I've a Fender CD-60CE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar since 2008. It's not equal to the site, but it's the closest to mine in the site.

I've changed the strings width of it so much I can't remember the original. Someone knows it ? Moreover, is there a problem using or an adjust to be done to use other width than the recommended ?

2 Answers 2


The word you are looking for is "gauge", not "width". Most dreadnought acoustic guitars would be strung with a set of "12's", typically phosphor-bronze light gauge strings, with the highest string being 0.0120 inch or 0.3000 mm in diameter, and the lowest string being 0.0530 inch or 1.3462 mm in diameter.


String gauge is generally a matter of personal preference. An acoustic guitar like yours can potentially accommodate sets of strings ranging from extra light gauge which will have a high e string gauge of .010 inches - all the way to medium gauge with a .013 inch diameter high e. Custom lights might have a .011 inch high e string. Lights might have .012.

New guitars ship from the factory set up for strings somewhere in the middle of the range in hopes of appealing to a larger percentage of players. But there is no reason to feel like you are stuck with the gauge the manufacturer decided to ship the guitar with.

A guitar will be "set up" optimally for a particular gauge string. The main set up parameters include height of saddle, width and depth of nut slots, and truss rod adjustment. The way these things are adjusted will depend on what type action you prefer - and - what gauge strings you choose.

If your guitar is currently set up for .012 gauge strings but you want to switch to a lighter gauge or heavier gauge, then you will simply need to adjust the set up parameters to accommodate your choice of string gauge. Depending on your current set up, your guitar may play acceptably with more than one gauge string.

Where the set up becomes less tolerant of a change in string gauge is if you have a low action with the minimal amount of relief possible with no fret buzz. Switching to a lighter gauge lower tension string might result in some fret buzz because the slacker string tension will allow for a wider string oscillation envelope as the string vibrates.

The other thing that may need to be adjusted if you make a large move in string gauge is the size of the nut slot. If the strings do not sit properly in the slots they can be pinched and muted somewhat. You don't want the nut slots to restrict the vibration of the string any more than you would want the saddle to restrict the vibration.

A dreadnought guitar should be quite capable of being set up for any gauge string set you desire. If you want more volume and stiffer strings, go heavier than current gauge. If you want less string tension and thereby easier to fret strings, go with a lighter gauge set.

Besides string gauge there are other variables that affect tone such as the type metal used on the wound strings or coating applied to the strings to preserve the life.

I personally prefer .011 custom light phosphor bronze D'Addario coated strings and I like my action set as low as possible. At least one of my guitars is set up for heavy bottoms light tops which means my 3 fattest strings are out of a heavier gauge set than my 3 skinniest strings. But every guitarist is different. That's why they make so many different gauge and type of strings.

After you decide which string gauge will best suit your playing style and preference, take your guitar to a qualified guitar technician or luthier along with the set of strings you want to use - and have them set up your guitar specifically for that gauge string. You can tell them if you want the action low (easier to play) or high (more volume but harder to play) or somewhere in between.

A proper set up with your choice of strings should make your playing experience very enjoyable. Good luck and have fun playing your new strings.


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