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> Playability Vs Tone, Help me to unravel this mistery...
enforcer
post May 31 2009, 06:17 AM
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Hey there people, I know It's been a while, but I am overwhelmed with everything, from unspeakable chain of unlimited gigs, sleepless days, to trying to achieve anything in my final exams and meanwhile with all the hell of my breakup with my fiancee (should I say former) those are interesting feelings, the sense of loss is never completely understood without loosing something...

Anyways, enough of bad news from the front, now if you don't mind I got a question.

Here I was, minding my own business, playing with my .11 set strings, enjoying my fair but inconsistent vibrato and bends, mediocre speed and a great sense of loss of peace, on the one of the gigs I broke a D string, so I needed to buy a new string set, I searched every music store on that city but the news of .11 strings were unheard off, so finally I had to buy a .10 set, I installed them, fair enough, and tadaaa! My bends were better than ever, vibrato pretty wide and agressive and consistent this time, speed doubled, legatos nice and clean, sweeps neat. (I can hear you saying "good for you so what?" But please keep on reading) But there was a major drawback, tone was totally dead (exaggeration) mid's were gone, crisp tone of lower strings decided to go on a vacation leaving a bassy overcompressed tone in their place to water the plants.

So you guessed correct my question is as follows, is it correct to sacrifice a limited amount of tone for playability? What are your suggestions?

Thanks, Cheers laugh.gif


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fkalich
post May 31 2009, 06:49 AM
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Well, depends how you define tone. I used to use 10's but went to 9's. You get more punch and clarity with heavier strings, but you can't put as much life into your vibrato. That also is tone to me.

I used to tune down a semi tone like some people, but now have gone back up to standard, for clarity, at least for now.
And it is possible that I might go to 10's again, but never 11's. You just lose too much in what you can do with the string, if you do a lot of styles, with strings that heavy.

For most people, 10's or 9's seem the appropriate compromise. Hot uses a hybrid mix of both. You might try the light top, heavy bottom, which a 10 set on the first 3, and heavier on the bottom. I am scared to do that, because I might keep my guitars forever, and over time I am afraid that could twist the neck to where the bow on the low strings is more than on the high strings. But most don't think that would happen.

edit: also I think you really can tap better on the unwound strings with lighter stings, you don't have to hit it as hard, so you can fly though it better. Just kind of restrictive for a lot of things to use very heavy strings. It sounds plenty good with thin strings, as many thousands have demonstrated.

This post has been edited by fkalich: May 31 2009, 06:51 AM
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midnight
post May 31 2009, 06:55 AM
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It's definitely a compromise. Bigger strings sound bigger, no doubt. But maybe it will just take awhile to get used to the different tone.

If you can't play your instrument and express yourself the way you want to...that's frustrating. I'd like to have a big SRV tone, but my fingers would explode playing 13's, or whatever he played.
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Velvet Roger
post May 31 2009, 07:14 AM
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I always played 10-46 during the last years, and I had the urge to try-out a couple of weeks ago a set of 9-46s. I had exactly the same feeling as you Can ... much better control on several aspects of playing, however the tone was for me not as powerfull etc as I really wanted. Then I started experimenting with the height of the poles of the pickups and the action of the strings to see whether I could get it a bit more to my liking and it certainly improved my feeling about it, as well as EQing my amp a bit differently.

Nonetheless, I decided after short while that I had to go back to 10-46 (and re-setup my pickups/action etc) as the sacrifice was too much, and I don't regret going back to be honest smile.gif

This post has been edited by Velvet Roger: May 31 2009, 07:14 AM


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fkalich
post May 31 2009, 07:25 AM
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QUOTE (midnight @ May 31 2009, 12:55 AM) *
It's definitely a compromise. Bigger strings sound bigger, no doubt. But maybe it will just take awhile to get used to the different tone.

If you can't play your instrument and express yourself the way you want to...that's frustrating. I'd like to have a big SRV tone, but my fingers would explode playing 13's, or whatever he played.


Keep in mind that for the most part, SRV plays one style, that is, SRV style. We here play a much more diverse set of styles, and so have to find a common medium that suits them all well. Either that or set up a lot of guitars differently.
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midnight
post May 31 2009, 07:43 AM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ May 30 2009, 11:25 PM) *
Keep in mind that for the most part, SRV plays one style, that is, SRV style. We here play a much more diverse set of styles, and so have to find a common medium that suits them all well. Either that or set up a lot of guitars differently.


True. That was an extreme example.

I use 10's. That's as much fight as I can handle for the faster, shreddier stuff. Might be able to handle bigger for slower styles...it's definitely a compromise. Wide vibrato is hard enough for me with 10's though.
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Santiago Diaz Ga...
post May 31 2009, 07:51 AM
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Mix the sets. For example, I use 10's on the lower 3 strings and 9's on the highest 3 strings. Maybe it can give the mix of sounds that your looking for, using 11's and 10's


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Muris Varajic
post May 31 2009, 02:52 PM
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Your sound was surely less powerful and without midds/highs
when you putted 010 after 011
IF you left all other setting just the same.
There are many players that use 009 and they still have
very powerful tone, with lots of bass/midds/highs etc.
So imo the problem lays in rest of your gear/setting.
You need to do some tweaking with EQ etc to get something similar
you had with 011.
Bare in mind, you'll probably never get 100% the same
but you can get very close, like 80-90% tone wise.
And it IS compromise, no doubt!
Luckily you haven't switched from 011 to 008, you went to 010, be safe. smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post May 31 2009, 02:59 PM
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Its great to hear you improved your playability by dropping gauge to 10's.
Now its actually really easy when it comes to tone! All you have to do is use some EQ settings and parameters, perhaps some compressors as well and get your old tone back.

I would much rather have better playability and "bad tone" then great tone and terrible playability. Tone is easy to fix while playability is not as easy as it seems wink.gif


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berko
post May 31 2009, 03:26 PM
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IMO string gauge is only 1 of the hundreds of stages in the development of a specific tone you can tweak. I'm not saying it's not crucial because basically the strings are at the top of this long chain, they actually affect your playing and your mood when holding the guitar. But again, you have many other opportunities to set your tone, you might come up with something different that you have never heard before and you like it even more than your current settings. I have used both 009 and 010 strings, even hybrid sets with thicker bass strings and although the difference certainly is noticeable, in Gearbox or with my multi fx pedal I could create various settings to compensate my tone or to come up with something totally different.

Another alternative is to buy some new guitars with different gauges and tunings... as far as I'm concerned GAS is affecting everybody this time of the year wink.gif cool.gif

This post has been edited by berko: May 31 2009, 03:26 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 31 2009, 05:00 PM
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It's not a big change, you just have to remake the presets a bit to find the tone (frequencies) that you like. You will get used to it over time as well, so keep rocking mate.

PS really sorry for hearing that you are going through emotional hell atm. In time everything will be better, be strong now mate. Cheers, and good luck


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Sensible Jones
post May 31 2009, 05:09 PM
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It's definitely a compromise situation! I have 11's on most of my guitars but I have 10's on 1 Start and 1 Tele. I really can notice a huge difference in playability and there are considerable tonal issues. When using the Guitars with lighter strings I use a Boss GE 7 as a very slight booster!!


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enforcer
post May 31 2009, 06:25 PM
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Everybody, seriously, thank you all. I think I'll keep on going with 10s, after all they are not 9s... And plus I made some digging on net, I found d'addario's 10.5s curiously enough they made something like this, and I'll try those. I personally am against mixing sets as this must be a burden to the hardware and I don't know if that will twist the neck or something but I'd rather try to get used to the tone than damage with my strat biggrin.gif

And guys , surely I tried tweaking eq's, and boosting freqs sound, but there is a saying among sound engineers here, you can't boost what isn't there biggrin.gif I'll experiment with pickup heights a little bit I guess. And also will do one or two collabs with my new strings, and ask your opinion.

Cheers people, thank you!


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incoming spoiler read it at your own risk!


Spoiler:


Vigier G.V Wood HH
American Stratocaster Maple Standart with X2N bridge pickups
Samwick Artist custom modified Baswood Lespaul with S.Duncan JB and N56 pickups
Self made Fretless Strat type made of Rosewood/Maple with self wound Neck and Ibanez V8 Bridge Pickups
Floor Pod 2.0 Amp Simulation System
Pod Xt Pro Rack Amp Simulation System
Digitech TSR 12 Rack Effect and Studio Reverb
Behringer Composer Rack Compressor Expander
Morley Bad Horsie Wah Pedal
Behringer FB1010 Floor Board



it, surely, spoiled me!!!


and may the force be with you :)
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Sensible Jones
post May 31 2009, 06:42 PM
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QUOTE (enforcer @ May 31 2009, 06:25 PM) *
I found d'addario's 10.5s

Maybe I should try those out too!!!!
biggrin.gif


QUOTE (enforcer @ May 31 2009, 06:25 PM) *
but there is a saying among sound engineers here, you can't boost what isn't there biggrin.gif

Very true!!!
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif


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kjutte
post May 31 2009, 07:22 PM
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Sorry man, but I smell some BS. I have played with 11s, 10s and I actually just went back to 09s, and there's no real tonalchange at all with my amp settings. Check your cables, something else's gotta be wrong!
At the same time, I never noticed any sweep, legato nor AP change in string gauge, vibrato and bend only.


There ARE changes in tone by changing string gauge, but it's quite slim.

Edit: And sorry about the fiancee and stuff man, I remember talking to you about it, and I was pretty confident that it would sort out! I hope you're doing OK atleast,bro!

This post has been edited by kjutte: May 31 2009, 07:42 PM
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Hahn
post May 31 2009, 09:48 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ May 31 2009, 07:22 PM) *
Sorry man, but I smell some BS. I have played with 11s, 10s and I actually just went back to 09s, and there's no real tonalchange at all with my amp settings. Check your cables, something else's gotta be wrong!
At the same time, I never noticed any sweep, legato nor AP change in string gauge, vibrato and bend only.


There ARE changes in tone by changing string gauge, but it's quite slim.

Edit: And sorry about the fiancee and stuff man, I remember talking to you about it, and I was pretty confident that it would sort out! I hope you're doing OK atleast,bro!

Hey Kjutte,

I think the reason you might not be getting a huge tone different in string gauge is because of the amp you play out of. You listed some modeling amps in your gear section; while he mentioned live gigging. He more then likely uses a tube amp. I never noticed a difference on my line 6 spider's either, but I did on my Crate BV150 and VHT (fryette now) Sig x! biggrin.gif
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enforcer
post May 31 2009, 09:58 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ May 31 2009, 09:22 PM) *
Sorry man, but I smell some BS. I have played with 11s, 10s and I actually just went back to 09s, and there's no real tonalchange at all with my amp settings. Check your cables, something else's gotta be wrong!
At the same time, I never noticed any sweep, legato nor AP change in string gauge, vibrato and bend only.


There ARE changes in tone by changing string gauge, but it's quite slim.

Edit: And sorry about the fiancee and stuff man, I remember talking to you about it, and I was pretty confident that it would sort out! I hope you're doing OK atleast,bro!



Well I dunno man, in my case everything changed, and I find it hard to believe nothing has changed when you pass from 11 to 9 etc, maybe because of your compression and drive levels I guess, I remember you were using a very high gain level when we were jamming on msn... In stage I generally use overdrive on amps, maybe as Hahn said, thats why you had a different experience in my opinion...

And thank you man, It's really been a hard time for me biggrin.gif


--------------------


incoming spoiler read it at your own risk!


Spoiler:


Vigier G.V Wood HH
American Stratocaster Maple Standart with X2N bridge pickups
Samwick Artist custom modified Baswood Lespaul with S.Duncan JB and N56 pickups
Self made Fretless Strat type made of Rosewood/Maple with self wound Neck and Ibanez V8 Bridge Pickups
Floor Pod 2.0 Amp Simulation System
Pod Xt Pro Rack Amp Simulation System
Digitech TSR 12 Rack Effect and Studio Reverb
Behringer Composer Rack Compressor Expander
Morley Bad Horsie Wah Pedal
Behringer FB1010 Floor Board



it, surely, spoiled me!!!


and may the force be with you :)
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kjutte
post Jun 1 2009, 01:02 AM
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QUOTE (enforcer @ May 31 2009, 10:58 PM) *
Well I dunno man, in my case everything changed, and I find it hard to believe nothing has changed when you pass from 11 to 9 etc, maybe because of your compression and drive levels I guess, I remember you were using a very high gain level when we were jamming on msn... In stage I generally use overdrive on amps, maybe as Hahn said, thats why you had a different experience in my opinion...

And thank you man, It's really been a hard time for me biggrin.gif


yeah, definitely. I hear it in clean tone, ofc, but it's just far from as huge as you are saying. smile.gif

QUOTE (Hahn @ May 31 2009, 10:48 PM) *
Hey Kjutte,

I think the reason you might not be getting a huge tone different in string gauge is because of the amp you play out of. You listed some modeling amps in your gear section; while he mentioned live gigging. He more then likely uses a tube amp. I never noticed a difference on my line 6 spider's either, but I did on my Crate BV150 and VHT (fryette now) Sig x! biggrin.gif


Well, I do use a tube amp, but lots of gain I guess. I still love both my clean, and distorted tone, even with 09s.
Also if I let the drive down, the tone is still fat and nice IMHO.
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