Custom string gauges

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by MightyFrost, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. MightyFrost

    MightyFrost The Mightiest of Frosts

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    I joined the seven string family last year with a Schecter PT7, and currently waiting on my strandberg Boden Original to arrive.

    Now that I'm feeling more comfortable playing around with the setup on guitars, I've come across a fairly annoying issue - fret buzz on the low B and E.

    The truss rod is adjusted fine and I have a very low action on the rest of the strings, but the B+E are giving me trouble. Action on them is fairly high compared to the rest (tuned to B standard).

    One of the solutions I've thought off (which is a bit of a trade off) is going for higher gauge strings.
    Right now, I'm using 10-52+62. The guitar's scale is 26.5"
    I'm considering switching out the 52 for a 54, and the 62 for a 66.
    I figured: higher tension = less wobbling. Less wobbling = less fret buzz. Less fret buzz = lower action.

    Am I just being stupid and misunderstanding how this all works, or is it a plausible way to reduce buzz and in turn have lower action? I'm not looking for incredible sustain on those strings, obviously.
     
  2. otisct20

    otisct20 SS.org Regular

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    You could have a couple high fret
     
  3. Glades

    Glades Down in the Everglades

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    I use 10-59 in a 25.5" Seven, in A Standard. No buzz, no issues.

    There is something wonky going on with your guitar.
     
  4. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon SS.org Regular

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    Yes, you’re on to something...the string gauge helps with ‘fret slap’...the bigger the scale, and the lower the tuning...the more the guitar will require heavier gauges to totally combat the clicking and slapping...definitely try this first. Check your action next, it might have to come up a little
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  5. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    Been tuning to A standard since, well, a long long long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and these days find that 10-52 + 64/62 (depends on the guitar) is a good way to go for that.

    On standard tuning 9-46 + 56/58 works well.

    If you're getting buzz it's probably an errant fret, or you're action is too low on the bass side, or you've got your neck too flat and need to put a smidgen of relief in it. Or you can slightly shim the nut on the bass side to give it a bit more clearance. Plenty of things that can be done, but I don't think strings are your problem at all.
     
  6. Curt 8771

    Curt 8771 SS.org Regular

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    Also check your pickup height. I know that the way my schecter came to me, the bridge pickup was close to the strings when i would pick hard I would push the low B into the pickup.
     
  7. MightyFrost

    MightyFrost The Mightiest of Frosts

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    I've checked pretty much everything stated above. Truss rod, frets, pickup height.. Action is still too high on the bass side, about 5-6mm (compared to about 2mm on the high strings). Strings buzz when picked somewhat aggressively, and I have a feeling like the low B is way too loose for comfort.

    Curt 8771, the pickups did arrive set up waaaaaaay too high on the Schecter. That's the first thing I did when setting it up - drop them to almost half the original height. Being that close to the strings definitely murdered a lot of the sustain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  8. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    OK I know I'm off topic but this is the first time I've heard someone say that being close to the pickup kills sustain. You think that generally if you lower pickups that it will increase the sustain?? Sorry for derailing it's just that I'm trying to get more sustain into this telecaster I've got
     
  9. davis1224

    davis1224 SS.org Regular

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    Did every fret buzz or it happens in a particular area? Check for a high fret with the rocking method

    I once had a km7 mk 1 that I set to drop G# using nyxl 1164, the low G# wont stop buzz even at 2.5mm once it is pass 12th fret. I think it have something to do with the neck, since the relief on the bass side is larger (0.5mm relief on the bass, 0mm relief on treble).

    But when I tuned it up to C, the tension cancelled the buzz, so I think a higher tension aka heavier gauge could help the problem. I got rid of it eventually tho, now lusting for a prestige rgd7ucs.

    I am planning to get the 1074 8 string set and throw away the 64 for drop G# tuning, with around 18 pound tension at low G#, but first I need to get a 7 string guitar lol
     
  10. MightyFrost

    MightyFrost The Mightiest of Frosts

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    Well, the pickup is a magnet. The further away from the strings, the weaker the pull.
    Your trade-off in this case is sensitivity, even though in my experience - adjusting the pickup height changes the sound by a really tiny margin.
     
    vilk likes this.
  11. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Yes I would try the gauges you suggested. No they don't need to be that thick on electric, but it's not absurd tension and there is a reason those kind of gauges are used on acoustic for very solid pure tone. Yes it is normal to have some noise from them still on electric with no action. It should sound fine amped though but can be annoying unplugged. Have you tried tuning them up a semitone to simulate the tension increase of a gauge increase?
     
  12. MightyFrost

    MightyFrost The Mightiest of Frosts

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    Actually, the thought didn't occur to me. I'll try it out when I get home :)
     
  13. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Perhaps tune another two down a semitone when you do it, to take truss rod out of the equation (tuning up will raise your action, otherwise).
     
  14. MightyFrost

    MightyFrost The Mightiest of Frosts

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    Just tried it out. Feels (and sounds) much better. Looks like I was right :)
     
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