25.5" scale 6-string for low tunings?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by The Silent Man, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. The Silent Man

    The Silent Man Savatage,Evergrey, Shadow Gallery,Vanden Plas fan

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    I am considering a "standard" 6-string Jackson Soloist, neck-through, 25.5" scale, Seymour Duncan humbuckers and hardtail bridge.

    My purpose is to use the guitar exclusively for low tunings: D, drop C, C, even B but no lower than that (and of course a bit of string flattering in B is acceptable).
    I want to be able to change quickly between various tunings, just like I currently do with my Ibanez RGD321 - which is a baritone with 26.5" scale and therefore allows me to use thin string gauges (such as 46 - 9).

    I guess a hardtail bridge and slightly thicker string gauges should work for me, after raising each string's height.

    Do you think that guitar suits my needs?
    I plan to keep the string gauge as thin as possible; I enjoy thin gauges, in spite of my purposes.
    Thanks in advance for your precious opinion!
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I mean, going from D to B is a bit drastic for one guitar. Obviously D to drop C is a piece of cake. Are you talking about retuning on the fly? If so, I pity your bandmates. If not, then there's no reason why you couldn't get D standard and B standard out of the same guitar with a new set of strings and a few adjustments in between. B standard isn't too low for 25.5", although a longer scale will sound a little brighter and tighter in comparison, it's a subtle difference at that point.

    Your other option might be a drop pedal or something to stay in D standard/Drop C and then use the pedal to take you down a whole step or a minor third. Of course, it'll only affect what you hear from your amplifier that way.

    Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a magic bullet guitar or sting or anything like that which will allow you to tune to wild ranges of tunings without having to fiddle a little with your setup.
     
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  3. jwoods986

    jwoods986 SS.org Regular

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    Digitech Drop pedal. Got one last Fall and love it!
     
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  4. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    You're gonna need slightly thicker strings than your used to if you want to tune to B on a 25.5 scale ... at least 11-60 .. anything else might be too floppy and will causes intonation problems ...

    BTW tuning from D to B will likely need you to set the intonation on your saddles differently and possibly even tweak your truss rod... usually I try to setup my guitars for different tunings and leave them as is. But occasionally I drop them down too ,.except I don't play in a band so if I sound like shit .. it's only to my self
     
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  5. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    In terms of if the guitar itself performing in those tunings then there'd be no problem. I have a Soloist in C standard with a 12-54 set and it plays great. It has a Floyd so no tuning changes on the spot. I have another guitar in D standar with a 10-46 set and sounds great even though the strings are a bit more bendy.

    Intonation plays a great deal as well as the pickups. For each tuning you have to set the intonationior your guitar will always sound like it's out of key the further up you go on the neck. If the guitar you're getting has the JB in the bridge I don't know how well it will sound below D. The guitar with the 10-46 set in D has the JB and 59 and sounds great but I had a guitar in the past that had the JB and I had tuned in C and it sounded uninspiring to say the least. It might sound good in your case so try before you change.

    I have to say though both my Soloists sound darker from what I would expect from Alder body, Maple neck and Ebony fingerboard guitars.
     
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  6. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    I have a PRS Tremonti "Baritone" which is 25.5 and comes from factory with .014 - .068 tuned to C#-Std or Drop-B. I didn't mind the gauges, but I play a lot of lead stuff and I usually use .09s. So I changed the strings to the NYXL .012- .060, but I swapped in an .011 for the high E, and I'm very happy.

    It perfectly intonates all the way down to Drop-A, although I tend to keep it in C-Std/Drop-A to play In Flames type stuff.... it has low string action and absolutely punches you in the face.

    http://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/core/mark_tremonti_baritone_limited_edition_2017

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. The Silent Man

    The Silent Man Savatage,Evergrey, Shadow Gallery,Vanden Plas fan

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    A 2 whole steps interval is drastic! That's why I'm totally fine with the idea of slightly loose strings in B and perhaps an unoptimal C.
    I'm changing tuning on the fly, not "live" and not in a band, but I currently do it in a minute on a baritone Ibanez RGD and this is something I appreciate.

    Pedals are not an option to me right now, although there are some really nice ones out there.

    Exactly. I need to be able to shift tunings on the fly and have fun.
    So a 11-60 gauge would be optimal to you for B.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  8. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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  9. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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  10. The Silent Man

    The Silent Man Savatage,Evergrey, Shadow Gallery,Vanden Plas fan

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    Thanks for your advice.
    The humbuckers would be Seymour Duncan TB-6 and SH-6N.
    Do you think the "dark" sound you describe could be related to string gauges (or strings in general)?
     
  11. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    From my experience so far thicker strings for the same tuning seem to make the sound more powerful but duller. The sound looses some edge and definition. I tend also to move the pickups further away than what I would with thinner gauges. I did notice an effect of the string brand themselves, especially for thicker strings. I mainly use D'Addario 10-46 nickel wounds for standard tuning. On a 7 string I was trying to tune to Drop A all the thicker D'Addario strings I tried sounded a bit undefined. I won a set of Stringjoy strings and with the same gauges as the D'Addario they were clearer and a lot more defined. When I restrung the guitar with D'Addarios the difference was extremely obvious. So I'm thinking of giving the NXYL's a go or the Ernie Ball Cobalts that another guitar I bought came in and are super clear sounding.

    However the JB has a relatively loose bass response so low tuning and thick strings exaggerate the looseness in the bass response and the sound becomes quite muddy. However since you're getting the Distortion set in the guitar it should be quite better in terms of response as the Distortion is quite tighter than the JB. If you're planning on playing more technical stuff I'd advise you to go with the thinnest possible string gauge you can for the specific tuning you'll have the guitar in.
     
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  12. The Silent Man

    The Silent Man Savatage,Evergrey, Shadow Gallery,Vanden Plas fan

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    That's encouraging. I don't like muddy sounds and I play "acoustic" stuff, metal, progressive metal and music that definitely requires the low strings to sound as clean/definite as possible.
    That's exactly what I want to do.
    Even on a 7-string I stick to the thinnest string gauge possible.
    I like the brightness of thin strings and I need the low strings to sound as clear as possible. Perhaps I should start with 10-46 for D and C tunings and see what happens in B, then move to a slightly heavier gauge if needed.

    Do you think that moving from D down to C and occasionally B I could aim at thinner string gauge than 12-52?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  13. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Personally, I like very light strings, so I typically play a 25.5" guitar in D with 10-46 strings. In C, I would probably either go 11-49, or possibly 10-52. The 10-52 might be better near B and C, while the 11-49 might be better towards C# and D. I would probably try those two, and see which you prefer.

    I mentioned the 12-52 set, because they have a wound G. I like those when I am tuned to B, because it is like having a standard tuned guitar, with that extra low B. Almost like a 7 string, without the smallest string. The wound G helps playing "standard tuning" songs when you are not using the top string.
     
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  14. The Silent Man

    The Silent Man Savatage,Evergrey, Shadow Gallery,Vanden Plas fan

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    In Flames is one of my favourite bands.
    So are you currently using .011 - .060 for C and occasionally Drop A?
     
  15. The Silent Man

    The Silent Man Savatage,Evergrey, Shadow Gallery,Vanden Plas fan

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    Thanks for your advice. I will keep these numbers in mind and I'll take a look at the string tension threads.
    I might start from those 11-49. I expect bendings in "higher" (D) tunings to be a bit tough with 10-52 string gauge.

    Never heard about how a wound G string affects the sound and playing experience. Sounds interesting.
     
  16. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    Yup and punchy as hell. I am in love with NYXL strings anyways. The 14-68 were ok, but I like extremely low action. The stoptail doesn't have individual string height adjustment, so I couldn't just bump the two low strings due to the large gauges. With the 11-60 I can get so much lower yet retain 90% of the punch those bigger strings had, plus it's more playable for me since I do a lot of bending.
     
  17. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    I tune a 25.5 to C# standard/drop B with 11-56 NYXL.
     
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  18. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

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    I would suggest you 11-56 gauge strings or even 10-52 depending on how tight you want it.
     
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  19. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    This. D to B is a pretty big difference, especially on a standard scale guitar. I have the Drop and the Whammy DT in different setups and they always deliver :yesway:

    Set up the guitar to whatever your highest tuning is, then use the Drop pedal to shift it down. I've found up to three half steps is the most you can go without too much perceived loss of pick attack, though it still tracks well up to five half steps. If you want to play with different tunings for fun on the fly, this is the best option. The only string you'd ever have to actually adjust is the 6th string if you're changing between drop and standard tunings.

    Also, if you like the feel of a 9-46 set on your RGD, you would probably like the feel of a 10-52 set on a standard scale tuned to D standard/drop C
     
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  20. Wolfos

    Wolfos Guitarded

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    If you have a 26.5" guitar already why dont you keep it in drop B and the 25.5" guitar for the drop D. Then see which one feels better tuning down or up to C.

    That way you get the best of both worlds without sacrificing your string gauges and intonation as much.
     
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