We recently reviewed the David Gilmour Signature GHS Boomers and I should have added this subtitle to that review: “The Blue Package for Stratocasters.”  I knew there was a “Red” version of the Gilmour Boomers, but for some reason, I thought the Reds were for acoustic guitars.  They are not.  The Reds are for Les Paul electric guitars!

Like the Blue Boomers, these Red Boomers are heavier than standard gauge strings.

The Gilmour Reds run:  0.10.5 – 0.13 – 0.17 – 0.30 – 0.40 – 0.50. while a normal gauge for a Les Paul from the factory would be .10 – 0.13 – 0.17 – 0.26 – 0.36 – 0.46. 

You can see the Gilmour Reds are quite a bit thicker and heftier than standard 10s and that means two things.

First, the increased string tension of the larger strings makes the Gilmour Reds on a Les Paul play like regular 10s on a Stratocaster, so if you’re looking to equalize your playing tension across a Les Paul and a Stratocaster, these strings are the way to go.  The Les Paul, with the Gilmour Reds installed, is no longer an “easier” guitar to play than a standard Stratocaster with 10s.

Second, using these Gilmour Reds, you will likely need to setup your guitar again, or at least fiddle with the intonation a bit, to accommodate the larger string size. 

There’s an old witch’s rumor in music that larger guitar strings will give you a bigger sound.  That may be true on an acoustic guitar without any electronic amplification; but for modern electric guitars, the sound difference between 0.8s and 0.9s and Gilmour Blues or Reds are, at best, negligible because any loss of fatness in sound by using a slightly thinner string gauge can easily be overcome by increasing tone or volume on your guitar or gain on your amp.

I tried the Gilmour Reds on my Les Paul Standard and found them no better than standard 10s for richness and depth and thumping — and they made my Les Paul much harder to play — and that’s why they only lasted three days before being replaced by my Gibson Brites.