String gauges

Hi. I have recently discovered MG2, and I’m really happy about it. I do however need an advice.

My hands, as well as other joints in my body, are suffering from arthrosis. That means I have to adjust my playing technique and approach accordingly. One of the things I consider is to go for lighter strings. That might affect the output from the guitar to MG2. So I was wondering what the lightest string gauges you guys have been able to use successfully with MG2 are.

Thanks in advance.


Common sense tells me that you should simply use the string gauge that suits you best, and then test MG to see if it is a problem. Adapting your guitar playing to the type of strings you are using can certainly produce good results: I am thinking, for example, of not pressing too hard on very light strings to get good tracking.
And it is the precision of the playing and its regularity that is important, followed by the emotion you put into it, not speed or complication.

Miles Davis expressed this very well:

“Music is the framework around the silence”

“Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfuc… who plays it is 80 percent” :wink:


Thank you for your kind advice. I think it’s the most logical thing to do too. I sometimes tend to over think things. There’s also the fact that I live out in the sticks, and the closest music store is two and a half hour drive, and a ferry, away. So I can’t just run down to the store and get a new set if the one I get doesn’t work. :wink: But yeah. You make total sense, and I guess this anecdote by Billy Gibbons confirms your statement.

“I was about 22 and just starting out with ZZ Top. I was in the dressing room and BB said to me, ‘Can I play your guitar?’ I said, ‘Sure man.’ He strummed it a few times and handed it back to me. He looked at me rather quizzically and said, ‘Why you working so hard?’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘Those strings. You got real heavy, heavy strings.’ I said, ‘Well, isn’t that how to get the heavy, heavy sound?’ He said, ‘No! Don’t be working so hard!’ That was something new! I was mistaken in thinking he was using these extra-heavy strings. I guess he was right there at the beginning when super-light strings were beginning to show up.”

I don’t think any of us have any objections to neither Billy’s, nor BB’s guitar sound. Still, a lot of us, me included, seem to this day to be under the same impression that Billy was back then.

I’ll get on my favorite web music store, order the lightest set of strings they’ve got and take it from there. I have a wonderful, Arturia Audiofuse, audio interface, with really good and clean preamps. So I think I will be able to compensate the lighter strings with higher gain without it affecting the signal in a bad way.

Also thank you for your comforting about my joint challenges. It’s hard to argue against you when you quote Miles. If anyone should know it’s him :slightly_smiling_face:

To tell the truth I am not too keen on shredders anyway. Of course it can be an impressive display of finger dexterity. But apart from that to me it’s mostly that. I don’t feel it. There are of course exceptions. I still love Alex Lifeson’s guitar playing in Rush. I was a youth in the late seventies in an environment where you had to dig heavy metal to be one of the boys. Straight rock went well too. As I was also into jazz and fusion some of my friends though I had a weird music taste. :wink: So I grew up with a lot of guitar shredding, and I grew tired of it.

I have always loved those players who were focused on precision and expressiveness, rather than speed. Based on that you are right. I shouldn’t be too frustrated, or concerned about lack of speed. Rather focus on precision and feel. Thanks for the advice. :blush: :pray: :+1:


based on various readings here and elsewhere i modded a cheap-o hofner shorty specifically for use with mg. switched the bridge pickup to a single coil. swapped out the tuning machines and nut and put super-light strings on it.

i also have a nice ibanez electric. over time i might develop a preference for one or the other, but at the moment i can’t say i detect much of a difference with mg2.

if you miss playing acoustics have a look at the sim1 software (on sale for $30). it delivers the full acoustic experience and works splendidly with super light strings.

i really love my audiofuse. but i can’t get the talkback function to work. have you tried it?

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If you find that lighter strings cause problems for you don’t forget that you can adjust pickup height and you can use a compressor/limiter to ensure all of your notes are picked up. You could also EQ a bit pre MG2. Also, don’t forget that there’s a setting in MG2 that allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the low end tracking, high end tracking or both.

That sounds like a cool project. :grinning: Good idea. I have my trusty litigation era Tokai Strat that I’m going to use for it. It was my first electric, bought in '82. Still going strong. So the single coil bridge pickup is already in place. I’m also planning on finally learning to use the tremolo. The arm has been laying in the case, unused, but after watching Lofileif’s videos I realized that for this use it seems to be a useful tool. Provided I can learn to use it properly. Of course watching LofiLeif’s Parker Fly gives me a bad attack of GAS, but they aren’t made anymore. Imagine getting your hands on a Parker Fly Adrian Belew signature. Oh well, a man can dream. :wink: I can’t really complain about the Tokai anyway. Now I have ordered a set of Ernie Ball EB-2725 Cobalt Extra Slinky, 008-038 for it. Looking forward to try them on.

I also have a wonderful Epi Thunderbird bass guitar that I got as a wreck and rebuilt back into shape. I had to patch a big hole in the body, redo the wiring harness from scratch and set up the saddle height and intonation which had also been set up totally out of whack. Funny enough, when I was finished it had turned into one of the best basses I have ever tried. It’s got the original pups and they sound really good. I’m planning on using it to test out MIDI Bass. I actually like playing bass better than playing guitar, but we’ll see what works best in this scenario.

I’ll check out the sim1 acoustic software. It sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip.

Unfortunately I have never tried the talkback function on the Audiofuse. It’s only me there, in my little attic studio, so the only one I have to talk to there is myself. I manage to do that just fine without electronics.

I guess if I used the Audiofuse to talk to myself it could be considered a bit disturbing. :innocent: But don’t worry. When I get back there I’ll test mine and report back to you if it works or not.

Great. :grinning: Thanks for the tip. :+1: It makes sense and I’m sure it will come in very handy. I guess I can put a compressor and eq on the audio track in Live, right in front of the MG2 plugin. Would that work, or would it be better to use an external effect before the audio interface? I do have an old Boss GT-6 that I can hook up between the guitar and the Audiofuse.

Analog/ digital outboard comp and EQ are all suitable for your needs with that bad ass 80s guitar you have!
Also, if you intend to try the Bass with MG2, unless it was updated and i am behind, the bass version is not polyphonic and you willl will have to play each note on bass independently and therefore no simple transition from one note ringong out to the next. Basically play a single note, pause, play the next. However, if you have a noise gate and set it up right, im curious if you can capture the initial attack of each note without MG2 delivering stray and or phantom notes?

Cool. I really appreciate it. Be fun to try it out. The new strings are in the mail, so I should hopefully get them in a few days. Also thanks for the info on MIDI Bass being only monophonic. I only consider it a nice to have addition to MG2, so it’s no problem, but you are right. It would be fun to see if I can use a noise gate to mitigate it somewhat.

I just have to say that it’s been an unexpected added bonus to MG2 to get to know so many nice and helpful people here in this forum. You guys are awesome. :grinning: :+1:


I also have a wonderful Epi Thunderbird bass guitar that I got as a wreck and rebuilt back into shape

the theory that older instruments, having been played for years, have developed enhanced vibration in certain frequencies has always appealed to me. basses probably age even better because of the longer/lower strings.

there was a company which was vibrating new instruments on an industrial shaker in order to mimic this, i think they went bankrupt in a couple of years.

so maybe it’s all a bunch of nonsense. but stew mac is selling a device which performs a similar function on acoustic guitars.

I guess I can put a compressor and eq on the audio track in Live, right in front of the MG2 plugin. Would that work, or would it be better to use an external effect before the audio interface?

my two cents: pickup height and intonation probably are more important than compression or eq. i’d start with the raw guitar signal first.

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Yes some instruments age well with use. Judging by the state the poor bass was in when I got it it had seen it’s share of vibrations. Both musical and very strong non musical ones. I bought it from my daughter’s former boyfriend for the equivalent of 70 bucks in NOK.

A bit much, considering the state it was in, but I liked the kid (and I still do). I thought it would be a fun project where I could try to to work on a guitar myself without being afraid of screwing it up more than it already was. Plus I figured it didn’t hurt to be a little generous with the kid. He’s a really good guy. They are still good friends and so are we. He just had it laying around, after getting a wonderful Yamaha, five string, bass. The Epi was his first bass, and had seen abuse from three or four previous owners before he bought it. So there sure was a lot of work to be done and a lot of stuff to learn how to do. It was really fun, and I’m really surprised at how awesome it turned out to be.

I guess part of the good sound also comes from the new wiring harness. Which is a place where they try to save money on more reasonibly priced guitars. New, good, pots, and thicker wires can do as much, sometimes more, than new pickups, it seems.

Thank you for reminding me of that. I will start with seeing what I’ve got with just the new strings, and take it from there. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, is always a good rule. :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:

0.008’s extra slinky :wink:

i recently tried mg2 with a nylon string/piezo guitar. i didn’t have much time and i didn’t have another guitar handy to compare against, but the nylon strings performed very well.

nylon strings are definitely an option for those of us with aging hands and persnickety knuckle joints.

(accidental double post, sorry)