What gauge and how to stay intonated.

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Mathias Lundström, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Mathias Lundström

    Mathias Lundström SS.org Regular

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    Hi. Sorry if i’m posting an already existing topic. Tried searching but I’m not entirely sure to what to be searching for.

    Now.. my new band plays drop A. I,m quite new to seven string. Really love my schecter Damien-7 (26.5”) and I currently have an 11-64 NYXL strung on it. However. I can’t intonate the B string fully. The saddle is at the most bottom position and still the intonation is sharp. The action is a bit high. Otherwise I get string buzz and dead notes at the higher frets (10+). It doesn’t sound 100% tuned at 3rd and 5th fret e.g. when playing both strings. It’s somewhat off.

    What options do I have? What steps should I take to get it to play awesome.
    I want the action to be low and the B-string to be really tight.

    is it possible to play drop A on it at all?
     
  2. Mathias Lundström

    Mathias Lundström SS.org Regular

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    And the b-string is of course the dropped a-string
     
  3. 777

    777 SS.Org's Irish Guy

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    How hard do you pick
    What does the neck relief look like
    How high is the action

    Dead notes sound like un-levelled frets they should generally not happen if its set up properly
     
  4. Mathias Lundström

    Mathias Lundström SS.org Regular

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    I pick medium hard I think. The neck is straight. Straightened out the bow as much as I can. So you are suggesting leveling the frets? Guess I have to get myself a straight edge that fits my scale length.

    What gauges should I use to get it tight. The AString feels a bit sloppy for my feel. I would like to get it more tight.
     
  5. 777

    777 SS.Org's Irish Guy

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    You dont want the neck ultra straight, it should have a bit of relief so the upper frets dont choke. Pictures would help of the relief and the action.

    Gauge can go as high as you like I cant say what would feel good to you
     
  6. Mathias Lundström

    Mathias Lundström SS.org Regular

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    Pics not available atm. But.. know where I can get a notched straight edge for a 26.5” that doesn’t cost a fortune (stewmac)? It doesn’t seem that there many around.
     
  7. MSS

    MSS SS.org Regular

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    I use these i got them on amazon but here is the website. I would guess you need the baritone one. Also, you may have to remove the spring in order to get the saddle back enough to intonate.
    http://neckcheckguitar.com/
     
  8. Mathias Lundström

    Mathias Lundström SS.org Regular

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    Thx. Ordered it. Gonna check the spring thingy
     
  9. Mathias Lundström

    Mathias Lundström SS.org Regular

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    Gah. My bad. There is no spring in the saddle of my tune O’ matic. Can’t get it further back :/.
    I’m still wondering about thicker gauge. Would the vibration “footprint” be smaller with a thicker string that’s harder tightened. I mean would a .56 string, tuned to A vibrate with a wider pattern than a .68 tuned to the same pitch? 51C3E00E-8D9E-49F0-8FFE-CA88CB2FC4F0.jpeg D0995DB8-14F1-49D5-AB6A-6F2E5DE4F563.jpeg 5F19DE8C-6745-4806-AEB1-80AEB3A19688.jpeg
     
  10. Mathias Lundström

    Mathias Lundström SS.org Regular

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    Had to add some flower to cover up my naked knee :D
     
  11. MSS

    MSS SS.org Regular

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    All my 7’s are 25.5 and I use a dr ddt .65 for drop a. I don’t think you can get away with a .56 for drop a on a 26.5. Also, you have to get the relief and string height right before intonation. How sharp is the a string? If notes are going sharp when fretting - if you have a heavy touch then a heavier gauge with higher tension will help. I think you need to address your setup issues first.
     
  12. sleewell

    sleewell SS.org Regular

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    i like 9s on my 7s in drop a.
     
  13. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I would be using a 10-62 set on that scale.
     
  14. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    Try something a little heavier, like a .68 or .72?

    I'm currently tuning a TOM equipped six-stringer to A# standard using a set of .72 - .13 without any intonation issues, if that helps.
     
  15. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    Hipshot makes a tune o matic replacement with extra intonation range that might fit your guitar.

    https://hipshotproducts.com/products/7-string-tone-a-matic-guitar-bridge-metric

    Also technically your TOM bridge in the pic is installed backwards but my guess is that you did that to get some extra intonation travel?

    IMO lighter gauges sound better, I use a 56 for drop A on a 25.5". Just don't pick hard :)
     
  16. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    The TOM bridge is the problem, they have such a limited range of intonation travel, being essentially a 6 string guitar bridge design, so manufacturers have a hard time choosing the optimum bridge position. TOMs are a bad design choice on anything other than standard tuned 6 string guitars.

    Larger gauge strings and stiffer strings require the saddle further back to intonate, so you actually need a smaller gauge and/or a more flexible string. You might have to get used to a lower tension.
    Make sure to set the 'witness point' at nut and bridge, your lowest string looks possibly curved instead of kinked over the saddle, that affects intonation.
     
  17. Matt794

    Matt794 SS.org Regular

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    In my experience, if the intonation isn't getting better even when the saddle is as far back as it'll go, the issue is the distance the string has to travel to reach the fretboard, so getting the relief out of the neck and getting the saddle lower would be my move. It's kinda hard to tell if you can get your neck much straighter from your pictures, but I bet getting that action lower will help.

    As far as the strings go, I think you're alright with a 65 if you just want good intonation. Something in the 70-74 range would feel much tighter though and probably make tuning and intonation a little easier, provided the extra tension doesn't also bow your neck even more.
     
  18. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    That might help intonation, but this then messes up the neck relief and action, which is far more of a problem than not quite intonating the lowest string.
    A larger gauge will very probably require the saddle even further back, which would make this problem worse (unless the suggested 70-74 is somehow more flexible than the current 64).
     

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