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Konze’s Krescendo: Guitar tips

Heavier gauges for a heavier, metal sound

Senior Arts Editor

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 9, 2014 12:02

About a year ago, a former colleague of mine, Adrien D’Angelo, started a weekly series that targeted a wide-ranged crowd from guitarists to DJs to music producers. The series reviewed products and tips for those currently interested or involved in the music business.

This column will be similar to Adrien’s Audio Den. Konze’s Krescendo will outline music products and guitar tips from local musicians and bring music lovers inside the minds of those who are passionate about making music.

For this week’s column, I’m going to give guitarists the secret to a meaty, meaner and heavier guitar sound – a way to take the standard D tuning with a dropped C to a new level.

Recently, I had been playing a lot of songs in standard D tuning and was uncomfortable with the way my .09 gauge strings were feeling. My low E-string was way too loose and wasn’t producing a heavy tone.

I tried upping my strings to .10s but still wasn’t feeling comfortable. Instead of wasting money on going to the next gauge up which are .11sI went straight for .12-gauge strings.

I decided to try out a heavier-gauged string and found one that I really liked: D’Addario’s XL Nickel Round series.

Company: D’Addario

Product: EXL 145 Nickel Wound, Heavy, Plain 3rd, 12-54 guitar strings

Price: $4.99 per pack

Use: For metal and rock where heavier gauges are needed

D’Addario has been making music strings since the ’30s, so it’s hard to miss a quality product like the XL Nickel Round series. Because of their durability and ability to provide a clear sound, I have been putting D’Addario XL strings on my guitars since 2003.

I have never experienced a better sound and feel than the EXL 145s. The strings are round and wound in nickel and provide players with a thicker string than normal guitar strings.

Each string ranges from .12-.54 – low E to high E – and provides consumers with a brighter tone. This specific pack contains a plain, normal-gauge G-string to provide guitarists a bit more flexibility when playing.

This product is intended to allow players the ability to hold a stronger sound when tuning down their guitars.

Like any other type of string, it takes a few days to break them in, but these will take a little extra effort to get them right.

The bulkiness of the strings creates a lot of tension when placing them on the guitar, but a little bending can get those strings feeling right. And once they feel right, the sound they produce is purely satisfying.

Shredding riffs and offering tips – from my amp to yours.

 

email: arts@ubspectrum.com

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