I got a dell 'arte a few months ago, which had silk and steels on it when i bought it, and it sounded ok. I replaced them with some d'addario 10s GJ strings, and the guitar sounded GREAT, but had some fret buzz.
so, correct me if i'm wrong, i put a pack of dell 'arte 11s on it to try and decrease the buzz. the guitar still buzzes a bit, but in different places, and is now not as LOUD as with 10s on it. it also seems to have lost some dynamics , as well, and just doesn't sound as "alive".
am i going crazy? have i just gotten used to the fact that my guitar seemed so loud when i bought it? should i just go back to 10s???
at this point i can deal with a little fret buzz, but i need that volume back!
any thoughts, please....
I'd go with some Argentines, Galli, D'Addario, or Lenzner. Try Argies first...you'll probably get much better results.
so now what i have done is put an E, B, and G from a pack of D'ad 11s
on there, without much of a change. do you think that if i just go back to 10s my issue would be resolved?
i've always thought heavier strings=louder
maybe this guitar was set up for 10s?
ps. "gypsy picking" should be at my door on monday.
lookin forward to it.
If you want volume, especially for leads, a 14 fret oval hole would probably serve you better.
and that is a surprise to me.
thanks for the advice.
Often 12 fret guitars do appear to sound louder with light gauge strings....but I think it's more of an illusion. They are just brighter and have a slap to them that gives them a bit of a punchy sound when played alone in a room. But in a real playing situation with a band they sound buzzy, weak, and have little projection. You'll always have a tendency to dig in more when playing with others and all of sudden every note will buzz to no end.
Since it sounds like you're just starting out...I should point out that most beginners play very softly at first. As you develop in this style you'll probably find you'll play more aggressively. The loose string tension of 10 gauge strings on a 12 fret guitar probably won't be able to handle it.
Just to give you an example of what a pro setup is like, Stochelo Rosenberg plays a 14 fret Selmer with very high 4.5mm action and 11 gauge strings. He has pretty much zero buzzing in his tone...but it takes very good technique to play like that.
that's the advice i needed right there.
But also - each guitar has an optimum string tension. I'm not going to get into the technical details because I tend to do that too much (new year's resolution?) but suffice it to say that the proper tension allows the strings to deliver energy into the soundboard. Too little and you're not really loading the soundboard - the tone will be shallow and etched. Too much and you're dampening the soundboard - the sound will be dead and dull. Not having played your guitar I can't tell you what's right for it. I know of at least four places where DAs have been made - some built light - some built heavy - different neck angles - different bridges. In general - short scale guitars go well with 11s... but I've seen exceptions to the rule. Just keep three things in mind as you're looking for the setup you like:
1.) Increasing string size increases string tension - be careful - GJ guitars aren't built for standard guitar strings (12+) so stick to 10's and 11's.
2.) Raising string action increases string tension - be careful - much past 3mm and you start to run into intonation problems - much under 2.5mm and you start to run into buzz problems (and you'll need to slide your bridge back to correct intonation as you raise the action... till the note you fret at the 12th is exactly one octave above the open string)
3.) All things being equal, heavier gauge strings produce more fundamentals and less harmonics. This is just physics - greater mass inhibits the string from breaking into harmonics. So if you want a pure/rounder sound - 11s... if you want an edgy/snappier sound - 10s. This is mostly a matter of personal taste - though as Michael said - 11s tend to project better (as the sound is more narrowly focused due to fewer harmonics)
Have fun & good luck.