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i'm still pretty new playing after a long hiatus (about 10 yrs) and all i've ever played on have been light gauge strings. so my question is there any benefit to playing on heavier gauge strings? do they produce more volume? have a better sound? etc...or is it more personel preference than anything?  thanks a lot for your input, i always get good onformation here.

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All you said is true. More volume, better sound (my opinion, I play with D'Addario phosphor bronze 0.13)... but good luck with the callouses! Anyway, a good set-up on nut, saddle, neck relief (action) is all you need to reach the best.
thanks antonio,appreciate the info. about the callouses.......
I play 12's, but did experiment with 13s for awhile. What I found was:
Pro: more volume, dynamic range and tonal substance
Con: Less "air" in my tone, and a bit of a struggle to play lead with the facility I was accustomed to

I'm pretty sure that I could have battled through the physical learning curve and become more comfortable with the heavier gauge, but I'm actually quite satisfied with the tone I get with 13s, so I think I'll stick with them.

I suspect that if my role was more strictly rhythm playing that I would be more likely to go with 13s.
Correction... "I'm actually quite satisfied with the tone I get with 12s".
I have always played with light gauge strings until just recently. I purchased a Taylor GS8. This model comes with medium gauge strings. Taylor feels the greater tension is necessary to make the larger surface of the top vibrate. The mediums took a little getting used to, but now I like them. Still I am not planning on putting mediums on my other guitars as they are set up for light gauge strings. I will keep the mediums on the Taylor... great sound and very playable. It feels very secure and stable under your fingers.
thanks alot guys, really appreciate it
I have 1 guitar permanently strung with 13s which i use on songs that in double drop D and other open or alternate/special tunings. Dropping only the Low E to D is ok with 12s. Double drop D with 13s sounds better.

Using 12s in most of these tunings will causes some fret buzz when you play a little harder especially some tuning that requires most strings to be tune at an average of 1 whole tone (2 Frets) lower.

13s sure do bring out the best of your guitar but even with 12s, I detune all strings with a quater turn or more after playing. Cost of new bone nut 10$ (DIY), cost of neck reset 500$?. Also please check with the manufacturer if she can take 13s.
Heavier strings and higher action do sound better and they do produce more volume. I try to only use 1 guitar on stage and I use D, Drop D, Dbl Drop D, and standard. I flatpick, fingerpick, and play bottleneck and do a bunch of different styles of music. Anything lighter than mediums (.013-.054) frets out or flaps out.At least try med/lt. I think they are .012-.054. Lights on the high 3

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