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Will changing string gauges affect my setup?

BarkonatorBarkonator Medina, OH✭✭ Mazaud - Vieux Paris
in Welcome Posts: 43
Hi Everyone,

I am still pretty new to the genre and the forum so I apologize if this question has already been answered, I couldn't find what I was looking for after a brief search.

When I got my guitar from Michael it was strung with 11's. I have been experimenting with strings lately and so far I have only been using 11's. I was wondering if switching from 11's to 10's would have an impact on my guitar's setup.

Thanks in advance for any help or opinions offered. I look forward to meeting some of you at Django in June this year!!



  • CampusfiveCampusfive Los Angeles, CA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 98
    Theoretically, lighter strings have less tension, and the neck should pull back accordingly, which would lower the overall action slightly.

    At worst, it won't sound or feel good, and when put back the old strings, it will probably go back to where it was. No irreparable harm.

    At best, you could luck out, and any change in the neck will be unnoticeable, but it might even be complimentary.

    Strings are cheap to experiment with, and going up or down 1 gauge is a small change and has no real risk. Go for it.
  • Posts: 2,807
    For a while I was going back and forth between .010s and .011s and while the feel and the tone of the guitar was changing, the action wouldn't change a whole lot. In theory, with .010s I think the action will lower a bit, but in my case it wasn't anything where say I'd get a fret buzz where I previously didn't have one and such.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Posts: 440
    It most cases the difference between the 10 set and the 11 set can be as little as .015 of an inch. A 64th or less. So if your guitar has an adjustable rod you can compensate by releasing tension on the rod if the action lowers too much.
    Or if there is no rod live with the changes. Or adjust in other ways by shimming the bridge for instance.
    Either way. Strings are cheap and it only takes a few minutes to change them.
    As long as your not overdoing anything you won't hurt anything so experiment a little and see what you like.
    Usually folks will like the sound of the 11's but prefer the feel of the 10's. The 10's are somewhat more expressive. The 11's are a bit louder and rounder sounding but it takes more energy to give a note life, that is to vary the pitch with vibrato ,bending or portamenti.
    Its a choice you can make.
  • BarkonatorBarkonator Medina, OH✭✭ Mazaud - Vieux Paris
    Posts: 43
    Thanks for the insight guys. I really like the sound of the La Bella 11's. I ordered a set of La Bella 10's from Michael. I appreciate your help!
  • Craig DenneyCraig Denney Columbus, Ohio✭✭ 2011 Zwinakis
    Posts: 43

    Shoot... I changed strings a couple weeks ago, went from 10's to 11's, and wrote down the string height before and after the string change so I could see what impact it made. I was going to post it, thinking someone might want this kind of info, but I didn't.

    I can't find it now... but looking at my string height gauge, I sort of remember now...

    With 10's the string height was .100 at the 12th fret low E, and with 11's it went to .120. The high E action was barely changed.

    It's not exact, but it went from about 2.7mm to 3mm on the low E.
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