String Tension Super Thread (Got a string question? Post it here!)

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by MaxOfMetal, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Absolutely fine. Presuming you like 10's, you can go all the way to even 30" with the 008 gauges that are available (and that'll actually be even looser, still)
     
  2. HoneyNut

    HoneyNut Regular

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    Thanks a lot Zeno! I wasn't expecting such a spot on response. You seem to have this figured out somehow. Do you use some tension calculator? There was one I found through google, but it was very outdated and the GUI isn't friendly.

    I hope it's not some algebraic formula!
     
  3. Zeno

    Zeno SZ Hunter

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    It's a string tension calculator I got from a thread somewhere on this site - can't remember exactly where tho, I lost the link. Just google "site:sevenstring.org string tension calculator" and it should come up.
     
  4. aeo

    aeo New Member

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    Alright so I'm really new to figuring out different tunings with different string gauges, and I have a new 27" scale 7-string that I don't want to mess up when I change the strings (It's a Carvin DC7X). Before this I never bothered with anything other than E standard on a 6 string or B standard on a 25.5" scale 7 string. Here are my questions:

    1) It came stock in B standard, but I don't know what the string gauges that came with the guitar are, or even the brand of the strings used. This is important to know when putting on a new set of strings in order to maintain the same amount of tension, right?

    2) I want to tune my guitar to G standard, but don't know how to figure out what I'll need to do in order to achieve that as far as new strings and maintaining the right amount of tension, or having to change the truss rod or anything like that. I've seen those string gauge calculators online before but I want to be 100% certain I'm doing the right thing as far as changing string gauges. How would I go about doing this, and how could I calculate different string gauges for new tunings in the future on my guitar?

    Thanks for anyone who helps!
     
  5. Zeno

    Zeno SZ Hunter

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    Honestly, you'd need the whole thing re-set up for that massive of a tuning change, so the tension doesn't really matter

    However, if it's something that really worries you, the guitar came standard with 10-56 strings, and if it was in standard tuning, the string tension would have been something like this

    Len 27

    E4 .010" dapl == 18.18#
    B3 .013" dapl == 17.25#
    G3 .017" dapl == 18.58#
    D3 .026" danw == 20.63#
    A2 .036" danw == 21.9#
    E2 .046" danw == 19.6#
    B1 .056" danw == 16.58

    For G standard, I'd suggest a set like this - and with a would third instead of a plain like you would do normally

    C4 .012" dapl == 16.49#
    G3 .016" dapl == 16.46#
    E3b .024" danw == 19.85#
    B2b .032" danw == 19.85#
    F2 .042" danw == 18.58#
    C2 .056" danw == 18.61#
    G1 .074" danw == 17.93#
     
  6. aeo

    aeo New Member

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    Yeah but I wanna know how to set it up myself. I'm willing to learn and get the right tools, but don't know where to start. Also whats the best calculator to use to figure out other tunings in the future?

    Also I feel kinda dumb... where did you find out the default tensions and string gauges for my guitar?
     
  7. Zeno

    Zeno SZ Hunter

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    string gauges was at the end of the Carvin builder - they mention they used Elixer 10-56 - I just plugged that into the calculator and went from there.

    As for setting it up - like I said - keeping the same tension won't help, really. You're better off not worrying about that. You'll always have to readjust everything, even if you put the exact same string set on the guitar
     
  8. jpcalloway

    jpcalloway Well-Known Member

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    This might anger those who have more expertise on string tension than I do, but I've found it best to just try different string gauges, find what feels and sounds good without buzz or bad intonation, and go with it.
     
  9. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    I need a string gauge for drop C# and I'm thinking about 11-56 with the 56 swapped out for a 62... I like my strings, especially the lower ones, quite tight, but would this be too tight? The scale is 25.5".

    Also, will I have problems fitting the 62 in the nut?
     
  10. Action

    Action SS.org Regular

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    For C#, .062 is quite tight, not 'too' tight, ~23 pounds. .056 is ~19 pounds, which is not loose. Have you used a .056 on this guitar before and didn't like it?

    Reason I ask is, if you have a plastic nut, and you have had a big string like a .056 in the nut already, then you can maybe coax a 62 in by repeated sliding (be careful not to use downward pressure). If you've not put a .056 on before, getting the 62 on might be more work, and in that case I would try the 56 first. When a slot is just barely too small it is workable... when it is way too small, I get assistance.
     
  11. remus1710

    remus1710 SS.org Regular

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    man... sometimes i go for 0.46 for the low C on prs custom 22 (yes 22 frets)... how can u guys play with 0.62...?? :))
     
  12. Action

    Action SS.org Regular

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    It's very personal. A .046 C at normal scale is about 11 pounds, and that is spaghetti to most players, just as 23 pounds is a bit tight to most players. I like mine in the 16-20lb range.

    Don't think too hard about this. Math can be done, but only the individual knows what feels right for him. You can learn a lot from small adjustments to your set.
     
  13. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Well, I play alot of fast alt picked stuff and I CANNOT play that stuff on floppy strings.

    The nut is bone and looks a bit small but I dunno... I've never changed strings on this guitar before, but I was planning on giving it to a tech for a setup anyway, maybe they can file down the nut or something? I feel a bit nervous about having something like that done, though... :\
     
  14. asdl0rd

    asdl0rd New Member

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    Hi, I struggle to find some good strings for my 25.5" 6 string guitar tuned to B standard. I used Ernie Ball 7 String Regular Slinky Strings ( 10 13 17 26 36 46 56) so far and I noticed that the string tension distribution is all over the place with this set. The 26 has the highest tension and the others are too flappy or okay, thats why the 26 always felt weird to me. and the 56 is too loose. So after looking around I came up with 12 16 20 34 48 64. With that, the tension is more focused on the lower strings, which helps getting a cleaner sound out of them. What do you think about that and do you know any string pack that has this kind of stringsetup? I read about D'Addario EXL148 on the forum but there are designed for drop C. So I'm a bit concerned that they're a bit loose too Gauges: .012, .016 .020, Nickel Wound .034, .046, .060. except from the 46 and 60 they're exactly what I'm looking for. Got some alternatives for that?

    btw I just came to this tension topic after I read about the strings Karl Sanders is using ( SIT .070 .050 .038 .017 .012 .010) I can't believe that he is using 10 - 17 for the high strings ( he is playing drop A with 25,5") how is that possible?
     
  15. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    The 12-64 set is where I would start off, personally. 12-60 isn't too bad either if you don't have a super heavy picking technique - a 46 is very common for a low E, and a 60 gives similar tension to that for the B.

    As for your other question - it's because that's the tension that Karl prefers. That's all there is to it. What it comes down to is the that vast majority of people here "need" higher tension than the average guitarist actually prefers. He's a little on the light side, but not impossibly so.
     
  16. SRRYIMWHTE

    SRRYIMWHTE Member

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    i have a agile multi-scale 25.5 - 28.625 wondering what would be a good set of strings to go for drop e any ideas?
     
  17. Zeno

    Zeno SZ Hunter

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    Well, ultimately that depends on what you like for other tunings and scale lengths, so reference for that would be great, but honestly I'd just give 10-13-17-26-36-46-59-80 a shot, and then tweak from there. That'd be a pretty easy set to put together, just grab a D'addario 7 string set and a single 80, and then bam.
     
  18. SRRYIMWHTE

    SRRYIMWHTE Member

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    I have a few sets of these lying around I'm really just focused on getting the right gauge without losing the sound of what makes a guitar a guitar along the way. I have also used that set on a jeff loomis 7 string in b standard just hoping the 59 wont be too much for the b
     
  19. Zeno

    Zeno SZ Hunter

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    Not at all - if it worked on a Loomis sig, then it'll work on this - it might be slightly tighter, the B, E, and E strings are around 20 pounds of tension each, but personally I enjoy that, gives it more immediacy and snap to it. Not for everybody, though.
     
  20. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    I'm using that EXL148 set for C-standard tuning, and it's pretty much perfect for me. And since B is just half a step down, I'd assume it's fine. Then again I'm not that picky anyway, unless the strings are way too loose and just wobble all over the place :lol:

    Well, in drop A the .10 string will be very loose... But not "impossible" by any means. Kinda hard to imagine playing Nile riffs on loose string though...
     

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