Same string gauges yet totally different feel - Jemsite
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Same string gauges yet totally different feel

I play with 10's on all my electric guitars, PRS Custom 24, Fender USA Strat, Dean USA Hardtail, and have done so for all my guitar playing life. Now I have this Ibanez RG3120 with a 16" fretboard radius even the 9's that are on there feel much stiffer than I would of imagined they would. I suppose that's due to the almost flat fretboard. Has anyone who uses 10's on other guitars done so on their Ibanez, or other near flat fretboard having guitar? I don't mind experementing and I have a couple of boxes of strings but the setup on these things after changing string gauges is time consuming. Do you find you prefer the 10's or with this kind of guitar do you find youself using 9's? I only tune to 440. No dropped tunings on this guitar.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

I use 10s on my S-series with a Wizard II neck. I'm not sure if that's as flat as your RG neck though. I find they're perfect.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Things that affect the 'feel' of string tension:

1 - Scale length. Your PRS would had a 25" scale, the fender a 25.5", and the dean might have had a 24.75" scale. Tiny differences, but they make a BIG difference to how tight the strings feel. The longer, the tighter.
2 - Action. Higher action results in higher tension because you're pulling the string further down to contact the fret. On an ibanez, this probably isn't the problem.
3 - Type of bridge. A tremolo bridge will feel stiffer sometimes than a fixed bridge. This is because you're not just stretching the string in order to increase tension during a bend, you're also fighting against the springs in the back.
4 - On fixed bridges only, the length of string behind the nut and so on will have an effect. If you have very little length of string that is non vibrating, the bends you make will reach pitch after less movement, since there is less non vibrating string to stretch in order to increase the tension. If theres lots, then you'll find that string needs stretching further, which will feel more 'loose' in general, since the tension increases more slowly.


Other than that, radius should never have any effect on the tension of a string.

Edit - Oh, and I use 10s on all my electrics, 2 S series and an RG. Acoustics I use 12s, my 7 string is 10s with a low 56/59 (still deciding), and my 'downtuning' guitar is a set of 13s.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 02:53 PM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

@GuitarBizzare, is point 4 the reason people prefer reversed headstocks on non-locking trem and hardtail guitars ( la PGM) or is it mostly aesthetic?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBizarre View Post
Things that affect the 'feel' of string tension:

1 - Scale length. Your PRS would had a 25" scale, the fender a 25.5", and the dean might have had a 24.75" scale. Tiny differences, but they make a BIG difference to how tight the strings feel. The longer, the tighter.
2 - Action. Higher action results in higher tension because you're pulling the string further down to contact the fret. On an ibanez, this probably isn't the problem.
3 - Type of bridge. A tremolo bridge will feel stiffer sometimes than a fixed bridge. This is because you're not just stretching the string in order to increase tension during a bend, you're also fighting against the springs in the back.
4 - On fixed bridges only, the length of string behind the nut and so on will have an effect. If you have very little length of string that is non vibrating, the bends you make will reach pitch after less movement, since there is less non vibrating string to stretch in order to increase the tension. If theres lots, then you'll find that string needs stretching further, which will feel more 'loose' in general, since the tension increases more slowly.


Other than that, radius should never have any effect on the tension of a string.

Edit - Oh, and I use 10s on all my electrics, 2 S series and an RG. Acoustics I use 12s, my 7 string is 10s with a low 56/59 (still deciding), and my 'downtuning' guitar is a set of 13s.
The scale length explanation makes sense. My Dean is very easy to bend. I can bend just as far on my Ibanez but it has the 9's. I guess I'll make the effort and set it up with 10's to see how I like the feel.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

I've always found that different brands of strings, although being the same gauge, have different string tensions.

I find that D'Addario's have a higher tension than say Ernie Ball Slinky's.

YMMV.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Big Tubes View Post
I've always found that different brands of strings, although being the same gauge, have different string tensions.

I find that D'Addario's have a higher tension than say Ernie Ball Slinky's.

YMMV.
I have heard that recently. I do you D'Addario and since I have 2 boxes of them I'll try those first but if the D'Addario 10's feel too stiff I'll give the Slinky's a shot. The guitar came with the Slinky 9's so maybe that is contributing to the overly loose feel the guitar has for me.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 04:35 AM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

i have 10's on all my guitars. my 2550e is definitely stiffer than the rest of them. i went through a stretch about a year ago where i tried a ton of different strings for it and eventually settled on what i always use, GHS 10's. my latest idea is to tune the 2550 down 1/2 a step and keep the 10's on. i did this a year ago but i don't remember how i felt about it. but this would definitely increase my shredding potential.

also, how many springs are on the trem?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foulacy View Post
also, how many springs are on the trem?
I have 2 silver springs on the outside and one gold in the middle, all in parallel. Do the different colors mean anything?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 08:48 AM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by skins345669 View Post
@GuitarBizzare, is point 4 the reason people prefer reversed headstocks on non-locking trem and hardtail guitars ( la PGM) or is it mostly aesthetic?
Possibly. it would make sense. could be both
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 08:58 AM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Big Tubes View Post
I've always found that different brands of strings, although being the same gauge, have different string tensions.

I find that D'Addario's have a higher tension than say Ernie Ball Slinky's.

YMMV.
lThe tension isn't higher, the metallurgy of the strings is just different, meaning they can be more or less stretchy depending on brand. A stretchy string will feel looser, a stiff string will be tighter 'feeling'.

Its the same kind of reason as to the length of non-vibrating string - More stretch vs less stretch.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Slaughter View Post
I have 2 silver springs on the outside and one gold in the middle, all in parallel. Do the different colors mean anything?
well, the fewer springs you use, the looser the feel. i couldn't use 2 springs on my guitar though, not enough room. you might have really stiff springs though, in which case you would be able to use two... i dont know.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBizarre View Post
The tension isn't higher, the metallurgy of the strings is just different, meaning they can be more or less stretchy depending on brand.

A stretchy string will feel looser, a stiff string will be tighter 'feeling'.
actually it's the other way around, a more flexible metalic compound (lower modulus of elasticity) would require more string elongation (wider bends) to increase the string pitch a same amount as a stiffer string. The stress determines pitch (as does free vibration length)

This higher additional force necessary will make the floppier strings will feel stiffer, if your ears are the reference. If you only look at the width of bend you are just fooling yourself.

To put it simpler: bending up a whole step requires a wider bend and more force, feeling stiffer, for the case of lower flexibility strings - everything else being equal.

Quote:
This is because you're not just stretching the string in order to increase tension during a bend, you're also fighting against the springs in the back.
This is not how things work, the reason the "floppy" floating bridge (which gives a bit) makes bends more difficult is not because you are working against the springs, your fingers can only feel the strings not the springs. The wider bend results in a larger force on you fingers countering the bend, mostly because the strings are at a less shallow angle, because you need to bend wider to compensate for the give at the bridge.

Quote:
4 (...) which will feel more 'loose' in general, since the tension increases more slowly.
Again, if you think this feels looser you are not bending up to pitch, but rather you're only keeping a fixed reference on the fretboard; it will require more force to bend up to pitch, so they are in fact stiffer.


I know this sounds like semantics, but you are really fooling yourself or your ears, if you claim these things.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

String pitch isn't determined by the stretch, its determined by length and tension. ANY bend will require the SAME amount of end force. The difference is over how wide a distance. A stretchier string will need to be bent FURTHER, but the overall tension remains the same. The reason this feels looser instead of the same, is because it IS looser for the same amount of MOVEMENT in the string from its normal fretted position. The fact you have to move it further to get the same pitch increase doesn't affect that. It FEELS looser, because until you get it to the point of pitch, its stretching more.

To put it simpler - Tension increases more slowly when bending a stretchy string than a stiff one, meaning it feels looser but requires more distance in the bend.


2 - Your fingers can only feel the strings. Which are attached to the bridge. Which is being pulled backwards by the springs. If you were only feeling the strings tension, you'd be playing a fixed bridge. When you bend a string on a trem, the entire bridge moves forward. This is because you're upsetting the equal forces holding the bridge where it is by adding more force in one direction, COUNTERACTING the backwards pull of the springs. This forward movement SLACKENS the other strings slightly, meaning that the springs are then applying DISPROPORTIONATE FORCE to the string YOU are holding, as it has more tension on it than the others at that point. Think of it as detuning, but applied backwards. When you slacken a string on a fixed bridge, only that string changes. On a tremolo, the OTHER strings raise in pitch as the springs pull the bridge backwards.


3 - Please don't make baseless assumptions about my playing. I bend to pitch. I have to know what pitch is because I have guitars of different scalelengths and bridge systems, ranging from TOM to ZR systems with the ZPS removed. If I were just using a frame of reference, I would never be in tune on any guitar.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 04:04 AM
 
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Re: Same string gauges yet totally different feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBizarre View Post
String pitch isn't determined by the stretch, its determined by length and tension.
Indeed and by pushing the string towards the side you are lengthening the trajectory it follows from bridge to nut, which means the string is elongated thus raising tension.
A lower flexibility string requires more elongation to raise the same amount of pitch.

Quote:
ANY bend will require the SAME amount of end force. The difference is over how wide a distance. .
you are quite wrong here,

As you bend a string, the angle of pull with respect to your bending force changes (force - along the fret vs force - along the neck), at very shallow angles this means that the force exerted on your fingers goes up almost linearly. Because of the angles there is also a slight difference in force when bending near the nut, where on the nut side the string angle is much steeper, compared to bending at the 12th fret.

On top of that the elongation causes the string stress to increase, there would be no pitch increase without it, and you might feel that as well but the effect is less pronounced. Bending up a full step requires about 12% extra stress. You can replicate this by bending up, then pulling up on the trem simultaneously.

Quote:
meaning that the springs are then applying DISPROPORTIONATE FORCE to the string YOU are holding, as it has more tension on it than the others at that point..
this indeed happens slightly, see the trem pulling above, but the effect is not as big as the effect of the angles, IE. the extra force coming from the wider bend. The extra tension in the string is still 12% for a full step, this is no different from a fixed bridge.

As you mention the other strings DETUNE as the trem lurches forward, but only by several cents, not a half step let alone a full step, so the decrease in tension is actually very small (much smaller than 5%).

Quote:
Please don't make baseless assumptions about my playing. I bend to pitch.
fine I believe you, this was never about your playing, Im sorry that you took it that way.

But your assumptions and explanations are incorrect and it could only mean your fingers are lying to you, in stead of your ears. As I explained before, in the particular cases you've mentioned you will require more force to bend to pitch (as it requires a wider bend)

If this werent the case even the tiniest of fingers could bend up and octave, provided the fretboard was wide enough.
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