Neon_Knight_

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I currently use the following D'Addario sets: 9-42 for E standard, 9.5-44 for Eb standard, 9-46 for drop-D, 10-46 for D standard, 12-54 for B standard.

My perception is that a lot of people go overboard with heavier string gauges for low tunings (e.g. 12-54 for D standard, 14-70 for B standard), even though this gives much higher string tension than their 9 or 10 gauge strings in E standard have. I like to use the lightest strings that I can get away with, for optimal playability with low-action, without buzz or poor tone / sustain.

As it's the low strings that suffer most if I lower the tuning by a step without upping the string gauge, but the high strings that I notice a big difference on in terms of feel and playability, I've been thinking about whether I can get away with lighter high strings (compared to what I've listed above). Also, I'm wondering whether my tone would benefit from slightly heavier low strings. For example, 11-56 instead of 12-54 for B standard.
Does anyone think this would work, or am I already pushing my luck with a 12 gauge high E in B standard?
 

nickgray

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Also, I'm wondering whether my tone would benefit from slightly heavier low strings

Heavier strings have more low end, which is typically not a good thing for metal - we tend to cut the lows before the preamp, not add them. But they are more stable with regards to going sharp when picked hard. But this problem can be addressed with better technique or by using a lighter pick. Lighter, more flexible pick, imo, is kind of important when using lower tensions, the strings don't go sharp as much as with a more rigid pick.

Does anyone think this would work, or am I already pushing my luck with a 12 gauge high E in B standard?

According to stringjoy's tension calculator https://tension.stringjoy.com/ it's the same tension as 9 in E standard. If you drop to 11 it'll be like an 8.5 on the E string in E standard. Or it's the same exact tension as the B string in E standard using a 9-42, because the second string is an 11, and it's tuned to B in E standard.

B standard is very easy to figure out - the 5 upper strings have the same tuning as E standard with the exception of the 3rd string, which is a half step lower from G. So it's B E A D F# B E. It's the same gauges you'd use for E standard, but up the tension of the 3rd string a tiny bit.
 

Tom odd 7

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@Tom odd 7 : Thank you very much for your advice!
I did think about 10-46 + 66 as a good compromise between the thinner but lower tension 64 and the thicker, higher tension 68. Unfortunately I can’t find dAddario 66 at Thomann music (biggest seller in europe) or any store in Switzerland (where I live) or Germany (our next bigger neighbor).
I love the idea of e.g. stringjoy to create custom sets - but I assume shipping ect. would be quite expensive.
Currently I have the guitar set up in B standard with a 59 which I quite like. But I will go back to drop A and I‘ll definitely compare 64 vs. 68 (and maybe I can get a 66 somehow).

As a Thomann customer myself, I see what you're talking about, I've also checked availability in other store like Pro music tools, etc.. But no 066 rightaway.
Enjoy your actual set-up, and hope the other gauge can matches the dropA.
See U around.
 

NoodleFace

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Just curious your thoughts on this set I bought.

I use a 26.5" 7 in A standard tuning. I was using an 11-64 NYXL set, but it just really feels off to me. Maybe not balanced. The high strings are still a bit tough to really get a nice vibrato, so I wanted to lower them down a bit. But the biggest culprit for me is the 7th string. I pick pretty hard, not on purpose just the way I've always played. The 7th string's area always rattling hard unless I raise the action a bit (which I can do, but trying to min-max my setup). I figured if I went with a 70/72 I'd get a much tighter string and hopefully less slamming around. It can sometimes be hard to do fast galloping on that string because of how loose it feels for me. Anyways here's the custom set I put together:

  • String 1:
    .010
  • String 2:
    .0135
  • String 3:
    .017
  • String 4:
    .030
  • String 5:
    .040
  • String 6:
    .052
  • String 7:
    .070

I was kind of hemming and hawing between 0.070 and 0.072, but decided it might be easier to step into a 0.070 from a .064 and if it's still too light I could just change my next set to .072. Does this set look balanced enough?
 

ixlramp

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Please discover what the tensions are and post those, then you and others can judge this better.
If these are D'Addario strings there are unofficial tension calculators for D'Addario strings (such as 'String Tension Sensei Pro'), as well as the original D'Addario tenson chart pdf downloadable from their site.
Also, any tension calculator can approximate the tensions of other brands if the string type (guitar string, roundwound or plain) is the same.
 

NoodleFace

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Tensions are as follows. They are a stringjoy custom set:
.010 = 15.3
.0135 = 15.6
.017 = 15.6
.030 = 22.5
.040 = 21.5
.052 = 19.9
.070 = 20.3

.072 = 21.2

I included the 0.072 for comparison. I tried to go heavy top, light bottom as I prefer that for soloing.
 

ixlramp

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I suggest you consider equalising the tensions of the wounds if possible, this would better attend to your issue of the lowest string flopping around.
Tension rising from low to high across the wounds is traditional and makes no sense.

I think you mean 'heavy bottom, light top'. Top/bottom always refers to pitch, never distance from the ground 😃
 
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NoodleFace

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I suggest you consider equalising the tensions of the wounds if possible, this would better attend to your issue of the lowest string flopping around.
Tension rising from low to high across the wounds is traditional and makes no sense.

I think you mean 'heavy bottom, light top'. Top/bottom always refers to pitch, never distance from the ground 😃
Yeah brain fart when I wrote it.

The best equalization I can do is 0.072 on the 7th and 0.054 on the 6th.That puts them all at 21-22. I wanted to lower the 4th string to a .028 but that drops the tension to ~19.0
 

NoodleFace

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Personal update. The 10-70 is perfect on my 26.5 in A. No more buzzing on the 7th string and I got the action down to 1.5mm. Considering schecter manual specs the action at 1.98mm that feels good
 

ixlramp

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They're reworking their calculator ... and have been for months/years.
It was a bit of a nightmare due to its complexity, i consider it a case of:
'trying too hard to make something user-friendly and therefore ending up making it overcomplex and slow to use as a result'
The Kalium calculator website is the best i have seen, simple and fast to use.

I suggest you consider equalising the tensions of the wounds if possible, this would better attend to your issue of the lowest string flopping around.
Because i think there is a tendency for this to happen:

The picking hand will use a force suitable for the wounds, and will use that force on the lowest string. So if the lowest string has less tension than the other wounds it will be picked with too much force for its tension.
So the solution is not so much a case of 'more tension for the lowest string', but 'not having the lowest string looser'.

This is where traditional sets fail. A player might go up to the next heavier set, but that usually still has the lowest string looser than the other wounds, so the problem remains.

I suggest using the .054 and.072 might be 'more perfect' :)
 

ixlramp

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I suggest using the .054 and.072 might be 'more perfect'
Hmm actually i retract that.
If the .070 is 'perfect' as you write, it would be foolish to make it larger.

If you find the .070 and .052 'perfect' at 19.9-20.3 lbs, it makes no sense to have those higher tensions on the 2 highest wounds, because for a particular tension, thinner strings are less likely to flop, thinner strings never require *more* tension, they usually require less.
I think you have now made the 2 highest wounds unnecessarily tight (the common mistake of traditional sets).

The Stringjoy tension calculator shows that .028 .038 .052 .070 results in a very consistent 19.6-20.3 lbs for the wounds (the .028 is not ~19.0 lbs as you posted earlier). That is my suggestion.

These are just my personal, biased opinions, but you did ask :)
 

profwoot

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I'm about to try a lower tension on the bottom string because if I make it the same tension as the other wounds it becomes difficult to decipher what note it is due to the inharmonicity that comes with larger strings. A 64 on my 26.5" 7 at Ab or G sounds bad, but the 56 on my 25.5" drop C guitar sounds fine even when I tune it down to A (Mastodon/Zyglrox tuning). I agree that you have to treat the low string differently when it's looser than the others, but that's an easy tradeoff for something that sounds so much better. Plus I find quad chugs easier to do with a looser string.
 

NoodleFace

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Hmm actually i retract that.
If the .070 is 'perfect' as you write, it would be foolish to make it larger.

If you find the .070 and .052 'perfect' at 19.9-20.3 lbs, it makes no sense to have those higher tensions on the 2 highest wounds, because for a particular tension, thinner strings are less likely to flop, thinner strings never require *more* tension, they usually require less.
I think you have now made the 2 highest wounds unnecessarily tight (the common mistake of traditional sets).

The Stringjoy tension calculator shows that .028 .038 .052 .070 results in a very consistent 19.6-20.3 lbs for the wounds (the .028 is not ~19.0 lbs as you posted earlier). That is my suggestion.

These are just my personal, biased opinions, but you did ask :)
This kind of lines up with what i'll try next. I think they feel good now, but I had already ordered the set before seeking input. I might try lowering the 5th + 4th strings down in tension just a little.

Also... the 70 seems about the max that will fit in my tuning peg hole, so if I went up to 72 I'd have to probably drill out the hole a bit. As of now I've got no real reason to go to 72, but I might at some point.
 

ixlramp

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I'm about to try a lower tension on the bottom string because if I make it the same tension as the other wounds it becomes difficult to decipher what note it is due to the inharmonicity that comes with larger strings.
Yeah, i do agree that having the lowest string looser becomes useful or preferable at very large gauges, when the disadvantages of a large gauge outweigh the advantages of equal or progressive tension. At what pitch this becomes preferable is a matter of taste, many or most do this for standard low B. It certainly is not necessary for a 6 string guitar standard low E, despite traditional sets being gauged that way.
My suggestions for NoodleFace are based on getting the impression they play the lowest string quite hard, and the fact they were already considering a tight lowest string.
 

trickae

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I'm looking to tune my Srandberg Boden 8 down a step (EADGCFAD) and prefer the feel of 10 gauge strings.

What gauges should I consider for my 7th and 8th string?

Here's the official string tension from the strandberg website:

8-STRING: D'ADDARIO NYXL OPTIMIZED FOR .STRANDBERG* 9 - 84​

String/TuningScale LengthGaugeTension
1/E26.50" / 673.1 mm0.009" / 0.216 mm14.19 lbs / 6.44 kg
2/B26.71" / 678.4 mm0.012" / 0.305 mm14.39 lbs / 6.53 kg
3/G26.93" / 684.0 mm0.015" / 0.381 mm14.39 lbs / 6.53 kg
4/D27.14" / 689.4 mm0.022" / 0.533 mm13.51 lbs / 6.13 kg
5/A27.36" / 694.9 mm0.030" / 0.762 mm15.92 lbs / 7.22 kg
6/E27.57" / 700.3 mm0.042" / 1.067 mm16.71 lbs / 7.58 kg
7/B27.79" / 705.9 mm0.056" / 1.422 mm16.72 lbs / 7.58 kg
8/F#28.00" / 711.2 mm0.084" / 2.1336 mm20.3 lbs / 9.07 kg
( 8/Drop E )28.00" / 711.2 mm0.084" / 2.1336 mm16.11 lbs / 7.31 kg


I'd considering the NYXL10-46 or NYXL10-52's, just unsure of the right tension for the 7th and 8th string. I'm hesistant on the 84 for the 8th string, isn't that too big a jump compared to the other strings?
 

CanserDYI

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I'm looking to tune my Srandberg Boden 8 down a step (EADGCFAD) and prefer the feel of 10 gauge strings.

What gauges should I consider for my 7th and 8th string?

Here's the official string tension from the strandberg website:

8-STRING: D'ADDARIO NYXL OPTIMIZED FOR .STRANDBERG* 9 - 84​

String/TuningScale LengthGaugeTension
1/E26.50" / 673.1 mm0.009" / 0.216 mm14.19 lbs / 6.44 kg
2/B26.71" / 678.4 mm0.012" / 0.305 mm14.39 lbs / 6.53 kg
3/G26.93" / 684.0 mm0.015" / 0.381 mm14.39 lbs / 6.53 kg
4/D27.14" / 689.4 mm0.022" / 0.533 mm13.51 lbs / 6.13 kg
5/A27.36" / 694.9 mm0.030" / 0.762 mm15.92 lbs / 7.22 kg
6/E27.57" / 700.3 mm0.042" / 1.067 mm16.71 lbs / 7.58 kg
7/B27.79" / 705.9 mm0.056" / 1.422 mm16.72 lbs / 7.58 kg
8/F#28.00" / 711.2 mm0.084" / 2.1336 mm20.3 lbs / 9.07 kg
( 8/Drop E )28.00" / 711.2 mm0.084" / 2.1336 mm16.11 lbs / 7.31 kg


I'd considering the NYXL10-46 or NYXL10-52's, just unsure of the right tension for the 7th and 8th string. I'm hesistant on the 84 for the 8th string, isn't that too big a jump compared to the other strings?
On my straight scale 27" I use an 85-64-46-34-24-16-12-10, and it feels about as balanced as it can get. I think the extra inch on the bottom you could get away with an . 080. The jump will be fine.
 

Neon_Knight_

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On my straight scale 27" I use an 85-64-46-34-24-16-12-10, and it feels about as balanced as it can get. I think the extra inch on the bottom you could get away with an . 080. The jump will be fine.
I'm surprised you don't have a 13 on the 2nd string.
 


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