Other Equipment

Why Do People Put Electric Strings On Acoustic Archtops?


In the spirit of this topic let's listen to some Eddie Lange. Wonder what strings he used -


Lang is one that Ive seen plausible accounts on that really did use super big strings - 75-15.

Thats my favorite tune of his too.


I love using electric strings on acoustic guitars, especially for recording. Sometimes PB can be too dark sounding.


Some dudes are so addicted to girly-lite strings they can't deal even w/ 12's on acoustic. I have known lots of players like this. An acoustic w/ 9's doesn't sound all that great

– DCBirdMan

An acoustic with 9's is pretty extreme. Not only is it gonna probably sound like crap, it will probably have fret buzz unless there's a bunch of extra relief in the neck which will then make it lousy to play IMO. That all being said, my 60 yr old very small arthritic hands need something a bit more forgiving to play.....but I still use 12's on my 25.5" scale acoustic flatop...I just tune down half a step to ease the tension a bit.


I put daddario rounds 11s on the corsair archtop and it sounds and feels amazing. It had bronze 13s on but I wanted an electric guitar sound and feel without having to plug in. Each to their own imo.


I think with acoustic guitars in general, heavier strings = louder and fuller Same thing with higher action = louder and fuller Both also make the guitar seemingly more difficult to play

Light strings = quieter and thinner sounding lower action = quieter and thinner Both of these also make the guitar seemingly easier to play(I actually find them more difficult)

It's always a compromise and everyone finds the compromise that makes them the happiest.

Personally I put 12-52s on all m y guitars, electric and acoustic but bronze wounds on the acoustics. I like the bigger fuller sound I get. I like to be able to dig in if I want to and I find with the higher strings tension I can get them a little lower without buzzing.

Having played Windsor Dave's Super Chet I know he likes unusually low action, so low that you need to play very softly to avoid buzzing. Thus ground wounds or flats are the only way to go.

As far as 'traditional' goes really we should all be playing gut strings but sometimes advances in technology and new ideas are better. As far as older strings go(pre WW2). I think the world was in general a quieter place, guitars didn't have truss rods, were often smaller and weren't required to be as loud. Light strings make sense.

Personally I feel steel strings on acoustic instruments sound too harsh and anything below a 12 high E sounds too thin. But that's just my preference. I do have a 1960 small bodied Guild acoustic that I play 11-49 silk and steel strings on. They seem to suit this very light and frankly fragile guitar and sound great.

Heavier flatwound steels probably sound good on an acoustic archtop as they tend to be kind of edgy sounding already. Does anyone make a flatwound bronzewound string?

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