String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

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String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by OV7 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:24 am

I watched this video about string gauge from Rick Beato yesterday. It is an interesting topic. I run 8-38 gauge(turquoise package) on my Warmoth Jazzmaster as it makes the action perfect but they don't work so well on some other guitars I've assembled. I use 10-46 on basically everything. I'm not trying to start an argument or prove anything as I'm no expert but I would like to read other player's opinions on the topic. Enjoy the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGXj_NQONYM
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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by krossfader » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:03 pm

I don't know that I hear that dramatic difference between .11s and .10s in that video that they claim to hear. Once they go down to .09s it's noticeably different (not better or worse).

They make a convincing argument and they're not advocating shelling out for some unobtanium piece of gear that costs 4 figures. I'd note that they're playing with quite a bit of gain. Less bass response may not be a desirable sound if you're playing clean or with certain effects. So I'd be interested to see this experiment performed with cleaner sounds.

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by StevenO » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:26 pm

I don't really buy it, personally. I feel like you should play whatever strings suit your tuning/hands/instrument/setup/playability, etc. I feel like switching to a lighter gauge string to lower the low end response of a guitar/amp/tuning, etc. seems like a roundabout way of adjusting your tone settings or pickup height, etc. all of which do not affect playability or your comfort level with a given instrument that may have already been established.

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by JVG » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:27 pm

.
I watched the video a few days ago, and it interested me because i’ve been on my own ‘string adventure’ during the past couple of years. I agree with the comment that it wasn’t really a comprehensive test, because they only used one guitar and one sound, however I think it is excellent in that it challenges the macho notion that ‘heavier is better’ (which so frequently dominates these discussions.).

I completely agree that the ‘best’ string gauge depends on the individual guitar, the style and context in which it’s played (i.e. group or solo) and what feels right. I was really happy that they debunked the myth that ‘thicker strings = more tone’, when the reality is actually that ‘thicker strings = different tone’.

Personally, i don’t like the feeling of anything thinner than a 10 on my high E. For years i just bought 10-46 without even thinking about it, but in the last year I have started using lighter strings on the lower end. It varies according to the guitar, but my typical set now runs something like 10-13-16-25-34-44. People will argue that this is bad because it’s it’s not ‘balanced’, but i really don’t think that matters. It feels and sounds good to me :) i did experiment with the so-called ‘Hendrix’ set (10-38), but that was a bit too extreme for me!

I love talking about string gauges and materials, and keen to hear other people’s ideas.

Cheers!
J,

EDIT: i agree with the above post about other variables, especially pickup height. Another guitar myth that i’d like to see thrown out is the idea that you should get the pickups as close to the strings as possible, just short of getting those crazy magnet sounds. On some guitars, in some situations, this is true. In other situations pickups set quite low will sound much better. Horses for courses!
Last edited by JVG on Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:31 pm

A crunchy Les Paul with humbuckers and a Marshall 4x12 is a dumb combo of gear to do this test with IMO. Of course less low end is going to sound better.

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by Telliot » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:49 pm

StevenO wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:26 pm
I don't really buy it, personally. I feel like you should play whatever strings suit your tuning/hands/instrument/setup/playability, etc. I feel like switching to a lighter gauge string to lower the low end response of a guitar/amp/tuning, etc. seems like a roundabout way of adjusting your tone settings or pickup height, etc. all of which do not affect playability or your comfort level with a given instrument that may have already been established.
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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by Maggieo » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:01 pm

It's a pretty good example of all the variables that go into crafting an electric guitar's timbre.

Rhett did his own comparison video, too, and his has clean and mild crunch examples.

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by windmill » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:30 pm

Thanks for posting both these videos

StevenO wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:26 pm
....I feel like you should play whatever strings suit your tuning/hands/instrument/setup/playability, etc.
This sums up my thinking

But of course you should always be willing to try new things

:)

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by JVG » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:42 pm

I think that is the key: being willing to try new things. It’s also worth revisiting things you tried a long time ago, because tastes and preferences can change over time.

I religiously used the same string type for years and years, but when i started experimenting - with half-rounds, flatwounds, pure nickel, roundcore, lighter sets, heavier sets - things got exciting as i discovered ‘new’ sounds i liked.

It’s such a cheap and easy thing to try, compared to swapping other components.

J.

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by OV7 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:59 pm

One thing is for sure, big strings sound better when you’re plucking and strumming on the couch unplugged.

I just recorded this with 8-38 gauge strings and it sounds like normal to me:

https://soundcloud.com/wilsonov7/eights

I can’t fret as carefree but strumming effort is normal compared to 10-46 recordings I’ve done of the same progression.
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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by alexpigment » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:44 pm

OV7 wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:59 pm
One thing is for sure, big strings sound better when you’re plucking and strumming on the couch unplugged.
Not only do I agree with this, I think for a lot of us, we're playing at volume where we can still hear the strings acoustically - at least when strumming. I would argue that I never really hear the electric sound in vacuum unless I'm playing in a loud band environment. That electric/acoustic mix sounds better - to my ears at least - with heavier strings. There's a balance of playability and stronger sounding strings, and I assume that's really what most of us go for. I buy the heaviest strings that don't get in the way of my ability to play the instrument.

The other benefit to heavier strings is that your guitar will usually sound more in tune. If you lack a gentle touch with your fretting hand, your guitar will almost certainly sound more in tune with heavier strings. And even if you *do* have a gentle touch, you will not sound any less out of tune.

Note: I do not disagree that lighter gauge strings will give you more "clarity", high end, or dynamics.

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by countertext » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:57 pm

windmill wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:30 pm
Thanks for posting both these videos

StevenO wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:26 pm
....I feel like you should play whatever strings suit your tuning/hands/instrument/setup/playability, etc.
This sums up my thinking

But of course you should always be willing to try new things

:)
That’s what I got from the video - a little “producers like the narrower frequency spread of lighter strings,” and a lot of “some guitarists might like the easier feel of lighter strings.”

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by mynameisjonas » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:21 am

I watched that video the other day, and I thought the heaviest set of strings sounded the best. As they went to lighter and lighter strings, the sound got a sort of nasal quality that I didn't like. I'm sure that cuts through better in a classic rock mix, but to my ears it just sounded less exciting.
It would have been interesting to hear what happens when you go up to .012s and .013s.

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by StevenO » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:03 am

countertext wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:57 pm
windmill wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:30 pm
Thanks for posting both these videos

StevenO wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:26 pm
....I feel like you should play whatever strings suit your tuning/hands/instrument/setup/playability, etc.
This sums up my thinking

But of course you should always be willing to try new things

:)
That’s what I got from the video - a little “producers like the narrower frequency spread of lighter strings,” and a lot of “some guitarists might like the easier feel of lighter strings.”
Yep, but also that's.... Kind of what everything else is for in a recording environment? Like EQs... If a producer ever asked me to switch to 8s because it'd make his job easier, I'd find a new producer...

:whistle:

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Re: String gauge video by Rick Beato..discuss

Post by StevenO » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:04 am

Telliot wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:49 pm
StevenO wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:26 pm
I don't really buy it, personally. I feel like you should play whatever strings suit your tuning/hands/instrument/setup/playability, etc. I feel like switching to a lighter gauge string to lower the low end response of a guitar/amp/tuning, etc. seems like a roundabout way of adjusting your tone settings or pickup height, etc. all of which do not affect playability or your comfort level with a given instrument that may have already been established.
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