String guage change for intonation?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by BuffaloHound, May 5, 2020.

  1. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-O-Master

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    I play thumb-over technique on my 1st fret F barre chords and on my 15th fret G barre chords. Suffice to say I use this style a lot. I’ve played this way for over a decade but it was always on an acoustic strung with .12 gauge strings. I certainly play heavy-handed.

    Recently I’ve been playing a Stratocaster with .10-.46 D’addarios, but my thumb seems to pull the bass note slightly sharp. This was never an issue on my acoustics that had heavier gauged strings. And while my technique may change with more experience on the strat, it’s not something I want to spend time consciously developing.
    So I’m thinking this is a perfect reason to switch to a heavier gauged string on my strat.
    Thoughts?
    The next step up looks like .11-.49s. That would be a .03 increase on my low E (trouble) string. I know this would require setup changes and maybe a nut filing. But I’m interested to hear if anyone else has encountered this issue.
     
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  2. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    My low e on all of my Strats are tuned slightly flat to compensate for saddles which will never move back far enough. I use 9-42 and the low e has one wrap of the spring left -the rest have been cut off
     
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  3. shupe13

    shupe13 Senior Stratmaster

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    You're going to have to lighten up your attack. I don't see any way around it. It'll come.

    Sent from my REVVLPLUS C3701A using Tapatalk
     
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  4. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-O-Master

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    Haha. Yes, I have cut up some bridge springs too.
    I’m trying to avoid making my 12th fret low E more than a cent flat, but it has certainly crossed my mind.
     
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  5. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-O-Master

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    Sorry.
    Maybe my post wasn’t clear.
    I’m looking for a way to adjust my guitar to fit my playing style. I thought that a heavier gauged string would require more tension and be more difficult to pull sharp with my thumb pressure. I think that’s logical, but it’s just a guess.
     
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  6. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    You're right, and it will probably work.

    The Stratocaster was designed for 13s. Play what gauge you like.

    If you go above 10s you may need to widen the nut slots, you will probably need to adjust the truss rod, trem claw, and the intonation, and you may need 4 springs for the trem. If you use 12s all those things are a certainty. If you play 13s you probably need five trem springs.
     
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  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Just keep playing, it will go away as you adapt to the guitar, you're gripping a bit too hard.
     
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  8. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Papa Americano Silver Member

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    Have you considered a hybrid set? Light top heavy bottom, or med top heavy bottom. Probably wouldn't require much change in setup.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    @BuffaloHound ,

    Having read the whole thread, this strikes me as the best suggestion, at least for starters. All my guitars use either that .010 -.052 or the .009 -.046 sets and have been that way for years, although I believe that on the couple guitars using the .010 -.052, I make the "B" .012. I buy my strings in bulk (12 of each gauge in their own sleeve) from Just Strings.This allows me to choose exactly any oddball variances I may desire! They are as consistent and a bit lower price per set than the major packaged brands.

    Just My $.02,
    Gene
     
  10. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    You could buy a heavier set of strings and just put the low E string from the set and see if that makes any difference. This may require a tiny bit of nut filing (concentrating on making it a bit wider without making it deeper).

    Another thing you could try; intonate the low E string so that it is in pitch at the 15th fret as you're fretting it with your thumb-over technique.
     
  11. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I always intonate the low E a hair flat. I've never run out of room for the intonation screw. Sometimes it's necessary to remove the spring. This is a common practice (to intonate a little flat), I'm not the first one to do it.
     
  12. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Jeez, I play thumb over everything, I'm glad I use 8-38s. :D

    Thumbover.png
     
  13. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

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    play lighter
     
  14. Stratomike

    Stratomike Strat-Talker

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    I'd start with 10-52 as well. No need to mess with the nut slots I guess. Rather have smaller slots than a string that's "lost" in it (I see this many times).

    I have removed the spring completely...

    I tried to get used to 10-38s, love the sound (lighter bass sound). But in no way I could handle the flop of the E string (and A string, to some extent). I have jumbo frets, which make it more difficult I guess. With a 42 or 44 I am fine.
     
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  15. knh555

    knh555 Most Honored Senior Member

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    If your saddles won't go back far enough, perhaps your bridge plate is angled too high.
     
  16. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    I've used everything between 012-058 and 008-038 (that I currently use on all guitars) and I've never had to adjust intonation when changing string gauges. I also play thumb over by the way.
     
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  17. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Why is your avatar downside up? Is it a distress signal?
     
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  18. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    Just flip your screen.
     
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  19. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    headstand.png

    The things you make us do...o_O
     
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  20. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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