Claescaster

Tag: Acoustic guitar strings

Acoustic String gauge Comparison


I found this pretty interesting. I’ve always been told that the thicker string gauge you use the better the guitar will sound. I’m not entirely sure after watching this.

Ernie Ball Slinky Acoustic

Ernie Ball Super Slinky 11-52

I have recently started to use Ernie Ball strings for my acoustic guitars as well, I mentioned in a previous post about guitar strings that I now solely use Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 10-46 for my electric guitars. I still find it hard to know what to choose, I mean you can’t buy all the strings on the market and try them one by one, or I guess you can but it would cost quite a lot. On top of that, you can’t even have different strings on different guitars and that way hear the difference, unless you have a lot of guitars that sound very similar but I don’t. What I like with Ernie Ball is that they have nice tone and still doesn’t feel stiff, or too flimsy for that matter. I also like that you can listen to how the different strings sound on their website, I found that quite useful when I decided between their Earthwood strings and their Acoustic Slinky. I have only used them for a couple of weeks but so far I really like them, they sound a lot better than the cheap Martin strings I used before. I hope I don’t change my mind because I just bought 12 sets from an eBay seller in the US, 6 sets of  Ernie Ball’s Acoustic Slinky Phosphor Bronze 011 for Araceli and 6 sets of 012 for me.

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 12-54

Guitar strings

Chest Fever, Araceli and Claes in action
Chest Fever in action at Palau Alòs 16/3 2013

How do you chose what strings to use? Do you listen to others, read reviews or actually try all the brands available? In my case I guess it has been a combination of what others are using, what I’ve read good things about and what I actually realised that I like. I don’t really know much about different materials or how some type of strings affect the sound in certain ways. I guess a big part for me has always been the price since I’m a hard hitter and tend to break strings a lot. When I was young I was poor and had to stick to the cheaper brands and now when I’m older and less poor I have too many guitars to afford to string them up with the best brands. I’ve always been stuck in the middle and changed brands many times depending on what’s affordable and popular in the country I’ve been living. I used Rotosound (Roto Reds 11-48) while I lived in the UK and now in Spain I’ve changed to Ernie Ball (Regular Slinky 10-46). The main reason why I changed from 11’s to 10’s was because I felt that I was old enough to use what I wanted and not care about what everyone else said. My whole life people around me have told me that the thicker the better, and that you are less of a man if you play on anything thinner than 11’s. Remember that Billy Gibbons uses 08’s and still has a pretty descent tone on his ‘Pearly Gates’ 1959 Les Paul. When I started to use 10’s my guitar playing changed completely, not only could I play faster but I also started to bend more and play in ways that I hadn’t been able to or bothered with before. My Telecasters stringed with 10’s are pure country heaven and way much more fun than before. I still use 11’s on my Hagström Viking and the Gretsch copy I have. At the moment I’m using Martin M175 (80/20 Custom Light Bronze Acoustic Strings 11-52) on my acoustics. Mainly because my girlfriend Araceli liked 11’s on her parlour guitars and it was easier to buy the same strings in bulk for both of us but also because I like to play acoustic like I play electric and don’t want to feel held back with too thick string gauge. I’m planning to put a set of 12’s or 13’s on one of my Dreadnoughts just to try if it really makes a world of difference to the tone. I would love to know what others are using and why. Please write a comment below and let me know.

Roto Sound roto reds 11
I used these for years but have now given up on 11’s

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 10-46
My new found favourites, so smooth and easy to play without being too flimsy. I tend to buy them in bulk on eBay from USA

Martin acoustic guitar 11-52
Araceli and I tend to stick to these since you can get a 3-pack for 9,90€ from Thomann

Peavey electric guitar strings

Peavey acoustic guitar strings
I’m not proud to admit it but I do use Peavey’s discount strings occasionally. In Alfasoni you can get them for 2€ and they are perfect when you break a string or you just need to string up a guitar that you don’t use that much.