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 .

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,972
Santa Cruz
12’s on my acoustics, D’addario

11’s flat wounds TI Jazz Swing on my hollowbody Gretschs

10’s on my solid body Fenders, used those on my Jets when I had them , D’addarrio

During times when my knuckles give give me grief I put a set of 9’s on a Strat, D’addario
 

stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,557
Firenze, Italy
To me, it’s all in the fingers (again). If you play soft and smooth Setzer style is one thing, if you play hard and punchy SRV style is another. Also genre matters: it’s really difficult to play with a slide on a 10 gauge, and probably if you play trad jazz (so with limited bending) a thicker gauge would sound a lot better.
At the moment I have 11s everywhere (6120, Rally, SG, Kay) but I don’t solo as much as I used to so I really don’t need to bend that much (when I did, probably 10s were more my thing unless I needed a fight for any single note, which sometimes helps your blues).
On the other side, I can’t play slide without 12s (and 13 high E).
I’m a banger btw, raised on Townshend and ended up in delta blues. If your picking is smooth and very accurate, probably 10s would be the best for you.
I never tried 9s (and under), it would cost me a wage in broken strings until I’d get to a softer picking.
 
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Krampus_CT

Electromatic
Mar 18, 2022
65
East Hampton, CT
On my 3 Duo-Jets:

Flat wound .011s on the '53, and Round wound .011s on the '62 and '68:

- G6128t-1953: Thomastik-Infeld Electric Guitar Steel/Nickel Flat Wound Light, .011 - .047, JS111
- G6128t-1962: RotoSound Electric Pure Nickel, .011 - .048, PN11
- G6129t-1968: RotoSound Electric Pure Nickel, .011 - .048, PN11

I generally prefer Thomastik-Infelds (when I can afford them), or the RotoSounds. I do more fingerpicking with the '53 and for that prefer the flat-wounds, and flatpacking on the other 2 I prefer the round-wounds.
 

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,308
England
Well this is unexpected. Lots of you surprising me with your 10s or lower. it's making me wonder if perhaps I just need to get used to them

I'll probably pop some 11s on this weekend...give it a quick try out, but you've all given me a little more confidence in 10s being acceptable.

Everyone's using a wound G string, yeah? 🤣😁😄😃😀
 

Maguchi

Electromatic
Aug 11, 2022
70
Lalaland
^^^You should be OK with 10-46s with a plain G if that's what you like, even 9-42s on the hardtail models.. I just checked the Gretsch site and it looks like they ship with 10-46 strings on all the Jets both Bigsby and hardtail. I use 10-48s with a plain G. The lighter plain strings work great for 2 string country and Rockabilly bends with the lower string bent and the higher string fretted. And using slightly heavier guages for the 3 lower wound strings keeps a little oomph in the lower register.
 
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TSims1

Gretschified
Jun 18, 2013
12,660
Atlanta
Well this is unexpected. Lots of you surprising me with your 10s or lower. it's making me wonder if perhaps I just need to get used to them

I'll probably pop some 11s on this weekend...give it a quick try out, but you've all given me a little more confidence in 10s being acceptable.

Everyone's using a wound G string, yeah? 🤣😁😄😃😀

Nah, unwound for me always. I like to bend. A lot.
 

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Oct 18, 2015
12,543
Germany
Yesterday I watched an interesting Ernie Ball promo with James Hetfield of Metallica.
They addressed a problem that I noticed many times when recording, too:
The low strings going "boing" when you hit them harder playing rhythm. When you hit the strings hard they are deflected wider and go sharp before they bounce back to their intended amplitude.
Obviously they solved it by using bigger diameter cores on the wound strings. Sounds interesting. I will try it.
 

Mr Twangy

Gretschie
Dec 27, 2020
195
Canada
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 does the wound G give you? Do you get more solid intonation? Or do you prefer the tone?
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
May 25, 2022
559
New York
What does the wound G give you? Do you get more solid intonation? Or do you prefer the tone?
I play mostly finger style using the pads of my fingers. The timbre of the wound and unwound strings is different when I pluck them with my long fingers making the plain strings sound louder. They’re not really louder but the difference in timbre makes them cut more than the wound strings. Adjusting pole pieces doesn’t affect timbre. There is less of a timbre difference when played with my thumb but I rarely play the G string with my thumb except in a single note solo. I don’t hear a difference between wound and unwound strings in the few songs where I use a pick. The intonation difference with the Space Control bridge on my 6118T Annie is less than the normal imprecision in intonation of a fretted instrument and all my other electrics have saddles that can be adjusted for intonation.
 

Craig Encinitas

Gretschie
May 3, 2021
345
Encinitas, Ca
10-46 as of the last change. The previous owner had 9-42’s on it, and there was a decent amount of bridge rattle. I haven’t noticed much, if any since swapping in the 10’s. Or it’s just those sweet Broadtrons distracting me from any such hardware noise.

I’d like to put on 10-52’s next to go around, as I am fully under the illusion that monthly string changes somehow make me sound better. 🎸 🔊 💥 🙉
 

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Chet Harrison

Gretschie
Apr 27, 2020
266
USA
When I had a Jet, I had 10-gauge TI flats on it and I thought that worked out pretty well.

I currently have 12-gauge monel flats on a P90 Les Paul and 10-gauge TI rounds on a LP Special.

If I use 9s I’m sharp.
 

Lucky Jim

Gretschie
Oct 16, 2020
203
Kent, England
10 round wound on the Tele, 10.5 round wound on the 335 and 11 flat wound on the Jet.
My CLFG Jet came from the factory with flat-wound 11s and I've continued that. Its bridge is intonated for a wound 3rd. If I were to change to round-wounds I'd almost certainly choose the same D'Addario 10.5 - 48 that I use on my 335 but with a substituted wound 3rd. On 24.75" and 24.6" scale guitars 10.5s are a great compromise between 10s and 11s.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,721
Where the action is!
When I was young, I usually bought 10s. I switched to 11s probably 20 years ago. I tried going back to 10s maybe a decade ago and couldn't get them off fast enough. Too slinky, not enough fight, and they definitely sounded wimpy to my ears, which surprised me,
 

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,308
England
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
 

blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,798
Savannah, GA
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
This is the way.
 


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