Gauging the "Jet-Set"

Jet owners - what gauge strings are you playing?

  • 12s+ - I'm the Hulk and I want to fight for every note!

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • 11s - As a Gretsch should be strung

    Votes: 22 36.1%
  • 10s - it's the same as a Les Paul, right?

    Votes: 34 55.7%
  • 9s - Let's get Stratty!

    Votes: 3 4.9%
  • 8s - my fingers 'aint what they used to be.

    Votes: 1 1.6%

  • Total voters
    61
  • Poll closed .

rmconner80

Electromatic
Jun 19, 2017
23
Clifton VA
I bend a lot and use 10-46 on Teles and Jets. I play in a country band and we do some more modern stuff so I have to play some fast runs and over the top bends.

I like 10.5 - 48 on Gretsch hollow bodies, and 11 -49 on Gibson hollow bodies. I can bend all those fine but just not as fast / wide vibrato / ‘rawk’ as the 10s. 12s on acoustics, I bend acoustic strings too at shows...
 

stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,555
Firenze, Italy
So I whipped the 10s off the Jet and put 11-48s on. For me it's so much better.

It feels and plays superbly now, the slinkiness is gone and the bending is more controllable. Chords and arpeggios all sounding tighter. It seems perfectly set up for running 11s...which makes me even more surprised it had 10s on. That Stern guy eh...what does he know?! ;):D
To me Jet -11s was instant love.
But I came from 12s on my open tuning guitars, so adjusting was easier.
Thicker gauge and higher action. That’s the trick 🙂
 

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,308
England
To me Jet -11s was instant love.
But I came from 12s on my open tuning guitars, so adjusting was easier.
Thicker gauge and higher action. That’s the trick 🙂

I did figure I might need to adjust the set up moving up, but actually didn't need to touch a thing. I've played it this afternoon and everything is better with the 11s.

Totally blown away, I had to liquidate half my guitar collection for this...but I have zero regrets.
 

stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,555
Firenze, Italy
Totally blown away, I had to liquidate half my guitar collection for this...but I have zero regrets.
I can feel you, I drooled for a Duo Jet in the last couple of years with little success.
Since I played a ‘60 Firebird Jet three years ago that guitar spoke to me.
Unfortunately, my bank account don’t listen. :) And I’m pathetically sentimental with all my old wood.;)
 

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,308
England
I can feel you, I drooled for a Duo Jet in the last couple of years with little success.
Since I played a ‘60 Firebird Jet three years ago that guitar spoke to me.
Unfortunately, my bank account don’t listen. :) And I’m pathetically sentimental with all my old wood.;)

I think it's great to be sentimental about them. You can't buy that feeling. Ditching my Jet Firebird (2017 not 1960) seemed unthinkable, until saw this. Right now I am gas free, just enjoying the few guitars I have left.
 

blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,786
Savannah, GA
Honestly, I’m surprised I am the only person with 12’s!
I’ve tried them but they got a little “thumpy” sounding to me. .11’s on a Jet are perfect for giving me the tension I like and taming just a fraction of the twang.

I just strung the Casino with .11’s and it sounds glorious! Maybe it’s just the GHS Nickel Rockers that sound so sweet but it made a huge difference over the .10’s that were on it.

.10’s to .11’s are a very obvious improvement to my ear but .11’s to .12’s did not sound any better and were just more stubborn. I do like bigger strings on the bottom though and use a .52 for low E
 

Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,761
South Dakota
I’ve tried them but they got a little “thumpy” sounding to me. .11’s on a Jet are perfect for giving me the tension I like and taming just a fraction of the twang.

I just strung the Casino with .11’s and it sounds glorious! Maybe it’s just the GHS Nickel Rockers that sound so sweet but it made a huge difference over the .10’s that were on it.

.10’s to .11’s are a very obvious improvement to my ear but .11’s to .12’s did not sound any better and were just more stubborn. I do like bigger strings on the bottom though and use a .52 for low E
Same here until I tried the TI Jazz Swings and BeBops. Tue Dads did that to me so I used 11s in NYXL. I did find the top a bit tinny on all my guitars with them though. Just a bit. I’m much happier with the TI Jazz Swings.
 

stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,555
Firenze, Italy
Honestly, I’m surprised I am the only person with 12’s!
12s are the way. Sometimes they get a little heavy for daily use though. Having spent most of the time with all my guitars with 12s (it’s hard to play bottleneck on lighter gauges), 11s felt like I was a better player. Can’t use them on all my guitars though. Blues needs heavy strings.
 

mister rain

Synchromatic
Apr 23, 2020
799
new orleans
There was a string gauge versus tension thread a few days ago. I posted that I play 10’s with a wound G on all my guitars, Annie, SG, two Strats and a Telecaster. They just feel right and I’ve learned to play in tune on all of them. I don’t suppose I’d use different strings on a Jet.
what strings do you use? i have a difficult time finding wound G’s in lighter gauges - but i haven’t really started looking yet
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
May 25, 2022
552
New York
what strings do you use? i have a difficult time finding wound G’s in lighter gauges - but i haven’t really started looking yet
D’ADDARIO EXL110W. They’re cheap and always in stock in my local GC. I use them on all my electrics, Gretsch, Gibson, Fender. All of them.
 

mister rain

Synchromatic
Apr 23, 2020
799
new orleans
D’ADDARIO EXL110W. They’re cheap and always in stock in my local GC. I use them on all my electrics, Gretsch, Gibson, Fender. All of them.
i used to use the 115w’s, didn’t hate em. sure didn’t love them like i do my coated ones (i live in a swamp) or my stringjoys, though.

did not know they did 10s with a wound g. i’ll check em out.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,705
Where the action is!
Honestly, I’m surprised I am the only person with 12’s!

I’ve tried them but they got a little “thumpy” sounding to me. .11’s on a Jet are perfect for giving me the tension I like and taming just a fraction of the twang.
Occasionally people pooh-pooh the idea that string gauge affects tone. Maybe those people rarely play clean, because it definitely does. I wasn't expecting 10s to be noticeably weaker sounding, but they were. So I don't have any problem believing that 12s would sound a little beefier than 11s. None of which is to suggest that any particular gauge is best for the tone the any particular person is aiming to cook up. Just that it's part of the recipe.
 

blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,786
Savannah, GA
Used to use .013's on my Gretsch guitars, now it's .10's or .009's.

I'm older and weaker.
It’s one of those variables that is just a preference at the end of the day.

Whatever feels better makes you play better and that’s a bigger difference than the minuscule “improvement” one might hear changing gauges.

Don’t you find that the tone difference is splitting hairs?
 

Lou Coppolino

Synchromatic
Jul 23, 2022
774
Howell, NJ
It’s one of those variables that is just a preference at the end of the day.

Whatever feels better makes you play better and that’s a bigger difference than the minuscule “improvement” one might hear changing gauges.

Don’t you find that the tone difference is splitting hairs?


IMO, the tone is better with heavier gauge strings.
 


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