Who likes light strings vs heavy?

alex1fly

SS.org Regular
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
35
Reaction score
12
Location
portland, or
I'm new to the 7 string world after 21 years on 6 strings. The guitar I have came with 58-10s. Pretty floppy for the brutal riffage I want to unleash. But it seems like most commonly available sets are light like this (I'm in Boulder/Denver). Might need to venture online for strings. So I'm curious who prefers light, who prefers skinny top/heavy bottom, who prefers something heavier like 64-13s, and would love to hear some reasoning behind your preferences!
 

Mathemagician

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jul 6, 2014
Messages
5,233
Reaction score
4,931
Stringjoy is great for mixed/custom sets. Delivered right to you and not stupid priced. I usually play in just B standard so I’m a fan of the 10-60 range.

I may have no idea what the guys in low G and F’s are doing down there, but I like it.
 

AkiraSpectrum

SS.org Regular
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
6,970
Reaction score
2,969
Location
Ontario Canada
10-59 Daddario works for me in Drop A. I've used that set on a 25" PRS SE7 and on my current 26.5" Schecter KM7 MkII. Not too tight on the E-E and the 59 is just enough tension for me in A to not feel overly floppy with my .73 gauge pick.
 

TrevorT

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
78
Reaction score
136
Location
Toronto, ON
I use 9-52 in B standard, so pretty light! I don't tend to pick very hard, and in general I like the way lighter strings feel to play -- my vibrato sound much wider, and I can have a lot more fun with bends. I also think lighter strings on the bottom strings tend to sound better.
 

penguin_316

SS.org Regular
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
193
Location
TX
I went through my phases but overall, the most moderate amount of tension across all strings. Not too heavy to be a burden or sound dull, but not too light to go out of tune while playing with a heavy hand.

Also, hard to give advice when you don't list the most important info. What is your guitars scale length and what is the tuning you are using?

I use the Stringjoy tension calculator (google it) pretty religiously for a few years now. It saves alot of time with guesswork.
 

kamello

DESU METARU!
Joined
Sep 27, 2010
Messages
2,050
Reaction score
497
Location
Santiago, Chile
Drop A with a 26.5 scale guitar here. I use a 9-46+64 set. I love it, but a few days ago I tuned this thing down a half step and im loving the lighter feel, so I might drop the 64 down to 60 when I return to Drop A
 

alex1fly

SS.org Regular
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
35
Reaction score
12
Location
portland, or
I went through my phases but overall, the most moderate amount of tension across all strings. Not too heavy to be a burden or sound dull, but not too light to go out of tune while playing with a heavy hand.

Also, hard to give advice when you don't list the most important info. What is your guitars scale length and what is the tuning you are using?

I use the Stringjoy tension calculator (google it) pretty religiously for a few years now. It saves alot of time with guesswork.
The scale length is 25.5" and I'd like to play it in either B standard or Bb standard. Of course, definitely need to try some other strings and see what feels right. I have an 8 string and baritone set laying around, so it'll be fun to experiment a bit. Light strings are definitely more versatile overall... but for a guitar I want to chug around on like a little Hetfield it's nice to be able to beat on the low strings.
 

aWoodenShip

SS.org Regular
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
431
Reaction score
199
Location
Tallahassee, FL
I'm once again here to plug The String Source. Their optimized tension sets are for players who like light top heavy bottom and have a set selector based on your scale length, tuning, and desired tension.
 

mechanyx

Some Kind of Munster
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
122
Reaction score
73
Location
NYC
I use the lightest gauge I can that isn't floppy. I try to avoid anything larger than a 60 and only have 1 guitar where I use anything larger than a 60.
 

KentBrockman

Bite back with Kent Brockman!
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
160
Reaction score
246
Location
Nowhere
I use .9s for both my 6 strings and 7 string guitars. I had to bulk buy the 0.9-0.54 sets online for my 7 strings since I can't find them in stores. Now that I think about it, I think I've only bought strings in a store only once in the past decade.
 

BornToLooze

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
2,667
Reaction score
1,719
Location
TX
I usually go for a skinny top heavy bottom on my Les Paul (10.5-56 or 54), and I have some kinda equivalent-ish sets from my Strats and 7 (9.5-46 and 9.5-64).

My Les Paul is my go to guitar, so it goes from anywhere between B and E standard, and for me it's just the right size to not be too tight tuned up and not too loose tuned down, and I like some heavier string for riffing. The other 2 I haven't tried out, because I'm lazy and that would involve setting up guitars.
 

Thesius

SS.org Regular
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
330
Reaction score
480
Location
Canada
Lightest I can get away with but still having tight tension. I gotta find me a nice baritone one of these days cause I can't quite tune that low at the moment with my current set up
 

penguin_316

SS.org Regular
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
193
Location
TX
For a 25.5" B standard 7 I'd say a set of .09-.59 is hard to beat. If you want to go down to Drop A I'd beef up the low string to a .62.....for drop Bb I'd move up to a regular set of .10 gauge strings for a 7.
 

Dumple Stilzkin

Tom foolery is my middle name.
Joined
Jul 28, 2005
Messages
1,965
Reaction score
2,808
Location
Pacific Northwest
I probably fit into the light to medium camp. I like 9.5-44 for E, 10-46 for 1/2 step down, 11-48 for D, and 10-59’s on my 7 in B standard. But unlike some who like lighter strings I have action on the higher side. I can’t stand the way low action doesn’t sustain as well and the notes seem like they are choking.
 

Hollowway

Extended Ranger
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
16,389
Reaction score
11,864
Location
California
I used to do skinny top heavy bottom, now I use custom sets, but basically the tension of .009s at 25.5”. I just bought a 10 pack of .008s, in fact, because I don’t like the tension of .009s at baritone scales. (I play everything in standard tuning.)
 

Neon_Knight_

SS.org Regular
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
714
Reaction score
656
Location
Devon, England
Like @odibrom I use D'Addario 9s for E standard and 54 for a low B string. Whatever tuning I'm setting a guitar up in, I try to roughly match the string tensions of a 6-string guitar in E standrd with 9s.

While plenty of SS.org posters would use a much heavier gauge for a low B, claiming that 54 is too floppy / buzzy, 54 comes as stock on Ibanez 7-string RG models...
 


Top