Do any acoustic guitar string companies make 'lopsided' sets where the bass stings are disproportionally heavier than the treble strings?

For example the strings I presently use are: .012 .016 .024w .034 .044 .054

But what if they were thinner on the high side and thicker on the low side such as: .011 .015 .024w .034 .048 .058

Would the acoustic difference be significant ... more mellow? Or would the bigger difference be how it plays?

  • Why not use electric guitar strings on an acoustic? I have for 50+ yrs, with no problems. With the same guitars.
    – Tim
    Nov 22, 2021 at 7:16
  • 2
    Just Google "acoustic strings light top heavy bottom" or more specifically "acoustic strings 11 to 58". Plenty out there. i've used electric 10-52 for decades. It stops the bottom end glissing if you're a bit heavy handed, like me. Stability & a richer sound overall.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 22, 2021 at 8:27
  • Ahh... they are commonly for 'new standard tuning' and this company lets you choose the gauge for each string. stringjoy.com/shop/strings/acoustic/naturals Nov 22, 2021 at 10:05
  • Why for new standard tuning? Most string companies sell separate gauges as well as several dozen 'non-standard' gauge sets. Every music shop will have a box of single strings too.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 22, 2021 at 10:16
  • What on Earth is 'new standard tuning'?
    – Tim
    Nov 26, 2021 at 11:35

2 Answers 2


SE discourages us from recommending specific products, but I can give some general guidelines:

  1. Some manufacturers offer single strings. They are typically a bit more expensive, but they provide a great opportunity to experiment with various string gauges.

  2. Try electric guitar strings. They may sound a bit different, but if you are looking for a different sound, why not to try? You won't break anything. There is larger choice of various electric guitar sets. Sets advertised for drop tuning, or baritone guitars often have relatively thicker bass strings.

  3. As a rule of thumb: thinner strings sound more bright and metallic, thicker strings darker and mellow. Plain strings sound darker than wound strings of similar gauge. So lower gauge treble strings will rather sound more bright than more mellow but if you move from wound to plain G string, that one might sound darker. But I would recommend you to try it by yourself.

  • 2a.) do not use metal strings on an acoustic guitar that is made/designed for nylon or other "classical/traditional" strings. It may work for a while, but might destroy things
    – Yorik
    Nov 23, 2021 at 19:22
  • @Yorik - possibly you're mixing up acoustic and classical guitars - most classical guitars will NOT benefit from steel strings, whereas most other acoustic guitars will.
    – Tim
    Nov 26, 2021 at 11:33
  • @Tim I think Yorik just wanted to add an extra warning. Typically nylon string guitars are called "classical" but some people call them "nylon acoustic". Nov 26, 2021 at 17:16

Why bother with a particular set - which will exist - when you can specify exactly what you want for each string. It's what I did 50 odd years ago, needing as an example a much thinner 3rd string.

Answer, buy individual strings - only slightly more expensive but when I buy 6-10 'sets' at a time, the price becomes comparable - and I get exactly what I want for each string!

As far as sound is concerned, again, you need to experiment - 3rd string being the most variable, between wound and plain.

The neck shouldn't suffer (as in warp), due to an up to 20% change, but you'll probably have to re-set up the guitar - truss-rod, intonation, action, to suit yiur new strings. But give them all a week or so to settle in first.

As in the comment, I've been doing this for 50+ yrs, with no problems - and the guitars are all suited better (for me!) because of it. But be prepared for some experimentation and fettling!

  • I now know thinner is brighter so I have to have the heaviest possible on all. Nov 22, 2021 at 21:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.