The A4 and beyond thread

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by vansinn, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. techjsteele

    techjsteele Contributor

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    I have experienced zero issues with the high A string on the Septor since my last post. Still going strong!
     
  2. jack_cat

    jack_cat SS.org Regular

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    I'm overdue for posting my accumulated info in this thread.

    This has to do with nylon and fluorocarbon strings which are under-represented here.

    Most requintos (little mexican guitar tuned up a fourth) are around 21" - 22". This makes an A4 easy.
    The longest A4 string I've played on is 63c / 24-3/4". It has a .405mm Seaguar fishline fluorocarbon string on it and its a little thin sounding for my taste, but it proves that it can be done.

    My duet partner has a 58c (22-3/4") straight fret 7-string with an A4 that sounds very nice with a D'Addario .022" rectified nylon string on it.

    I had my 2013 prototype 9-string fanned fret classical built with the A4 at 56c (22"). I'm using a .47mm fluorocarbon Seaguar fishline string, which is quite high tension, upwards of 7 kilos. I've tried some thinner strings, and nylon strings, but don't like them as much. I did like .43mm fluorocarbon, I think, but I only had 5 meters and I broke them all during the experimental phase. .405 fluoro is definitely too thin.

    I thought that this length would give more body to the sound because the string could be thicker.
    I won't do it again. The string itself sounds fine, but even with a wide fan (the prototype has 12c (4-3/4") of fan) I don't like the quality of the E4 and B3 strings which seem too short to have really good tone and intonation, and this seems to be a good reason for maximizing the length of the A4 string.

    The Brahms guitar 8-string design typically has the A4 at about 61.5 c (24-1/4"). This seems to be a practical maximum and most players seem happy with it, with some complaints that it's a little thin sounding. D'Addario .020" nylon seems to be the string for this.

    However, any classical type guitar with an A4 is going to have a different sound from a standard classical, more "lutelike" shall we say, or (to be negative) a little "tinnier".

    My next build 9-string fanned fret classical will have the A4 at 60c (23-5/8"). I'll keep you posted. Hope to have it built this spring.

    - jack
     
  3. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Very neat seeing results with the NYXL's - I stopped experimenting and put a lid on moving on with the idea of having a high-tuned instrument due to economy.

    Since then, I'm also changing my interests in music styles, so I'm now much more interested in a nylon/composite ERG (when finance permits romance).
    That's some great info on nylon setups, jack; we don't see too much in this direction :agreed:
     
  4. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    I need to try the A4.
    Will have to scavenge for the NYXL 0.007
     
  5. focusbob

    focusbob SS.org Regular

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    "Will have to scavenge for the NYXL 0.007"

    I've had far more success with NYXL 0.008" (at 25.5" or 24.75"), just a heads up.
     
  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Theoretically, the thickness has no bearing on how high you can tune. The thicker the string, the more tension it requires, but, incidentally, the more tension it can hold, being that it is thicker. So thickness is really just a matter of what feels right. If you want slinkier than what you get with a .007", though, you are looking at o4p options and not much else.

    The issue seems to be that a lot of people cannot seem to get any standard formula strings to tune to A440 on 25.5" scale. I strongly feel that with good saddles and a proper nut, it can be done, as I have done it on my own guitars before with great success, but the .007" is just too tight to feel right.
     
  7. focusbob

    focusbob SS.org Regular

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    bostjan, I'm not making/countering a theoretical argument, the .008 has been far more durable in my hands over about a dozen of each @25.5".
     
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    It will depend on your technique. Also strings with bad composition will generally be more prone to more noticeable issues at thinner diameters, simply because the size of the defect will be larger in proportion to the string.

    Your anecdote is that you have good luck with NYXL .008", and my anecdote is that I have good luck with PS .007". It seems like a lot of folks had issues with the o4p strings, and others had good luck with them. This is normal, I believe, to have such variation, but I suspect that saddles and nuts are a contributor to some of the issues people are having, because the tensile strength data for steel strings suggests that A440 should not only be plausible, but reasonably bendable at 25.5". After using carefully cut graphite nuts and saddles on two seven string guitars I've owned, I've been able to tune to A440 at 25.5" consistently with a plain .007" string, with a little patience and maintenance.

    That's just my input. I keep coming to this thread to offer it, yet no one seems to respond much.
     
  9. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Yo bostjan, IIRC, the saddle and nut points were referred in my opening post.
    I agree, though, that it may seem some/many may be serving these points too little notice.

    On my earlier attempts on A4 (@25"), strings alway broke at random points, not nut/saddle, which I attribute to having prepared those nicely, plus reinforced my strings where they pass through the tuner and soldered the wrap-around at the ball - likewise points of failure.
     
  10. techjsteele

    techjsteele Contributor

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    I have not tried the .008 NYXL, but have had great success with the .007 NYXL on my Septor so far. IMHO the .007 feels just right tension-wise on the 24.75" scale. The .008 might be a little too tight for my taste on the Septor. I've had no issues with string bends and hard picking/strumming on the string itself.
     
  11. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    They do make .0075 too, you know ;)
     
  12. Durero

    Durero prototyping... Contributor

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  13. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    ^ ahh, 7½ cents worth of error; now, where did I hear such..
     
  14. Oddballinthetree

    Oddballinthetree SS.org Regular

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    I have an AX7521 (24.75" scale) that I'm looking to tune E-a. It seems from the consensus over the past few pages that a .007 string should be workable for this? Should I get a nicer kind of string than my usual Daddario nickel wounds? Thanks for the help! I will definitely report back with my experiences.
     
  15. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    D'addario PL008 or PL007 is fine. 007 will feel more reasonable. Go over all sharp points. You are pushing it with the tension and it will break at any imperfection. Don't bend it :) Semitone down perfectly achieveable however.
     
  16. Oddballinthetree

    Oddballinthetree SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the help!

    I tried it out this evening, picked up a 008 since my usual place didn't have a 007 available. I restrung the whole guitar, and spent about an hour tuning the a up in small increments. It's holding tune fine so far, no breakage, a little more tension than I'd like so I may switch to the 007 when I restring. I don't do much bending, so I should be okay there :). We'll see how long it lasts - hopefully awhile, I'm really enjoying the differences in chord voicing!
     
  17. TankTurret

    TankTurret SS.org Regular

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    I've read this thread with some enthusiasm, I've been curious about a high A myself.

    I have a BC Rich 8 string at the moment, and I was considering restringing it B to A but it is long scale so I was concerned it wouldn't be so reliable even with the thinnest strings, and also that I was thinking to mod it to add a tremolo bar (as I've really missed it for my lead playing) but it seems to be expensive and not so reliable anyway with the string tension involved, based on the threads I've read on this forum on the topic

    So now I have a new idea, of getting a second special "treble" guitar, pick up a standard 6 string (with a trem bar), then tune in A to A. (and use the BC Rich for riffs and rhythm, and the treble guitar for lead)

    Any specific recommendations for a good reasonable (~ $4-700) 6 string that would fit for a "treble" lead/shred style playing (24+ frets, trem bar)?
    I was thinking Ibanez RG series should be fine, but perhaps there are ones that still have 24 frets and an even shorter scale than the 24.75, in which case, is it possible to get even higher than A4?
    Perhaps on a 23" scale or so one could tune D to D5 with .007 for the A4 and the octave4plus .005 for D5? (or something in between)
     
  18. Action

    Action SS.org Regular

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    This isn't quite what you're asking for, and they're hard to come by, but for someone here with those sorts of intentions (Octave 5+), maybe it would be worth tracking down one of the various ultra short scales made over the years, called octave guitars, that appear to tune E3-E5 with standard strings. The scale is probably around 12-14". I suppose such a thing is hard enough to find in the states, so probably not available in europe though :/

    Attached is what they look like.

    asdf.jpg
     
  19. TankTurret

    TankTurret SS.org Regular

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    Oh my. Yeah that is a cute interesting curiosity. But how can you even fret the string on the high frets unless you have toddler hands? Of course yeah that's a bit too excessive.

    I've also seen 3/4 guitars and I think even that would be too little, the spacing on frets 20-24 are already quite small on a standard 24.75" guitar, I was thinking maybe there's something 23" or so, maybe with that scale length you can get the D5 with a .005 string.

    but yeah that is a cute guitar I want to pet it:)
     
  20. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Cool! I have not seen one of those in ages!

    They were sort of a thing from the resurgence of solid body mandolins in the 1980's, from what I remember, they were basically six string Mandolins, so, a scale length of about 12" seems right. There was a builder in England who made these, but they were hand-made and very expensive, probably much rarer than the already rare production models.
     

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