String change on RG (.009s vs .010s) - Jemsite
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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String change on RG (.009s vs .010s)

I recently picked up a new RG1570. I was thinking of changing the stock 009s to .010 D'Addario's. Just curious how much difference it makes in sound (on a Wizard neck). I have an older (1991) EX360 (Korean) set up with .010s that has a clearer tone (both plugged and unplugged), so I thought I would try the .010s on the RG. Any input?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 09:38 PM
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Re: String change on RG (.009s vs .010s)

Thicker strings generally equate to better tone, but wood and pickups also have some say in that. I'd say go right ahead with the strange string as it's not like it's going to cause any permanent damage or something.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 10:24 AM
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Re: String change on RG (.009s vs .010s)

I wouldn't say thicker strings equal better tone. It's not better, it's different, and whether or not you prefer it is entirely subjective.

My experience has been that thicker strings have a more compressed attack than thinner strings. This makes them sound a bit darker and less "snappy" than lighter strings, comparatively, and the smoother attack coupled with the slight increase in volume due to the added vibrational mass (think of it as like inertia, basically - tougher to get into motion, but they'll stay in motion better) does give you a little bit of boost in sustain, both actual (due to the mass) and percieved (due to the attack jumping out less).

Now, whether or not this is good depends on a number of factors. If you play a bright, naturally uncompressed rig with an already bright guitar, then unless you like the brightness and lack of compression, you'll probably find the tone "better." SRV is the perfect example - a stratocaster into a fender amp will produce a LOT of high end and sharp attack unless you do something to take the edge off a little, and the heavier strings smooth out his jackhammer-like attack a bit, giving the impression of more "body" to the sound. On a dark guitar driving a dark rig, you probably want all the attack you can get, and adding heavier strings will probably just make you sound "muddier" than you would with light strings. Satriani is actually a pretty good example here, especially early in his career - his live tone from his Marshalls and DS-1 was pretty dark and smooth, and 9's allow him to still get a powerful attack through that setup.

FWIW, I play a Universe strung up with 11-68's into a Mesa Nomad. I'm of the bright guitar/dark amp school of tone, so you'd think I'd want to go with 9's with this rig. I did for the longest time, too, but I seem to phrase better on heavier strings - my bending sounds better to me when I have to fight a bit, someohow - and honestly, the tonal change isn't THAT big, so I just screwed with my EQ a little and I'm still getting a tone I'm really happy with.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 10:29 AM
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Re: String change on RG (.009s vs .010s)

thicker string = more balls to the sound.
also, thicker strings builds up finger strength.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2006, 01:45 PM
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Re: String change on RG (.009s vs .010s)

Thicker strings are darker, there is hardly any sustain change- not noticable- and with a trem guitar bending is the same as the trem pulls the others out of tune, if your a lead guitarist in your band (if your in one) or do lead music, stick with 9's as these are much sharper and have a better sound than 10's up the fretboard, but if your a rythm metal riff dude go for 10's as these do have more 'power' so to speak
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2006, 02:13 PM
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Re: String change on RG (.009s vs .010s)

I'm the lead guitarist of my band and I use a custom set of 11s. I have guitars with 9s, 10s, and 11s and they all offer slightly different tonal possibilities but I think that it all comes down to your amp and guitar setup. If your guitar has a resonant body and good pickups and you're playing through a decent amp then your tone will sound good no matter what. It's up to the player at that point. Personally, I love the thicker string gauge because it allows me to play at my full potential. I'm not exactly sure why that is, but 9s always kind of made me scale back my playing (maybe for fear of breaking a string), but I definitely don't have that problem with 11s.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2006, 04:14 PM
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Re: String change on RG (.009s vs .010s)

10s just seem to make me play better - the Jems and RG all fight back a bit more and that makes me more expressive. These days I find 9s quite difficult to play as there is just nothing under my fingers.

Go for the change - it'll be horrible for half an hour then you'll get a true impression of the differences.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2006, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: String change on RG (.009s vs .010s)

I made the change a few days ago. 10's are not foreign to me as my other guitar has had 10s for about a year now. Anyway, they felt a little stiff at first (even compared to my other Ibanez with broken-in 10s), but now they feel much better. I agree with the last comment that having the strings "fight back" a little encourages me to add a little more expression to my playing. With the 9s, I felt like I could not pick very hard. Interestingly enough, I think the 9s had a darker sound simply because I did not pick with the same authority that I do now with the 10s. The only downside is that the RG1570 has a safety plate that holds the trem spings in place when you are using 3 springs. I went to 4 springs with the 10s which then leaves no holes to mount the safety plate (which will not use the center hole).
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