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Old 07-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #1
KailM
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Are 24.75" scale guitars even worth considering for downtuned metal?

Please hear me out before you give examples of how they can be used successfully for just that. I know you can get good tones out of them; I have one.

It's just that it seems like if I tune below D standard it starts to get muddy real quick. I run pretty beefy strings as well. As stated in my thread a few days ago, I'm in the market for a new V-shaped guitar. The Schecter I played had a 25.5" scale and really sounded good when tuned down. I feel like a lot of it had to do with the longer scale length.

I know a lot of doom metal bands actually go for the sludgy, wooly sound of a downtuned SG or Les Paul, but I'm not after that tone. I want to tune to C Standard/Drop B and still have it sound pretty crisp and tight with a decent ammount of gain.

My dilemma is, I really do like Gibson/Epi Flying Vs; they sound and play wonderfully when tuned to E standard, and perhaps D, but I'm concerned that if I were to buy one I'd just be dissapointed in how it handled lower tuning.

Is this just a case where MY guitar sounds muddy when moderately downtuned, or is that a characteristic of all 24.75" scale guitars? I do have a pretty tight, clear pickup in the bridge so I know that's not the problem. Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
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It's either in the setup of your guitar or in your amplifier, I see no reason why the neck scale would affect the clarity of the sound, except if you are using too thin strings or your truss rod is set up wrong.

EDIT:and since you have a 6505 It's either in your setup or I'm wrong, both are very much possible.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:12 PM   #3
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24.75" can handle metal fine. If you're really heavily downtuned, just have appropriate-tension strings on there. It shouldn't really be an issue
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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I prefer 25.5" scale to Gibson scale. It just feels right to me. That said, I do like Explorers for that sludgey/stoner metal sound.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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I use an SG in B standard/Drop A with .13s and a wound 3rd. I don't have any problems with clarity. Intonation is a bit dodgy, but that's easily fixed with a proper set up; I just had to reverse the position of the 3rd and 2nd string saddles.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar/bass95
It's either in the setup of your guitar or in your amplifier, I see no reason why the neck scale would affect the clarity of the sound, except if you are using too thin strings or your truss rod is set up wrong.

EDIT:and since you have a 6505 It's either in your setup or I'm wrong, both are very much possible.



I'm using .11-.54s; they ain't no spaghetti noodles. Action is pretty low but not buzzing.

Scale length DOES affect tone, why else would there be baritone guitars with 27"+ scales? They help maintain a tight low end.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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its either your amp or your pickups.

I use my les paul for drop c and lower all the time, the lwest I ever went was drop a...and thats pretty low for a non baritone. Sounded fine, little murky, bt still had bite.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KailM
I'm using .11-.54s; they ain't no spaghetti noodles. Action is pretty low but not buzzing.

Scale length DOES affect tone, why else would there be baritone guitars with 27"+ scales? They help maintain a tight low end.


Yes, the scale is longer so that the strings are tighter across the fretboard, and no, scale lenght has nothing to do with tone, they affect string tension and the right scale lenght helps with different tunings, but low tuning should be possible with 24.75 scale, the problem should be with the strings being too slack, the tone shouldn't be affected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Controlpanel
its either your amp or your pickups.

I use my les paul for drop c and lower all the time, the lwest I ever went was drop a...and thats pretty low for a non baritone. Sounded fine, little murky, bt still had bite.


Also this. Either you EQ the amp wrong or your pickups are the wrong kind.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #9
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^Scale length has a lot to do with tone! Absolutely it does. Don't you think that string tension would effect how the guitar and strings vibrate? If you ever get the chance, try a 24.75" scale strat sometime. It's a completely different beast.

Anyway, 11-54 are big strings but if you're going down to drop B that's still not large enough on a 24.75 IMO. I think with the right pickups (EMGs, usually) and large enough strings, a 24.75 can do just fine for drop tunings without being sludgy, but you are going to need to experiment with string gauges and pickups. I'd start with a bigger string gauge, and adjusting your pickup height and amp settings, and then go from there. I'm not familiar with the pickups you're using so I can't comment on whether those are contributing.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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I would advise going up a string gauge, and then trying it before purchasing a new guitar.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
^Scale length has a lot to do with tone! Absolutely it does. Don't you think that string tension would effect how the guitar and strings vibrate? If you ever get the chance, try a 24.75" scale strat sometime. It's a completely different beast.

Anyway, 11-54 are big strings but if you're going down to drop B that's still not large enough on a 24.75 IMO. I think with the right pickups (EMGs, usually) and large enough strings, a 24.75 can do just fine for drop tunings without being sludgy, but you are going to need to experiment with string gauges and pickups. I'd start with a bigger string gauge, and adjusting your pickup height and amp settings, and then go from there. I'm not familiar with the pickups you're using so I can't comment on whether those are contributing.


I agree with half of this post. I use 12's for drop b on my les paul, but I do not think that scale length nessisarily euqates to different tone. standard fender (25'') and Gibson (24.75") are not "worlds apart...its only about 1/4'' :wink:

I agree with the gent who suggested a higher guage. I used to use 12s for drop C, and they were too tight. I used o use 11's, and they didn't feel right, I use DR 10's now, and I think they're working for me..its all preference.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Controlpanel
I agree with half of this post. I use 12's for drop b on my les paul, but I do not think that scale length nessisarily euqates to different tone. standard fender (25'') and Gibson (24.75") are not "worlds apart...its only about 1/4'' :wink:

What Strats are 25"? I'm just using the American Standard as a reference, and it's 25.5". http://www.fender.com/products/amer...rtno=0113002719
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
^Scale length has a lot to do with tone! Absolutely it does. Don't you think that string tension would effect how the guitar and strings vibrate? If you ever get the chance, try a 24.75" scale strat sometime. It's a completely different beast.

Anyway, 11-54 are big strings but if you're going down to drop B that's still not large enough on a 24.75 IMO. I think with the right pickups (EMGs, usually) and large enough strings, a 24.75 can do just fine for drop tunings without being sludgy, but you are going to need to experiment with string gauges and pickups. I'd start with a bigger string gauge, and adjusting your pickup height and amp settings, and then go from there. I'm not familiar with the pickups you're using so I can't comment on whether those are contributing.


But I mean that it shouldn't make the tone all muddy and sludgy on lower tunings, I've seen a lot of people tuning down with 24.75 necks and they sound just fine.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #14
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One of my main guitars is a Dean TC Cadillac- a 24.75 scale guitar- and it is tuned in Robert Fripp's New Standard Tuning. It handles it just fine with the appropriate string gauges.

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Old 07-02-2012, 01:26 PM   #15
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I use my LTD Viper-500 (24 3/4) and works perfectly with down-tuned metal. As already have been mentioned get proper strings for that and you are set (11's or 12's)
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
^Scale length has a lot to do with tone! Absolutely it does. Don't you think that string tension would effect how the guitar and strings vibrate? If you ever get the chance, try a 24.75" scale strat sometime. It's a completely different beast.

Anyway, 11-54 are big strings but if you're going down to drop B that's still not large enough on a 24.75 IMO. I think with the right pickups (EMGs, usually) and large enough strings, a 24.75 can do just fine for drop tunings without being sludgy, but you are going to need to experiment with string gauges and pickups. I'd start with a bigger string gauge, and adjusting your pickup height and amp settings, and then go from there. I'm not familiar with the pickups you're using so I can't comment on whether those are contributing.



Thank you! And it goes beyond just string tension. I read a very convincing article in Guitar Player magazine awhile back and the jist of it was that the longer length of strings between the two stop points (bridge and nut) can greatly affect the tone. They talked about how a shorter scale guitar can sound warmer and generate richer harmonics because the notes are compressed together over a shorter distance -- something to that effect anyway. Conversely, longer scales were reported to provide a brighter, snappier, and twangier tone. Does it mean a 24.75" strat will sound like a Les Paul? Or a 25.5" scale LP will sound like a Strat? No, absolutely not. But the article claimed that scale length has a lot more to do with distinct tone than a lot of people realize.

I didn't write the article, but it seemed pretty factual and founded in physics.

Oh, and my Dimarzio D-Sonic is advertised to be great for drop-tuned metal riffage, I doubt it's the problem. However, that doesn't mean EMGs or SD Blackouts wouldn't be even better...
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:38 PM   #17
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Thick strings and EMGs. Problem solved.

Specifically I'd be looking at 13's for C Standard. I use 12-56 for Drop C on my EC-1000, and the low C is too loose IMO.

D'Addario has a 12-60 set that I want to try out. If you like low tension in your higher strings, that could be better for Drop B or C standard than a 13 set.

You'll likely need to work on or get a new nut.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #18
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I think you definately can, I run EB Beefy Slinkys with my les paul (epi standard with the single 85 in the bridge) tuned to drop B/Bb and I love the way it sounds. It is a good idea to have a legitimate metal pickup, though, and only that, I see your LP has one nice pup (the D-sonic) but your using the other one stock, alot of muddiness may be coming from that. Another good Idea is some VERY good tuners, it is annoying as all hell when you tune to drop B and it won't hold, because of the extra tension caused by heavy strings, I suggest locking tuners, or for a LP gibson deluxe tuners are amazing. But I think alot of the muddiness your getting is from pickups....try some more pups, dimarzios, EMG's, BKP's if you can find some, or just listen on youtube, and buy one and install it with your dimarzio, put on some heavy strings (I prefer Beefy Slinkys but if you want super tight just go with Not even slinky) and I guarantee you'll have tighter tone



Also if you want to hear some somewhat power metal kind of stuff done in drop C/B with a LP listen to some trivium, they use a LP with EMG's for some of their songs and it sounds tight
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:48 PM   #19
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I use CGCFAD on a 24.5 inch scale with 10's and it seems to do fine!
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:53 PM   #20
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Well, I really never use my neck pickup for distorted playing, it's there for cleans and occasionally warmer leads.

This is with the D-Sonic. I EQ my amp pretty close to noon on most settings, including gain. It's not like I'm scooping the mids and expecting a chorus of angels. I run a TS-9 as a boost and an MXR 10-band EQ with a slight low-mid bump. Speaker is an Eminence Governor -- not a muddy speaker by a long shot.

I will try some of these suggestions (even heavier strings). I might just buy a single .56 or .58 and see how that affects the tone. The nut on my guitar is already taxed with a .54, so I wouldn't leave it for long with a bigger string. I do feel that the .54 is a little loose when I tune to drop C. Ultimately, I'm going to get a new guitar, probably with EMGs or Blackouts. If I find that I can get a satisfactory tone by upping the string gauges on my Les Paul, then I'll consider a Gibson or Epi Flying V.

Otherwise, I'm gonna go with something with a longer scale. The Shecter I played made my riffs sound so tight and articulate -- I've just got to get that sound! But maybe that had more to do with the Blackouts rather than the scale length. The biggest problem is I can't really try all this stuff -- the nearest Guitar Center is 12 hours away and the local shops have next to nothing for metal-oriented equipment.
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