Lowest intonatable note at 28 inch scale length

soundbase

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I'm in Drop F on a 28-inch 7-string Baritone. I've taken it down to Drop E, and still works well. But as others have mentioned it depends as well on how much rear travel you have on your saddles. On mine the saddles on the 7th string is all the way back and had to remove the spring to get an extra few millimetres.
 

Gtan7

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use stringjoy tension calculator if you used to use d'addarios and file/dremel/reshape the bridge or bridge saddle if you absolutely need to for more travel, it's not hard.

[URL ]https://tension.stringjoy.com/[/URL]
 

soldierkahn

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Generally, these observations are based on personal experience and there is no hard and fast rule, because at a certain point intonation has as much to do with how you play as anything else.

As for the saddles, that tends to be particular to different bridge brands and styles as well as the guitar builds. There are a number of workarounds, and I believe some makers offer shorter saddles.

Ultimately, intonation is always a calculation of what part of the guitar you need to be "the most" in tune. Even my nicer 27" baritones in B get a little funky up past the 12th fret, you just have to figure out what you can and can't live with. There's no such thing as perfect intonation and it's diminishing returns all the way down, so it's impossible to give prescriptive answers to these types of questions. Everyone can (and will) tell you what string gauge and scale length worked for them to tune their djentstick to drop-Fart, but that doesn't necessarily mean jack to anyone else.

one of my favorite responses ever lol, carry on
 

soldierkahn

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I wish someone had explained this to me when I first started playing. I've always been doing my own setups and been convinced for many years that I just wasn't any good at it because they were never "perfect." Now I realize it's all just about making compromises wherever you can to get things as accurate as possible on the parts of the guitar you use the most.

It was only after paying for (and be disappointed by) a few "pro" setups and reading a lot here that I realized I actually have a really solid handle on the mechanics as far as my particular needs are concerned.

My most recent guitar sale was a PRS Mushok sig, and I'd redone the setup right before selling it with the action a lot lower than I usually liked, it was very buzzy and had no sustain when I played it (and I didn't like it with the action up, hence the sale). Dude I sold it to is into Architects and stuff like that and he couldn't stop gushing about how good my setup was while he tried it out, it sounded like a different guitar in his hands. Lighter touch, different technique, etc... this stuff is all so personal, pro setups almost seem like a scam.

so much this.
 

Ethenmar

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I tried to tune my Mermet Sidh 8 in drop D with a .105. Shitty intonation.

With a .095 tuned in drop E the intonation is perfect.

The string brands should innovate in materials that allow more tension with less gauge for optimal intonation in low-absurdum tunings.
 

Dayn

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To throw my own experience in the ring, I use a .090 for D1 at 28.3". Intonation is pretty perfect. I use a .090 for E1 at 27" as well and it's close to perfect as you can get. But that depends entirely on the instrument and whether the saddle moves far enough back.

But as said, how you play will affect intonation. Every string on a guitar has some issues with intonation: it's just the nature of the instrument. The pressure you apply, including the height of frets, drastically affects intonation, especially on thicker strings. I can bend a .090 up a whole semitone by pressing hard on my 27-30" guitar.
 

jwade

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I had really good results with an Ernie Ball 80-20 set. F was no problem, intonated properly. I had it at E for awhile and it wasn't quite perfect but very usable. Anything lower was iffy. Sounded fine even down to C, but the intonation was not even close.
 

jwade

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I had really good results with an Ernie Ball 80-20 set. F was no problem, intonated properly. I had it at E for awhile and it wasn't quite perfect but very usable. Anything lower was iffy. Sounded fine even down to C, but the intonation was not even close.
I meant the 90-20 set:
md_322bc974f953ed4b130b47959637f7aa.png
 

bostjan

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I tried to tune my Mermet Sidh 8 in drop D with a .105. Shitty intonation.

With a .095 tuned in drop E the intonation is perfect.

The string brands should innovate in materials that allow more tension with less gauge for optimal intonation in low-absurdum tunings.
It's not quite as simple as that, though. The strings still have to be cheap enough to not drive people away from considering them, which really narrows down material options. For electric guitar, the strings also have to be strongly ferromagnetic, which limits things down even more. Just with those two constraints, you're pretty much stuck with different kinds of steel alloys already.

The much more simple option is to tune up and use a drop pedal or just to tune up and that's it.

But - maybe everyone already knows this - but a thinner string with less tension will intonate better than a thicker string at high tension. The trick is that it becomes more and more crucial to use a light touch, not only with the picking hand, but also with the fretting hand. A bunch of newer players will tend to have trouble tuning to drop Q with their 1/4" thick strings, due to the intonation being impossible, so, their knee-jerk reaction will often be to seek out thicker strings, when that's 100% counter-productive.

Am I the only one who finds it unnecessarily confusing that "Bass-VI" and "6 string bass guitar" are confusing (albeit technically correct) terms that we have fully espoused? I can just picture walking into GC and asking if they have "Ernie Ball 6 string bass guitar string, not for a six string bass, but for a six string bass guitar, you know, like a regular guitar, but tuned down one octave," because there's no way of clearly conveying that idea without over-explaining.
 

jwade

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Am I the only one who finds it unnecessarily confusing that "Bass-VI" and "6 string bass guitar" are confusing (albeit technically correct) terms that we have fully espoused? I can just picture walking into GC and asking if they have "Ernie Ball 6 string bass guitar string, not for a six string bass, but for a six string bass guitar, you know, like a regular guitar, but tuned down one octave," because there's no way of clearly conveying that idea without over-explaining.
Absolutely. It's the same thing with the Music Man Silhouette 30" 'bass guitar'. The strings should say either 'long scale guitar' or baritone, and calling a 30 inch scale length guitar a bass is ridiculous.
 

nickgray

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The strings still have to be cheap enough to not drive people away from considering them

There are pretty expensive strings on the market though. Thomastik Infeld strings (even their roundwounds are expensive) or flatwound bass strings. People will buy niche stuff like that.
 

bostjan

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Absolutely. It's the same thing with the Music Man Silhouette 30" 'bass guitar'. The strings should say either 'long scale guitar' or baritone, and calling a 30 inch scale length guitar a bass is ridiculous.
I think a lot of the trouble comes from the fact that the electric bass is also known as the bass guitar, even though it's more like a transverse double bass, but there might be no good way around this now that the damage is done.

There are pretty expensive strings on the market though. Thomastik Infeld strings (even their roundwounds are expensive) or flatwound bass strings. People will buy niche stuff like that.
Meh, $20 for a set is nothing compared to what I'm thinking. Try making strings out of high density metal alloys like tungsten or heavy magnetic materials like terbium-dysprosium-iron. You'd be talking hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for a set.
 

Bearitone

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Absolutely. It's the same thing with the Music Man Silhouette 30" 'bass guitar'. The strings should say either 'long scale guitar' or baritone, and calling a 30 inch scale length guitar a bass is ridiculous.
One of my biggest gear regrets was not buying a used EBMM Silhouette “Bass” for $700. They are fucking impossible to find used let alone for that price.
 

neum18

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I would lean towards 30" (possibly 28 5/8") for C1. C#1 intonates pretty well on a 26.5" for me but had to get the saddle modified a bit and that's a 110 string I use for reference, so my playing style has to be modified a bit, but it sounds tight.
 

Lemonbaby

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Hello friends. What is the lowest note that will intonate properly at a scale length of 28 inches? Is there a formula or calculator I can use to figure out this question for other lengths in the future? Thank you.

How "properly" do you need it to be intonated and quantified by which parameter? I'm super annoyed by auto-pitching low strings while others couldn't care less and tune their Les Pauls to B.
 

MF_Kitten

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Depends on the bridge. How far can the saddle move?

As for getting a usable feel and sound, I think E is the lowest you should go at 28" scale. At 30" scale that changes to about Eb. You can go way way lower on both, but then you're sacrificing string tension to get the tone usable. The more tension you are willing to sacrifice, the lower you can go. I have heard C# sound sick at a 27" scale, but I wouldn't want to do that myself because it's a terrible experience to play it.

I stop at drop E at 28" scale, and prefer drop F.
 


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