.70 Bronze String Tuned to A?? Advise please!

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by TwitTheShred, May 5, 2016.

  1. TwitTheShred

    TwitTheShred SS.org Regular

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    Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but I am having some major issues here and i'm not sure were to go...

    Advise please!

    I recently purchased a Ibanez AEL207E. Beautiful guitar but the strings sucked! I plan on tuning it as standard but with the 7th tuned to A for the majority of the time. I have tried a .59 and although it worked fine, it was a tad to floppy for my tastes. The next size up I could find was a massive leap up at .70. I had to drill out the Tuning Peg to get it in the guitar but my issue seems to be with the Bridge Pins....I can not for the life of me get the tension past G without it popping the Bridge Pin out. Is this string simply to thick for my guitar or am i missing something glaringly obvious?

    I do not play acoustics often so please forgive me if i am being extremely naive here.
     
  2. takotakumi

    takotakumi SS.org Regular

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    Do you usually play with 70 for A?

    I normally use 60-62 for A on my 27" Baritones, and recently got an Ibanez 1527 which I set to A standard and for that I use a 64. Maybe that guitar is not made for that but then again I do not play acoustic as well :)

    I'd try and downsize to 65 or 64.
     
  3. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Psycho, dont engage

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    That's quite a jump. Where did you look? Just around the house? :lol:
     
  4. TwitTheShred

    TwitTheShred SS.org Regular

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    Amazingly I spent quite a lot of time looking for them! I was adamant on getting Elixer Nanoweb which obviously really narrowed my choices. I have since ordered a D'Addario (Not my preferred brand of string sadly) .64 and .66. I would still like to use the .70 though.

    On my Schecter Omen 8 i have a .70 for the B and a .80 for the F# without any issues.

    you'll have to excuse my ignorance here as I have never touched a Baritone in my life. But doesn't the extended range make lighter strings have higher tension? If so I can see how .60/.62 would be sufficient Personally going that light on a standard length guitar just doesn't cut it for me.
     
  5. MajorTom

    MajorTom Supreme Being

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    As far as I know the Ibanez AEL207E originally came with a set of D'Addario® EXP™16 Coated Phosphor Bronze, Light (.012-.053, with .070 gauge string for the seventh string stock from Ibanez, that is what they have listed on the products specification page, and how both of mine came:

    Acoustics AEL - AEL207E | Ibanez guitars

    I own two of then, and I also had problems with the bridge pins on the seventh string on both of mine, the machine heads and bridge pins are where they saved money on this otherwise great acoustic. I also tune my seventh string to drop A, my problem was that the string was so thick that when it came time to change it, it was too big for the bridge pin and I couldn't remove the bridge pin, I actually had to remove strings one to six, then snap off the head of the seventh bridge pin and push it out from behind, that's how tight it was held in place by the .070 gauge seventh string, I had this problem with both of my acoustics, basically the channel cut into the bridge pin for the string to follow down under the bridge, and that holds the ball of the string in place under the bridge is too narrow for the string, it is obviously a stock sized bridge pin and not big enough nor intended for strings much thicker than tradition sixth string gauges.

    It's a really simple problem to fix, you, or a guitar tech or luthier, can take some sand paper and slowly, gradually and gently sand the channel larger to accommodate the larger string gauges, or do what I did and get a luthier or a really good guitar tech to custom make you a new set of bridge pins, custom made bridge pins are not as expensive as you would think, I got two sets made of mammoth Ivory, with brass encircling mother of pearl dots, plus spare pins, so twenty bridge pins made in total, for a little under £50.00, that gave me six space matching bridge pins for that price, obviously if you where to use a cheaper material like bone or even ivory from a different source, like wart hog, or hippo, it would work out to be a lot cheaper.

    If you plan on sanding the channel yourself, I would strongly advise that you buy a few spare sets of bridge pins before you even think about modifying the original bridge pins yourself, if you don't want anything fancy and are happy with the material that the stock bridge pins are made of you can easily get them from a lot of places, Fender made a set of seven, six standard size ones and one novelty oversized one for less than £10.00 that is widely available on ebay, or you can buy buy non branded ones made of plastic far as little as £2.00 for a set of six off of ebay.

    I should mention that I still use the same gauges of strings that Ibanez originally shipped the guitar with, though I use a different brand, even though I replaced not just the bridge pins, but also the bone nut and saddle on both of mine as well, though the stock nut and saddle are extremely good quality and made of bone, so there was no need to change or modify them I changed the nut and saddle on mine purely to match the mammoth ivory bridge pins I had made, so it was for cosmetic reasons, I'm that vain.

    I should mention that a really easy way to solve your problem of the string channel on the seventh string bridge pin not being big enough for a .070 gauge string, is to wrap the ball end of a .070 gauge string in some sand paper, and gently and slowly rub the existing string channel in the bridge pin along the ball end of the string you have wrapped in sand paper, it should take you about twenty minutes or so to do it this way. I would strongly advise you to take your time doing it and do it slowly and gently, it's very easy to take material away, it's extremely hard to put it back if you make a mistake and take away too much.
     
  6. TwitTheShred

    TwitTheShred SS.org Regular

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    MajorTom. I cannot thank you enough! Very informative response.

    I will be trying out the later method first since I have tons of spare bridge pins. Long term solution seems to be the custom made option though.

    Thank you =]
     
  7. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Great advice above.
    I just wanted to point out that you needn't worry about the tension. 70 is actually 'correct' for drop A, and fits right in tension wise next to a 10-46 set. You can see this because of the 36 octave A - doubling gauge results in equal tension an octave down. So it's actually looser than a 36 A.

    Here's another thing - I've used actual bass strings with bass ballends on an acoustic before. I feed them through from the inside of the body and do not use a bridge pin, the larger ballend holds it in place. You could always tie something to the ballend to make it larger for a temporary easy solution.
     

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