Strings gauge affects tone but, in my opinion, is not a significant factor! I get more sustain in my playing if I’m using thicker strings. So I think we can expect a beefier and slightly darker tone with 52’s compared to 46’s.
I found that beefier is better for guitars like LP’s, and a thinner tone is what I seek for guitars like strats or teles. Thinner typically means brighter, and that’s better for my playing with strats.
BTW I use 10/46 in strats and 11/52 in LP’s