Manufacturer's gauge

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Manufacturer's gauge

Post by awjoe »

I just restrung my new guitar for the first time. It took me months because I was having such a good time with it, and I didn't want to change that, so the strings didn't get changed. But now months later I've got new strings on, and I put the same brand and gauge on that were on the instrument when I bought it. I liked the sound and I liked the feel, so I just got the same strings again.

They're heavy gauge nylons, and aside from the nice sound and feel I mentioned before, there's the added advantage that they come into tune faster. Which was also the case at point of manufacture, right? Guitars have to be strung by hand, which means a string that comes into tune faster is a plus. Coincidence? You decide.

What gauge strings do acoustics usually ship with? How about electrics? IIRC my Tele arrived with light gauge strings, which I then beefed up.

So, light gauge for a Telecaster, hard tension for a Godin. What do Martins ship with usually?
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by Music Wolf »

awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:46 am What gauge strings do acoustics usually ship with? How about electrics?

Simple answer - 'it depends'.

I haven't bought a new acoustic for a very long while but the most common gauge on an electric would be, in my experience, 10 - 46: but it can vary even for the same manufacturer.

I can clearly recall trying to choose between two Fender Strats in a store, one strung 10-46 the other 9-42.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by BJG145 »

awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:46 amWhat gauge strings do acoustics usually ship with? How about electrics?

There are some PDF lists here.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by Wonks »

Acoustics generally come supplied with 12s in my experience. It’s rare that they will come with 13s or above. So many acoustics are dreadnoughts, and 12s are a decent gauge for that size guitar, partly to help get the volume that they are known for. 12-string versions will normally come with lighter strings than that to reduce the overall neck tension.

Good acoustics are often built around a particular string gauge so that there is a good balance between necessary strength and the ability for the top to resonate. They won’t immediately collapse if you put heavier strings on, but in the long term (say 20 years+) the top might be more liable to bow.

But as all bits of wood are different, there’s no guarantee that the factory string gauge is the correct one to get the best from a guitar.

I’m currently going through a string trial on a couple of acoustics with different gauges, string materials and manufacturers. It’s hard to be fully objective though as the sound often changes depending on how you play, and lighter strings are easier to fret, even on a guitar with a nice low action. And as I haven’t recorded anything, I have to rely on memory.

Some strings immediately don’t sound good, others sound good to start with and then drop off with playing. Some sound OK but then sound better after playing a bit. I’m still not there yet!
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by awjoe »

Cheers.

The first list I clicked on says that Godin guitars have Godin strings, but when I contacted them and asked them about my guitar, I was told 'D'Adddario EJ 46'.

But in any event, it seems that Music Wolf's 'it depends' sums it up.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by Wonks »

If the strings have all different coloured ball ends, then they are almost certainly D'Addario. 2 x red, white, and blue ball ends are Rotosound. Solid brass are probably Adamas. Plain brass or chrome could be anyone else.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by awjoe »

No, they're nylons, so no ball end or other distinguishing features. And that's why I'm glad of the heavy gauge, because they're coming into tune quickly. Nylons can take d-a-y-s sometimes. And I wondered if Godin chose that gauge for that reason - to save everybody time. But from what's been said, I'm thinking now there are no patterns, and every manufacturer strings their instruments with whatever they fancy.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by Wonks »

I personally can't see the point of anything else but heavy with nylon strings. I once tried some light and mediums on my classical guitar and they were like paying sloppy rubber bands.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by Sam Spoons »

awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:00 pm No, they're nylons, so no ball end or other distinguishing features. And that's why I'm glad of the heavy gauge, because they're coming into tune quickly. Nylons can take d-a-y-s sometimes. And I wondered if Godin chose that gauge for that reason - to save everybody time. But from what's been said, I'm thinking now there are no patterns, and every manufacturer strings their instruments with whatever they fancy.

More likely because high tension strings usually sound better and are louder than softer tension nylon strings.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by awjoe »

And that was my experience with my Tele. It came with something like 9's on it, and one string change at a time I worked my way up to 12's because I liked the sound better. (I even tried 13's with a capo on the first fret, but it was getting silly - it was taking real work to do barre chords.) So the factory that strung that Tele must have thought that for marketing purposes, slinky action trumped sound.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by Sam Spoons »

IME fatter almost always sounds "phatter" :smirk: heavier strings and picks almost always give you a bigger, fuller sound. But it's not always the case, as Wonks says, good acoustic guitars are usually built with a certain gauge of strings in mind and will work/sound best with something very close to that gauge, my Aylward Selmer style gypsy jazz guitar sounds better with 10's that with 11's (Gypsy Jazz strings only come in two gauges), I'm guessing it's because it's incredibly lightly built (1.3kg for a dreadnought sized guitar) and has an extra long 26.5" scale length. I think heavier strings choke the top's resonances.
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Re: Manufacturer's gauge

Post by shufflebeat »

Same as.

I used to use D'ad ej17 (13-56, if memory serves) on my Taks but I've recently moved towards a Bluegrass set with a heavy bottom and a lighter top which makes the most of the thump but allows more of the note to come through.
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