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59 Reissue - brand new - strings feel stiffer compared to my standards

1

1allspub

Guest
I love the stock strings on Historics and when they were available I liked to use the Vintage Gibson strings- post-CV they are not available best I can tell.
Assuming you mean Gibson Vintage Reissue strings (which I also love), they are still available.., just hard to find. I was in Nashville last month and stopped by the Gibson Garage and they had a whole display of them. Picked up 3 packs of 10s myself. Haven’t seen them anywhere else in a while though, admittedly. Can probably call them and buy direct from the GG you really wanted to.
 

corpse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,903
The story was D’addario was making them and stopped during CV. Plz let me know if the feel is the same.
 
1

1allspub

Guest
Do current USA standards have different frets than current 59 reissues? Changing frets sounds super involved!
I own 2 current USA Standards (50s & 60s) and 2 current Reissues (R9 & BB7… and have owned several another RIs of varying model years between 2014-2021) and yes, the current USA standards and R9s do indeed have different frets (the BB7 has the same frets as the R9, as well). R9s come with Jescar FW45100 frets (or the equivalent) which are .045” tall and .100” wide. By contrast, recent Gibson USA standards come with shorter and narrower frets. I’m not sure what they start off life as, but they spec out (via micrometer on my 2 examples) at about .033” tall and .095” wide. They also seem to come PLEK’d pretty flat (ie, not a lot of crown to them) as compared to R9 frets.

Soooooo… I’m guessing that what you are interpreting as “stiffness” is simply the difference in fret feel (which, at least to some folks, can significantly affect the “feel” of a guitar… especially if you are very familiar and comfortable with one style of fret). Going to 8s (or 8 hybrids) may help… but is suspect that the taller/wider frets on your R9 will still feel different under your fingers than the lower/narrower frets on your USA Standard. The best way to get over this is to just play the R9 exclusively for a while. Your hand/fingers will adjust to the new normal and pretty soon the R9 will feel “right” and when you go then eventually go back to your USA Standard, it will likely feel like the odd duck. That said, once you get past this initial over-analyzing period, you will likely settle in to a comfortable equilibrium and be able to go back and forth between the 2 guitars effortlessly.
 

Flogger

Active member
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
559
I own 2 current USA Standards (50s & 60s) and 2 current Reissues (R9 & BB7… and have owned several another RIs of varying model years between 2014-2021) and yes, the current USA standards and R9s do indeed have different frets (the BB7 has the same frets as the R9, as well). R9s come with Jescar FW45100 frets (or the equivalent) which are .045” tall and .100” wide. By contrast, recent Gibson USA standards come with shorter and narrower frets. I’m not sure what they start off life as, but they spec out (via micrometer on my 2 examples) at about .033” tall and .095” wide. They also seem to come PLEK’d pretty flat (ie, not a lot of crown to them) as compared to R9 frets.

Soooooo… I’m guessing that what you are interpreting as “stiffness” is simply the difference in fret feel (which, at least to some folks, can significantly affect the “feel” of a guitar… especially if you are very familiar and comfortable with one style of fret). Going to 8s (or 8 hybrids) may help… but is suspect that the taller/wider frets on your R9 will still feel different under your fingers than the lower/narrower frets on your USA Standard. The best way to get over this is to just play the R9 exclusively for a while. Your hand/fingers will adjust to the new normal and pretty soon the R9 will feel “right” and when you go then eventually go back to your USA Standard, it will likely feel like the odd duck. That said, once you get past this initial over-analyzing period, you will likely settle in to a comfortable equilibrium and be able to go back and forth between the 2 guitars effortlessly.
What he said. A new Firebird was really stiff out of the box. After a couple of months of me playing it exclusively, either I got stronger, or it loosened up.
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,900
Leave it and get used to it. The "stiffness" could be a nicely stiffer neck, etc. Probably a huge part of the magic. I even prefer .010" strings as there is more string mass to vibrate the wood!
 
J

Jasonj

Guest
I own 2 current USA Standards (50s & 60s) and 2 current Reissues (R9 & BB7… and have owned several another RIs of varying model years between 2014-2021) and yes, the current USA standards and R9s do indeed have different frets (the BB7 has the same frets as the R9, as well). R9s come with Jescar FW45100 frets (or the equivalent) which are .045” tall and .100” wide. By contrast, recent Gibson USA standards come with shorter and narrower frets. I’m not sure what they start off life as, but they spec out (via micrometer on my 2 examples) at about .033” tall and .095” wide. They also seem to come PLEK’d pretty flat (ie, not a lot of crown to them) as compared to R9 frets.

Soooooo… I’m guessing that what you are interpreting as “stiffness” is simply the difference in fret feel (which, at least to some folks, can significantly affect the “feel” of a guitar… especially if you are very familiar and comfortable with one style of fret). Going to 8s (or 8 hybrids) may help… but is suspect that the taller/wider frets on your R9 will still feel different under your fingers than the lower/narrower frets on your USA Standard. The best way to get over this is to just play the R9 exclusively for a while. Your hand/fingers will adjust to the new normal and pretty soon the R9 will feel “right” and when you go then eventually go back to your USA Standard, it will likely feel like the odd duck. That said, once you get past this initial over-analyzing period, you will likely settle in to a comfortable equilibrium and be able to go back and forth between the 2 guitars effortlessly.
Hi, thanks for this very helpful reply. Sorry for the delayed response, for some reason I only get email notifications for replied like 50% of the time at best. Good information and makes sense. I did start getting more used to the feeling. I decided to take it to my local tech for a set up and her said the action was a bit higher than spec so it will be interesting to see how it feels after a set up. I did not know too much about different frets and how that affects the way it feels. Have had a few current 50s standards, but interestingly I compared the R9 to my old 1990 classic and it has a similar feel, perhaps the classic has similar type of frets. At any rate, when I get the R9 back and i am going to just play it exclusively for a while. Thanks again
 
J

Jasonj

Guest
Leave it and get used to it. The "stiffness" could be a nicely stiffer neck, etc. Probably a huge part of the magic. I even prefer .010" strings as there is more string mass to vibrate the wood!
Thanks for the info/input.
 
1

1allspub

Guest
Hi, thanks for this very helpful reply. Sorry for the delayed response, for some reason I only get email notifications for replied like 50% of the time at best. Good information and makes sense. I did start getting more used to the feeling. I decided to take it to my local tech for a set up and her said the action was a bit higher than spec so it will be interesting to see how it feels after a set up. I did not know too much about different frets and how that affects the way it feels. Have had a few current 50s standards, but interestingly I compared the R9 to my old 1990 classic and it has a similar feel, perhaps the classic has similar type of frets. At any rate, when I get the R9 back and i am going to just play it exclusively for a while. Thanks again
That Classic from 1990 likely had Dunlop 6105s (or FW55090s, which are very similar), assuming it still had the stock frets. Those frets (as the FW numbers imply) are taller and a bit narrower still than the RI frets. But being 34 years old (even if the frets are original), its frets are no doubt significantly worn and the whole guitar likely has a very “played-in” feel. Newer USA guitars are definitely doing their frets differently than they did just a few years ago during the Henry J era. And if the RI wasn’t set up properly… then all bets are off. A good set up can absolutely transform a guitar (and a poor one can do the same, in the wrong direction). Keep us posted… but honestly, best to just quit over-analyzing and just play it and get to know it. It’ll make itself known to you. ;)
 
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