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elementary string question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    What exactly does the "gauge" of a string mean?

    This question has two parts:

    a) let's say I have a .105 E string, is that inches, or centimeters, or what's the unit of measure?

    b) why are different manufacturer's .105 strings different? I've noticed that some feel thicker than others, and sometimes changing string types will result in me having to set up the instrument again.
  2. Don't know the answer to question a.

    But with question b.

    I would say that differing manufacturing techniques, such as hex core or round core, coupled with the resultant effects of different string making materials and winding methods, all contribute to the final characteristics of the end product. Production quality plays a part too.

    Some strings feel spongy and some feel hard and some feel ( and sound ) cack even in the same gauge of string because of the above factors.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    A) inches, diameter

    B) maybe this has to do with the ratio of core vs.winding, giving a different feel, I don't know. I can't remember noticing this, but then I use the same string brand and gauge for over 10 years.
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Okay. Just got a digital caliper, so will take some measurements and let you know what I find. :)
  5. Balor


    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    it's in 1000th of an inch. You should have the measurement in mm on the back side of d'addario's pack.

    a .105 should feel bigger or smaller then an other .105. It might feel stiffer because of the manufacturing technique that Bassmania referred to. And even if there was a difference between manufacturers, it shouldn't be perceptible by touch only. I can hardly differentiate a .105 from .100 if I don't play them... the tone and stiffness are the telling factors... all i have to say is good luck feeling a difference of about 1/10 of MM!

  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Okay, here's the intial result on precision measurement of a set of Smith rock master mediums:

    Expected gauges: .045, .065, .085, .105 and low B .130

    Actual gauges: .045, .065, .081, .104, and .128

    Here's the measurements on a set of MTD's:

    Expected gauges: .045, .065, .085, .105, and .135

    Actual gauges: .044, .065, .082, .102, and .129

    I can definitely feel the difference in one one-thousandth of an inch. Definitely, no question about it. It "feels" different.