#1
Hello Guitar People Great website here.

What gauge strings should I be using to tune drop C on an electric guitar with a Floyd-Rose style double locking trem? (more specifically I'm fairly positive it's an Edge III design) I think I'm using 9's or 10's right now and I'm getting horrible fret buzz. I had the guitar restrung the other week at the music store and he just put on "the same gauge that was already on there". I have no clue what was on there before.

The guitar is an Ibanez RG series. I don't have any problems keeping the guitar in tune once I've got it set, but I'm fairly novice when it comes to making adjustments to anything besides the fine tuners and pegs :P I tried loosening the screws in the back that hold the springs in place, making minor adjustments on each side. That didn't seem to stop the fret buzzing. The tension is very loose and it's literally impossible to hammer-on/pull-off with the the strings so slack. They lower strings just fizzle out, and that's no good.

Should I be using 11s or 12s? 13s? Will installing a higher gauge string get rid of the slack and keep the strings taught enough to level out the trem? Right now the trem is tilted at a backwards angle because the strings are so loose.
#2
.11's would be desirable.

Did you tell the tech that you want it set up or DropC? If so, and this is how you got it back, take it back and explain the problem.

If you didn't tell him, shame on you, really... Still, with the thread in my signature, try to make the best of it.
#3
11-48 or 12-52 would be just fine

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#4
I used the D'Addario reg top/heavy bottom .10's

Great fro drop C.

If the bridge is pulled back then you have too much spring tension. You can still make it work with the strings you have but you need to readjust the springs in the back and keep tunning with the pegs until the bridge is level.

You just have to find the right balance between string and spring tension.
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#5
damn you sean you beat me to it "i hate you" lol

+1 to srob, you can sort out the bridge after you`ve got the strings and tuning sorted but you need to raise the action if your going from a lighter to a heavier gauge.
Last edited by ibanezgod1973 at Jul 7, 2010,
#6
If the guitar is set up correctly from the start and you tune it down, the neck gets more straight and you will get fret buzz so you will need to adjust the truss rod. If you don't know how to do it leave it to a tech. Changing to thicker strings will put more pressure on the neck, so if you are lucky it will be fine with thicker strings when you tune them down. If not, truss rod adjustment again. And what the other guys said about the trem, adjust springs accordingly to get the trem in level.

Quote by ibanezgod1973
damn you sean you beat me to it "i hate you" lol

+1 to srob, you can sort out the bridge after you`ve got the strings and tuning sorted but you need to raise the action if your going from a lighter to a heavier gauge.


There shouldn't be any reason to have to raise the action!? The bottom of the string has still the same distance to the fretboard no matter what stringsize. An adjustment of the truss rod might be needed since the pressure on the neck increases with thicker strings.
Last edited by Sledgeman at Jul 7, 2010,
#7
I will probably be going to get new strings since I was considering buying a second guitar anyway and I might permanently keep this guitar tuned in drop C (since it has a Floyd-Rose, after all).

thanks for the all the info!

EDIT: I forgot to ask, if I switch to a higher gauge string (something like these here) would I still be able to tune the guitar to standard tuning if I wanted? (Provided I went through all the necessary bridge and action adjustments)
Last edited by jef3189 at Jul 7, 2010,
#8
Quote by Sledgeman
There shouldn't be any reason to have to raise the action!? The bottom of the string has still the same distance to the fretboard no matter what stringsize. An adjustment of the truss rod might be needed since the pressure on the neck increases with thicker strings.


This is wrong. The center of the string will always be the same distance away from the fret board, and since heavier gauges have a larger radius than a lighter gauge, the bottom of the string will be closer to the fret board.

Quote by jef3189

EDIT: I forgot to ask, if I switch to a higher gauge string (something like these here) would I still be able to tune the guitar to standard tuning if I wanted? (Provided I went through all the necessary bridge and action adjustments)


60's would be insanely tight for Standard, maybe even to tight for Drop C. The highest I would personally go in Drop C would be 12-56's.

You would need like 5 springs in the tremolo to do it, plus crazy truss rod adjustments.\

So yes, you can technically do it. But it would be hard to do it right, and have the guitar feel good.

These should be able to do Drop C and Standard well, providing you do all the adjustments correctly.
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Last edited by biga29 at Jul 7, 2010,
#9
Quote by biga29
This is wrong. The center of the string will always be the same distance away from the fret board, and since heavier gauges have a larger radius than a lighter gauge, the bottom of the string will be closer to the fret board.


The center of the string? How could that be remotly possibly? The string magicly goes thru the nut and saddle? Think about it for a second. The bottom of the string will always be the part of the string that has contact with the nut and saddle.
#10
@biga29, I think those look pretty good I'm going to see if they have a set at the music store when I get off work. I will ask the tech if he can take care of any setup adjustments while I watch (for future reference)

@sledgeman , I think the "bottom" and "center" of the strings he's referring to are the cross-sectional bottom and center? I maybe just wrong and confuzzled though.

Again, thanks for all the info guys it's been a great help. You never know sometimes you have to get different opinions on stuff :P
#11
Quote by Sledgeman
The center of the string? How could that be remotly possibly? The string magicly goes thru the nut and saddle? Think about it for a second. The bottom of the string will always be the part of the string that has contact with the nut and saddle.

I think I'm with you on this one.

Biga29, the part that would make it closer to the neck in your opinion, is also the part that lifts it up a bit more on the nut and saddle. So a difference in string gauge would actually lift the centre of the thicker string, in relation to the centre of the thinner string *IF* we're milling out all the variables such as higher tension that make the neck bend.
Last edited by Y00p at Jul 7, 2010,
#12
Quote by jef3189

@sledgeman , I think the "bottom" and "center" of the strings he's referring to are the cross-sectional bottom and center? I maybe just wrong and confuzzled though.


Then we are talking about the same center and bottom. Are there any more?
#13
.10 to .52's will do you just fine in drop C. Shit, a well set up guitar could handle .9s in drop C. I personally don't see a need for anything bigger than an .11 on the E string in drop C, unless you like a lot of tension.
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#14
well, I believe I have .9s on there now (it's hard for me to tell just by looking, and I don't have the instrument with me at work), but the main problem is when I play the notes just fizz out and are dampened by hitting the fretboard. I'm almost positive this is happening because of the tension on the string, because soon as I tune it up to standard, all these problems disappear and the instrument plays and feels fine with level trem and tension feels good.

I think I will try the .011-.052 and see how it works out. Hopefully switching between standard and drop won't require major adjustments (I don't need to do it on the fly, but in case I would like to jam in a different tuning for a while I can take the time to do it right).
#15
What you're describing now, that when you tune up to standard the bridge is level, might very well be te problem you're having all together. I'm presuming that the bridge falls into the body, then?
This would mean that it's lowering the action all together, because the saddle contact points are behind the bridge pivot point. Little wonder that this, in combination with the 'flabby' strings, will make the strings rattle dead against the frets...

If you're really going to keep this guitar in drop C from now on, get some 10's or 11's on there and properly set it up following the Flating Bridge Q&A thread in my signature.

Edit: Well, a change from E to drop C is a big change, and will undoubtedly require some adjusting on top of the actual tuning. There are options for you though, but they will involve modifying your guitar...
Last edited by Y00p at Jul 7, 2010,
#16
What gauge strings should I use for Drop B that would be acceptable for Drop C also? My guitar has an Edge III tremolo too.
#17
Ernie Ball - Skinny top , Heavy bottoms (10-52). I usually tune to D standard and dropped C and these strings work nice
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#18
I'm using 9-42 on my DK2 tuned to drop c. No fret buzz for me, It's all in how the guitar has been set up.
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#19
I play in Drop C all the time with an FR, I use D'Addario Regular Light Gauge. I think its a 10-46 set, although I'm not sure off the top of my head.
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