Different strings´ brands and their influence on your guitar setup

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by david_pri, Oct 12, 2019 at 6:40 PM.

  1. david_pri

    david_pri SS.org Regular

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    I am a Daddario user (EXL´s) basically since I started playing and learning electric guitar. Ive never tried other brands. Daddarios were the only strings at my local shop and then, when online stores appeared, I continued purchasing them for many years.

    Two years ago, I bought the guitar of my dreams, a Strandberg with natural finish. The first days with it were fantastic, I was extremely happy with the guitar. However, when I changed strings for the first time, everything changed. The guitar has never been the same: high action, fret buzzing. It was a nightmare because Im so sensitive to setup changes.

    I share this experience because, last week I decided to try Ernie Balls and it turned up to be harder strings and have more tension, and as a result of the extra tension, I was able to straight the neck a bit more and to achieve a lower action without fret buzzing.

    To sum up, if you are struggling with a guitar setup, yo may want to try different strings brands.
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    All string brands have variations in materials and wind methods and that turns into different perceived tension, different sound, and different lifespan.

    Luckily, strings are some of the cheapest consumables out there, so I always recommend trying tons of stuff out.

    Now, when it comes to setup, you should be able to achieve any setup with any set of strings.

    Classical guitars use the strings as a tool in setup, especially those without truss rods, but modern(ish) electric guitars have facilities in which to adjust just about anything, taking strings mostly out of the equation.
     
  3. david_pri

    david_pri SS.org Regular

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    I disagree, i have experienced it. My guitar loaded with 9-42 strings was a buzzing machine with a comfortable action. With daddarios 10-46 got a bit better and now with Ernie balls is noticeable better. I mean no buzzing with a comfortable action.
     
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  4. BigViolin

    BigViolin breakfast foods

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    You'll be amazed when you learn of adjustable saddles, trem claws and truss rods.
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    And I disagree.

    Changing string brands should have very little impact on your setup. Changing string gauges on the other hand will have a huge impact. Going from 9-42 to 10-46 puts a lot of additional tension on the guitar's neck - on a standard tuned 25.5" scale guitar, 9-42s have about 90lbs of tension while 10-46s have roughly 110lbs, an increase of 20lbs or about 22%.

    If you had comfy action but buzzing with 9s and no buzzing with 10s, and found Ernie Balls better than DAddarios, then I'm going to go out on a limb and bet you were running the 10-48s and not 10-46s on Ernie Balls, but also that if either you or a quialified guitar tech (I'd recommend the tech, for now) took a little bit of tension out of the truss rod to introduce a little more neck relief, and if the guitar had a floating trem then adjusted the claw string tension so the trem wasn't being pulled back into the body, that you would have found the guitar would have handled 9s just fine.

    But yes, if you have a guitar set up for 10s, and change strings to a set of 9s and don't touch a thing on the setup, then yeah, the setup will change.
     
  6. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    Invest in some allen wrenches...I adjust my setup any time i change string brands, even if gauges are the similar/same.
     
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  7. 777timesgod

    777timesgod Stop reading this...I said stop!

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    No one is doubting that you are having problems with action and buzzing. However, it is not logical for this to have happened without a reason. If I change from Elixir coated 10s to D'addario plain 10s my guitar should not go crazy just by this change.
    Did you properly adjust the truss rod, the intonation, saddles, the string height, etc and you still have problems?
     
  8. david_pri

    david_pri SS.org Regular

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    Taking into account that fret buzzing is a matter of tenths of a milimeter, it makes sense that minor tension changes between different brands, could have an impact on a certain guitar with a certain fret leveling.

    I am not a newbie, I know how to adjust everything and I have owned several guitars. I just have not thought about the impact of different strings´ brands on your guitar adjustment. Now I know that you can fine adjust a guitar loading one brand or another.

    I am not talking about dramatic changes, obviously, but in my case, it worked for me.
     
  9. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    From experience, some brands feels stiffer than other. I always felt the need to use light-top/heavy bottoms for d'Addarios when Ernie ball always felt more "loose" to me)

    Some material and finishes might also impact brightness a bit, but what changes the most is intonation : dear lord, I never had a guitar well tuned with dean markley's.
     

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