What gauge strings do you use on your hollow body?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by pete12string, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    12s Daddario
    cause bending without efforts is unacceptable !
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  2. Bob Perrone

    Bob Perrone Gretschie

    Mar 7, 2017
    allentown, pa
    11' and 12's flat wound
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  3. Wavey

    Wavey Gretschie

    Dec 31, 2016
    I normally use 9s on all my electrics, including both Falcons, as it is just easier for me to play 9s, bends notwithstanding.

    But...some years back I received a complimentary set of NYXLs from D'Addario as a promotional event when NYXLs were first being introduced to the marketplace. They asked what string gauge I wanted, I said 9s, they sent me 10s. Okay, I'll try the 10s on my 1996 6136, I thought. They were amazing. Not only were the differences in clarity, tone and volume noticeable, they lasted a looooong time, and the guitar seemed to always be in tune whenever I picked it up (the 6136 incidentally has a Cadillac G tailpiece on it, i.e. no Bigsby). I had those strings on the 6136 for at least a couple of years and they always sounded and played great. Finally I played them so much I wore them out (wound strings were becoming unwound, wound and unwound strings had noticeable wear from frets on them) and so I felt compelled to finally change them. Went back to 9s, and tried NYXL 9s thinking I would get a similar result just easier to play, but no, it was not the same. The NYXL 9s are great strings, I have them on my '72 LPC as well as the 6136, but I noticed right away they did not give the 6136 the same tonal quality as the 10s did. I'll keep the 9s on a while longer on the 6136 as they are still in great condition, easy (for me) to play, and they do after all sound great. I've been playing the 6136 almost exclusively these past few months and I think the NYXL strings have something to do with it. When I do get around (or am forced) to changing strings again I will try 10s again on the 6136. I have some D'Addario XL 10s so I will try those. If the XL 10s don't match my expectations or recollections of the NYXLs, I'll save up and splurge on a set of NYXL 10s (they are more expensive than XLs and a whole lot of other strings) and try those again.

    I usually use 12s on my 1973 Martin D-35. I ordered some 12 (L) gauge "EC" strings from Martin and they sent me three sets of 13 (M) gauge "Retro" strings instead. I notified them of the error, they let me keep the "Retros" and filled the original order of 3 sets of EC 12s, which was very nice of them. So I tried the "Retro" strings out. They are great strings and really brought the old D-35 to life. But I find the 13s are really just a bit too difficult for me to play comfortably. I still have them on the D-35, and haven't tried the "EC" 12s as of yet, but when I wear the Retros out, or they just become too difficult to play, I will go with the EC 12s.
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  4. gretsch-to-go

    gretsch-to-go Gretschie

    Oct 2, 2019
    Palm Coast, FL
    Well, an acoustic electric generally has 12-53's on them. That's the truest definition of a hollow body. Also happens to be the only hollow body that I have. So 12's are what I use on mine. I don't bend the acoustic strings for play.
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  5. Johnny ray

    Johnny ray Electromatic

    Jun 29, 2018
    I'm a rhythm player with arthritic hands and had my 5420-59 set up for 9's when I bought it. I use DR Blues 9's and find that barre chords are much easier. It plays and sounds great. Stays in tune for days.
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  6. Hoot

    Hoot Electromatic

    Jun 25, 2019
    Southern IL, USA
    9's on all my electrics, but I enjoy using those fake pedal steel bends.
    12's on acoutics.
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  7. pete12string

    pete12string Electromatic

    Aug 7, 2021
    New Jersey
    I've been playing my new 6120 with the 11's and they are fine. I might try 10-'s at some point, but I can bend easily enough with the 11's for now.
  8. 101dam

    101dam Electromatic

    Mar 21, 2010
    My old hands are pretty stiff and I prefer light gauge strings, but I wanted to retain a full hollow style sound on my center block Streamliner. I was using D'addario phosphor IMG_1705.jpg bronze 10's on my acoustic Yamaha 800,and I liked how they put out a more resonant sound for their lightness. After some searching through many websites, I was able to cobble together a .09-11-18-24-32-42 set in bronze. I think they sound pretty good, and I can play fairly easily without getting too heavy on the Icy Hot salve.
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  9. LongJohn

    LongJohn Synchromatic

    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    Currently Daddario 10s half round on my 6120de, still fooling around with string/guitar combinations. Bending 10s is not a problem.
  10. mister rain

    mister rain Gretschie

    Apr 23, 2020
    new orleans
    elixir wound G 12’s on my falcon, stringjoy 90’s on my de bass. tried a custom set of labella 95’s but didn’t like them for what i use it for. might even go with the d’a 84’s - which seems like sacrilege!
  11. Shadowy_Man

    Shadowy_Man Gretschie

    May 18, 2020
    I recently just went down to .010s on my 5420 on a whim. After years of playing heavier strings, I'm finding I actually really like .10s. They seem stable enough after the usual break-in period, and they actually seem to sound better.
  12. yeatzee

    yeatzee Electromatic

    Sep 16, 2019
    I always thought I'd have to use minimum 10's on my falcon but I stepped down to 9-46 elixir's out of curiosity and it's a perfect match for the guitar.
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