Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
I used to be a 10s only on guy (especially when I was playing more Strat-style guitars), but I use the hybrid sets with 10s on bottom strings and 9s on top for my Standard. Best balance for me (control for the top strings and thickness for the bottom).
I think the micro differences in the strings is just one of those little details that some guys are hyper-vigilant about and other guys are not. I have one of those "things" and it is vibration in the neck. I have to feel it with my left hand. Certainly I am not better or worse if I cannot feel the vibrations on the neck but I just don't like it. As such, I have in my head that the vibration is somehow better when I have a long neck tenon and a real ABR-1 screwed into the wood.
Intellectually, I know that is not true but it is just one of those things I cannot get out of my head so I have quit trying. (Hence my user name which is supposed to include "Class 5 Custom" but there were too many characters.) Class 5 Customs are (to me) the best and prettiest guitars I can buy used, and relatively inexpensively, with the Long Neck tenon, real ABR-1, and custom shop quality. I have several, all purchased in the $2k-3K range since I am seemingly one of the few people that loves them!
All of that to say, many of us have a "thing". Strings are not my thing, but I understand that they are for many people.
I muddled around with various gauges in my youth and settled on 9s on my electrics a long time ago. It's what I'm used to and it works for me. All my electrics have them....LP, 335, PRS, Dano,, Gretsch, blah, blah, blah... (full disclosure, I used to play in a punk /alternative band and now play a mix of classic style rock and old school percussion/rhythm with some melodic jazzy stuff thrown in)
I just don't get it. String gauge,compositon and type are like picks. Deeply personal and wholly dependent upon that persons technique and tastes. Everyone has their own preference and some, like my own bad self, use multiple types and gauges for specific needs. Interesting but in the end of no use other than allowing the chest thumpers a platform for who is more manly with the biggest gauge.
Of more value to me is the how and why. When certain types may be more practical for a given need. How core/wrap ratios, round, compound, flat, half/ground, wound strings, round or hex core, or all the various alloys like, nickle, steel, plated steel, monel, colbolt etc... effect feel and tone.
I know from experience that strings and picks can often have a greater effect on tone than pickup swaps or flippin' magnets, (not flipping magnets but those flippin' magnets, like them flippin' finish checks, or flippin' magnet flippers! ), or tone cap types or all the other obssessed over mods that are first choice to get a desired tone.
Yet when strings come up it is mostly in context about size. What?, there are how many, 3 or 4 recent or currently active threads about string gauge on the forum now?
The eternal question we seem doomed to ponder. Over, and over and over.....
11's since my first real guitar at 15, kept it up for 30+ years... Most of my guitars now have 10's and and am amazed at what I missed all those years. My technique, speed and accuracy have improved. The guitar is slighty brighter both unplugged and plugged in and I get more dynamics with restricted pick attack. 10's force me to play lighter, not overhit the string and choke the sustain. Most important, I can now play for hours, every day, without busting up my finger tips!
I had 9s loved it buy maybe a bit too loose, so put 10s on. 10s feel more right, for double stops, chords, and ok with most bends, but I do miss bending beyond one whole stop. What rest think of this? Thanks.
I used 10s for almost 20 years, but then decided to switch to 8s and haven't switched back. I have steadily developed a light touch, so 8s sounds so much better to me as the higher frequencies come out more making my Paul more clear.