I gutted my 8-string and I think I like it more now.

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by The Q, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. The Q

    The Q The Engineer

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    So then, this happened:

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    I went on and cut the 8th string with extreme prejudice, which was an Elixir .085 bass one. Prior to that I had a .075. The .085 one was way too bassy and muddy, while the .075 one was way floppy and not really less bassy. It maybe the fault of the 57/66 that the 8th sounded fizzy, but it may as well be the fault of the guitar or it may be strictly my tault that I could never get acceptable sounds out of the 8th string.

    But here's the thing. As soon as I removed it, the guitar transformed in my hands. Even though the neck is wider I found myself having a much easier time playing it, thanks to not having to constantly palm mute that damn 8th string ending up with much less noise than usual.

    I'm not sure how to proceed now. I'm thinking of putting a High-A string but I'm afraid this'll confuse me and I am not into the mood for experimentation. On the other hand, I'm not into dj0nting and as such I only used the 8th string as a helper one. Keeping the guitar as is, is tempting, though as an engineer I don't like wasted potential.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    Uhm... I enjoyed a lot using a very "weird" tunning... Maybe you will find it interesting or useful.

    In the 8th string use a "7th string A" and tune up your 7th to C. That way you will have two third intervals between the lower strings. Also, barre chords (usual drop tuning powercords I mean) will bring you the possibility of having the root, the third, the fifth and the 8th grade or just play around for some 4th+5th dissonance...

    It is a very "fun and interesting" tuning if you are not "djenting" as it will make a little bit harder to play "standard" riffs or chords, but for "slow and airy" chord melodies its an amazing tuning :)
     
  3. jemfloral

    jemfloral SS.org Regular

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    I would cut out one of the strings in the middle, and see if you like it any better ;) It might make 'string-skipping' licks easier to play, of course, since there'd be no string to skip anymore.
     
  4. The Q

    The Q The Engineer

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    Sounds good, I'll give it a go, thanks!

    EDIT: Heh, the tuning obviously, I like my strings up to the 7th as they are ;)
     
  5. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Or ya know, just get a seven string, since you seem to like playing seven strings....
     
  6. The Q

    The Q The Engineer

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    I have one of those and it works quite nicely I have to say. I just got the 8 as an experiment and found out that it doesn't really work as it should for me.
     
  7. Matt794

    Matt794 SS.org Regular

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    I'd tune it like a 7 string in A standard an put a high G on top. That's my favorite way to play my 8.
     
  8. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Psycho, dont engage

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    :scratch:

    What guitar is that BTW?
     
  9. The Q

    The Q The Engineer

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    Yeah well, I bought it as an experiment almost a year ago. I experimented with it, could never use the 8th string properly and now, a year later I feel that I am not in the mood to do so anymore, mostly due to my heavy workload.

    That's a Kraken by the way, from the Korean guy that made the really cheap ones. He has since renamed his business to "Indie Guitars" but I'm not sure that he's offering 8-strings any more. A decent instrument, superb for the 200 bucks I paid for it; miles above what I've seen from China.
     
  10. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Yup. Much easier to reach than a high A.
    Also, if you liked the pitch of the low string but not the tone - try Kaliums. Their performance in thicker gauges far outdoes any other I've tried.

    If you do try a high string tuning, try moving the odd interval around. So instead of BEADGBEA shape you have BEADGCEA. It's like you tuned a standard tuned 8 string up, rather than added a high string above a 7. Each is greatly different to play. Also try perfect 4ths!
     
  11. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Psycho, dont engage

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    +1for Kalium, if you haven't tried already. But hey, who knows, you might be in the mood for experimenting sometime in the future
     
  12. The Q

    The Q The Engineer

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    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I'm kinda weird with my strings, I've been using Elixir Nanowebs almost forever thanks to their durability. The sound is not bad too, at least I haven't noticed something different when I compared with different strings.
    I gave Optima Gold a go and was disappointed on how they couldn't hold a tune properly, Thomastik-Infeld Power Brights which were OK and finally the Cleartones that were on this guitar which I didn't keep long because it was a 0.009 - 0.068 8-string set. Oh and I know that many people hate this, but I've really come to like the slick feeling the Elixirs have, thanks to the coating.

    Now that you know my preferences, how would you compare Kalium and Elixir? I'm asking mostly in terms of longevity, stiffness (I like stiffer strings that make my fingers put more effort out there) and feel?
     
  13. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Try an .080?
     
  14. The Q

    The Q The Engineer

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    I ordered a .075 and a .080 from stringsandbeyond which is the lowest price I could find for single bass strings Elixirs (10 bucks apiece, OUCH). I'll know in a month or so (which is the time they need for the strings to reach Europe).

    I gave a look at Kaliums but the shipping costs are absurd, considering that I don't want to buy whole sets now (I have about 15 packs of Elixirs lying around ;) ).
     
  15. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    I use a standard Elixir set (9-42) + a "cheap" D'addario 56 for the 7th and bought 15 Kalium 86 for the 8th string in Drop E for my 28,625" guitar...

    So... just bought Kalium for the thickest/impossible to find here.

    The tone of the Kalium strings are more or less similar to the Elixir strings: bright. Also, don't last that long (no coating) but the thicker the string the longest it last so...

    I used an Elixir bass string 85 and the Kalium 86 sounded much more brighter.

    Give'em a try! I know it is very expensive to buy Kalium strings in Europe (I paid 50€ for 15 strings...) but worths the money.
     
  16. Captain Shoggoth

    Captain Shoggoth SIGN YO REP

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    +1 for Kalium from me.

    Failing that, put another low B on? Will avoid the muting/avoiding-the-8th issue and make rhythms sound bigger without muddying it up provided you're intonated well
     
  17. The Q

    The Q The Engineer

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    That sounds like an interesting approach, will consider it, thanks.
     
  18. Lankles

    Lankles Fuelled by Chicken alone.

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    I'd put the 8th string back, maybe the 75 again, then tune up a little, maybe as far as G# for the 8th string.

    Or maybe put it back, but tune all the way up to B and have the two highest strings in unison e?

    YMMV :)
     
  19. The Q

    The Q The Engineer

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    I'm reviving this thread to post an update.

    As you remember, I killed the 8th string on my 8-string guitar, a .085 Elixir bass string. Today my strings from StringsAndBeyond came, 0.075 thickness and here are my impressions:

    1) When I put it back and tuned it I honestly couldn't believe how floppy it felt compared to the 0.085 one. It was a bit shocking, but I can't say that it was unusable; just took a bit of getting used to again.

    2) The string sounded properly. Unfortunately, the 0.085 one was way too bassy to be really useful, to the extent that the 57/66 set I have on the guitar would only reproduce ugly muddiness with lots of high pitched scratching.

    3) Attempting to downtune the string to Drop-E felt muddy once again to the point of reminding me how the 0.085 sounded; a completely different sound as if it came from a different instrument. Oh and the floppiness wasn't THAT bad all things considered, but all in all it was unusable. The 0.085 was quite usable tension-wise when it was tuned to E, but the sound was unusable.


    I might try some of your suggestions in regards to tunings. But force of habit will probably have me tune the guitar to Standard and only use the 8th string as a vertical helper. Which is not that bad for my tastes, since, I cannot seem to be able to take properly advantage of that range and produce anything useful. After all, most iconic songs that I like were written with 6s and some limited downtuning. I am not dismissing anyone who does like stuff written with ERG (I like some of them), that's just my personal opinion about my approach to music authoring.


    * Note that my first attempt at using Elixir Bass strings for this guitar was with a 0.075.
     
  20. Hertz32

    Hertz32 SS.org Regular

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    Bass strings are built differently to guitar ones, which is why it sounded like ass.
    Go to thomann and order a set of LaBella Crazy 8's, and a Daddario .080 single string. You'll kick yourself for not having done it sooner.
     

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