New Strat Strings

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by DavidLylis, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. DavidLylis

    DavidLylis Aspiring Bluesman

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2019
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    63
    Not to go over previously trodden ground, I replaced the Dimarzio humbucker on my Strat with the Fender Custom Lab Texas, Bridge. As I am fairly new to this, I brought my E String to the guitar shop to find out what gauge was on it when I bought it. The guy fumbled around with the micrometer (not a confidence builder) and said .008. Ok so I buy the best set of .008 strings they have. Like $13 bucks. I string up my strat and the thing buzzes like crazy. The sixth string actually appears like it is flapping)). Ok, so I look this up and find (of course) that the smaller gauge strings reach pitch at a lower tension than larger gauge. Additionally, intonation is off. The guitar is well in tune with open strings but if I play chords at a barred B it is noticeably off. So the next project is to, first, adjust the truss rod as the fretboard no longer has relief, and correct the intonation. Now, from everything I have read, I am not to attempt to adjust intonation with a $30 tuner as they are not accurate enough. So . . .change the strings to a larger gauge ( the guy was clearly wrong. He first said the string was .22, then changed to .008) but it is likely that I am going to have to take it in for setup either way (I think).
    Before you comment, yes I realize that toilet training did not go well for me)))
     
  2. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4,921
    Likes Received:
    1,715
    Perhaps I need to get a better tuner but I adjust my intonation with the tuners I have on the pedal board. Also, I am restringing my Fenders with 10's these days as the 9's are just to rubber band slinky...... :Beer:
     
    Grateful_Ed likes this.
  3. CapnDenny1

    CapnDenny1 Student Of The Blues

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    2,455
    Likes Received:
    2,408
    I have 9's and they work for me.

    It's really about what you like, period. There is some difference in sound, but it also matters how you play. If you like how 8's feel then adjust the guitar to play 8's. If that feels too loose, then try 9's or 10's.

    As long as you have a tuner that shows how far off it is, so you can set it precisely, it should be OK, regardless of cost. A tuner where the note just lights up isn't going to cut it. I have a Fender tuner like that.

    So what is the brand/model is your tuner? We could tell more by that than the price.
     
  4. Cleotis

    Cleotis AKB48 Team-8 Wota

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    241
    A side point since you're talking about more adjustment other than simply changing the strings. I've started using Rotosound PNs on my guitars that do not have stainless steel frets (like my Stratocasters). The Rotosound PNs are supposed to be a little easier on the frets but they also have a less bright sound. Interestingly, even though they are 9s and 10s, the truss rod and bridge has to be slightly adjusted when changing (equal string guages) between NYXL/Elixir to the Rotosounds.
     
    Grateful_Ed likes this.
  5. snarf

    snarf musician wannabe

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    1,360
    I'm with the others that are saying that, pretty much, any tuner will do. I've used a pedal tuner to set intonation as well as my snark and d'addario headstock tuners ($10 a piece). They all work just fine. Truth is, and this is just the opinion of this pretty opinionated individual, if it's not accurate enough to set your intonation, you probably shouldn't be using it to tune your guitar anyways. After all, using the first string as the example, an E is going to be an E whether it's an open string or fretted on the 12th fret. Again, just my opinion, but if someone told you a $30 tuner is too cheap and inaccurate, they're either a cork-sniffer or selling you something.

    As for the strings, if the guy was fumbling with his micrometer like you said, then I'm with you that I'd take whatever he said with, not just a grain of salt, but the whole dang shaker. The only time I've had strings be flappy is when I put a set of 10s on an acoustic that had been setup for 12s. And I think that was more because the nut was cut for a bigger gauge and the strings were moving around in that. You can setup yours for 8s, but I bet, if you put 9s or 10s on it, that'd solve the flappy string problem.

    Again, totally my opinion. YMMV.
     
  6. JPsuff

    JPsuff Satisfaction is complacency

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Messages:
    1,496
    Likes Received:
    2,619
    I have 11's on my Strat (D'addario EXL115's) and I love them.

    They stay in tune, great tone and work great with low action.

    But I also have 9's on my Meteora (came that way) and they also sound and play pretty damned good.

    I guess the guitar itself might make a difference?
     
    cowboy likes this.
  7. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2017
    Messages:
    6,018
    Likes Received:
    10,430
    FWIW, on my electrics I split the difference and use EB Hybrid Slinky: three treble strings are same as 9s, bass three same as 10s. :Beer:
     
  8. cowboy

    cowboy Blues, Booze & BBQ

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    1,727
    my .02...I'd look at 9's or 10's for strings to start...

    check out the Dunlop strings at Strings and Beyond....3 pk is $9.99+....either 9's or 10's...

    I'd use the most accurate tuner available...the Snark ST-8HZ will do both tuning and intonation...$14.99

    Then string the guitar, set the intonation and tune...see what happens...if you still get too much buzzing, it's time for a setup...

    I usually leave that to a qualified luther because I'm not keen on fret leveling (if needed)...but that's me...after a good setup, you usually don't need to do anything but change strings...later.

    cowboy
     
  9. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor The Central Scrutinizer
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,501
    Likes Received:
    12,114
    Fender ships new guitars with 9's.
    Instead of buying the most expensive strings, I would suggest getting a set of Ernie Ball Slinkys in either 10's (packaged and called Regular Slinkys) or a set of Super Slinkys, which are the 9's. Better yet, get a set of both. One of them is bound to be what you had on there before. You should be able to pick up two sets of EB strings for about what you paid for the single set currently on your guitar.
    Either set shouldn't give you much trouble with rattling or fret buzz unless the guitar was set up with ultra low action. All of my Fender guitars are set up pretty much to Fender factory specs and I can switch back and forth at will without any need for changes to the setup. I'll wager you will be able to do the same.
    I prefer 10's and put them on every electric I own, but it's just that... a preference. As you've found with 8's, they feel pretty sloppy. Similarly, I find playing 9s to be like trying to roller skate on ice, but that's just me.

    There are two possible reasons why your guitar sounds out of intonation. First, because with really light strings your touch may be too heavy for such light strings. Or it may be that the guitar is set up for 10's and that much difference in string gauge can make a noticeable difference in intonation. It can also be a combination of the two. Before working on the intonation, I would first string it up with heavier strings, since it sounds like you aren't comfortable with the 8's and see how it feels and if your intonation is better.
     
    dan5150 and Grateful_Ed like this.
  10. Al Holloway

    Al Holloway Bristol UK

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    1,590
    Like Mark I use EB Hybrid Slinky. If I was just playing blues I would use the super slinkies. However I find the heavier bottom strings better for power cords. I have one guitar where the high E is very close to the edge of the fret board and use regular slinkies on that as the 10 appears to not fall off the neck as easily as the looser 9.

    This is on 24.75 and 25.5" guitars. I know a lot of people use 9's on 25.5" and 10's on 24.75. However I follow BB and say why work that hard;)

    cheers

    Al.
     
  11. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    8,469
    Likes Received:
    6,884
    My 2 cents:
    I'm guessing this more about the setup then the string gauge.
     
  12. Rad

    Rad Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2019
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    170
    I use a hybrid set 9-46 DR Pure Blues on my Fenders and straight 10 sets on my other guitars. Easy bends for old hands with the hybrids on the Fender long scale lengths and still some nice lows.

    As for setting intonation with a $30 tuner; I have had no problem setting the intonation on my guitars with my clip on tuners or my Boss pedal tuner. If the tuner reads the proper pitch open and at the 12th, and up and down the neck at other frets I'm good.
     
  13. sloslunas

    sloslunas NM Blues

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,455
    Likes Received:
    6,371
    So now you are telling me that you need strings on these things?? When does it end? I sound way better without them...

    Steve
     
    JestMe and steve o like this.
  14. artyman

    artyman Fareham UK

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    2,291
    I use 10-46's on my Strats now I previously used 9's but bought a new Strat that had 10's and when I went back to my 9 shod Strat they just felt so flappy I changed up to 10's
     
    Elwood likes this.
  15. Iheartbacon

    Iheartbacon Blues Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    375
    Some tuner pedals are ridiculously inconsistent. You can get cheap phone apps which will do fine for setting intonation.
     
  16. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Messages:
    4,972
    Likes Received:
    6,568
    Set of GHS Boomers 10's and call it a day!
     
  17. Elio

    Elio Student Of The Blues

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    2,205
    Likes Received:
    2,652
    I usually use 9's on my strat and longer scale guitars. I would be really surprised if one was delivered with an 8 gauge high E. I did try 8's one time and really had a hard time with them. Any time I grabbed a chord quickly, it took almost no pressure to make the strings go sharp to various degrees, making chords sound terrible. A 9 gauge high E is the best compromise for me although I have tried a 9.5, which sounds good but is more of a challenge to bend than I prefer.
     
  18. Rad

    Rad Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2019
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    170
    String gauge, it’s like an oil thread on a motorcycle forum, every opinion under the sun.

    I stopped worrying about going up from 9’s and 10’s that I use when I found out years ago that BB King played 8’s. He seemed to be able to get some great tone from those skinny things. :cool:
     
  19. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Messages:
    4,972
    Likes Received:
    6,568
    Billy Gibbons also uses 8's, but he has a very light touch, for me it's like a bull in a China shop and just as messy
     
    CaptainMoto and Rad like this.
  20. MikeS

    MikeS Allen, TX
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,591
    Likes Received:
    3,653
    Word for word what I would have said!