When should I switch to a multiscale 7 string guitar?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Doomlord, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. Doomlord

    Doomlord SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys, all of my 7s have a 25.5" scale and I have been thinking about trying a Kiesel multiscale (25.5" to 27"). At what point would you think this is recommended? I like playing in Bb and A mostly, with the occasional drop Ab. I am using a 74 gauge string for A, and a 70 for Bb. I am hoping the multiscale would allow me to drop to a 70 and 66 respectively. Can someone comment on how much of an improvement in tone (specifically tightness) I can expect?
     
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  2. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    now. right now.
     
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  3. CanserDYI

    CanserDYI Beauty can't be seen through the eyes

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    in MY experience, the difference between 25.5 and 27 inch isnt very much, only adds about 3 pounds of tension, and the way MY hands use the neck, it genuinely hinders me on the lower frets, i usually get a nut right in the middle of my palm that I dont like.

    I would say try one at a guitar center or friends/families first before waiting 3 months for a Kiesel that you don't know if you'll even enjoy. In my experience, it doesn't really add too much tension to the lower strings to justify having to change my personal playing style. YMMV.
     
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  4. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    ^This. And remember: when you DO go and try out a guitar in a store first, remember that you aren't testing multiscales: you're just testing the 27" scale length. Any straight scale 27" will tell you what you need to know. Then, if you decide that it is giving you what you want on the low string(s), you can then try out the skinnier strings. If you like the way the rest of the guitar feels, both in ergonomics and string tension on the rest of the strings, you may find you don't even need to pay the $200 upcharge to go from a straight to a multiscale Kiesel (that's the delta between their two types). Multiscale, IMO, shouldn't be scene as some sort of improvement over a 25.5" guitar (except in the one aspect of lower sting tension), but rather should be seen as a work-around to reduce the down-sides of a straight 27" scale (the super long reach to the low frets on the thin strings with the long scale, and the higher tension of the thinner strings)...while bringing in their own challenges (like less flexibility with bridge and pickup options).
     
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  5. CanserDYI

    CanserDYI Beauty can't be seen through the eyes

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    Great wise words, Spud. never thought of it that way that its not making short scales better, its making longer scales more usable in higher register.

    I also don't like how little options there are for multiscale pickups at this time, you're kinda stuck with the stock pickups for a lot of multiscales unless they are just soapbar routed, which honestly to me, I hate that look. Yes I know, its vain, but nothing beats the look of direct mounted uncovered pups to me.
     
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  6. Wucan

    Wucan SS.org Regular

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    I attempted to make the transition and gave up. Moreso because I have small hands and 25.5" is already pushing it for me, but chording in fanned frets feels like ass. It's great for churning out single note riffs and solos though.
     
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  7. Amer Alameddine

    Amer Alameddine SS.org Regular

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    The improvement in tightness is surely noticeable when you go with the longer scale length/thinner strings combination. Definitely try out a multi-scale before ordering one, but also consider a regular longer scale guitar if you're not that interested in playing lead and don't mind the added tension all over.
     
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  8. arie

    arie SS.org Regular

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    for me i keep the same string gauge (.009 to whatever), brand, and tuning (down 1 whole step) on everything. my paws are a little big so 25.5" is my default for 6ers. i have a schecter 7 at 25.5" and it's one the reasons it's in the closet chilling out -just not long enough for the A string and the neck profile is not the best for me.

    i recently picked up a js327 at 26.5" and so far it's really comfy and i've always liked the charvel/jackson neck profile and compound radii. i realize at 400 usd i basically bought a good feeling neck and not so good build quality and so-so everything else, but i'm ok with that. it'll be a project.

    i also have an rg8 at 27" and this is pretty doable as well but i don't entirely like the wizard neck profiles.

    should you get a multi scale? i dunno. best thing would be to try some out before buying. they aren't for me. i suspect bending notes would be weird. when you play erg's, thumb over the top playing style just doesn't work. for me i like my thumb centered on the back of the neck so i would recommend finding out if the neck geometry is good for you as well as the multi scale fretwork.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
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  9. thorgan

    thorgan SS.org Regular

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    Grab a used kiesel since their resale sucks (also so you can make sure it doesn't have issues) and then move it along for what you paid if you don't like it
     
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  10. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Never if you can, a multiscale is the point you don’t want to compromise heavy gauges and muddy tone or thin gauges and tuning problems anymore.

    a 74 for A and a 70 for Bb is far to much tension. I pick quite hard so I need a 66-68 for an A. Try lowering your string gauge and working on picking technique, you can still hit the lowest string hard by going back about 8 on your choices. Try that first and your tone will really improve.
     
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  11. trem licking

    trem licking SS.org Regular

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    never. seriously
     
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  12. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    to explain my answer.
    they are so much more comfortable to play.
     
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  13. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    It's not an obligation to "evolve" to multi scales. If one is comfortable with parallel frets, it's ok. One ain't cooler for playing fanned guitars, one is cooler for playing cool music...
     
  14. wheresthefbomb

    wheresthefbomb SS.org Regular

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    I don't have any direct multiscale experience but I know a guy who switched from 27" baritones back to standard scale because of joint issues. He still tunes to B, his sound really hasn't changed, and he's said that himself the difference in tension and sound are fairly negligible.

    On the other hand, my friends who play downtuned standard scale guitars often comment how "tight" my baritones sound and feel, and though my strings are almost identical tension to 10s on a 25.5", I found I preferred the feel of my baritone to the tele with 10s that I had for a bit (physics I guess, longer string under the same tension would still respond a little differently)

    I suppose that all is to say that, as others suggested, try before you buy. Whether these differences are an improvement depends entirely on your preferences as well as your body. I have long limbs and long skellington fingers so the scale works well with my body size.
     
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  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Only your hands and ears can advise you.
     
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  16. Doomlord

    Doomlord SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the advice. I am going to try tuning down my Bb guitar to A, and see how the 70 gauge feels at that tuning. If I can get that to work then I can try going a bit lower with the string gauge. Can you elaborate a little on the picking technique you mentioned?
     
  17. arie

    arie SS.org Regular

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    fwiw, i tune down to A, use roundcore .052's, and a gatorgrip 2mm pick. on a 25.5 scale this is about the edge of tuning stability. on 26.5 and 27 scale, not a problem. with the gauges you are talking about, you will have plenty of tension -possibly too much tension which may slow you down depending on your style of play.

    been using heavy picks for 39 years. they really drive stings as needed or you can hold back for "dynamics". more accurate and less wasted hand energy too imo.
     
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  18. t3tra

    t3tra SS.org Regular

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    I play in Bb and Ab on a 27" scale non-multiscale, 10-59 guage and I find it perfect in terms of tension, tone and stability. Maybe sometimes the Ab would benefit from a thicker string, but meh.

    Multiscales are definitely something you need to play beforehand. I borrowed my friends Ormsby goliath 8 and I found the fan to be really uncomfortable, marginally better for single note riffs but horrid for chords. But then I have a strandberg prog 6 which I tried in store and love it, probably cuz the fan isn't too extreme.
     
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  19. Screwhead

    Screwhead SS.org Regular

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    With tuning just to A or Bb, you're fine with a 25.5". I've got an Ibanez RG7 tuned to A, and really you don't need much more than a 58-60 on that low A, unless you're attempting to take over the bass player's part in the band, at which point you should be using something tuned MUCH lower. I cracked the neck (pulled the headstock forward) tuning a BC Rich Warlock from Drop G to A with a 68, and that's like a 24.6" scale, so the thicker string should have actually been the way to go.

    On my fanned fret, I use stringtensioncalculator.com to work out what I need (I play tuned FCGDgcf), and then order off of StringJoy.

    But, a 75 for a low A gives you around 21lbs of tension, which is imo WAY too high. Hit up stringtensioncalculator, put in your scale and tuning, then play with the string gauges. IMO, you should probably not be going higher than around 18lbs for your low string, unless you REALLY want it to be bass-focused and sound out of place with the rest of your strings (unless they're also all tuned to 20+lbs). If you want your guitar to sound like a guitar while keeping low-end, aim for around 18lbs. If you want to sound like a more "traditional" guitar, aim for somewhere around 15-16lbs.
     
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  20. Doomlord

    Doomlord SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the response! Over the weekend I tried setting up one of my 7s with a 70 gauge (previously a 74) tuned to A, and that seemed to work well for me in terms of feel (at 18.8lbs). I will try dropping to a 66 and then proceed lower from there if I achieve positive results.
     

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