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...i've used 10-46 my entire life. now i am actually thinking of switching to 9-42, in order to squeeze more out of string bends, vibrato etc and perhaps even increase my speed.

any caveats? will my tuning be less stable, for example?

i realize there will probably be a transition period, so i plan to start with just one guitar, one that i don't use on stage, until i feel comfortable.

any comments, suggestions are more than welcome.

-dh
 

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I find that lighter strings don't have the punchy attack/tone that thicker ones have and that they can buzz more because they're flopping around so much. You shouldn't have any tuning problems that I can think of other than if you're putting on light strings so you can bend to even higher notes, that in itself might cause the strings to go a little flat (pitch).

Obviously, if your neck is set up properly right now you'll have to adjust your truss rod to put some relief into the neck and maybe adjust your saddles a bit lower to make up for the strings being lighter.
 

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David: Try .0095's! I too was a 10-46 user for a long time, but switched after I began to experience continual fretting hand discomfort.

They feel lighter, but not like .009's which are too light IMHO. Our [email protected] carries them in D'addario, and it seems to me that DR makes them as well.
They dont feel quite as stable if you are used to tens, and you will probably have to tweak the action and/or trussrod, but only marginally in my experience. Tuning stability is the same, as far as I can tell. Really helped my situation, and just recently I started going with a heavier low E, A and D. For 25.5 scale guitars, they work well -

Cheers,

Peter
 

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I like 8s myself. They are very easy to build up alot of speed and you have much more control. As for tone, remember alot of big name players do in fact use 8s and have great tone from them. Billy Gibbons is a great example of that..............
 

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Yes, Malmsteen breaks alot of strings, sounds thin and and has less sustain. He is using 8s. My god, the world is going to end................
 

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Accept2 said:
Yes, Malmsteen breaks alot of strings, sounds thin and and has less sustain. He is using 8s. My god, the world is going to end................
High gain players can use 8's i suppose and use the amp to compensate for the thinner sound, the difference in tone and sustain is there IMO
 

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when you are used to 10's it's hard to go down to 9's, it just dont sound right IMO...there are other thing you can do to get a slinky'er feel, try gettin those micromesh kits on ebay and polish up each fret on you guitar and possibly lower you action so the all the stings buzz a little, they should be alot easier to bend now on 25.5 scale guitars. It's all personal taste, but you know what they say about old dogs....:D
 

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You could also try a gauge in-between. Dean Markley makes custom lights (in regular and Blue Steel) and Ernie ball makes Hybrid slinky. They are both 009 - 046 (light top with heavier bottom). My preference are the Ernie Balls. They just bend easier!
 

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scottomy said:
You could also try a gauge in-between. Dean Markley makes custom lights (in regular and Blue Steel) and Ernie ball makes Hybrid slinky. They are both 009 - 046 (light top with heavier bottom). My preference are the Ernie Balls. They just bend easier!
Another vote for Hybrid Slinkys.
 

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I've got just the solution for you, I recently went from 9s to heavy bottom, light top strings from dunlop (9-46). The heavy bottom let you keep the meaty sound of 10s, while the light tops make for some easy lead work. The strings are dirt cheap too and so far I like em much better than my old Ernie Ball Slinkies.
 
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