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Old 07-11-2009, 12:36 PM #1
DaEagleEye8
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Changing guitar string gauge

Hey guys,

I've been playing guitar for a few months now and my original strings are beat. I have .9 lite strings on my guitar and was looking to get either .10 or .11 strings to replace them. I've been doing some research and some people say i may need to mess around with the tremolo and others to get the guitar set up properly when I change the string gauge. I bought an ibanez ijx30 package btw. Well, my question is how would I know what adjustments need to be made and if they even have to be made at all? the manual explains how to adjust the tremolo and such, but doesn't really go over when everything is right. Also, my reasoning behind getting .10 or .11 is to get a heavier sound (be able to tune down to drop D and hopefully even C...) without having the strings buzz and such. Which of the two gauges would you suggest? Thanks for any and all comments and advice!
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:50 PM #2
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Ask in the guitar thread.

If you want drop tunings to sound better, get .12's, BTW.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:04 PM #3
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Be careful if you're jumping up to .12's or .11's from .9's. You may need to adjust the truss rod, to avoid ruining your entire guitar.

It'd be best to take it to a guitar tech and have them do it, if you don't know what you're doing.

*EDIT* The higher gauge you get, the little bit thicker, and richer tone you get. But you sacrifice bending, and the action becomes harder. Lighter strings are a bit of a thinner, brighter tone, and can bend easier, but you also have to bend further in order to bring a note up higher. It all depends on what you intend to play, and how you intend to play it.

I currently have .13's on mine, and I enjoy being able to bend a note waaay beyond what other thinner strings can do, and the tone is great. But it's hell on your fingers after awhile.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:47 PM #4
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would guitar center be able to do this if I brought it there? or would I look like an idiot doing that?
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:32 PM #5
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If you bump to 10's, you probably won't have to do much other than adjust the claw screws on your trem until it is flush with the body again. These are on the back of the guitar, usually covered by a plate that you can unscrew and take off. Just do 1/4 turns at a time, and it should be easy. Like these guys said, jumping up any higher than that, and you may need the nut filed as well as other adjustments.

All in all, I think you will like the sound and feel of 10's. It's not super drastic from 9's, but a little beefier tone. I play 1/2 step down so it is easier on my vocalist, and 10's do just fine.

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would guitar center be able to do this if I brought it there? or would I look like an idiot doing that?
They can do it, I imagine it won't be too expensive either. And you won't look dumb. It is one of, if not the most common thing that a lot of shops do.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:09 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott7d View Post
If you bump to 10's, you probably won't have to do much other than adjust the claw screws on your trem until it is flush with the body again. These are on the back of the guitar, usually covered by a plate that you can unscrew and take off. Just do 1/4 turns at a time, and it should be easy. Like these guys said, jumping up any higher than that, and you may need the nut filed as well as other adjustments.

All in all, I think you will like the sound and feel of 10's. It's not super drastic from 9's, but a little beefier tone. I play 1/2 step down so it is easier on my vocalist, and 10's do just fine.
thanks for the input man. I think i might experiment with 10's then. So, I just tighten the claw screws until they are flush with the body? I'm clueless on how to **** around with the guitar lol. Do you have any particular things I should be aware of so I don't mess anything up?
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:43 PM #7
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no big deal for a small jump. adjust the spring tension of the trem because 10's will put more strain on the trem and pull it up. the truss not may need a slight bit of adjustment, but probably not.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:44 PM #8
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Just make sure to go slow with any adjustments. Better to undershoot, than overshoot.

When turning those claw screws, just make sure the trem on top of the guitar is flush with the body. If there is any nervousness or doubts, nothing wrong with taking it to a shop. If you have a friend who has some experience doing this, that is the best way because he could show you.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:49 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott7d View Post
Just make sure to go slow with any adjustments. Better to undershoot, than overshoot.
this.

also, if you aren't sure about how to do something, don't do it. get someone else to do it and then get them to teach you so you can do it next time
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:42 PM #10
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this.

also, if you aren't sure about how to do something, don't do it. get someone else to do it and then get them to teach you so you can do it next time
Indeed. Once some things are done, they can't be undone. Certain guitars are VERY sensitive to truss rod adjustment.
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