A gauge that works for both Drop G and A?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by WintermintP, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Hi... er...

    In case you're wondering as to why I have a complete entry level 7-string guitar, I've realised I've spent too much on things over the last six months and while I knew I needed a 7-string guitar I also knew I had to cut down on my spendings. I do have a much more expensive guitar which I tricked it out with two EMG 89s.

    Anyway, I'm looking for a set of string gauges in which I can easily switch between Drop G and Drop A. I mean, I don't think it should be that hard because with Drop B or A on a 6-string guitar that would require really heavy gauges because it's at least six semitones down, but with the 7-string guitar, it's pretty much Drop A and then two whole steps down. I know for a fact that the strings that actually came with the guitar can handle Drop A just fine, and when I tuned it to Drop G it was only the bottom string that was really problematic.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    WintermintP
     
  2. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    What is the scale length of your guitar? What string gauge do you have on your guitar now that you like fro Drop A?

    You can find a string tension calculator online and use that to find tension values that are acceptable for you between both tunings.
     
  3. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Right now the guitar is a stock white Jackson JS32-7. The current tension on the strings for Drop G are actually not that bad at all, except the bottom string could use a little bit more tension. My main concern is tuning stability, but I also need the strings to be as light as they can be because I'm typically not a fan of heavy gauges. I don't know what string gauges I have. I didn't even get any string changes done yet.

    However, just for some additional context, my main guitar is an ESP LTD Snakebyte Snow White tricked out with two EMG 89s, and I have frequently used the Drop B and A tunings on it with an 11-56 set (formerly D'Addario, now Cleartone; but whether I will keep using Cleartone strings or go back to D'Addario has still yet to be seen).

    WintermintP
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  4. couverdure

    couverdure No Gear Day

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    According to the calculations in String Tension Pro, a 10-46 set with a single 68 should have matching tensions for Drop A and G on a 26.5" scale.
     
  5. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    I have played with a 10 in the past so that's not a big concern. The big concern is where to get the said 68 string.

    WintermintP
     
  6. couverdure

    couverdure No Gear Day

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    I edited my post while you were typing your reply because I realized regular 10s sets would still work fine and have less tension than heavy bottom sets as you said you're not into heavy gauges.

    JustStrings has a selection of single string gauges, IIRC each pack contains six of the same gauge so one pack should be fine for six sets.
     
  7. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Keep in mind, though, I'm from Canada so that actually might not be a good option for me due to shipping and everything else.

    Okay, I did say I'm not into heavy gauges, but at the same time, my playing is full of attack and aggression, making your suggestion of light-top-heavy-bottom sets rather valid. After all, if that weren't the case, why did I choose an 11-56 for my main guitar? Despite what I said about normally-not-a-fan-of-heavy, I do think my strings will need a bit more muscle than... you know.

    WintermintP
     
  8. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Wait, doesn't John Bellone sell individual strings? That might be my ticket toward the 68! Alright, sweet! Now all I need is the 11-52 set.

    (Yes, I said 11-52. These chugs ain't going to solve themselves.)

    WintermintP
     
  9. couverdure

    couverdure No Gear Day

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    You did say you tune to Drop B with 11-56, which is the equivalent to 9-46 in Drop D. I'd be using 12-60 in that tuning since I use 10-52 in standard/Drop D.

    I also seem to forgot that the bottom string tension doesn't really affect the top strings so I can understand the heavy attack you're aiming for.
     
  10. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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  11. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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  12. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    68 would be a good middleground for regular tension
     
  13. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Okay guys, sorry for the delay.

    I'm off to get the guitar restrung right now, but they don't have a 68 at Bellone's so I got a 70 instead.

    Is that okay?

    Thanks,
    WintermintP
     
  14. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    (EDITED POST)

    Sorry for double-posting! I was having connectivity problems and I didn't know the message went through!

    Wait did I just say 11-52?! I meant 10-52! Made another blunder there... Sorry! >.<

    WintermintP
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  15. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    70 is fine on 26.5. That's the least I can go with on 25.5.
     
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  16. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    I use a 64 for B standard on 25.5

    At 26.5 in the Jackson at LEAST a 68, but better a 70 since you're also dropping to G.
     
  17. erdiablo666

    erdiablo666 Do not go Djently

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    Long and McQuade frequently stock D'Addario's baritone set with a 0.068 on the bottom. That's going to be mega tight in A though. I'd just buy another JS22-7 if I were you. They're incredible guitars for the price.
     
  18. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Oh god... I'm scared... I just hope my guitar is okay... >.<

    I mean, it's one of these things where it's like, it either really works well or it doesn't work at all... on the one hand, again, I do play aggressive so it does seem worthwhile to get a 70 for the bottom but on the other hand... I don't know if my guitar can handle that...

    I'm sorry, I'm really new to owning a 7-string guitar.

    Oh, and on the note on the Baritone set, I heard about that too, but they don't carry that in the L&M in my area. Just the standard gauges. I'm actually surprised that they even had a 10-52 that day.

    Eh... as for this thread being moved to the Beginners section... I should note that I've already been playing guitar for over 10 years, so... I'm not really a beginner. I'm just new to the realm of 7-string guitars...

    WintermintP
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  19. erdiablo666

    erdiablo666 Do not go Djently

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    I hang out in the Beginner's section as it tends to be the most interesting. I've been playing for 20 years. No big deal.

    IMO a 0.070 is nuts. This is a 26.5" scale guitar, not a 25.5. You can get away with 0.068 or even smaller if you want to pick light.

    L&M will order whatever set you want. I've had them order stuff many times.
     
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  20. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    It's not nuts at all, 26.5 is less than a semitone tighter than 25.5 :) A 70 in A would clock in just under 20lbs which is quite ideal I think. The same tension as the 36 A string of 10-46 on 25.5. Comparable to a 72 on 25.5 and perfectly in line with a set of 10's.
    I agree you can get away with a 68 for sure as I recommend above to be average in A, but 70 is perfectly reasonable. I wouldn't use less than a 66 for A on 26.5. Considering dropping to G, a 70 is only just coming close to the feel of a set of 10's (a 78 would be needed to meet the previously mentioned reference points).
    Large numbers can sound like they'd be extreme especially on a baritone scale, but baritone increases the tension less than you may think, and detuning decreases the tension more than you may think. As you can see it takes quite big gauges just to reach the reference point of 10-46 in standard - and plenty of people use heavier than 10-46 (especially on acoustic)
     

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