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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:08 AM   #1
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Tuning 25.5" scale guitar to G or F#

Is it a must to have a 7 string guitar with an extended neck (e.g. 26.5" or 27") before it makes sense to tune down to e.g. G or F#? Is it enough to simply put on a thicker set of strings and then have a normal scale 7 string, or will this always sound muddy and sloppy? Or at least muddier and sloppier than a guitar with an extended neck...
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:15 AM   #2
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It WILL get muddier, compared to an extended scale, but that doesn't mean it's not doable. Get a pickup that clears off most of the mud(BKP PainKiller? EMG 81-7x?) and you'll be fine.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:21 AM   #3
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The guitar I am gonna buy is going to get a DiMarzio LiquiFire in neck position and DiMarzio D-Activator in bridge position - I already decided that :-)

So I should be good to go if I get these awesome pickups and some appropriately thick strings?
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:22 AM   #4
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..or in fact maybe a DiMarzio Crunchlab in bridge position..
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:23 AM   #5
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I think you might've gotten that backwards ha. I'm pretty sure the liquifire would be in the neck, and the d-activator in the bridge. I've heard the d-activators are pretty tight, but I haven't had any experience with them. I'm sure someone who has will chime in
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:25 AM   #6
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Yes sorry :-) I corrected my replies already.. I mis-typed
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:26 AM   #7
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i tune my 24.75" guitar to G#
the guitar has emg 81 on it and i don't have any complaint regarding muddiness at least for me though
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:46 AM   #8
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Out of my 5 7-strings, each one is tuned a half step different from the next by a half step. All of them are 25 1/2" scale and I don't have an issue with being muddy. One is tuned to C# w/ a low G# using Ernie Ball Beefy Slinky strings with a 64 for the G#. The next one is tuned to C w/ a low G and that one uses the Regular Slinky strings minus the 10 guage and adding a 66 for the low G. In addition, my 8-string is also a 25 1/2" scale, and I use the Regular Slinky's on that also, but use a 70 for the F#. I'm considering moving up to a 72 possibly soon as it is a little loose, but it's not loose enough to be floppy or not hold tuning stability.

So as long as you find the right guage set that's a happy meduim and you tweak you EQ's the right way, you can get what you want from a standard and even a short scale.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:58 AM   #9
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Okay thanks a lot for the very good answers :-) I will continue on my hunt for the next guitar!
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Unread 07-24-2011, 11:52 AM   #10
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IMO the lowest you can tune a regular 25.5 guitar is Bb, maybe A.
You have to put on quite thick strings to compensate the short string length and it will start to stiffen up. They do not resonate good enough and the harmonics will go off... It won't intonate properly.
I tuned a 27 scale guitar to G with a 0.74 string and it was okayish... Ab would have been better with a lighter string, maybe 72 or 68.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 12:10 PM   #11
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It's subjective, but personally I don't like using heavier strings as they start feeling odd and not sounding nice to me. So I generally prefer extended scale lengths for tuning down. You can certainly do it, but when getting really heavy string gauges for F/F# tuning etc they tend to sound pretty nasty. There is a reason most people tend to go for baritones for F tuning etc.

It is down to what you prefer feel wise. If you tend to go for thinner strings and a more snappy tone, then get a baritone. If you don't mind hench strings then get a standard scale.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:26 PM   #12
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Bulb uses a lot of 25.5" scale guitars in drop G#, doesn't he? Anything he does is apparently gospel around here.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:39 PM   #13
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For me... I feel it is. I have my six 25.5" in G#, and compared to my eight 27" down in E... the .080 E sounds far better than the .066 G#. That's an EMG808 compared to an EMG85X. I just feel, even clean, that the G# was just too 'thick' for its own good; both sound-wise and playing-wise. I could get a good tone out of it... but it just didn't sit right with me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... go for it! Give it a shot, you may like it. Or you may not. But you won't know until you try.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 09:05 PM   #14
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25.5" guitars are ubiquitous, so go ahead and give it a try.

The thinner the string or the longer the scale, the lesser the measure of string inharmonicity due to tension. It doesn't really have anything to do with the pickups, the string will eventually just sound shitty if it's too thick and too short. Each person has their own limit, but for me, it's around G on a 25.5" scale. Going to 27" helps this two-fold. 1) The string is longer, and 2) You can get away with a slightly thinner string. So at 27", you can tune down to F# and even F with it sounding better than 25.5" at G.

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Unread 07-24-2011, 09:21 PM   #15
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I CANNOT play a 27" scale due to my little girl hands.
I have my 7321 tuned (low to high) F#BEADGB with (high to low) 11, 16, 24, 32, 42, 52, 60.
It has stock pups. I don't pick super hard, and cut a lot of bass (that's not my job anyway).

I think it Sounds GREAT.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 10:03 PM   #16
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I tune my 1527 to G with 59 and 46-10 on the rest. Ive set it well and it plays and sounds just as good as my 27 inch scale tuned to the same, with the same set of strings. Different strokes, different setups.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 01:59 AM   #17
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How do you lot all use such floppy strings on the bottom? I use 10-46 in E standard, so when in drop A, I use a 70 to match the tension... I tried a 68 and it was just too floppy

A 59 at G is 10 pounds of tension!








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Unread 07-25-2011, 11:29 AM   #18
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I was bored the other day and tried tuning my bottom string retarded low to a weird tuning I thought up; DDADGBE. I use a 59, so it was super floppy, practically unuseable; I did make a clip with it though. Used my RG7 w/ D-Sonic into a V-amp Pro boosted w/ a TS808.

http://www.netmusicians.org/files/94-SubOctaveDriff.mp3

IMO it would be perfectly useable at F# with a slightly larger string, around a 65-70 would be good.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 11:40 AM   #19
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I've got my RG7420 in F standard right now(25.5" scale), with a 75 on the low B and a 60 on the low E. It's definitely a great deal floppier than my buddy's schecter damien seven diamond series 26.5" even though he has a 65 on there in the same tuning. Unless you have some telephone lines to spare I wouldn't deal with it. It sure is fun though. heh.

Tl;dr unless you have huge strings dont even bother, but it is totally doable.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 08:21 AM   #20
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I tune to F# on a 25.5 scale length. its not muddy at all, but I am using .70 gauges.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 09:09 AM   #21
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All my 25.5" 6s have a .074 F#. There's huge variation in how it feels and sounds by the guitar's construction and pickups, and it totally affects how and what I play on each one (which I think is interesting). FWIW, the mahogany hardtail with the Aftermath definitely sounds the best from a metal standpoint (obviously). If you don't like warmer tone, I wouldn't recommend it, though.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 04:59 PM   #22
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"the string will eventually just sound shitty if it's too thick and too short." - agreed.
There is one really important thing: listen to the guitar unplugged. Tune it up to where you'd like it, with the strings you think would work. Play a few chords and single note lines. Listen to how the instrument reacts. I prefer higher tension usually.
Once I had a 25.5 guitar tuned up to standard E with 12-54 set. (Back in the jazzy days... whatever... ) It was great. I grabbed a chord unplugged and it just rang out.
Even my teacher noticed how great it sounded. He played a 24 3/4 guitar with 10-46 strings on it. - Then I told him: it's just the strings, nothing magic.
My guitar was a $1000 korean guitar, his was a $3000 US made instrument. Mine sounded better.

Too thin or too thick vs the length... you can go way too thin and way too thick.
It turned out that a 11-52 set was better on 25.5 - wasn't as stiff as the 12-54

I personally think that tuning to standard E with a 9-42 set on 25.5 sounds crap, unless you go for that noisy, chime-y funky sound on a Strat. Or something like that.

+ you should not tune a 23 3/4 guitar to standard E with lighter strings than 10-46.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 06:48 PM   #23
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It'll work just fine, but reducing scale and increasing string gauge both affect the amount o high end you get. A longer scale will seem brighter, but to be honest I've used some pretty ridiculous tunings on 25.5" guitars with no muddiness issues.

There are people around that seem to think you need extra strings and scale length but you really don't. I have an RG2228, and apart from liking the feel of it in general there's nothing particularly special about it for tuning down except a touch of extra scale. The 10's on my 8 (10-46, 56, 70) don't feel as tight as the beefy slinky on my JPX.

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