What string gauge for Floyd rosed Arch top guitars?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by GavrielRafael, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. GavrielRafael

    GavrielRafael New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi all, I know that many Strat players find that adding very thick gauge on their lower strings while super thin 8s or 9s on high strings will even out the tension, reduce out of pitch low strings from simple light strums and allow easier bends on higher strings, example, Blackmore, Malmsteen etc

    Its obvious that Strat users like Malmsteen are playing super confirmable and easy to play guitars, for example Malmsteen uses 8s to 50s, tunes down to c then uses a digitech pitch pedal to appear in reg tuning again, I played his guitars and found them super easy, loud and in fact very additive., you forget about the guitar and focus on the music, unless of course your going to experiment with tricks, the pick ups, pedals and amps (feedback etc), then you looking around to know what the guitar can do like EVH.

    But what about arch tops like Les Pauls or Gretch guitars? should the high and lower strings be thicker since the tuners are closer to the fretboard? , is this what the tension issue is all about, then I am also talking about Floyd Rose (unlike Malmsteen's stock tremolos)..these are different territories now.

    I hope some tech on this site tase notice of my post and shares their experience.

    thanks
     
  2. axe4me

    axe4me Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,222
    Likes Received:
    6,706
    I use D'Addario .10's on most of my guitars.

    Kramer Salmon Pink Front.jpg
    2prsces2.jpg
    boutiqueaxestsla.jpg
    classiclpsmarshall.jpg
    Gibson '68 & '69 ES 335's.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  3. GavrielRafael

    GavrielRafael New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    same here, but after I received a Strat with 8s I was like wow, easy as butter, im a stiff hard player when I don't practice but once I warm up my articulation becomes accurate and I play of the sound of the guitar (as with Jazz guitars), so I started to wonder about popular players and how they mostly use 8s, 9s and heavier low strings but also tuned down.

    love your guitars btw, amazing collection.
     
  4. Lance Chambers

    Lance Chambers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Messages:
    1,427
    Likes Received:
    2,169
    Location:
    The Land That Time Forgot
    I have 9-42's on all of my F/R equipped units.

    However, I'm just a closet player. :drunk:
     
    Biddlin likes this.
  5. jstich

    jstich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    378
    If you like mixing gauges on your regular guitars, it'll be about the same experience on an arched top. I simply use the 10 to 48(?) set of DaDarrio's.I'd advise against mixing string gauges if this is your first Floyd rose type bridge,but I bet a person can get a specific sound by mixing gauges.
     
  6. GavrielRafael

    GavrielRafael New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    There is barely any noticeable sound differences according to ppl on youtube who tried this, its more about feel.

    if you are interested in making your guitar play so easy like malmsteen, who will tune down to C, use super thin 8s strings in the higher register and super Thick 50s in the lower to maintain decent tension so his strings dont sound out of tune from strumming (that is) in addition to over pressing chords on a scalloped neck (which are easy to play for any girl ages 6 and up) then to not sound tuned to c use a $200 digitech whammy d drop pedal, then by all means try it., i did, im telling you guys that its amazingly fun, malmsteen does not hide not lie about it.

    i tried one if Blackmoore’s guitars while visiting Les Paul, had a chance to play it with out an amp for 15 mins while Les Paul put on his show insulting everyone as usual., he had 8s as well, btw, Les Paul used 9, 11, 16, 26, 38 and 46 strings., i remember this because his guest les pauls where 10s and he cracked a joke saying they where 10s so its harder for others to play them, i used 10s cause i broke 9s every other day,

    Brian May 8s
    Toni Iommi 7s

    i just put 8, 11, 14, 26, 34, 43 this is for my les paul axcess custom double binded none arch back., more less a black beauty with a floyd but thinner.

    i do hear some differences where the strings vibrate way longer compared to the dull thicker strings, brighter as well, its all i notice besides thicker bern harder to play, but remember that thicker strings tuned down feel like rubber bands, very easy to play , zack wylde puts 50s, but this is to make playing amazingly fun and easy..all impossible for songs in simple drop tunings with out that digitech whammy pedal https://www.adverts.ie/guitar-effects/zakk-wylde-rotovibe-digitech-whammy-dt/6999074

    so far my 8s are not broken, i think some players use car grease to prevent the strings for getting dry stuck which cause over heating.
     
  7. slide222

    slide222 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    2,809
    Likes Received:
    1,842
    Location:
    cambridgeshire uk
    I have 3 Floyd rose guitars and I use 10's on them and I use 10 on my strats , I hate using 9's let alone 8's , and I never had tuning problems , even when I was Hendrix bombing
     
  8. GavrielRafael

    GavrielRafael New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    I hear you man, its what i said i was doing for years too, im not saying i have problems with 10s, just that i find i can get more out of a custom hybred set.

    just installed A 8s hybred set,a new fr 42mm brass bar, the sustain and action is un belivable., if your into shredding that is.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
  9. SteelLucky

    SteelLucky Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    113
    I like 8’s on the 25.5 scale Super Strats and 9-46 hybrids on the 24.75 scale ESP Eclipses and Les Pauls with Floyds.
     
    GavrielRafael likes this.
  10. GavrielRafael

    GavrielRafael New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    what im finding out here is very close to what you like, ofcourse i like 13s on a Gibson 175 to play Jazz, mostly chords but to play anything with no limits 10s are not the only way, you nailed my point.

    longer fretboards or tuned down will require thicker strings to balance the tension,

    Malmsteen says he uses very thin 8s to very thick 50s to 52s with guitars tuned down to C not only to maintain control of the lower strings but because the lower 3 strings on a strat are closer to the neck like arch top guitars, example a les paul, and when he uses lefty strat head stock he puts thinner lower strings like 38 with thicker higher strings such as 10s or 11s.p to balance the tension, balancing out the tension also allows more sustain.
     
  11. Robus

    Robus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    A Floyd Rose on an archtop!!??

    Man I learn alot of new stuff on this forum!
     
    GavrielRafael likes this.
  12. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    2,228

    This video might be of interest:



    The guys here were all surprised about the better sound the thinner strings produced. Now better is always subjective, but hey, they are all industry pros.


    I never really cared for string gauge or brand when I started out, I was a beginner. My fellow guitar player of my then band turned me on to Elixir strings which I have been using for 10 years now cause they are the only ones my sweat won't eat up in the matter of hours.

    I got turned on to heavy gauge strings by one of my all time favourite guitarists Josh Middleton of Sylosis (and now Architects as well), he was using 10-52s in standard tuning, so I gave those a shot. I got used to it, although the tension was quite brutal, especially on guitars with the longer 25.5" Fender scale.

    Now once you aquire the strength to play a heavy gauge, everything thinner will feel like rubber bands. What I did notice eventually, even though the tension of the strings made the tuning very stable and made it sound bigger, my low end tightness was suffering because it was bloated. I lost definition, especially on guitars that were darker sounding.

    Went back to 10-46s on Fender Scale guitars, still use 10-52s on Gibson scale instruments. Considering to go 9-46 for 25.5".

    It's all experimentation, what sounds and feels good to you.

    p.s.: I found that Floyds prefer thinner gauges, so 9-42 is what makes it more expressive and easier to use, less friction when using the bar
     
  13. axe4me

    axe4me Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,222
    Likes Received:
    6,706
    OK.

    String gauge for a Floyd Rose guitar?

    Well, I use .016 or .017 for my resonator guitars.

    Use what's meant for the guitar and what's comfy.
     
  14. GavrielRafael

    GavrielRafael New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    Good comment, I used archtop to describe a 3x3 Gibson or traditional guitar style headstock vs 6 in line strat type based on tension ofcourse.
     
  15. GavrielRafael

    GavrielRafael New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    Floyd equipped guitars shipped with 9s out of the factories is very true, but yeah, thin strings are always easier to play and if you acquired the strength to play thicker strings going to thin strings may not just be easier but the whole experience may sound as if your beating on them., bending the high e feels like a breakable thin rubber band., you would have to behave more.

    What i learned so far about the subject is that most young or hobby like players almost never notice or care about string size and tension, they assume that they do not know enough or better and instead take the blame for it or pay for a set up.

    when these guys walk into a music store and finally notice a guitar properly set up with thin strings they believe they found a jewel, the moment they change strings after taking the guitar home the nightmares start.

    Most people i asked about their reasons for thinner strings are all famous or simply successful with using them to produce the music and tone from their playing, the guys who use heavy string had been playing jazz or grew up doing so since kids like SRV., i met SRV and his brother on the way to their hotel room after he jammed with BB king back in the 1980s, he handed me his guitar while we sat on stairs outside and there was no way i could play it.

    so do thin strings sound better?
    Yes, 80 percent of the records out there we heard are players using 8s and 9s, unless they tune down or use 7 strings the lower tuning the thicker 10s or 11s are better., especially lower strings but the tension they acquire in the end is the same 8/9 like tension.

    for the guys who think that thicker strings sound mysteriously heavier just drop your tone knob down, the feel of heavy strings is only important to jazz like fusion players who play 7th chords., i prefer 11s and 12s on arch-top hallow bodies or es334s.

    my hybrid set on a Les Paul contains 8s while i end on 42s for the lower strings, but this is because im used to 10s as i had acquired too much strength, played like a stiff player who complained about 20 warm up finger exercises and since returning to thin strings i am now learning that my fingers do not need a 20+ min work out or to warm up due to cold weather, almost every tech i asked about this agreed that the final feel every shredder blues guitarist wants is between 8s and 9s, some assume its in the make and pay up for a vintage guitar or buy PRS or jacksons but its all in the set up and tension.

    What im trying to say is that we should not have to spend time warming up but picking up where we left of making music or working on a solo etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
  16. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    1,798
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    I am all in on 9-42 NYXL these days.
     
  17. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Messages:
    873
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    incarcerated
    The video is a (sales) spoof based on assumption. Has no clue the gear you own or what your endeavors are. Take it with a grain of salt.
    Perhaps more importantly, not the brand, but ask yourself what metallurgical composite works best for your gear and are happy with the way it feels.
    Manufacturers know this. That is why; not only do they offer flat wound, round wound, hex core, and others, that there are Nickel, Nickel alloy, anodized, coated, Stainless Steel, and more...
     
    SkyMonkey and GuitarIV like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice