Sunday, December 2, 2012

DR Tite Fit JZ-12 - heavy electric guitar strings (with soundclip)

The DR Tite Fit JZ 12's are my string of choice for my electric guitar.  These are the best out of the box sounding strings I know of, and they hold tune exceptionally well.  They also hold tone exceptionally well - while also being pretty durable.

There is much joy in a "heavy" set of strings for the electric (this gauge of strings is "light" for acoustics)... MUCH more tone comes out - significantly more of the guitars character can shine with the heavier strings as they produce much more tone acoustically.  This means more acoustic vibrations and of course more output from the pickups. 

BUT in addition there is more metal for the pickups to pick up, and this helps greatly with dynamics - allowing soft passages to still remain full and delightful where lighter gauge strings can start falling short.

Truly the only disadvantage is the heavier strings are more difficult to play - and the DR JZ-12's are no exception,  Even with a well setup guitar with low action fast barre chord changes are much more difficult to smoothly accomplish than even with a set of 11's.  The big difference is the wound G string, which changes the feel dramatically.

The wound G is really the highlight of this set of strings though, its all personal preference but my ears love the wound sound.  Non-wound G strings are much more "quacky" sounding, and for chords that use the top 4 strings the non-wound G can stick out like a sore thumb.  Style comes into play, but for my style its would G all day.

The JZ-12's sound great right out of the box, definitely bright as new strings are - but not annoyingly so.  The bass is full, and the sound very clear and articulate.  People say often its all about the player, but there is a reason a tuba doesn't sound like a bike horn - even though they are both horns.  Different guitars/different strings just plain sound different, and the search for what works for us as guitar players can go on indefinitely...

But I am 100% satisfied with the JZ-12's.  The 1st string has enough body while not being at all dull, and the 6th is good and bassy without being muddy.  All in between are equally great, with the wound G in particular sounding more articulate than other sets I've used in the past.

One very important thing to note, though!  These strings are MUCH bigger than what comes with most electrics, and the nut is not necessarily going to fit the top 4 (eadg) strings at all.  So it may not be as simple as slapping these on old reliable and enjoying the tone.  Going heavy can be a commitment, you might have to get your nut cut to fit properly.  I did, and I'm never looking back.

Check out this soundclip - using a yamaha g50-112 and a mic to pickup the guitar's acoustic sound.:

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