Ibanez 5121 Prestige string gauge size for dow ntuning

Lionsblood79

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I'm wondering what the ideal string gauge sizes would be for down tuning my Ibanez 5121 Prestige to C#. Stock strings seem a but flubby on the bottom two when I've tuned it down.
I'm also wondering if i switch to thicker strings, will it affect my ability to tune back up to E standard??
 

Metropolis

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If you like lighter touch on C# 10-52 would be agood starting point, or if you can find something like 11-52, or 11-54 set. Personally for me 11-56 would be too thick. For standard E my preferred set is 9-46.

When guitar is set up for C# with a proper string gauge, tuning up back to E creates too much neck bow and intonation will be off. I would just use another guitar for E, because I'm little bit picky about the setup. Some players are not, and you could use 10-52 for both, but thicker than those I would just leave for tuning down.
 

Lionsblood79

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I honestly dont even know what size strings come stock on the Ibanez, so I dont even have a good starting point for reference.
It sounds really good in E, I'd hate to lose that. I thought the same thing about how thicker strings tuned up to E would have way too much tension. Itd be nice to find a "happy medium " where I could tune down and back up.
I'm starting to think i should just play my 7 string if I want a heavier sound, leave my Ibanez alone.
 

Metropolis

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I honestly dont even know what size strings come stock on the Ibanez, so I dont even have a good starting point for reference.
It sounds really good in E, I'd hate to lose that. I thought the same thing about how thicker strings tuned up to E would have way too much tension. Itd be nice to find a "happy medium " where I could tune down and back up.
I'm starting to think i should just play my 7 string if I want a heavier sound, leave my Ibanez alone.

Ibanez site says it has 10-46 gauge, probably D'addario XL's. 11-54 should feel about the same, but it's way too thick for standard.
 

xzacx

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I honestly dont even know what size strings come stock on the Ibanez, so I dont even have a good starting point for reference.
It sounds really good in E, I'd hate to lose that. I thought the same thing about how thicker strings tuned up to E would have way too much tension. Itd be nice to find a "happy medium " where I could tune down and back up.
I'm starting to think i should just play my 7 string if I want a heavier sound, leave my Ibanez alone.
I keep a 7 in G# standard which I have double as a C# 6. I know some people don’t really like using 6s and 7s interchangeably like that, but it works great for me.
 

Muzz

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I keep a 7 in G# standard which I have double as a C# 6. I know some people don’t really like using 6s and 7s interchangeably like that, but it works great for me.
Same thing, really. I personally use 12-60 set for C#. 80 for the low G#. For reference I find 10-52 perfect for Eb. All depends on what sort of right hand you have.
 

NoodleFace

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There's no string gauge that will feel similar in E and C# at the same time, or good in both even. I'd find a set that feels good in the tuning you use most, and then you'll just have to compromise when tuning the other way.
 

Tree

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Are you talking C# standard, or Eb tuning with the low 6 dropped to C# (like Drop D)?

If the latter, you can absolutely go back and forth between regular standard and the lower tuning. You’ll have to sacrifice some tension for the lower tuning, but it should be serviceable. You need to actually raise your string height when tuning down to compensate. And conversely lower the strings again when going back to standard.

If the former (C# standard) you’re best using a separate guitar, or using a pedal/modeler/VST to pitch shift.
 

CanserDYI

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Honestly if you ask me, don't go down the heavy string gauge route. It introduces more issues than it solves, and just trying to learn to play with a softer touch with lighter strings will make the tone a bunch brighter, meaning you won't have to EQ your amp to be brighter.

I played in Drop A in 7 string and Drop E in 8 string with a .068 and a .085 respectively, for years and thought I needed to go even HEAVIER because it felt "floppy" to me. I watched some videos of myself playing and really noticed how sloppy and hard a lot of my picking was, so I started working on my picking technique and lightening it up.

Now I play .056 for Drop A and .074 in Drop E and my tone is sooooo much better in my opinion, finding string packs is much easier and cheaper.

Just try working on your picking. My two cents.
 

Lionsblood79

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D standard probably wouldnt be too much for the ibanez to handle, without changing strings, right? Its probably not gonna hurt the guitar to tune it up or down from E to D, maybe down to C#, back up to E, etc ? Right? I like to play different songs in basically that range of tunings, it seems like i should be able to do that without altering my string size?
 

Crungy

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I'd say you're fine as long as you don't use too heavy of a string set. There will be some feel difference due to the tension but likely not enough to where the guitar needs a setup for each tuning.

You have the prestige and a 7 string right? Maybe play all of your E standard stuff on the 7?
 

CanserDYI

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Tbh with my math music i'm just downtuning and uptuning the same set of 10-46 to Open Db6 chord up to Open F and don't really have any issues. You could probably do C# standard and E standard, but the E standard will probably be a bit more taut than you want.
 

Metaldestroyerdennis

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D standard probably wouldnt be too much for the ibanez to handle, without changing strings, right? Its probably not gonna hurt the guitar to tune it up or down from E to D, maybe down to C#, back up to E, etc ? Right? I like to play different songs in basically that range of tunings, it seems like i should be able to do that without altering my string size?
Not really. You'll want to go from 10's to 11's for a whole step down. There's a reason I have an entire guitar for drop C. When you tune down or up, you change the guitar's setup significantly. If it's just a half step you can get away with it, but a whole step is going to start to have truss rod implications if your action is low enough.

You need a pitch shifter if you want to play between those two tunings with no string change.
 

xzacx

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Same thing, really. I personally use 12-60 set for C#. 80 for the low G#. For reference I find 10-52 perfect for Eb. All depends on what sort of right hand you have.
Yeah, a really wide range can work depending on preference. I use a 64 for the low G# on a 25.5" scale, but I like as light of tension as possible, in part to force myself to have a light right hand.
 

Emperoff

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Honestly if you ask me, don't go down the heavy string gauge route. It introduces more issues than it solves, and just trying to learn to play with a softer touch with lighter strings will make the tone a bunch brighter, meaning you won't have to EQ your amp to be brighter.

I played in Drop A in 7 string and Drop E in 8 string with a .068 and a .085 respectively, for years and thought I needed to go even HEAVIER because it felt "floppy" to me. I watched some videos of myself playing and really noticed how sloppy and hard a lot of my picking was, so I started working on my picking technique and lightening it up.

Now I play .056 for Drop A and .074 in Drop E and my tone is sooooo much better in my opinion, finding string packs is much easier and cheaper.

Just try working on your picking. My two cents.

I keep hearing about that, but I just can't get myself to pet the guitar. I don't want to lose the satisfaction of slamming it, specially live. If I want to tune down to hell, I just grab a baritone. I use 059 in low B, so 056 in drop A would be like playing with spaghetti for me. :lol:

For low A I use 064" on the 27" and 062" on the 28,75". It works like a charm
 

CanserDYI

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I keep hearing about that, but I just can't get myself to pet the guitar. I don't want to lose the satisfaction of slamming it. If I want to tune down to hell, I just grab a baritone. I use 059 in low B, so 056 in drop A to me would be like playing with spaghetti.
Okay I dont know what it is, and I'm probably incredibly wrong, but B standard tuning, I really like a super TAUT string, the low B seems to really enjoy being string tight and sounds soooo meaty with a power chord 0 2 2 B5 chord. Tune it down to A and I don't think it sounds as good and needs a lighter string! Completely the opposite of how the logic in my head wants to go.
 

Emperoff

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Okay I dont know what it is, and I'm probably incredibly wrong, but B standard tuning, I really like a super TAUT string, the low B seems to really enjoy being string tight and sounds soooo meaty with a power chord 0 2 2 B5 chord. Tune it down to A and I don't think it sounds as good and needs a lighter string! Completely the opposite of how the logic in my head wants to go.

I think it has to do with the kind of music you play with each tuning. Chances are you palm mute much heavier on the B, and probably do fast technical riffing as well. But drop A is probably much more Djent-esque stuff, right?

I tend to play more techy stuff on the B standard guitars, whereas the drop A ones kinda make me play groovier stuff.
 

CanserDYI

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I think it has to do with the kind of music you play with each tuning. Chances are you palm mute much heavier on the B, and probably do fast technical riffing as well. But drop A is probably much more Djent-esque stuff, right?
You are definitely correct but whats funny is I play mostly clean soft tappy math emo music with drop A and metal with B standard. I suppose the reason might be tapping on a thicker, tighter string causes a lot more harmonics and a more metallic timbre I'm not a fan of.
 

Lionsblood79

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I guess what I'm gathering from all responses is that down tuning to D standard without changing string size, is about as low as I should go if I want to be able to tune back up to E standard on my Ibanez 6 string?
Play anything heavier on my 7, tuned to B standard, Drop A, etc
 

Captain Shoggoth

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Why so dead-set on not restringing? It's a hardtail guitar so an easy enough task, and super worth it to have fresh strings that fit the tuning
 


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