String tension chart (in case anyone was curious...)

Butch Ammon

Synchromatic
Jan 3, 2016
531
Richmond, VA
I have read a bunch of various posts all over website forums about .009's vs .010's and scale length, string tensions, making adjustments to the claw on a Strat, etc... 9's on a Strat feel just like 10's on a Les Paul, etc... yada yada yada....

I made this chart in Excel in case anyone wants it.
88rpZ1Z.jpg


Here is the main source where I got the data from:
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
May 25, 2022
552
New York
I was an engineer before I retired. I have a good handle on tension, gauge, materials, scale length and such. The very light tension of .009 - .042 strings makes them difficult to play in tune. I play a lot of thumb over and find myself pushing them sharp. It’s probably why I don’t have a PRS. I never picked one up that I could play in tune. I have .010 - .046 with a wound G on all my guitars. I accompany myself on vocals so I don’t have much need to bend notes. I use the same strings with necks from 24.6” to 25.5”. They feel right. I notice that bending is more precise on short scale guitars. I can bend a note, second fret B on the A string that I use in a solo a quarter step every time on my SG. Then there’s the comfort thing. Tens are easier on my fingers than .011 - .052. They just are. I use elevens on my flat top. I strung it once with twelves and they sounded no better but hurt after 15 or 20 minutes. Tens sounded thin.

Navigate by charts. You need to know the hidden shoals. Play by feel. I never look at the music after I’ve learned a piece. Still, to this retired engineer, numbers say a lot.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,259
PNW
I switched after decades of 10-46 to .0095-.044 strings. It's a huge change for my old hands and has helped a lot. I'm converting my Strat necks to Gibson scale also. Much less tiring to play a 3 hour gig now. I never thought I would, because I prefer the long scale. But... everything's a compromise, my playing is better now. I made this chart for reference to compare Gibson to Fender scale:
StringTension.jpg
 

Runamok

Country Gent
I was an engineer before I retired. I have a good handle on tension, gauge, materials, scale length and such. The very light tension of .009 - .042 strings makes them difficult to play in tune. I play a lot of thumb over and find myself pushing them sharp. It’s probably why I don’t have a PRS. I never picked one up that I could play in tune. I have .010 - .046 with a wound G on all my guitars. I accompany myself on vocals so I don’t have much need to bend notes. I use the same strings with necks from 24.6” to 25.5”. They feel right. I notice that bending is more precise on short scale guitars. I can bend a note, second fret B on the A string that I use in a solo a quarter step every time on my SG. Then there’s the comfort thing. Tens are easier on my fingers than .011 - .052. They just are. I use elevens on my flat top. I strung it once with twelves and they sounded no better but hurt after 15 or 20 minutes. Tens sounded thin.

Navigate by charts. You need to know the hidden shoals. Play by feel. I never look at the music after I’ve learned a piece. Still, to this retired engineer, numbers say a lot.
I don’t follow why this excludes PRS.
You can change string gauges on them too (I’m guessing you tried an SE). The McCartys are strung with 10s.

This is my subjective view: My S2 came with 10’s. Another of my PRS was strung with 9’s, I replaced with 10’s just fine, (but like 9.5 sets just a wee bit better).

The 10’s hold tune better than spent 9.5s on the same guitar, but that may owe to the fact I did not redress the nut while I tried the 9.5s. All hold a tune better than my low-end Gibson with 10s.
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
May 25, 2022
552
New York
I don’t follow why this excludes PRS.
You can change string gauges on them too (I’m guessing you tried an SE). The McCartys are strung with 10s.

This is my subjective view: My S2 came with 10’s. Another of my PRS was strung with 9’s, I replaced with 10’s just fine, (but like 9.5 sets just a wee bit better).

The 10’s hold tune better than spent 9.5s on the same guitar, but that may owe to the fact I did not redress the nut while I tried the 9.5s. All hold a tune better than my low-end Gibson with 10s.
It doesn’t exclude PRS and it’s probably me. I could never tune a PRS by ear in a store. It’s probably the combination of 9’s and background noise. The other reason, and probably the valid reason is that I’m one old guy with five electric guitars, a nagging wife, and I don’t need more of either.
 

Runamok

Country Gent
It doesn’t exclude PRS and it’s probably me. I could never tune a PRS by ear in a store. It’s probably the combination of 9’s and background noise. The other reason, and probably the valid reason is that I’m one old guy with five electric guitars, a nagging wife, and I don’t need more of either.
😆
No 3rd degree. I was just wondering what was different, since some of the discussion was about changing to 10’s on other guitars.

I can’t warm to 9s myself. Too much acoustic guitar? When I bought the PRS some time ago with 9s installed, I had ‘em replace the nut & change to 10s before shipping.

10’s are fine & I like 9.5 on my Gibson.
Another thing which struck me is that you use extra-lights on acoustic when I was expecting you to say lights or medium.
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
May 25, 2022
552
New York
😆
10’s are fine & I like 9.5 on my Gibson.
Another thing which struck me is that you use extra-lights on acoustic when I was expecting you to say lights or medium.
Are acoustic 11’s ultra light? I don’t know. I use what works for me. I play the same material on my acoustic that I play on my electrics and the closer it is to playing the same and sounding good the better. I use Ernie’s Ball Aluminum Bronze acoustic strings. They seem to be the only 11’s that sound good to my ears.
 
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Runamok

Country Gent
Are acoustic 11’s ultra light? I don’t know. I use what works for me. I play the same material on my acoustic that I play on my electrics and the closer it is to playing the same and sounding good the better. I use Ernie’s Ball Aluminum Bronze acoustic strings. They seem to be the only 11’s that sound good to my ears.
They make an ALUMINUM bronze?
Indeed they do! (I looked). Simply galvanizing.

I don’t think I play fast enough to require the heat dissipation myself. They should advertise them as “heatsink grade aluminum,” (alloy appears unspecified).

String tension itself seems to have run its course as a topic.

We have numbers, which are concrete data.
Yet, what have we learned about string tension & its effect on playing?

11 as Extra or Ultra? 12 being lights on acoustic.
Not that this detail matters to anyone but the person playing. & barely that…

I run lights on fingerstyle, Since my Taylors are braced for lights. Mediums (13) on slide for the most part.
 

Craig Encinitas

Gretschie
May 3, 2021
344
Encinitas, Ca
I switched after decades of 10-46 to .0095-.044 strings. It's a huge change for my old hands and has helped a lot. I'm converting my Strat necks to Gibson scale also. Much less tiring to play a 3 hour gig now. I never thought I would, because I prefer the long scale. But... everything's a compromise, my playing is better now. I made this chart for reference to compare Gibson to Fender scale:
View attachment 186800
How does one go about converting their Stratocaster neck to a shorter scale?
I like this idea! 🤘🏻
 

Stefan87

Country Gent
May 20, 2019
3,083
Brisbane, Australia
I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one that feels like it's easier to bend any thickness string on 25.5 necks vs 24.6 with the same guage strings.
To me a fender neck is just easier to bend on then a non fender one even if all else is the same, maybe it's just me.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,259
PNW
How does one go about converting their Stratocaster neck to a shorter scale?
I like this idea! 🤘🏻
Conversion necks are sold by most neck makers. they just bolt right on. I bought one recently on Ebay by an American maker. He uses a bunch of oddball woods, but it's a great neck and was about $140 unfinished, but with frets and specs I like. No idea why he uses such oddball wood, this one is Chechen and Cherry.
I have a Roundback 59 on order from Warmoth awaiting delivery.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,259
PNW
I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one that feels like it's easier to bend any thickness string on 25.5 necks vs 24.6 with the same guage strings.
To me a fender neck is just easier to bend on then a non fender one even if all else is the same, maybe it's just me.
It shouldn't be, the string tension is higher on the 25.5 scale to get the string to the same note.
 

Lee Brown

Pro- line
Nov 6, 2015
13
UK
Ah
I have read a bunch of various posts all over website forums about .009's vs .010's and scale length, string tensions, making adjustments to the claw on a Strat, etc... 9's on a Strat feel just like 10's on a Les Paul, etc... yada yada yada....

I made this chart in Excel in case anyone wants it.
88rpZ1Z.jpg


Here is the main source where I got the data from:
I have found that just replacing the top three strings is best. Easier bending while still haveing some meat on the bottom end.
 


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