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new here. I needed new strings, being a newbie I just told the clerk that I needed some 11's, one pair for my electric and one for my acoustic western. When I came home I saw that I got two pairs of acoustic strings. My question: Does it really matter, the strings I got were these:

RotoSound JK11

RotoSound TB11

Any of these that a better suited for a strat type guitar? or is it so bad i should go back and get other strings? .. Help much appreciated

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To elaborate on Tim's accurate answer - electric guitars have magnetic pickups which detect the movement and vibration of the strings (as Tim said). Therefore electric strings usually use a nickel winding around a steel core so the magnet will "pick-up" the vibration of the strings.

Both of the acoustic sets you linked use a bronze alloy (as do most acoustic strings) for the winding on the wound strings - which will not respond very well to a magnet ("non magnetic") and will insulate the magnetic steel core of your wound strings from the pickups.

The phosphor bronze set (JK) will have a more mellow sound on an acoustic and the TB set is an 80/20 Bronze which will have a brighter more present sound. Neither will work well on your electric.

The unwound steel strings are the same material on electric sets and acoustic sets so they are basically interchangeable. Where the difference comes in is on the wound strings. Nickle winding works best on electric for responding to the magnetic pickup but does not sound so great acoustically. But that is not a problem on electric guitars because the sound comes from the amplifier and you don't have to worry about what they instrument sounds like acoustically.

As an interesting related aside, you can get "zebra" strings which have alternate Bronze and Nickel Windings if you have an acoustic guitar with a magnetic pickup. Most acoustic guitar pickups do not use magnets but there are some that do. The idea behind the "zebra winding" is a compromise to allow for a better acoustic sound than nickel wound strings would provide - while still allowing the magnetic pickups to react to the string vibration.

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Strings specifically made for acoustic guitar don't work well on electric guitars in my experience. The pick ups are designed to pick up(!) the movement of steel strings, and since these have little or no steel in them, they'll be very, very quiet. Need to change them in the shop.

  • Okay thanks for the answer, then i suppose that i only have 1 question... Which of the above string would you put on your acoustic ? – Matt Baech Nov 23 '16 at 17:39
  • I wouldn't be putting either set on my acoustic, as I use .008 - .042. and they would be too tight for what I've got used to. But for you, either will feel the same, it's really the sound that's going to differ, but that then becomes a personal choice. Suggest keeping both sets, one for spare until it's time to change, then compare their sounds. One really should have a spare set for any guitar one has. – Tim Nov 23 '16 at 22:37

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