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Old 12-05-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
ultimate_sound
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Tuning a 6-string like a 7-string

Good day to you all ,

As the title suggests , I'm thinking of tuning my 6-string [ an ESP LTD KH-602 (has floyd-rose ) ] all the way down to drop A like on 7 strings ( AEADGB I think ) . Now, I'm no expert ( which is why I included the name of my guitar ) , but I would like to know if it is possible and if any damage will be done if it is tuned properly .
Anything else that needs to be done to it aside from adjusting the tension in the neck and intonation ?

Thank you

P.S. I don't mean to insult anyone , but please avoid telling me to go and buy a 7-string
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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Get some very thick strings.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimate_sound
P.S. I don't mean to insult anyone , but please avoid telling me to go and buy a 7-string


I feel insulted and you should reaaallly think about looking into a 7-string
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimate_sound
I would like to know if it is possible and if any damage will be done if it is tuned properly .
Anything else that needs to be done to it aside from adjusting the tension in the neck and intonation ?


You may want an extra spring or two in your Floyd Rose.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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i know you said not to tell you to just buy a 7 string, but its a bit safer. otherwise youll have to mess with your truss rod, springs on the floyd and itll be one hell of a hassle, now it is entirely possible to do what youre requesting, but it could sound a little weird depending on the scale of the guitar neck and the pickups. i own a 7 string and i can play songs tuned to drop A and also still play songs in standard or drop D tuning with ease. obviously this costs a bit more money but in the long run as long as you buy a good 7 (not those cheap schecter ones) itll be money well spent.

but to answer your question it is possible to do what you want to. i just recommend against it. hope this helps a bit!
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Last edited by TheNumber6 : 12-05-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:38 PM   #6
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Your gonna want a Baritone scale to sound right or get a 7 string
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:22 PM   #7
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Drop A could be possible, but getting the A string to work well will be hard. I have my 25.5 Schecter with a TOM in B standard with a 0.59 7 string set and that is decent enough.
But, I tried dropping the top string to A, and there was a massive lack of tension.

A baritone is probably what you want. I'm looking to grab me a 7 at the moment for this sort of tuning
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:33 PM   #8
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Buy an 8-string.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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Use D’Addario .013 or .014 baritone string sets depending on your preference for tension. Have a tech/luthier open your nut slots to handle the larger string.

FWIW, Electric Wizard used to play in A on an SG.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
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Having fun with the intonation if you want to play clean stuff.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:29 AM   #11
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6 stringers have been tuned real low for ages, long before 7 stringers gained popularity. You only need thick strings. Get d'addario 13-62 strings and you are good to go. You dont even need baritone scale guitar. Baritones sound brighter and tighter and you can use thinner strings but thats not necessarily a good thing. Some bands tune 24.75 scale guitars low because they do want that fat tone. Intonation can be a bitch though.

The floyd may need some work though. Maybe more or heavier duty springs.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:09 AM   #12
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you may learn some stuff in here, in this thread i was considering something similar.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...d.php?t=1625387

please don't threadjack it though.

biggest thing for me is not wanting a wound 3rd string.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:10 PM   #13
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I have a 7 string with 25.5" scale length, And I have it string with D'addario Baritone Lights ( 13-62) with a 10 for the high E. If you like 9s better, I'd probably suggest a 12-60 set.

It shouldn't be too huge a difference in tension going from, say, 10s in E standard to 13s in B standard. Your neck would need a bit of adjustment, but not a huge amount. Changing the intonation and spring tension would be a pain though. Maybe if you had a hardtail guitar or one with a strat-style trem you could experiment with that if the floyd proves to be a hassle ( or block it temporarily)
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:31 PM   #14
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As has been said, get heavier strings as a start. I have 13-72 on my V tuned to B standard.

With those strings, in that tuning, on that scale, they feel about the same as 09-46 in E.
I barely had to nudge the truss rod, but it took a little bit of work to get the intonation right.

Last edited by DanishViking : 12-07-2013 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:20 PM   #15
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You may not even need to adjust the springs on your Floyd if you buy heavy enough strings. They may have almost the same tension in drop A as the strings you use in standard tuning. Same thing with truss rod - if they are about the same tension as the strings you are using right now, I don't think you will need to do any adjustments. Not sure about action and intonation. But tuning down shouldn't do any harm to your guitar.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:25 PM   #16
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heres whats going to gown if you follow this path....

thick as strings, something along the line of 12's or 13's

floyds gonna be out of wack, add a spring, you probably wont be able to use it properly and its just going to be locking,

your going to not be able to play the lower 2 or 3 strings above the 12th fret cause the buzz is so bad

Solution - buy 7 string and use it for 6 string stuff as well , im talking out of personal experience and sharing what happened to me. to each his own
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EspTro
heres whats going to gown if you follow this path....
your going to not be able to play the lower 2 or 3 strings above the 12th fret cause the buzz is so bad


If you set everything up correctly, this should not be a problem. As mentioned, I use 13-72 and I can play every string on every fret with no issues at all.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EspTro
heres whats going to gown if you follow this path....

thick as strings, something along the line of 12's or 13's

floyds gonna be out of wack, add a spring, you probably wont be able to use it properly and its just going to be locking,

your going to not be able to play the lower 2 or 3 strings above the 12th fret cause the buzz is so bad

Solution - buy 7 string and use it for 6 string stuff as well , im talking out of personal experience and sharing what happened to me. to each his own

I don't think that was the fault of the 6 string guitar. It was the fault of your setup (having fret buzz sounds like you would have needed truss rod adjustment). Lots of people use 6 string guitars in low tunings. If you want to play in a low tuning, you don't need 7 strings. If you need 7 strings, you should buy a 7 string guitar.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EspTro
heres whats going to gown if you follow this path....

thick as strings, something along the line of 12's or 13's

floyds gonna be out of wack, add a spring, you probably wont be able to use it properly and its just going to be locking,

your going to not be able to play the lower 2 or 3 strings above the 12th fret cause the buzz is so bad

Solution - buy 7 string and use it for 6 string stuff as well , im talking out of personal experience and sharing what happened to me. to each his own


If he would for example get 25.5 scale 7 string, which is quite common, what difference would it make over 6 string other than having one extra string? The fret buzz is a setup issue (or uneven frets), not the amount of strings.

Quote:
Drop A could be possible, but getting the A string to work well will be hard. I have my 25.5 Schecter with a TOM in B standard with a 0.59 7 string set and that is decent enough. But, I tried dropping the top string to A, and there was a massive lack of tension.


Not a surprise. 59 is barely enough for B. If you would ask me I would say that A requires 62 at minimum on 25.5 scale, preferably bit above. 59 provides about 13lbs tension for A in that scale which for wound string is very sloppy. 62 is about same 42 in E standard that you find basic 9-42 sets. 68 would be equivalent to 46 in E. Seems like big jump in thickness but the tension drops quite rapidly as you tune down.
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