I have Fender Nickel Plated .12-.52 strings for electric guitar - is it bad to put those on an acoustic guitar? I do not seek perfection, although I wouldn't want to hurt my instrument.


1 Answer 1


When you state acoustic guitar, as long as you don't mean classical guitar, it's o.k. I have an Epiphone acoustic that has been strung in his way for 35+ yrs. No problem. I feel that 12s may be a little too heavy a gauge, I'd go for 10s or 11s, but a good move will be to check what gauge the existing strings are. Like for like will cause no problems, as the tension should be the same.

DO NOT do this on a guitar that was designed for nylon strings - you'll probably pull the bridge off, and/or bend the neck. If you decide to go for lighter than existing strings, you may need to adjust neck tension, and a faint possibility of intonation with the saddle/bridge, but the action could be lowered to make it more playable. It depends on your personal preference.

  • No I really meant acoustic guitar for metal strings. Do you think this is good for a D# tuning? (I'm at work, will change later...) Mar 28, 2014 at 11:05
  • D#/Eb will loosen the strings slightly, so 12s should be good. I'd still check the original gauge, though,and probably stick at that or go one lighter. Wouldn't want to go heavier. Eb tuning has been around since '50s at least.
    – Tim
    Mar 28, 2014 at 11:12
  • Why the fear of gauge? 13's aren't uncommon for steel stringed acoustics, so 12-52 should be fine? Of course, safe is better than sorry, but in this case it should be fine even in E tuning. Mar 28, 2014 at 11:53
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    A. It's not my guitar. B. Don't like playing with heavy gauge strings. C. Don't know what make/sort of guitar is in question. D. If the action is high, 13s will make it no pleasure to play. E.Et al, etc. etc.
    – Tim
    Mar 28, 2014 at 12:42
  • Most of these points are subjective. With thinner strings on an acoustic, the sound can be perceived as thin. One should consider all aspects, but it sounds like 12-52 is pushing the envelope as far as steel string acoustic guitars go, when that is not the case. Mar 28, 2014 at 13:53

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