Am I dumb for buying a 25.5" scale guitar for drop F#?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by landmvrks, Dec 17, 2020.

  1. landmvrks

    landmvrks SS.org Regular

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    Ended up getting a killer deal on this guitar... but after reading some threads I'm thinking I might have made a mistake. I'll be playing mostly drop F#, drop F, and drop G (Djent/Metalcore stuff). Is playing those tunings and the strings required going to make getting better at guitar a hell of a lot harder, and in general just not be a good idea? Should I sell this (I'd be able to sell it for more than I paid) and find something with a 26.5" scale?
     
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  2. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

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    No, you're fine dude. It's a fantastic guitar. Yes, the scale is a bit short for Drop F#/Drop F, but nothing terrible.

    Jason Richardson, of Chelsea Grin, Born of Osiris, and now-solo work/All That Remains fame, has used 25.5 inch scale guitars with 11-58 gauge strings down to Drop G for years and is known to push it down to Drop F# as well. Additionally, I'm like 99% certain the first Humanity's Last Breath album was recorded on the same 25.5 inch Ibanez Buster used for this Vildhjarta cover:



    It all just depends on your tension and tone preferences. I for one prefer lighter tension even though I pick stupid hard because of the brighter tone associated with thinner strings, therefore I'm fine using thin gauges and tuning them low even though tuning stability and intonation may occasionally pose problems. If you prefer higher tension, you could use something like an 80-90 gauge string without problem, but note it'll be slightly darker and a bit more "oomphier" compared to like a 58-64 gauge string which would be sharper and slightly more defined.

    Maybe something in the 68-76 range would do you good? Not super thick like a 90, but also not as thin as a 58 which many use for tunings up to a C# or D.

    Always could just compensate for tone with your amp/processing setup if you go for a thicker gauge but still want a brighter/punchier tone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
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  3. landmvrks

    landmvrks SS.org Regular

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    Appreciate the input. I'm by no means an excellent guitarist, and I'm still trying to get to the point that I can play these songs. Will using this kind of setup make learning more difficult due to the not ideal string tension? Those guys are pros, so I imagine it's not that bad for them. I was thinking something like a Beefy Slinky 11-54 set with a 74 up top might be the best compromise?
     
  4. Atefred

    Atefred SS.org Regular

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    I do f# on a 25.5 guitar with a 70 gauge low string. It's just about doable, though the guitar has an evertune which helps keep things in tune, especially when picking hard.
    I have a multiscale with 27.8 scale on the longer side on which I also use a 70 gauge string for f# it feels significantly better (to me), but overall when recording it doesn't sound significantly different.
     
  5. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously Contributor

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    I think for "normal" tension you'd be around an 0.80. But as said above, it will be very dark/bass sounding. 0.58 will feel loose but if you don't have a heavy attack then you'll be fine.

    https://tension.stringjoy.com/
     
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  6. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

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    11-54 + 74 would work good, I'd call that a pretty standard Drop F#/Drop F set regardless of scale length and what I see lots of people use. It's not as thin as I'd personally go nowadays, but I used to run 11-54 + 74 for Drop F on a 7 string without tension problems back when I was coming off of using 90+ gauge strings for F# on a 27 inch 8 string (aka pretty thick). Nowadays I'd probably run 10.5-48 + 62 or so, but again I'm used to light tension where as you may not necessarily be.

    You'll be fine man, just go for it and love the guitar. If you do end up having tension problems (not saying you will though), something like an 80 or 66 would be a good compromise in either direction depending on the problem.

    EDIT: if the tension becomes a real genuine issue, could always just tune to Drop G with decently thick strings and pitch shift down to Drop F# or Drop F but again the tone issue starts to come into play. Drop G is absolutely normal on 25.5, tons of bands have been doing it for years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
  7. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    Personally, i wouldnt but i also like my B standard at 64-11 so i'd prefer a heavier gauge playing something that low
     
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  8. Dayn

    Dayn SS.org Regular

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    I would second what everyone else has said in that you can do it.

    Personally, I don't think you should do it. My own experience is that longer scales with thinner strings will almost always be better. The thicker the string, the less it sounds like a guitar, and the shorter the scale, the thicker you need to go.

    That will certainly be very pronounced for F#. You can always opt for a thinner string for lower tension to help the sound, but the shorter scale makes a thinner string less desirable.

    I'd opt for a longer scale. But it's also an Ibanez Prestige that you apparently got for a good price, so on that alone I'd keep it (but wouldn't tune it so low). So give it a try, see how you like it.
     
  9. landmvrks

    landmvrks SS.org Regular

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    Appreciate the input. Yeah I paid $700 for it, pretty insane.
     
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  10. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    People have tuned lower with heavier strings and shorter scales. You’ll be fine, but you may just have to go through a few sets of strings to find what you like personally.
     
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  11. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

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    Like mentioned you can do it. Just gotta see if you like how it sounds before you decide if you want to go to a 26.5 or 27 inch scale length. I personally wouldn't go below Drop A on 25.5 but that is just a preference thing. In the end you have an ibanez prestige for under 1000 bucks. So you have a badass axe.
     
  12. shupe13

    shupe13 SS.org Regular

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    Damn dude. Nice!
     
  13. Roadsterjosh

    Roadsterjosh SS.org Regular

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    That is a smoking deal if it's new, and a good deal if it's used. I have had one for a little over a year and absolutely love the guitar. I am in standard and drop A mostly, and have a 26.5 scale for anything lower.
     
  14. landmvrks

    landmvrks SS.org Regular

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    It was used, but it's priced at $1499 at the cheapest place I see, so I figured $700 is decent. It actually plays really nicely tuned to F# as far as my inexperienced hands can tell. I am having issues tuning the top string, no idea how the hell to tune a string that low accurately... sounds fine but on the tuner it bounces all over the place.
     
  15. possumkiller

    possumkiller Square Dance Caller

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    Lowest I would ever go with 25.5 would be A and with at least a 60-65 gauge low A. Standard gauges for 7s always have some floppy ass 50something. If I were tuning that low, I would just get a 28 inch scale and toss a 74 on the low F#. If you try to use a bigger gauge on a shorter scale to compensate for tension, it sounds muffled and lifeless. If you use a better sounding thinner string, it's floppy as fuck and you either need to get the rest of the strings loose enough to match or get used to playing with one floppy string with the rest of the normal strings. There is a reason the M8M uses a short bass scale.
     
  16. trem licking

    trem licking SS.org Regular

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    Tune the low string with a 12th fret harmonic. Makes tuning easier
     
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  17. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    This is an important thing to take into account. We all reference Jason for using a 58/59 for a low G but he is not a normal player. His ability on the instrument puts him in a very small group of players that can play at that level.

    If you watch Jason he treats the 7th string like a different instrument compared to the other 6. He picks it at a different angle, different place, Different velocity, Palm mutes it further up, Frets and bends it lighter. This is from surgically refining his technique so he doesn’t even have to think when going back and forth.

    shorter scales can work fine in the studio but turn to mud in a live setting where a baritone is vital.
     
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  18. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    :agreed:

    OP:
    Everyone uses different techniques and has different expectations. That's why answer questions like "will ____ work for _____ tuning?" are impossible to definitively answer. If I pick up a guitar and try to achieve drop F#, I'm going to think it sounds like a bucket of farts and flab at 25.5", no matter what string gauge or pickups or whatever. Your mileage may and will vary.
     
  19. Bearitone

    Bearitone SS.org Regular

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    You aren’t dumb. I just don’t think your choice was the best.

    I use a .085 to play in Drop F on a 28.625” scale guitar and I feel like I have just enough tension to play fast/aggressively without the strings just noodling around everywhere.

    I would say go fucking straight to a .090 if you want to do drop F on a 25.5” and be prepared to do some setup troubleshooting. I almost never get a low tuned guitar, with thick gauges, back from a tech in actual well-playing condition. I always have to tweak a little (or a lot).
     
  20. landmvrks

    landmvrks SS.org Regular

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    Ugh, looks like I might be selling this thing then. Shame, great guitar for the money, but I'm going to be sitting here looking at it every day saying thinking a 26.5 would be better. Any 26.5 guitars that can be had second hand for around $1200 that are just as nice and build for low tunings? Don't really care about pickups, I can change them. Was considering a Schecter KM-7 Signature Artist, seems like a good deal and can find them under $1000 used... or potentially an Iron Label and replace the pickups?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020

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