Jackson SL7HT big string woes! (string won't fit into tuner, etc)

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by BZM, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. BZM

    BZM SS.org Regular

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    LONG POST WARNING.

    Hey there! Recently I came into possession of an Indo-built Jackson Pro series SL7HT and I love it... the wood is amazing, plays great (in stock tuning, B standard mind you) and really has quality wood and good pickups. Here's the kicker...

    The only reason I bought this guitar instead of playing jazz, gospel, etc. on my Gibson SG as I normally do... is because I've been hired by a brutal death metal band that's asking me to tune down to... DROP F#.

    Yeah.

    They're basically asking me to take an 8 string, tune it up by one semitone, and then discard the highest string.

    However, as a huge fan of bands like Ion Dissonance, and even before them bands like Nile... there's no way I was going to allow myself to buy an 8 string. I just don't like the way they feel in my hand or the way they look. This SL7HT in charcoal gray is the epitome of metal.

    Before this becomes tldr, I'll just be blunt. I bought an 8 string pack. The 64 guage "B" string" (which was to become my guitar's 6th string actually) would not even fit into the stock tuning post. Also, it looks ridiculous on the puny bridge saddle of the stock HT-7 hardtail bridge. I'm afraid that this HT-7 needs filing of the saddles for these larger strings, filing of the nut, and sadly... looks like filing or drilling of the tuning machine post holes as well. The string made it through the body, but not the tuner... I'm disappointed because I've heard of people being able to fit 70 guage, even up to 80 gauge strings into even stock Epiphone tuners! Shame on you, Jackson, for still holding that attitude that looks down on anyone that tunes down! Lol.

    That being said, I got some pretty nasty responses when I brought these concerns to Jackson guitar owners' forums etc... most of those guys told me to quit wasting my time playing for a stupid band, to get a 6 string guitar tuned to E and start a thrash band hahaha. Go figure.

    My question: if I bought Hipshot locking tuners like the ones' on Misha's USA signature model, and a hipshot 7 bridge... would it retrofit just fine, should I rip out the HT7 stock bridge and stock Jackson tuning machines? Would both be able to handle those larger string gauges without modification? Or would it be better and cheaper to just take my guitar to my tech 4 hours away and have him make the necessary mods?

    Sorry for the extended post haha - and thanks in advance for the responses!

    Sincerely,

    -Sean

    P.S. hooray - I finally own a 7 string after being a member here for 11 years! *pops bottle*
     
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  2. possumkiller

    possumkiller Flying V for Vendetta

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    The way you fit huge strings through a stock tuner is by unwinding a bit of the outer string winding.
     
  3. Gravy Train

    Gravy Train SS.org Regular

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    You will need to file the nut most likely for such a larger string most likely, as well as drill out the tuner (which is very simple and can be done with a power drill). Shouldn't give you too much trouble at all (I've done it myself on a number of guitars).
     
  4. BZM

    BZM SS.org Regular

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    I see...

    So y'all are saying I'd even have to unwind a bit of the string or drill a hole, even for these brand new Hipshot tuners?...
     
  5. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    JCFonline.com? I'm surprised people even replied, that place is DEAD!

    It also totally sounds like the sort of thing the old timers there would say IME :lol:

    "Play your Jackson in whatever effing tuning with whatever gauge strings you want" - Me, a lifetime Jackson fan

    With that out of the way, I'm surprised the 64 couldn't fit. I'm sure there is a tuner out there that you could put on that will work, but the question is whether it will retrofit without modification. I think the Planet Waves auto trim tuners can accomodate up to a 70, after quickly googling right now. They're what comes on the Chris Broderick Soloist. However, I don't know if they'll be a direct retrofit. The alternative is to unwind or drill, as the others have said. Personally, I would hate unwinding the string every time and would rather drill.
     
  6. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles 8 string Warrior

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    Contact hipshot, they'll probably send you a teemed out one in trade for the one you currently have. They're pretty awesome about stuff like this.
     
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  7. Vhyle

    Vhyle Jackson Shill

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    ayyy, I recognize your post content from the JGOF group on Facebook. Howdy!

    To answer - either drilling out the tuner a bit or unwinding the string will be your best solutions. The saddle can be filed down a touch too, to compensate for the gauge. Just widen the string slot on the saddle, but keep yourself from making it deeper, as much as you can. It shouldn't take much to do it.

    I recently did the same work to a Douglas 7-string with a Floyd, and he wanted a 70 on the low B. I had to take a file to the saddle a bit. Just shave a little bit off at a time until the string fits properly in there.
     
  8. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    Send Hipshot an email. I'll bet they'll swap you one of the tuners with the bigger hole (I have several sets like that.)
     
  9. BZM

    BZM SS.org Regular

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    Haha, you guys are awesome. Thank you for all the replies! Looks like e-mailing Hipshot and a new nut are both in my future... my tech can probably handle the rest. I've grown so attached to the way it plays now though... I'm tempted to keep it in Drop A with this 58 on the bottom and 9-42 for the other strings haha. Might put a 60 instead of a 58 if it fits, but right now I'm honestly pretty happy with it... every time I think it's too loose (even the 58 in A) and sounding like shit, I plug it in and realize that low tunings pretty much all sound like ass when you're not plugged in hahaha. That gain really helps tighten things up and compresses it a bit.

    I honestly think I'm in the market for one of these. 25.5" will probably never satisfy my need for articulation in a tuning like Drop G or Drop F#... gotta have that baritone scale. Plus, love that Telecaster look. People will never expect the brutality!!
     

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