Electric strings on my acoustic dreadnaught

Discussion in 'Acoustic Soundboard' started by Karol, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. Karol

    Karol Strat-Talk Member

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    I needed to change strings on my acoustic (Cort MR710F NS), and the only set I had laying around was electric 10s, so I've put them on. Normally I'd have acoustic 11s. But I didn't care and gave it a go.

    I can definitely hear the difference, and it's much easier to play. It understandably encourages me to play more like on the electric guitar, bending and going up and down the scales.

    Now funny part: I took it to the park for a small picnic, and there was a friend (pretty good player and a guitar beginners teacher) trying my guitar and played a bit, but they didn't even notice. Only when I said that I've put electric strings, he noticed and said that I shouldn't do it without giving any reason.

    The truth is I don't see any reason not to do it, besides the sound and feel. Do you have any opinion? Anybody tried it? How bad did it go?
     
  2. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    For 40+ years. I heard Jim Croce's guitarist used electric strings on his acoustic and tried it.



    Some say the intonation could be off on the G string...but I've never had that problem.
     
  3. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    I've tried it. The sound isn't the same, I like 80/20 bronze on acoustics better than I like nickel strings on acoustics. The plain strings sound the same because they are the same.

    Lighter strings will have less tension. The tension and string weight are what drives the soundboard, on an acoustic guitar--so lighter strings will produce less volume.
     
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  4. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Electric strings on my acoustic:

     
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  5. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i have electric strings on my tak right now.
     
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  6. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i think i listened to more jim croce when i was a kid than anything else.
     
  7. Fender Phil

    Fender Phil Strat-Talker

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    I used to use electric guitar strings on my old 70’s Yamaha bolt on neck acoustic, in the 80’s. I used to gig country/rock duo, and trio with it. Never had a negative comment.

    I moved up to a small bodied, 3” deep, K Yairi cutaway, built in electronics, with light gauge acoustic strings after that.
     
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  8. Karol

    Karol Strat-Talk Member

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    It's all true. Also with less tension one can experience more buzzing when trying to hit hard. Although saying that I shouldn't do it was bit funny :D

    Also I wonder if this would be a problem the other way around. Acoustic 11s on the electric. Some people think that the tension will be bigger and could warp the neck of a guitar which wasn't built to resist it... I somehow disagree - I believe guitars are built with a big margin of error, just in case. That's what truss rod is in there for... only classical guitars could have that problem.
     
  9. Nadnitram

    Nadnitram Most Honored Senior Member

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    Last week I restrung an acoustic guitar for a buddy who is just learning to play. He was noodling on a guitar strung with acoustic 12's, while I put a set of electric 10's on his Esteban (I know, right?! But a free guitar is a free guitar :D). He immediately noticed the reduced tension, and he's having a blast learning new stuff without as much hand fatigue.

    Meanwhile, I put electric 10's on one of my own acoustics because acoustic 10's were back-ordered. They have a noticeably thinner tone, and they produce less volume. On the other hand, the unwound g string reduces finger noise, and I love being able to bend strings on an acoustic.
     
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  10. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General Strat-Talk Supporter

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    There is a significant difference in tension between acoustic vs. electric strings but yes a Strat could handle acoustic 11’s, they’re about the same tension as electric 12’s and folks use those on Strats.

    D’addario Exl string tensions
    10 gauge - 103.6
    11 gauge- 117.11
    12 gauge - 146.45

    D’addario PB acoustic tension
    10 gauge - 133.25
    11 gauge - 148.57
    12 gauge - 160.54

    Stringjoy put acoustic strings on a semi hollow ES 339 and you can read and listen to what happened here
    https://www.stringjoy.com/acoustic-guitar-strings-on-electric-guitar/

    I have put electric strings on an acoustic and dig the tone but I find no need now that D’addario has their nickel bronze acoustic strings. Softer feel, warmer tone like the monel that was used before PB and 80/20 and the right tension to drive the top of the guitar for better volume and projection. https://www.daddario.com/products/guitar/acoustic-guitar/nickel-bronze/
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
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  11. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I did this once a long time ago and liked it.
     
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  12. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I had no idea.

    This would have saved me so much trouble trying to track down acoustic strings in the middle of bumbum Oklahoma
     
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  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I learned a long time ago that if it works for me...what other people say means zip. :D
     
  14. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Strat-Talker

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    electric strings will be probably not as loud as true acoustic strings if you play it unplugged, but plugged in will not be a problem. however if you really want lighter strings for acoustic, daddario makes 9s which is loud but nice on the hands. FWWW i also used electric 10s before on an acoustic and it was nice too
     
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  15. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Acoustic strings sound like crap with magnetic pickups. Bronze is non-magnetic, so only the string's core interacts with the magnetic field. This results in a rather anemic sound from the bass strings. The plain strings are just steel in both kinds of set, so they act the same as any string with the same gauge.

    13s were "regular" guitar strings, and some companies still sell them as "medium" gauge. "Light" strings (10s) weren't introduced until the mid 60s. So Strats, Teles, and Les Pauls were designed for 13s. A Strat will of course need all 5 trem springs to handle 13s, and will need truss rod adjustment if it had proper relief with lighter strings. I wouldn't hesitate about 11s, that's what I play on Gibson-scale guitars and the tension is about the same as 10s on a Fender.

    It's fairly common for acoustic guitars and 12-strings to develop belly bulge (sometimes corrected with a neck reset) and some of them actually collapse under string tension. I'd be more cautious going up string gauges on an acoustic than on an electric--if you notice the action rising as you tune up, it's time to back off. It's definitely NOT just classical guitars.
     
  16. Karol

    Karol Strat-Talk Member

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    This is extremely interesting and never thought about it like that... I noticed that, on my Acoustasonic with electric strings (made to be played with acoustic strings), when using electric pickup, thinner strings are not as loud... does it mean that the pickup was adjusted to compensate for bronze coated strings, and the volume was boosted on that end?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  17. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    Using electric guitar strings on an acoustic most certainly won't hurt anything. I don't think it will sound it's best imho, but if you like it, who cares what I think.
     
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  18. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    If it's made to play with acoustic strings, that must mean the pickup and/or electronics were designed to compensate for acoustic strings. So yeah, that's probably the issue.
     
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  19. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Strat-O-Master

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    I have use electric strings on acoustics in the past. It would depend on the tone I wanted what I would put on them. Each type of material gave me different tone characteristics as did the type of windings Flat, Halfround, Round wound.
     
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  20. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I need to listen to more Croce.