9 String Lefty Build Spec Suggestions

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by summit101, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. summit101

    summit101 SS.org Regular

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    Hey all,

    Please read before commenting!

    I have a LEFT HANDED 9 string guitar on order with a luthier of high quality, and I wanted to ask what peoples opinions are with some specific scale lengths I want to use and also pickup selector configuration. I have already paid money so this is a serious request for discussion, Thanks.

    Some specs from the order:
    Body material: Black Limba
    Top wood: Maple Burl
    Neck material. Outer Fillets, Centre Wenge/Flame Maple/Wenge
    Fingerboard material: Flamed Maple
    Bridge system: ABM Single Saddles
    Tuning: C1G1C2F2A#2D#3G3C3G4
    also will feature a piezo system :)

    Prior acknowledgement, I use Daddario NYXL which sound the brightest for the longest with the 8 (eight) string sets with another single string added for 9 string tuned to Drop C1 because I refuse to use bass strings which sound dead almost instantly after installing and playing. and I don't like playing big tight strings. I like a gentler and fluid feel of strings similar to floating trem bridges and also the more conventional tone from smaller strings opposed to more round sounding bigger strings or bass strings. I also have a specific tone from my pick attack for optimal articulation, paired with the Bare Knuckle custom 9 humbucker set. So please, don't complain saying my strings will be too small and sound like ass. Because I'm not going to change my string set up and I have no issues with my tone using Dunlop Tortex TIII .050 picks (I bend the pick slightly with my grip to get more snap with my pick attack while picking lightly and not digging into the strings, which works well with my bare knuckle passive hum-bucker set, fractal amp modeling, horizon devices precision drive, graph-tech saddles). I want to discuss the scale lengths with the specific string sets disclosed below. As well as pick up selector options.

    For my build I would like to have my 9 string set up in drop C1 to have a scale of either 26.5"-28" or 27"-28 5/8th" (28.625") with the Dadarrio NYXL 8-string (eight string) set while adding a .010 and swapping the .0090 with .0080 on the highest string and .080 on the lowest string, or .084 when using the strandberg 8-string (eight string) set adding a .011 and swapping the highest string with .008. This is the cheapest way to buy NYXL strings for 9 string. I already use the .080 string set on a 30" scale Agile (non multi-scale) which works great but I'd like a more conventional feel from a shorter scale. On my new build i want to tune my highest string to G instead of F which is possible at 27" scale max. I have very long fingers so I will continue to use a 30" scale on my agile's after I receive my new build.

    Heres what I'm trying to decide on. The builder is recommending the longer scale length, yet I want to finalize scale lengths at 26.5"-28" so i can use the .084 .strandberg* set because the lowest string is tapered for 28". If the scale length is longer than 28" on the low side the string will not have as much string mass in the nut slot because of the tapered end. But the .084 string diameter will extend long enough to fret in the 1st fret position. The NYXL 8 string set with .080 on the low end is tapered at 30" so this issue is eliminated with this string set. I've tried the .084 set tuned in standard on my 2011 Schecter blackjack atx-c8 8-string with 26.5" scale and EMG 808x set (18v mod), tuning down to C#1 and I loved the new string tone i got with it, even with an old battery. So I think the .084 will work the best at 28". and also the 26.5" scale on the high side will be more optimal when tuning the highest string to G and all the other higher strings. The luthier is worried I wont be happy with the shorter scale particularly on the low end, yet I have plenty of reasons to choose this scale as I feel it will be long enough to use while having an audible tone. I use a dual amp and cab tone and am very happy with my current set up. I just want a more optimal playing 9 string model. Many artists have recorded albums using 27" 8 string's tuned to similar pitch and the results are more then acceptable. Yet I wanted to ask other's their opinion before confirming these spec.s.

    **THE BIG QUESTION**
    Will I loose resonance and sustain by having a string tapered before the contact point at the nut, or will there be any down side to using a string thats tapered so slightly to short for the scale on the low side? or will it just work regardless? and Is 28" really going to be too short while using a .084 or .080 string?


    As for pickup selector configurations while using the bare knuckle custom 9 humbuckers. I have the schematics of the Ibanez RG9 with the 5-way selector in mind which are set up like so below. I was wondering how it would sound having the bridge pickup wired in parallel. or should I just go with this set up? Does anyone have any suggestions? Or if this going to give me the best options a variety of tones for Rhythms, Leads, Cleans, Economy, Finger picking, or "Thumping"? Let me know!
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help in advanced!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    I don't know what you mean by 'resonance', that word has no relation to the subject. Sustain will be no worse. However ...

    You should never use a string that tapers on the wrong side of the nut, the change of mass will create a pitch error for the open string. The nut slot would have to be cut higher to compensate for the drop-down, which will make it cut too high if you try using a string that tapers correctly on the other side.
    Many use .080 or .084 on shorter scales than 28", the answer is it depends on your personal preferences.
    You seem to know and understand well what you want, this overrides your luthiers recommendation, this is a subjective issue anyway.
     
  3. summit101

    summit101 SS.org Regular

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    Thank you for your reply, and this is probably the most accurate response to what I was wondering about the tapered string on the wrong side of the nut. It seems like an issue I definitely will like to avoid. Since I am thinking that I'll prefer the shorter scale I'll likely lock in the 26.5"-28" spec. Thanks again.

    Any useful info is still welcomed
     
  4. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Can we ask who is up for the challenge to build a machine like that?
     
  5. WhiteLightOfDeath

    WhiteLightOfDeath Hidden Sword

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    IMHO get an 8 string, but that’s just me. I think not only will you be better off playing it but if you decide to sell it it’ll be a real catch for an ERG player

    I think 9+ strings might hurt my hands lol
     
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  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    As much as I'm in love with long scales and want to tell you to get as much out of the low string as possible - a safe high string is more important. Go for the 26.5 on top. Way more difference in performance between 27 and 26.5 on top in G, than the slight increase in clarity you'll gain on the bottom going slightly longer. With my experience with G# I wouldn't personally want more than 26.3 for G - but 26.5 should be ok.

    I'd adivse you make sure the bridge angle/balance of the fan is set to match the angle of the custom BKP when intonated (i.e. add a good 6mm to the bass sides theoretical bridge placement when placing the pickup). This will help with clarity on the low end. Look at Red Layer Guitars as an example.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  7. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    In agreement, though I do wonder how much of a drastic effect it would have on intonation (assuming the nut slot height is shallower as mentioned). Afterall, tapering at the bridge is common, and can be very extreme on extended range basses in terms of length and string size.
     
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  8. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Yes, if the string tapered very close to the nut the pitch error may be small, although probably enough to be annoying.
    With a bridge end tapering the intonation effect of the taper can be incrementally compensated for using saddle position, can't do that at the nut end and the taper only has effect for the open note.
    Another problem is that the open note would have a slightly different tone to the fretted notes. With bridge-end tapering the tonal effect of the taper is always in effect.

    Also sorry, 'resonance' does indeed have a 2nd meaning as 'tonal quality'.
     
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  9. summit101

    summit101 SS.org Regular

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    Trying my dearest to keep it a surprise. Its the first 9 string they've ever built. I will say the quality is on par with Skervesen (its not a Skervesen unfortunately). Thats the best hint I'll give for now. Also it may be featured at NAMM after completion!
     
  10. summit101

    summit101 SS.org Regular

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    You've been a useful lad in this discussion and you have potentially saved me a live time of regret had I Chosen the slightly longer scale!
     
  11. summit101

    summit101 SS.org Regular

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    Im actually trying to go for 26.25", maybe even 26"

    Does anyone have any input regarding an extreme fan, or anything longer then 1.5"? I think in the passed I've mapped out a template before and decided something like a 3.5" fan would make for the ultimate "spider hand" fret positioning!! Though after owning a Lefty .strandberg* (.75" fan) I think a subtle fan would be more relaxed to play.
     
  12. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I went for a 4.5" fan on my 9 string (24.75-29.25) because I have a high Ab to low E and am unhappy with E much shorter than that. It's wild for sure but was worth adapting to as not a problem at all really. That said , I've seen plenty of people hate fans half the size!
    I'm glad I don't use drop tunings to make the range even wider haha :D

    26 would be great I think. Just a touch lighter than my 24.75 Ab.
    On a 9 string, a 2.5" fan gives perfectly reasonable angles similar to smaller fans on less strings. You could certainly do 26-28.5 and not consider it extreme. I have no input regarding the string choice - I've always used longer scales and had to source strings for them so don't personally worry about limitations of a particular set.
    If you want to fan longer (or with any fan still), I'd just reinforce basing it around the available bridge pickup angle to make sure you don't result in underangled pickups like so many are.
     
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  13. summit101

    summit101 SS.org Regular

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    For sure, I'll email bare knuckle to find out they're max for custom pickup angles.

    That Vik 9 is one of my favourite designs ive seen btw! super jelly!
     
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  14. WhiteLightOfDeath

    WhiteLightOfDeath Hidden Sword

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    I’d like to see that guitar Tom, can you post a pic? Please sir?
     
  15. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    WhiteLightOfDeath likes this.
  16. WhiteLightOfDeath

    WhiteLightOfDeath Hidden Sword

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    That is rad as hell....i would actually consider trying a fan fret if it was a 9 string like that, very unique dude.....
     
  17. summit101

    summit101 SS.org Regular

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    Max pickup angle is 16 degrees says bare knuckle btw!

    wish i had a vik 9 like that!
     
  18. WhiteLightOfDeath

    WhiteLightOfDeath Hidden Sword

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    I wish I had a chance to try a 9 string fanned fret. I love my 8 strings, and I am not a big "understander" if that makes sense of the fanning. I saw Tom doing a sick 9 string bar so I see the point, but I mean, whats playing like up further on the neck? like does it feel natural when you solo or does that take adjustment?

    or is it like the m80m? in other words, its not a one trick pony - it has its purpose and its job for low down, brutal tones, but for higher mid register guitars like 6 and 7s, you usually switch for soloing? id love to try one, but theres no way in hell theres going to be any fanned fret guitars at the store, none worth walkin out with im sure....not around here

    but Im going to pick up my strings from july 4 sale so maybe ill be lucky, I love that Vik 9, is that a one off?
     
  19. summit101

    summit101 SS.org Regular

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    I was recently told by Simon Padalka that I should use an Ebony fingerboard for more attack.

    And now I'm wondering if the black limba body might be heavy even though the body will be thin? Would switching to mahogany or basswood or swamp ash be advisable?
     
  20. Pietjepieter

    Pietjepieter SS.org Regular

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    This thing is going to be super killing! Is Padalka going to build it?

    On the pick up selection, I was wondering if you don't want a coil split option?

    I have now idea how the hunbucker in parallel sounds, but I really like single coil sound on my eight string in the bridge. Gives some more definition on the low strings, more attack, less muddy.

    Anyhow curios how this will end!! good luck!
     

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