Need help with a 7 string multiscale build.

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Vepar, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. Vepar

    Vepar SS.org Regular

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    Hello!

    I'm not personally doing a build, i have a luthier for that, so i probably don't need luthier advice, but i welcome it greatly since this will be a custom build.
    I also need some player input, as this will be my first fan fret and first 7 string guitar. And i need to tell the luthier what i want. So players experienced with 7 string multiscales, your opinions and experiences will be valuable information for me.
    I played a 7 string before, but not a fanfret. So i have a bunch of questions.

    Here's the not to scale, just rough schematic of what it will look like:
    [​IMG]

    And here is the rough "final" look. No it will NOT be a Halo guitar, i just used their custom creator to make an image. A local luthier will make it.
    [​IMG]

    The questions:

    1. Scale lenght and tuning.
    I would like to tune to E standard with the 7th string being A, but also have enough scale lenght to tune lower if i want to without it going out of tune and having to use giant strings. Is the 26.5"-27.75" going to be good for E? I plan on using 9s or 10s to get that crisp clear sound, but i like tension on my strings so i thought having 26.5" on the high strings will help with that.
    What are some perferred scale lengths on multiscale guitars? Bear in mind, i have really long fingers, and i can play a 30" baritone with no problem so stretching is not an issue.

    2. Mutiscale.
    Never played one so i have 0 idea what to do with it, what to tell the luthier how i want it.
    I came across this tool in my research:

    It won't let me post a link so the tool name is FretFind2D. Googling that finds it just fine.

    I know what longer and shorter scale length mean, and perpendicular fret, but i have no idea what other stuff means. Do i even need to know that?
    Also, about the perpendicular fret. Where are they usually? The "0.5" value on that calculator puts the 12th fret as perpendicular. Is that ok? Or should i make 9th or maybe 7th perpendicular? What's the usual position of the fret, and how will it affect playing?

    3. Pickups.
    There's not a lot of options for multiscale guitar pickups so i decided to go with Fishman Fluence Tosin Abasi set. I like how they sound and the options they give me.
    The wiring will be:
    2V, 2T 3-way toggle switch, 2 mini switches
    Each volume controls each pickup, and same as tone. 1 v 1 t for bridge, 1v 1t for neck.
    Push pull tone selects voices 1 or 2 for each pickup. 1tone for bridge, 1t for neck.
    Mini switches select voice 3 for each pickup. 1 for bridge, 1 for neck.
    Middle position can "blend" the pickups so i can have Voice 3 neck blended with voice 1 bridge etc.
    Now, Fishman told me it's possible, i should just connect what voice i want active to ground, but is anyone here a wiring expert that can draw a schematic of this? Cause it's kinda not standard (which is the point of making a custom guitar), i hope my luthier can make sense of it. It would certainly help if he had a diagram.
    Lastly, since they'll be at an angle, what version of the pickup set do i get? THe 7 string or the 8 string version? According to Fishman's diagrams of the sizes, the magnet inside is smaller than the casing, so will it be wide enough for all 7 strings if i get the 7 string version and put it at an angle or do i get the wider 8 string one? They cost the same so...

    4. The neck.
    No idea about this one. What width, radius, anything... Bolt on, neck through? I mean, that will depend on my luthier i think but still... Please recomend me something that will fith with the scale lengths i provided. Something that will work well and be comfortable to play. I have a Jackson Dinky MG, and Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Baritone, and both are comfortable for me to play. But i dislike Ibanez necks that are paper thin, my giant fingers are just not suited for that. If that helps with suggestions.

    5. Misc.
    The bridge will be ABM3210C. I can't get hipshot where i live. Anyone have those? I hope they're good.
    Is there anything else i should know about 7 string guitars that i maybe didn't consider? Something experienced 7 string players know that apply to 7 string guitars and not 6 strings?

    If you come this far, thank you for reading my post!
    I appreciate any help i can get, so i can better decide and build a great guitar.
    Thank you!
     
  2. Mboogie7

    Mboogie7 SS.org Regular

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    I would say to not go full custom. It sounds like you have a lot of uncertainties, and that’s the last thing you want when going the full custom route.

    also, with your inquiries about the neck and degree of fan, it may be in your best interest to try as many multi scales as possible so you can make an accurate determination of what exactly it is you’re looking for.

    The market is better than ever in this day and age for multi scale guitars so you might as well explore as many as you can before going fully custom.

    of course, this is only my opinion and you’ll do what you feel is best, but without knowing exactly what you want, going custom can backfire on you.
     
  3. olejason

    olejason SS.org Regular

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    Unless the local guy has experience doing multiscales I would find someone else
     
  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    There's a lot here to ruminate.

    I have the black version of that bridge. I like it.
    Radius- for lead, bigger is better. For chords, a tighter radius sometimes helps. I personally prefer 16" or so.
    Your luthier needs to figure out the pickups.
    Perpendicular fret: depends on the difference in scale and the balance of the guitar. Generally, I prefer 7th or 9th. 12th is too far up, IMO.
    Scale length: the bigger the better, IMO. 30" is pretty tight for high E, though. 26.5" or 27" works great for high E.
     
  5. Vepar

    Vepar SS.org Regular

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    I realize my post males it look i'm indecisive. I'm not, i know what i want and i wrote that in my post. I'm just looking for player input on the specs. Cause experienced players might know something i don't and that can provide useful to me. I mean, i can just get the specs now to my luthier and he'll do it but i wanna her opinions first.

    As for trying multiscales, i can't, no shop here or in a larger radius has any. So even if i were to buy an already made one, it's the same more or less. That's why i'm asking.

    And thanks for the reply. if i could play a bunch of multiscales i would, but sadly that's not an option.
     
    Mboogie7 likes this.
  6. Vepar

    Vepar SS.org Regular

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    Thank you! Yeah 30" is too much, that's why i won't go over 28". I have a 30" baritone that i tine to G standard. It would be too much for E.

    As for the fret. That fret find 2d page draws an image with each change. And from the look of it i think i would perfer the perpendicular fret to be 9th. I also think the 12th is too far.

    For radius, i can adapt to anything, i was just wondering about it since there's a wider neck.

    Thank you for your input!
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only pointy guitars remain

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    If you want AEADGBE then that's very doable with anything over 25.5" ime. 27" scale would work just fine.

    Scale lengths vary wildly with multiscale based off the user's preference/needs. A more "standard" fan for 7 strings is 27"-25.5 but I've seen and played ones with 28-26.5, 27-26", and even a 30-27" (I hated that one personally). If your goal is balanced tension across the whole range of the instrument then you don't need a very big fan (27-26 or 27-25.5" both feel very mild). If your goal is to tune to something higher or lower than BEADGBE, then choose accordingly. The more extreme the fan the harder it will be to do chord work fyi.

    In terms of where to put the perpendicular fret, that's largely preference. I prefer the 7th or 9th fret (not a huge difference in feel tbh) simply because the 12th makes the lower frets too slanted with big fans. It's not as critical with a 1-1.5" fan but it matters a lot more the larger the fan gets ime. If you want easy pickup swaps (eg no angled special pickups) you could set the bridge as the perpendicular fret, but that will make chording on the first few frets more difficult due to the more extreme slant up there.

    Can't help with the pickups.

    As far as the neck, again that's preference. I enjoy a very flat radius and relatively meaty neck since I started on classical guitar but I know a lot of guys here like the thin flat ibanez necks. I have pretty large hands myself and always found the combination of a flatter radius with a D shaped neck quite nice. YMMV


    The ABM bridges are excellent ime. I had them on a previous custom build and loved how easy it was to swap strings/adjust intonation/string height. ABM makes great stuff.
     
  8. cip 123

    cip 123 Vendor

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    Few things, 9/10s doesn't automatically give you clear crisp sound, thats more pickups/amps so don't build a guitar to use specific string gauges imo that's just a bit limiting.

    If you have big hands, why do you need a multiscale? If you know nothing about them why not just get a 27" 7 string?

    It doesn't matter about preferred scales, it's your guitar. Go out and try some multiscales, find out what they're all about. Then you can go "I'd rather it was longer than an ibanez, I dind't like that strandberg fan"etc

    Go out and play a multiscale. You're throwing money away if you want to buy a custom guitar without knowing what you want.

    FretFind, unless you are physically building the guitar, has 2 important features for scale lengths and perpendicular fret. That's all you have to worry about. Once again go play some multiscales. Every company puts their perpendicular fret in a different position, it changes how the fan is spread across the neck. So it could be more extreme at the nut or closer to a straight nut.


    Email Fishman they can send you a diagram/schematic of how long the magnets are. Give this to the Luthier and they can position them correctly.


    These are really specs you should know if you want a custom instrument. Width, what is your favourite neck, use that as a starting point to get a similar width for 7 string.

    Radius, again, what's your favourite neck. Use that.

    Bolt on Neck through, again, what's your favourite.

    These specs have nothing to do with your scales really, radius a little but your scale is your scale it's independent of your nut width, radius, or construction.

    ABM make good stuff you can't go wrong with them really.

    In my honest opinion, please do not go commission a custom guitar. Go buy an Ibanez multiscale or a Schecter multiscale, or a Jackson. Figure out what you like and then sell it if you don't like it.


    7 strings have been around for years and they have worked for years, straight scales and everything. You don't need multiscale, it's for comfort mainly. You don't need to make your first 7 string a multiscale custom from. There are plenty of 27" scale 7 strings these days that will do the job of drop A. Even 25.5" scale will do drop A easy. If you want to go down to F buy an 8 string.
     
  9. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Ya man I think you're a prime candidate to not custom order a guitar.
    This isn't five years ago. Every major brand except gibson offers a multiscale now.

    Now you want a tele which I understand. I love teles and there aren't many tele multiscales unfortunately. So I understand if you want to go custom for that reason.

    But like maybe buy a cheaper multiscale first to see what you need? Harley benton has some for 300usd.

    Realistically, you're luthier should have a preferred method or a method of doing things he's familiar with and you should talk to him about these issues. There's really no reason to deviate unless you know exactly what you want.
     
  10. Vepar

    Vepar SS.org Regular

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    Sorry for the delay in repying.

    Thank you all for your input!
     

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