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

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

  1. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Okee I should try this myself... Thank you T3T

    WintermintP
     
  2. Droontar

    Droontar SS.org Regular

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    Hi guys! I've got a Epiphone MKH 7 String Signature and I'm trying to tune in Standard G# and sometimes drop the 6th string to have Drop B tuning on the higher 6 strings.

    I was using Ernie Ball's .56-.12 in my Epiphone LP standard (24.75") to tune in Drop B. What gauges should I use on my 7 string knowing that it still uses 24.75"?.

    I went to my local luthier and he recommend me to use a Ernie Ball's .54-.11 plus an extra .64 for my 7th string, but before playing with those for a week it feels really weird, like it lacks some presence or "fatty" bass sounds.
     
  3. The Mirror

    The Mirror SS.org Regular

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    For such a short scale I'd take at least a .070 for the G#. I use a .070 for G on a 25.5 scale.
     
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  4. Droontar

    Droontar SS.org Regular

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    And what about the others? Should I stick on using .54-.11?
     
  5. Discoqueen

    Discoqueen Dang tootin

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    For tuning to B standard on a 24.75” scale length guitar, is .12 to .52 good? I’d think .52 would be kinda smol.
     
  6. lurè

    lurè Thy Art Is Mambo

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    On a 6 string I'd personally go for something like .13-.60.
    On a regular 25.5" a .59 for the low B is fine but for a 24.75" I'd start with a .60 at least.
     
  7. lurè

    lurè Thy Art Is Mambo

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    I've got two 7 string guitars , the first is 27" scale and the second is 26.5". Both are tuned to drop G (GDGCFAD).
    The current strings for both guitars are 11-53+74 but I dont like the tension at all: too much tension that I can't even adjust the truss rod to have a decently straight neck with low action.
    I would like suggestions for a set of strings that can be good for both guitars.

    I was thinking to go for a 10-52+70 set and I checked daddario string tension calculator with the following results:
    26.5.jpg
    26.5.jpg 27.jpg
    Tension seems quite umbalanced. Am I missing something?

    PS: Playing-wise I don't have an heavy hand on strings so I was looking for a medium-light string set.
     
  8. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    You'll have gotten the octave number wrong in the middle there resulting in the 4lbs haha, but apart from that , you aren't missing anything no. Most sets are very imbalanced especially once you get above the typical 9-42 and 10-46. You will generally want the trebles lighter than the basses mind, so don't consider that so much of an imbalance. A perfect set to me looks something like balanced plains and balanced wounds around 3-5lbs heavier.
    I don't mind the A and D being tighter personally as long as the low E is still tight enough. You'll have to go custom if you want to correct that imbalance. And if you want the low G as tight as the octave G, you need to double the gauge (eg 88 with 44). No need to go that tight but I do recommend at least getting it as tight as the 2nd string at the 18lb mark.
     
  9. Discoqueen

    Discoqueen Dang tootin

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    @lurè thank you, I figured that would be about right. I found the d’addario Baritone set going .13 to .62
     
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  10. lurè

    lurè Thy Art Is Mambo

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    Thanks for the reply, I've tried to balance strings as you suggested and came up with something like this:
    as.jpg
    Maybe 038 on 5th string would be better (18.65 lb).
    7th string is 070 -> 15.45 lb 074 ->17.1 lb
     
  11. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Excellent set, 72 or 74 is definitely a good idea I think. The 72 should be just about tight enough to feel uniform and give you a bit more brightness :) And indeed I don't think they sell 37s anyway
     
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  12. Discoqueen

    Discoqueen Dang tootin

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    Lol had a bad time fitting a .62 through a Spertzel. It took forever to get it to where I could unwind enough of the string to get it into the tuner peg.
     
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  13. Tomservo

    Tomservo SS.org Regular

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    From what I gather it’s best to ask this question here. First off, hi I’m new. Second, I have nerve damage in my hands, neuropathy, and couldn’t play for a while. Coupled with my lack of playing and nerve damage it was too painful to play for a while and switched to bass since using the pads of my fingers didn’t hurt. I was able to start playing the guitar again but have to use .008’s. I’ve been getting more interested in a seven string guitar and saw that I could still use lighter strings on a 25.5 scale and just buy a single string for B and tuned to standard. I wanted to stay away from baritone scaled guitars due to tension. Finally to my question I found 8 string multi scale guitars and was really intrigued, will using a set of .008’s work on a multi scale? My concern is it being to floppy (that’s what she said), I’m not worried about the pain playing on the lower strings as I use the pads of my fingers on those. Assuming I used a set of .008’s what should I use for the other two strings or in the case of a normal 7 string for the B? Any help would be appreciated, sorry for the long post.
     
  14. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Hi @Tomservo!

    So, which multiscale instruments were you checking out?
    At 25.5" scale, an .008" at E4 Hz is about the same as a .048" B1, and about the same as a .064" F#1.
    With a multiscale, the tension will just depend on the individual scale lengths. If you are looking at a 25.5"-27", it'll add a little tension to the low end, but it'd be the same for the plain strings. You might want to drop down about .002" in size on the low end, so if you were going to do a .064" F#1 at 25.5", then you could use a .060" (or .059", really, there's not much difference) instead at 27" and it should hold about the same amount of tension.

    But I'll throw this out there as well...

    In my opinion, thicker wound strings feel better. You said you play bass, so you might get on just fine with thicker strings on the bottom end, so you might want to beef those up anyway. It's hard to say, but maybe you shouldn't shy away from the idea of trying a heavier low F# and/or low B just to see what you think.
     
  15. Tomservo

    Tomservo SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the reply. Yeah it was 25.5 to 27 and the seven string was just 25.5. So if I understand you correctly it would work?
     
  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Sure! I hope that helps!
     
  17. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    I'm looking to tune CGDGDGBE (low C that is half step below C# on a 9 to a standard high E) with a 28.625" - 29.4" multiscale. For reference, I like a Daddario 72 for low F at 28.625" and a Daddario 9 or 10 for the high E at 28.625". Any suggestions?
     
  18. Tomservo

    Tomservo SS.org Regular

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    So I’ve done more research than I think is normal, but from what I understand baritone guitars need more tension or else sound poopie. My issue is that I use .008’s due to nerve damage and I’m a wuss. If I understand correctly even if I tune a baritone, any scale between 26.5 and 27 is what I’m referring to, to standard with .008’s it’ll be way too floppy. I did the calculations and it is not at the range of 14-16 psi (not sure on the units remember I’m an engineer haha) that most recommend. So from what I understand I should stick to 25.5 if I want a 7 string or get a multi scale. It’s the higher strings I mostly have to watch the lower ones I can play with the pads of my fingers no problem. My big concern with going multi scale is this will be my only guitar. My house is too small to accommodate a lot of equipment. So no to the baritone?
     
  19. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    It's not clear exactly what you are asking, and you may be confused about a thing or two - so I don't want to reply in detail until I have a clearer picture.
    What scale do you play now (presumably 25.5?)
    What tuning do you play now?
    What strings do you use for it?
    What did you want a baritone or fanned fret for? What tuning do you want to play it in?
     
  20. Tomservo

    Tomservo SS.org Regular

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    I play standard tuning with .008’s on a 25.5 scale. I wanted a 7 string and most come in 26.5 or 27 scale. I wanted to string one with .008’s and tune it to standard (Eadgbe not baritone) but was under the impression that this would not produce enough tension to not sound like farting. This is a problem for me because I can’t handle a lot tension on the gbe strings. So why do I want a baritone or fanned fret. Baritone length seems more common and have more options for a 7 and others have said it sounds better than 25.5. Fanned frets while more uncommon solve the issue of floppy low strings but the tension on the gbe strings is lower than a baritone. I’m sure I did not explain that well. As to why I want a seven string, more range without changing my tuning.
     

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