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 Question About Changing String Gauges 
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Motorman

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:17 am
Posts: 329
Post Question About Changing String Gauges
Hey everyone,

I have a Telecaster Plus with D'Addario .09 gauges on them (or are they GHS .09's?), however I was trying out a particular string gauge set that goes 10, 12, 16, 28, 38, 48, which I happened to love.

Turns out he was using a special set of GHS strings called the "GHS David Gilmour" strings(http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/dagisielgust.html). However I was wondering (newb question coming up!)...these are a particularly unique set of strings, will my guitar be able to handle it? I'm not thinking so much about the neck of the guitar since I have a big, thick telecaster neck and the thing is a beast. it should be able to take the strings and not bow or anything. however i was wondering about the nut. How can i check if the nut is ready to handle these unique gauge strings? I just don't want to have to recut the nut to accommodate them and then be particularly limited to these type of strings in the future, nor do I want intonation problems, higher action, or any of that other good stuff. since I'm particularly ignorant of the actual workings of a guitar, I was wondering if you guys could help educate me on these matters because I have a feeling my fears are a little unfounded.

Thanks!


Thu May 26, 2011 4:50 pm
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Viking Kong
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:55 pm
Posts: 6676
Location: Southern Ontario
Post Re: Question About Changing String Gauges
I can't really educate in the matters of correcting, filing the nut ect., but I can't imagine there's going to be too much of an issue. I didn't encounter any issue with strings being to thick until I started using 12's and even then, it's not something I can't live with. You could probably test fit the strings in the nut before you actually put them on.


Thu May 26, 2011 6:34 pm
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Dr. X
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:50 am
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Post Re: Question About Changing String Gauges
It's not a major increase in string size, you should be fine. ;)


Thu May 26, 2011 10:36 pm
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Viking Kong
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:37 pm
Posts: 5165
Location: London
Post Re: Question About Changing String Gauges
If it's a good guitar then you shouldn't have an issue.

I switched from 10s to 12s on my cheap guitar and the nut cracked and split and flew apart. No such thing on my better guitars.

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Thu May 26, 2011 11:58 pm
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Motorman

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:17 am
Posts: 329
Post Re: Question About Changing String Gauges
Yeah, I'd definitely say it's a good guitar (it's the telecaster line that had lace sensors in them, the telecaster plus) and a beast of an instrument. my main fear wasn't the nut going flying or anything but, rather, since this is an uncommon string gauge (to my pathetic knowledge) the strings wouldn't "sit in right" and the strings would be overly tense, ruin the intonation, have higher action, etc. etc. or that i would have to adjust the neck, which is PROBABLY what i'd have to do...but with the neck as thick as the one as my tele, i probably won't have a problem with that.

how do i know if my neck has been affected by the string gauge? i always see people look down the neck but mine always look straight...i juts have a feeling im not looking in the right place...and im too much of a newb to go poking around turning truss rods, im scared to death ill fuck something up.


Fri May 27, 2011 2:28 am
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Viking Kong
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:55 pm
Posts: 6676
Location: Southern Ontario
Post Re: Question About Changing String Gauges
When you look down the neck, you use the part that is against the guitar and as pretty much is permanently straight as a guide that you compare the rest of the neck to.


Fri May 27, 2011 6:16 am
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Motorman

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:16 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: Question About Changing String Gauges
You can look down the neck but do you trust your eyes?

You can just fret at the 1st and at the 22nd and measure the gap between the string and the 8th fret. If there's too much bow with the new strings you'll just have to very very slightly tighten the truss. Don't think in 1/2 turns or 1/4 turns. Think 1/60th of a turn like going from 12:00 to 12:01 on a clock.

Fender recommends about a 0.25mm gap at the 8th fret.


But I honestly wouldn't expect you'd need to touch it. Going from 9-42 to 10-48 shouldn't really make any noticeable difference on a thick necked-Tele.


Fri May 27, 2011 3:06 pm
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Dr. X

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:27 am
Posts: 105
Post Re: Question About Changing String Gauges
JohnStamos wrote:
Yeah, I'd definitely say it's a good guitar (it's the telecaster line that had lace sensors in them, the telecaster plus) and a beast of an instrument. my main fear wasn't the nut going flying or anything but, rather, since this is an uncommon string gauge (to my pathetic knowledge) the strings wouldn't "sit in right" and the strings would be overly tense, ruin the intonation, have higher action, etc. etc. or that i would have to adjust the neck, which is PROBABLY what i'd have to do...but with the neck as thick as the one as my tele, i probably won't have a problem with that.

how do i know if my neck has been affected by the string gauge? i always see people look down the neck but mine always look straight...i juts have a feeling im not looking in the right place...and im too much of a newb to go poking around turning truss rods, im scared to death ill fuck something up.



You'll be fine. Those sizes are not unusual, they're just packaged together in a different way (basically a combination of sizes from a .009, .010 and .011 set). The plain strings in that set are probably identical to the .009 set on your guitar now, with the exception of the .010.

You will have to adjust the intonation, particularly on the wound strings, but that's not a big deal. I find that heavier strings intonate better than thinner ones anyway. You may also have to play around your action and even the pickup height a little bit, but probably nothing significant.

When and if you do make any adjustments, just go slow and give the guitar a chance to "come around." It can take a neck a few hours to respond to a truss rod adjustment, especially if it's a thicker one.


Sat May 28, 2011 6:13 pm
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