Strings on Electromatics

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by FunkyWilly, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. FunkyWilly

    FunkyWilly Electromatic

    Dec 27, 2020
    I purchased a new Electromatic G5657T, which I believe is an exclusive model for Guitar Center/Musicians Friend. Does anyone know what gauge (and brand?) strings are put on the Electromatics at the factory?

    I am a relatively new guitar player and I don't even know what strings I like. I just play whatever comes on the guitar. I'm curious if these are considered thin or heavy? They feel comfortable enough to me, but I don't have a good basis for comparison. Any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jerzey Bob likes this.
  2. Wildwood609

    Wildwood609 Electromatic

    Oct 12, 2018
    I saw this question asked very recently (oddly enough), on Musician's Friend website.
    They stated that they have no way of knowing what the strings are, only that they are a "light gauge" - LOL.
    They LOOK like knock-off D'Addario strings, at least the ones that came on my Gretsch sure seemed like it.

    I quickly swapped mine out for Ernie Ball (PN#2251) - Pure Nickel 10-46.
    Jerzey Bob likes this.
  3. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Gretschie

    Apr 29, 2014
    Harrisburg, PA
    I believe they are 10's. I would have said D'Addario and I think they even have colored ball ends but it's way more likely that they are Fender strings which I think also have colored ball ends and are likely just made where D'Addario's are made.
    Jerzey Bob likes this.
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Hi Funky - as a new player my advice to you is ..........don't get fixated on strings. They're a non-issue.
    Just stick any strings on any guitar and play it.

    Then change strings often and experiment with different types and gauges.
    You'll soon discover which one's you prefer as you learn.
    Strings are cheap so who care's

    You'll also learn when they need replacing.
    And just enjoy the journey of discovery.

    And then ignore the other comments you see from people on forums crapping on about strings :D
    Gregor, heinzman, FunkyWilly and 4 others like this.
  5. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Over time you will find strings that you like more than others. They bend easier for you or last longer or sound better or whatever, that is an important part of learning to play guitar and finding your sound and style.

    Everyone talks about strings and legends like SRV and his wire cables or ZZ Top with 8s that bend forever.

    I think it is important to know what size you are playing so you can compare and learn about them.

    Generally, very generally, many Fender and that style of guitar come with a "9" (.009") high E while most Gibson and Gretsch and Epi and others have the 10 (.010") set.
    Check the Gretsch website and see what they say came on the guitar?

    I have a set of calipers that only cost $10 and measure thousanths of an inch but have no G5657 that I can check. I'd bet it came with 10s.

    Edit: OK I just checked the Gretsch website and it says the G5655 comes with "Nickel Plated Steel (.010-.046 Gauges)".
    Henry, Gregor, FunkyWilly and 2 others like this.
  6. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hey Funky,

    Fantastic guitar you have, I thought most Gretsch electrics are shipped with 10's, no idea about brand though.

    As for recomendations, try a few out and see what you like, everyone is different, I have switched a heap of times in the past but to me it's just for feel and comfort more so then sound or anything like that.
    Waxhead, FunkyWilly and Jerzey Bob like this.
  7. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Strings. Can't play without 'em.
    Gregor, Londoner, Wildwood609 and 2 others like this.
  8. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    Make life easy on yourself and stick with the same .10 gauge strings as you try other brands so that you don’t have to adjust the intonation.
    The biggest differences will be found in materials used. Steel wrapped strings will be brighter than nickel as one example.
    I use GHS Nickel Rockers for many reasons, the most important is that I love the way that they sound. Maybe just as important is that I’ve been playing them for 20 years and have never had a faulty set. I tried some of the more boutique brands and I would occasionally get a string that had a defect or would come unwound. I actually prefer the sound of a brand new set of GHS Boomers but find that the new sound lasts only a couple of days. The Nickel wounds sound consistently great for a long long time and I don’t have to compensate by changing amp settings.
    Honestly, you will have great results with any of the major brands...Ernie Ball and D’addario will never let you down either. Try a few sets and see what you think. It’s a fun rabbit hole to get lost in for awhile.
    FunkyWilly, Jerzey Bob and G5422T like this.
  9. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Yep, just play a gage that's comfortable for you. Remember that there's half sizes like 9.5 and 10.5's out there. These can be useful on some setups.

    Your playing style and fingers will tell you what's best at the time.

    I let my ears dictate the brand for tone. I've tried a lot over the years, but always end up happiest with D'Addario XL's.

    I like the tone and they last.

    Best of luck to @FunkyWilly
    Henry, Waxhead and Jerzey Bob like this.
  10. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    Apr 14, 2020
    You can’t go wrong with a set of D’Addario 10-46 XL (nickel-plated steel). I’m not claiming they are the best (or that they aren’t), but they are a VERY common set you can find anywhere, and should be very similar to the original strings.
    Waxhead, FunkyWilly, Wjensen and 3 others like this.
  11. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Gretschie

    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
    FunkyWilly likes this.
  12. FunkyWilly

    FunkyWilly Electromatic

    Dec 27, 2020
    Thanks all for your helpful replies. I’m loving this guitar!
    Waxhead likes this.
  13. Butch Ammon

    Butch Ammon Gretschie

    Jan 3, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    You will get 800,527 replies when asking about strings....

    In my opinion (take it for what it's worth..) I have found that going up a gauge seems to work beautifully with Gretsch guitars.


    Ernie Ball Power Slinkys or even the more ubiquitous D'Addario round wound 11's...
    ImGoodThanks likes this.
  14. Wjensen

    Wjensen Gretschie

    May 25, 2019
    Raleigh, NC
  15. FunkyWilly

    FunkyWilly Electromatic

    Dec 27, 2020
    I read in a few places (including here: that when choosing strings for a Bigsby-equipped guitar, round core strings have advantages over hex core strings. The D'Addario XL strings that were recommended in several responses have hex cores. Any thoughts about the core type? Does it really matter?
  16. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    Apr 14, 2020
    I have tried several sets of round core strings from DR and liked them overall.

    Their Sunbeams became my goto acoustic string for awhile until I hit a bad batch with intonation problems (like they were not evenly wound), and yes, I always tune them up before clipping (important with round cores). That was years ago, and I suspect it was just a QC problem.

    I have DR Blues on a G2420T now and they sound great. It already had an ABM2400 bridge though.

    I’m not sure why they’d be better for Bigsby use. The core shouldn’t be slipping much inside the wrap, and I’m not sure that’s desirable anyway. Could be wrong though ....
  17. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    There's a thousand brands and a million varieties. Early on for me it was primarily about finding a gauge that was comfortable to play, so pretty quickly narrowed the field down to the garden variety 10-46 sets. I figure they're as common as they are for a reason - they're pretty balanced and come out at a reasonable tension for common scale lengths. Of course, preferences vary. Anyway, knowing that I liked 10s, I started trying different brands, mostly the readily available D'Addario XLs, Slinkies, GHS Boomers and a few others along the way. I bought lots of D'Addarios back then because they always included stickers and hey, who doesn't like stickers? I eventually settled on GHS for my electrics. There might be strings I'd like better somewhere out there, but I have no real desire to go find them...

    In short, what they said. Go buy some strings, and see if you like them. Don't worry too much about it, you'll find your preference in time.

  18. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I ran D'Adarrio 11-49s on my 24.75 scale 5120, cause that's what it came with. Made sense to me 11s would be more stable and come back to tune better than 10s with the Bigsby, esp a non tension bar Bigsby and an unpinned bridge.
    When I got the 25.5 scale Falcon, it was strung with 10s and had a pinned bridge. But being a bit skeptical I immediately changed em to a 10.5 set.
    Its time to restring it and Im going back to 10s on it. I think they will be plenty stable and will be worth it for easier bending.
    I run D'Addario 10-46s on everything non Bigby, be it Gibson or Fender scale, but Im thinking about going to 9.5's on my Tele. Im getting old and my fingers are way stiffer than they used to be.
  19. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    As of a couple years ago, D'Addario did make the strings that came on a new Gretsch.

    They also made the "Gretsch Branded" strings that used to be offered, and are now discontinued.

    If there has been a change, it has been fairly recent.

    The colored ball ends are a D'Addario thing, so that is the "clue" as to what is on a Gretsch.

    Had this conversation from a gentleman who was "all things Gretsch," and "in the know."

    Over the years I've tried several brands and gages, buy always come back to D'Addario for feel, tone, and longevity.
    FunkyWilly and capnhiho like this.
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