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Customer Review

62 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Effective, August 4, 2009
This review is from: Ernie Ball 2220 Power Slinky Nickel Wound Set, .011 - .048 (Electronics)
I've been playing the guitar for 20 years, and I've tried a lot of different strings. Across all of the different options that are available, I'm convinced that there are really two variables that control 95% of the sound:

1) String gauge. Suck it up and buy the 11's. You will *not* get the tone that heavy strings deliver with pedals, rack effects, or other widgets. Yes, you fingers will hurt if you've been playing .009's. No, you will not regret it once you get used to it.

2) String age. Change your strings when they start to sound bad. It's a pain, but even good technique and heavy strings can't make up for crusty, stretched-out, worn-out strings. Changing before every show is excessive. Use your ears; when the sparkle and crispness of new strings is gone, and the sound bothers you, then change your strings.

That being said, I use Ernie Ball Slinkys pretty much exclusively these days. They're reasonably cheap, sound great, and are found in pretty much any guitar shop anywhere in the world. What else could you ask for? Five stars!
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 21, 2011 5:37:27 AM PST
Billy Gibbons, Eddie Van Halen, and Jimmy Page all used .008s. Tone for days out of all three.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2011 10:53:59 PM PST
EVH uses 9's

Posted on Apr 21, 2011 7:05:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 21, 2011 7:07:33 PM PDT
Bob Feeser says:
8's rule. Using 11's to play fast is like trying to set a new 100 yard dash record but having to go through a truck tire course in boot camp. All you are doing is putting a lot of resistance between where you want to go and where you are. Of course if you are a rhythm guitar player, the thicker strings do give you a full warm sound, and who is in a hurry when all you have to do is change finger positions every 4 beats.
Sorry but once you use 8's as a lead guitarist, you shudder at having to use anything else; that is unless you are a heavy metal scrubber who tends to break strings, and likes to participate in volume wars, and get angry while playing music. To me the ballet dancer who leaps 10 feet in the air and lands on one toe is the powerful one. Oh well to each his own. Sorry, no offense.
I have to add that Stevie Ray Vaughan as I understand it used heavier gauge strings but then detuned his guitar a half note or so to lighten the load. Hey heavier gauge strings produce a thicker sound, but with a great pedal, and great amp all the sound you need is there.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2011 5:56:07 AM PDT
If you play metal and tune down to Drop D, C or B, you have no choice but to go with strings heavier than 9. Otherwise, they'll feel like rubberbands. I don't even like 10s for Drop C. I actually use the skinny top heavy bottoms which are a good medium I feel. Great for playing many different kinds of genres - especially metal.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 11:26:33 PM PDT
Saint305XL says:
SRV used 13's for his electric guitars. His fingers started to peel away at the nail and he moved to 12's, but his 13's sounded beautiful to me and I use 13's too. They are just hard to find, but I love heavier strings and I can play fast with them easily. Then again I learned on all heavy strings, never used the "thin" ones for anything. My guitar came with them and the way I play, I am a blues player, the strings snapped almost instantaneous. i love heavier strings, you get better tone and sound, they even make cheap pickups sound good.

Posted on Dec 22, 2013 2:34:05 PM PST
on an acoustic guitar gauge makes a difference in tone, but on an electric the coils are determining the tone, its more about the type of metal in the string than the gauge.
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