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Would this require a re-set? Yamaha APX600 factory strings to Martin MA550's (from 12-16-24-32-42-53 to 13-17-26-35-45-56).

  • By reset do you mean setup? You might put the new strings on, give it a week or two, and then take it to a tech for a truss rod adjustment only. – Todd Wilcox Sep 27 at 16:46
  • Yes, setup. I'm new to guitar so i'm not sure i would notice a subtle difference. I know i don't want the action any higher. Would i be best to return these strings and purchase light gauge? – Derrick Sep 27 at 17:05
  • If you know how to check the action etc you can see for yourself. Otherwise you may need to take it in. It doesn't seem like a severe change, note like going from 8s to 13s on an electric. But it may need tweaking. – ggcg Sep 27 at 17:39
  • With around 10% heavier strings, it's borderline as to whether it needs tweaking. As a newbie, you probably won't notice much difference, and the guitar should cope, too. For now, I'd take the strings back, and get the same set as original, if only for your peace of mind. – Tim Sep 28 at 7:28
  • Ok. ill order new strings and return these. Until i can really learn to tell the difference in sound, playability etc ill stick to same string gauge. Thanks for the help! – Derrick Sep 28 at 15:46
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The main things you will want to check are:

  • Do the slots in the nut allow the heavier string gauge? If not, you may have tuning stability problems or problems with the strings sitting at the correct height above the fretboard.
  • The bridge must accept the thicker gauge strings. The bridge pin and slot for the string need to be able to hold the string firmly but you shouldn't have to use excessive force to insert the bridge pin.
  • Heavier gauge strings will add increased tension on the neck when tuned to the same pitch as lighter gauge strings. With the neck pulled slightly more, it will tend to cause a bit of "forward bow" (or "up-bow" or "relief") in the neck. This raises the height of the strings (action) a bit. The adjustment for this is the truss rod. As a beginner, I would recommend you have a luthier make this adjustment.

I don't know much about the APX600, but I don't think 13-56 strings should be a problem. That said, I think lighter gauge strings are easier to learn on, so you might be best served sticking to 12-53's for now.

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