How low can you go on a 26.5" 8 string

neum18

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I recently got my EC 258 modded with locking gotoh tuners. I was able to get an .080 on the lowest peg currently by unwinding the string. I'm tuned to F standard currently and the low string is still a little floppy.

Has anyone had any experience going even heavier on a 26.5 scale (up to 95)? I think F is the lowest I like but I'd be curious about going down to D# standard.
 

Jeffrey Bain

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You should check out a string tension calculator, will give you a general idea of what gauge you'll need for the desired tuning. I like the stringjoy calculator:

https://tension.stringjoy.com/

I recently set up my 25.5" for drop B and this tool helped me get a great feeling, pretty well balanced set. Feels similar to playing 10's.
 

CanserDYI

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The question isnt how low can you go, because I just did drop E on my 25.5 inch last night with surprising, NOT AMAZING, but surprising results. The question is how low can you go without being able to tolerate the floppiness. An 80 tuned to F at 26.5inches equates to about 16 pounds of pressure which is about the same as a regular strung 46 string downtuned to D.
 

neum18

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I have been using the calculator to get a general idea, and it's a good starting point, but the feel is still a little different I find actually trying things out.

I initially tried the 10-74 set (swapped the 74 for the 80) and found it too loose, so I went a gauge up on the other 7 strings.
 

bostjan

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It depends on how shitty you want it to sound.

26.5" is only a little longer than 25.5". To me, whether it's 25" or 25.5" or 26", Ab or G is about the lowest I can tolerate before I hit the saddle point between muddy tone (thick string) or too floppy (thin string). 27", for me, is alright for F#, but not quite ideal. But I am finnicky about it, much moreso than other guitarists, at least from what I've learned from over a decade on this forum.
 

neum18

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An 80 at F# on a 26.5 sounds about perfect to me. Gotta mess around with gauges more. I went too heavy from the 4-7th strings.
 

Schweick

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An 80 at F# on a 26.5 sounds about perfect to me. Gotta mess around with gauges more. I went too heavy from the 4-7th strings.
You could always either drill the current peg out a little or replace the tuners with a set with larger stock holes if you'd like to experiment with some slightly heavier gagues too.
 

neum18

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I think the saddle might be the bigger issue. Screws are quite close between the screw as is.
 

Schweick

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I think the saddle might be the bigger issue. Screws are quite close between the screw as is.
I think going heavier might give you a little more wiggle room when it comes to intonation.
 

neum18

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What I'm not understanding is I emailed stringjoy and a D# with a 95 would be the same tension as an 85 for an F (which is slightly more than an 80 at F#), but if you go all the way down to C# the stock gauge is 105 and typically that's for a 27" scale?
 

neum18

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I was thinking of using an 85 for F and trying a 95 for D# but I think below E is when you start requiring a longer scale and way more tension?
 

danbox

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I ran a .085 on a 25.5" and thought it was totally workable at low E, F, and F#
I think fit for a long or some other band are doing drop f on 25.5”, using evertunes? Not sure string gauge though
 

CTID

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keep in mind the balance you'll want to strike where if you keep bringing the string gauge up it's going to lose the fundamental note a bit and the attack will want to suffer. tuning low i try to go as small a string as i'm comfortable with, as tonally it usually sounds better that way
 

Alberto7

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I ran an .080 at low E on a 28" scale, and that is the the lowest I'd go at that scale length and thickness before I start hating the flubbiness.

I use a .078 for a low F at 28".

I have a Carvin 7 string (25.5") that I sometimes tune to drop A, but I need at least a .060 (maybe even a .059) before I find it starts feeling flubby.

I'd go thicker on any of these, but then I hate the tone. It's part of the reason I do not like the D'Addario Strandberg set for 8 strings. That .085 on the low end sounds like poop to me. Too muddy, too bass-y, and disproportionately loud.

Granted, I've never tried string gauges based on string gauge and tension calculators. Just experience and trying things out. My research on these things isn't the most scientific.
 

Alberto7

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keep in mind the balance you'll want to strike where if you keep bringing the string gauge up it's going to lose the fundamental note a bit and the attack will want to suffer. tuning low i try to go as small a string as i'm comfortable with, as tonally it usually sounds better that way

This.

It's why I use that .078 on a low F at 28". It's as thin as I want to go before it feels too floppy, but still sounds nice and crisp.
 

CovertSovietBear

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I've tuned as low as D on a 26.5 8 string with an 80 gauge - you just gotta buy a few sets of strings and see which one you like the best honestly
 


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