is in sync with the emotion being portrayed.

  • Jeffrey Tackett
    Jeffrey Tackett 2 роки тому +140

    It's amazing, to me, to hear someone say that they didn't think there would be that much of a difference. Most guitar players will tell you that they believe that the type of wood used in an electric guitar will "dramatically change the sound". Some will even tell you that the type of finish (poly vs lacquer, for instance) will change the sound. These same people are shocked that the size of strings has a significant effect.

    • DoktorLorentz Big
      DoktorLorentz Big Рік тому +1

      When you're not a good player and think is not you but the Guitar.. ahahahahah

    • Stu Pendous Music
      Stu Pendous Music 2 роки тому

      @Gotham That's actually quite true.

    • Pat
      Pat 2 роки тому +1

      @Jan Sabarth man, isn't that the truth. Started learning production and recording myself in March. As a guitarist beforehand, I learned that having "good tone" dialed in on an amp is as much about where it sits in relation to the rest of the band as much as it is about the guitar itself.

    • William B
      William B 2 роки тому +4

      Rodney McMinge As a somewhat sloppy drummer, I completely agree agree with this. If the drum tone is right for the room I am less sloppy, if they sound bad in the room it puts me on edge and I,get even sloppier

    • Jan Sabarth
      Jan Sabarth 2 роки тому +8

      Guitarists hear a lot, as a mixing/mastering engineer you shouldn't listen too much to what of guitarists hear...

  • Jennifer Fallan
    Jennifer Fallan 3 місяці тому +1

    This was really cool!!! I'd love to see the same demonstration with a single coil, hollow body, and an acoustic. Take the full journey!!!

  • marz bite
    marz bite 8 місяців тому +6

    I don”t think strings sound that different, but the resulting sound due the changes on playing dynamics make a difference, hence string change the tone due changes on how a player attacks and reacts to the tension to certain degree, basically different strings are played different by the same musician, hence the sound might differ due change on playing style

  • Alex James
    Alex James 4 місяці тому

    I know and understand what is being discussed. I've used 9's,10's and 11's over the decades. On clean settings with single coils the heavier gauges have more depth and detail. That's my opinion with how I play. I preferred the sound of the bass strings with the 11's.

  • Seamus
    Seamus 3 місяці тому

    I use 11-50 flat wound chromes on my country gentleman and my Guild x500. I’ve always used the flat 11’s I just like the sound and no squeaking. Lately I’ve tried 11’s but a half round version so they are a bit brighter but still are quiet like the flats, they work well.

  • J F
    J F 4 місяці тому

    I started playing with 10s, used them for years and recently dropped down to 9s and have a much better tone.

  • Loudoun Beekeepers
    Loudoun Beekeepers 11 місяців тому +5

    I would've expected more of a difference on single string lead playing, particularly on the high E and B strings. Love to hear a trial for that.

    • andreas todsen
      andreas todsen 6 місяців тому

      Sound better with distortoin playing chords 0.8 0.9. Its not propper if you play fast picking eatch tone? Its useless. Gong from 09 to 10 gave a big change .

  • christocr
    christocr 10 місяців тому +1

    Well, looks like it's time for me to go to 9's from 11's. The 11's just sounded muddy to me here. I mainly play 11's because on lighter strings I find myself pulling them out of tune at times. Time to lighten the grip as well. I think the lighter strings will fix my "you know, this guitar just sounds muddy" syndrome that I've been having lately. Maybe it will get me over "I NEED this new guitar" syndrome. Then again... maybe not. :-)

  • Stoney's Dead
    Stoney's Dead 4 місяці тому +1

    Thank you- always wondered if this really made much difference- I'm surprised how much difference it makes, it's actually very noticeable. Sux for me though- I play like a cave man and kind of like the way the bigger strings feel and the fact that they aren't so touchy. Paying lighter gauge definitely takes more control. I used to run heavy gauge on top and light on bottom on my acoustic- gave it a great sound. I have never tried a hybrid set on electric though- pretty sure Slinky makes a hybrid set- I should give it go.

  • Will Goodall
    Will Goodall Рік тому +550

    Please repeat this test with a clean setting on the amp and single coils.

    • Kenneth B. Drinkard
      Kenneth B. Drinkard 4 місяці тому

      I like an acoustic guitar but a drowning bass,wth should I put on them??
      I might be croakin#

    • Chad Umbach
      Chad Umbach 4 місяці тому

      and do the same thing with HOT buckers through a hot tuber

    • 65 Pancakes
      65 Pancakes 5 місяців тому +2

      100%. The difference clean is BIG. Why not do a test listening to the guitar instead of amp distortion?

    • Frank Stephenson
      Frank Stephenson 6 місяців тому +1

      Exactly !!!

    • Andy Reasoner
      Andy Reasoner 6 місяців тому +4

      Fully agree! Distortion masks a bit the real sound effect

  • blu archer
    blu archer 10 місяців тому +1

    I used Super Slinkys .09-.042 virtually all the time during my "playing for a living" days, changing strings about once every 10 days or less. I didn't tune down back then; we did a lot of Santana-type and Focus material, so bends were very much a necessity. I used .09s because I didn't want any more string resistance for bending and I wasn't overly concerned with low-end tone loss. I may have used .08s a couple of times, but .09s were the go-to most all the time.

  • FoggyHazetings
    FoggyHazetings 6 місяців тому

    I'm a bass player and Im used to heavy strings. Sometimes I record the guitar at home and I have a problem with 9s: I can't feel them. I like the sound of 9s and 8s much more than that of heavier gauges but I simply have no feeling when Im using them.

  • PirateChucker
    PirateChucker Рік тому

    In 1985 I bought a Guild D-18 acoustical guitar. The ONLY strings I've ever used are Martin D'Aquisto, medium gauge.

  • Jessie Diebert
    Jessie Diebert 7 місяців тому

    I used to use Heavy Bottom, Light Tops but maybe there's something in going with a lighter set all together

  • Souvik Ta
    Souvik Ta 9 місяців тому +10

    Would have loved to see how bends and slides sound on different strings

  • Prophesy to the Wind
    Prophesy to the Wind 5 місяців тому

    I would have liked to hear full chords to see how the intonation was affected with the different gauges, particularly the G, B and high E strings. Probably like most guitarists, I’ve always tuned the B a little sharp and tuned the #1 E in tune with the B, which makes the E (playing an F#) on a D chord a little sharp and the B on an A2 a little flat, but both tolerable, and also makes bar chords in tune for the most part. Good ol equal temperament at work I guess, but I would have been curious to know if all those gauges would have changed that.

  • Alex Lee
    Alex Lee 2 місяці тому

    So I finally broke in my LP Modern, bought new years 2022, and took it for the initial setup and had it changed to .8's.
    Honestly this should've been done years ago for me! I play tons of Metallica and a ton of the good classic rock you find mentioned here. Only ever have one nice guitar at a time so there's that too, HOWEVER, this has been the single BEST boost in sound and performance that I have felt in years and years.
    Even playing along with Ride the lightning to ... And justice with MIIC+ sounds freaking incredible! I was worried I might break a string but not an issue, and it sounds like I have some EQ changes - I think you guys said MID or something ( I'm illiterate when it comes to EQ). Like I have a boost in sound and it's in all the right places!
    This was EXCELLENT ADVICE for me! Paired with turning the amp up and guitar volume down my tone has gotten better because of this channel and Rhett too. You guys are fine gentleman

  • nick nax
    nick nax 6 місяців тому

    The problem for me is, the thicker the strings the hard it becomes to pluck and bend them. I’ve currently got 48-11 but I want to return to 46-10 or even thinner.

  • Me, Myself and I
    Me, Myself and I 2 роки тому +55

    I’m surprised there was no mention of scale length. I thought that was an important factor in choosing string gauge. Personally, I like different gauges on different guitars.

    • Everything Guitars
      Everything Guitars 2 роки тому

      10s for strats and teles 11s for Les Pauls 12s for slide on any electric

    • kitoyobeni1
      kitoyobeni1 2 роки тому

      @BARKINGattheMOON100 That wouldn't be the switch I would make. I prefer Elixirs personally. Longer life, and I personally hate the overly bright sound of new uncoated strings.

    • Me, Myself and I
      Me, Myself and I 2 роки тому +1

      wyssmaster sure, but the title of the video is “You’re probably using the WRONG guitar strings”.
      The ‘wrong’ gauge of strings on a Stratocaster might be the ‘right’ set for a Les Paul, depending on what sound you’re aiming for.
      Playing style is also a factor.
      Scale length vs. gauge certainly affects feel.
      But depending on what gauge you are putting on what scale, I’m sure it affects tone as well.
      They only used one guitar here.
      That was enough string changing I’d imagine.

    • Sam Stephen Music
      Sam Stephen Music 2 роки тому

      wyssmaster Yes, and the tension definitely affects the tone as well as feel. Lighter strings will usually always be a little “snappier” and brighter when played with the same attack as a heavier string. One of the main reasons I personally prefer heavier strings is because for my playing style, I get a far greater dynamic range depending on my pick attack. It’s not so much about feel to me, it’s about the dynamics and the attack.

    • BARKINGattheMOON100
      BARKINGattheMOON100 2 роки тому +2

      wyssmaster This Video, (sorry all you nimble wits out there), was actually selling you all a Set of Ernie Ball Strings.😂🤣😂

  • Crazy Kitten Videos
    Crazy Kitten Videos 7 місяців тому

    Veritasium prefers the 9’s, there must be a solid scientific reason. As a ten thumbed noise polluter myself, they all sounded fantastic to me. Great channel Rick!

  • Victor Edem Setordjie
    Victor Edem Setordjie 7 місяців тому +3

    I’ve mostly used 9s. There was one time I tried 11s but I realized I picked the guitar less because of the stress….. so defaulted back to 9s

  • Mrjdmichaelson
    Mrjdmichaelson 8 днів тому

    I listened and so far the 11's when Rick plays the power chords sound beefy the 9's sound the best for rhythm. I bet th 8's sound the best especially if you're a burner!

  • knowethnot
    knowethnot 4 місяці тому

    I've always used the gauge according to the tuning so i have the same feel on every guitar when i'm playing different tunings, 9-42 for standard tuning 10-46 for flat tuning. 11-52 for d tuning. And heavy bottom sets for drop tunings. This way when i go from different guitars on stage i don't have to change my playing to suit the string tension.

  • Willy Kelly
    Willy Kelly 2 роки тому +437

    I’d love to hear this same test with a clearer, cleaner tone.

    • Stu Pendous Music
      Stu Pendous Music Рік тому +1

      One thing for sure: I'd love to see this done with intelligent people.

    • david
      david 2 роки тому +1

      Yes, good point Willy, the test done with no distortion

    • Richard Van Pelt
      Richard Van Pelt 2 роки тому +1

      @David Rothberg opposite in fact.

    • Doc Will
      Doc Will 2 роки тому +2

      @Jane Swift Yes, I had a 12-srring [how I miss that guitar(!)] that, w/ 13's and tuned down 1/2 or whole step, sounded real ballsy. W/ 10's at A440 it sounded like a damned harpsichord....

    • Jane Swift
      Jane Swift 2 роки тому +3

      @The Vincent Gonzales Plan Yes this test was way too simplistic really.

  • Wolf Standish
    Wolf Standish 8 місяців тому +53

    It sounds to me like the 9's are the most balanced over all and very clean.

    • Qual Official
      Qual Official 7 днів тому

      @Taylor DiClemente word, with distortion/ fuzz they rip

    • Taylor DiClemente
      Taylor DiClemente 8 днів тому

      @Qual Official 11s sound great on strats.

    • Qual Official
      Qual Official 8 днів тому

      @Taylor DiClemente cool point i like that you mention the strat here... as i actually use 11s on mine and it beefs it up a bit in any case

    • Archaic Jerry
      Archaic Jerry Місяць тому

      @crustum cremo Yeah dude you're not kidding, I recently played with Dino Casarez in Asesino, I had to ask him about his string gauge. He was using 10-46/59 for D Standard/ Low A. For B standard on 7 string he plays 9-42/54 then again he does use a slightly longer scale length.

    • crustum cremo
      crustum cremo 2 місяці тому +1

      I went to a heavier set hoping they would give more chug for a pantera/Fear Factory tone, but they ended up sounding flubby and fuzzy, not very defined. I'd say 8 or 9 for humbuckers at least, it seems for a guitar 9 is the peak of the bell curve.

  • Harry King
    Harry King 6 місяців тому

    Prefer a thicker sound, and the 11's suit me well on all of my Gibsons. But I do like 10's on the Fenders. They'd mentioned Eb being "like 10's" for SRV. But scale length matters, too.

  • Markus Hortig
    Markus Hortig 7 місяців тому +6

    Wow 😳
    The back to back comparison between the 8s and the 11s is so heavy!
    I switched back to 10s but I ordered my 9s again because they are just better 🤷‍♂️
    Great video, great comparison, thank you!

  • Cechi
    Cechi Рік тому

    For real 0.11 and 08 sounded best to me in all examples, as i cant physically play 011 well.. changed from 09 to 08 yesterday and im slowly getting fully conviced thats not just is way better for my hands, but it actually sounds better to my ears too

  • Phil Magallanes
    Phil Magallanes 2 роки тому +141

    Can you please do the same comparison with clean tones, on a 25.5" scale Fender-type guitar with single coil pickups?

    • guitar jonn
      guitar jonn 2 роки тому

      @Brotelho Well, no straight ahead, archtop or hollow body owning, jazz guitarist I've met or known about is using anything lighter than 11's. Trying to get that round sound from a strat with 9's is challenging. When I sometimes need it, I basically use the neck pu, set the tone at 1 or 2, try and use a light attack (with my thumb or a thick, rounded pick) and hope for the best. It gets close, but still not the real deal.

    • Brotelho
      Brotelho 2 роки тому +2

      I was going to say the same thing. Maybe also in a different genre? Like jazz or something.

    • Philipp Broock
      Philipp Broock 2 роки тому +1

      I'm afraid to spoil it, but thinner strings would definitely sound better on strat.

    • guitar jonn
      guitar jonn 2 роки тому

      @GuitarQueero1 Thanks, will do that.

    • GuitarQueero1
      GuitarQueero1 2 роки тому +9

      That Pedal Show has done something similar if you want to check out their video.

  • Eamon Ahern
    Eamon Ahern 8 місяців тому

    I used to have the blue pack Ernie ball 8-38s on an epiphone explorer and it was the easiest guitar to play. The strap pins were in the perfect place to balance the guitar in my preferred high headstock playing position when I was playing standing up. String bending and wide vibrato were a breeze and my main influence were thrash metal bands from the 80s and 90s so the strings suited trying to play fast and were surprisingly durable given what I used to put them through. I switched to daddario 9-42s on other guitars because I wanted to build a bit of attack strength in my right hand and bending and vibrato strength on the left along with trying to keep the same speed on the heavier strings. I didn't notice much difference in the sound at the time and any I did I put down to the guitar rather than the strings. Not sure if I was right about it being the guitar rather than the strings now.

  • Raye Black
    Raye Black 5 місяців тому +3

    I definitely like 9’s best. Just enough bass to make it have punch but enough highs and mids to make it sing

  • Johnny Rosenberg
    Johnny Rosenberg 5 місяців тому

    I never considered sound at all when buying strings. I value playability only. If I can't play the way I want, great sound is useless anyway. I found .009-.042 to fit me perfectly. Thinner and I had trouble playing in tune and thicker string bending was less fun and harder to do.
    When it comes to sound, I don't find it too hard to adjust things to sound the way I like it, and I'm not a should freak anyway. I actually like it when everything is not perfect. It keeps it more interesting. I can't play anyway, so why should the sound be perfect? 🤣👍

  • Fa Gyu
    Fa Gyu Рік тому +1

    After 4 years of playing I've tried almost everything from 8s to 11s and I settled with 10-52 hybrids, the 11s felt too heavy for the upper strings but thick lower strings are just so good. (I play on a 24.75 scale lenght, on a 25.50 I'd probably choose 9s)

  • SomeGingerDude
    SomeGingerDude 2 роки тому +658

    Personally I think feel is more important than tone when it comes to strings.

    • M Davis
      M Davis Рік тому

      Absolutely. You can always change your tone with pedals and amp settings. Lighter strings are part of my playing. All the vibratos, wiggles and sqiggles that happen naturally with 9s or 8s don't happen anymore with 10s.

    • Dario Saviors
      Dario Saviors 2 роки тому


    • Waytoomanyguitars Nunavyer Bidness
      Waytoomanyguitars Nunavyer Bidness 2 роки тому +1

      Totally agree. For me, the feel is the most important thing. I play 25.5" scale guitars, mainly. I find 10's are just slightly too tight and 9's are too loose. Thank God I discovered 9.5 sets. A total life saver!

    • endofanera1983
      endofanera1983 2 роки тому +1

      I was looking for this comment and I agree. You can always eq to dial in the sound you want. If the feel is off it can cause you to play sloppy. Thinner gauge throws me off.

    • superbford
      superbford 2 роки тому +1

      Whereas tone isn't going to be that different, but if you play and are more comfortable on a certain size, that is going to help you play better and sound better.

  • Richard Carmel
    Richard Carmel 6 місяців тому

    I really enjoyed this however I wish you guys would have performed a triangle test to eliminate bias.

  • Howard B Bailey
    Howard B Bailey 11 місяців тому +2

    Pete Townshend used 13s. Myself I've been using 11 to 49 forever. I used to use 10 to 46 back from around 1980 through to the mid 90s but then I started using heavier gauges and loved the rock solid sound I was getting. Plus way less tonation issues. Also a wound G really solves a lot of tonation problems.

  • Derek Ryter
    Derek Ryter 6 місяців тому +1

    I would like to see the same comparison on with leads on high frets where vibration is much smaller amplitude. I would expect the same result but this is even more important to me and you never know with a guitar. Maybe I'll buy some strings and test it.