Duane Allman’s Fender Flatwound 505 Guitar Strings

According to Johnny Sandlin, Duane used flat-wound strings when playing slide.

Johnny said he’s pretty sure Duane raised the action on the SG he played. He also belives [sic] he used flat wound strings on it too.

December 03, 2006 Post at ABB Forum by Anathalee “BigAnn” Sandlin at 04:24 PM

The strings are ones from the Hourglass years. Johnny remembers being in the music store with Duane when he would buy them and was surprised he used the lighter weight strings. Johnny said it was what was on his Strat and that, at least in the beginning, he used the same strings for the slide only he used flat wound for slide.

January 28, 2007 Post at ABB Forum by Anathalee “BigAnn” Sandlin

Based on the time period when Duane started playing slide, and the fact that he preferred light gauge strings, he most likely used Fender’s No. 505 Set (see Fender 1968 Season Catalog). The gauges were as follows:

  • 506 E-1st, Plain .012”
  • 507 B-2nd, Plain .016”
  • 508 G-3rd, Wound .024”
  • 509 D-4th, Wound .031”
  • 510 A-5th, Wound .040”
  • 511 E-6th, Wound .050”

This set was available until 1973, but it is unknown whether he continued using the exact same set until 1971. It is, however, most likely that he used it in 1967/68.


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3 years ago

Cool! Just kind of weird that the information emphasizes that Duane liked light gauge strings, but the strings offered in the set are heavy .12 strings.

3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff

As you may know, when playing slide, sometimes the thicker strings make it easier to keep the slide from pressing onto the frets.

Rusty Rowe
Rusty Rowe
3 years ago
Reply to  Crispybear

Thicker strings also vibrate at a heavier rate increases the sustainability of the note.