Every guitar player I knew seemed to think .008 gauge was stupid to use or something, and over time I did switch to .009's. Maybe I was drinking their kool aid?? My jem7v is awesome and plays great but I was not 100% satisfied with it, so I put .008 ernie ball cobalts on it, and I am so pleased. The guitar seems to love them, and everything feels perfect. Of course a little tweak on the truss ,and had to unscrew a lil by the springs to compensate. I was in death metal bands when I used .008 gauge 20 years ago, and really don't know why I switched. I like a lot of music styles, so I have shifted and merged many styles over the years. My jem is the ultimate wanker guitar now, and even I can pull off some nice legato runs. So if you love your guitar, and something feels just a bit stiff, or whatever consider the .008's. I would say I have strong fingers and I'm still so comfy on these things!!