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Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:32 pm
Posts: 257
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:28 pm 

I'm gonna start this post by telling a little anecdote about something that just happened...

So I had been using Ernie Ball Mammoth Slinky's (012-062) for a few weeks, and while I really liked the increased tension, the strings were a little too thick for me. I was using them in E standard, which is probably very unconventional as they're meant for super low drop tunings. I pretty much only did it for the increased tension, I hated how loose my Super Slinky's (009-042) were before that. So I decided to remove the Mammoth Slinky's and I still had a set of Super Slinky's laying around and decided to put those on my guitar for the time being. I started by putting on the bottom E, and while tuning it up my clip-on tuner (don't laugh...) read E while the string was still very, very loose. Plucking the string caused insane buzzing. I realize that the fact that I didn't change the setup of the guitar also played a role in this (going from 012's to 009's is a very big leap). Anyways, I remembered the Super Slinky's being loose, but not this loose. So I tuned the string up an octave hesitantly. When I finally reached E again the string was under an insane amount of tension and I knew that something was off. Fast-forward, the next 5 strings all broke on me because I tried tuning them an octave higher than they were apparently meant for. I just couldn't believe how loose they were at their 'correct' tuning. It felt unplayable. I feel like I'm doing something wrong, though I'm hella dumb either way.

This lead me to create this post in which I'd like some discussion about the string tension and gauge you guys prefer. I realize the anecdote makes me sound like a moron, which I am when it comes to guitars. Is there a way to have higher tension without necessarily having thicker gauge strings? Buying a multi-scale guitar is currently out of the question, and I don't know how useful it would be to use a higher tuning.
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Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 8813
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:55 am 

I'm not sure how much your setup (as in, things other than string gauge) can affect the string tension in the same guitar. I've heard that, with Tune-o-Matic bridges, wrapping the strings around the top makes the strings feel looser. Supposedly the break angle of the strings from the tailpiece over the bridge saddle affects the looseness. I haven't tested that, but maybe the bridge settings can have an effect.

I play all Gibson scale guitars in B standard, and I simply put 13-56 in all of them. It's a similar tightness as 9-46 in E standard, with just each string being one lower than their counterpart.
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