#1
Hey all,

I'm trying to convert my SG from standard tuning to baritone. The scale length is 26''. I am accustomed to playing a set with a .11 for the high E string.

Is my neck long enough to intonate properly when tuned down to B baritone? Also, what gauge strings should I bump up to in order to keep the feel of my guitar consistent? Is it possible to use a file to make the slots in the nut a little bit more wider for the bigger strings, or should I just have a new nut cut? (lol)

Insight on this would be appreciated because I need to make a decision on this fairly soon. Ideally I would like to keep my current guitar instead of buying a 7 string or a baritone guitar so help me out here.
#2
You sure it's 26"? Most Gibsons are 24.75" scale. Anyway, if it is a standard Gibson scale I would advise using a set of .12 or .13 gauge for B tuning. You could have a new nut, or just use a gauged file to open it up (though the nut should handle anything under gauge .13). I'm not totally sure about intonation, but the rest seems like it'll work.
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#3
yeah, most bands I know who tune that just play standard guitars and throw on heavy strings. You shouldn't really need to file anything, just adjust the intonation after you do it and you should be good to go.
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#4
Thanks for your responses,

Word.. so I should be good with .13's in B baritone if I'm used to playing with .11's in E standard? I might give it a whirl but I'm a little hesitant because said guitar is my only electric, and as such my favorite guitar.

PS: I went to guitar center today to check out some baritone and 7 string guitars just to get a feel for it because I was entertaining the notion of playing a 7 string and the guy that advised me there was pointing me towards buying a whole new guitar... damn, yeah right I can afford that
#5
You can't do it. Converting scale length requires moving the bridge, neck/nut and frets. On a 25 1/2" scale guitar you can in theory add two frets to the low end and instantly make it a 28 5/8", but that would still mean reconstructing the headstock. On some bolt-on guitars you have a bit more luck because some companies like Warmoth make conversion necks that can simply be screwed in that are a difference scale, but these tend to have fret access problems as all the high frets get moved forwards a lot to make the scale right.

With a set neck you can't do it. What you'd need to do is remake the entire guitar from the ground up. Reposition the bridge, lengthen the neck, extend the fretboard, resposition the frets, attach the neck to the body in a different fashion.

edit
My bad, I misread what you mean.
'Baritone' isn't a tuning, it's a scale length. And your Gibson is 24.75" scale, not 26" scale. What you mean is can you set up your Gibson and tune it down to B standard. The answer to that is yes, yes you can, but the B will have intonation problems unless you get a compensated nut. You'll also have to use fairly thick strings which will also mean getting a new nut and you'll have to use fairly high action to get the thickest strings to clear the fretwire properly. So it won't play well and it may not sound all that good, but technically it will work.
Last edited by grohl1987 at Oct 8, 2011,
#6
Damn, I was hoping you wouldn't say that.

To clarify something; from the middle of the nut down to where the strings end at the other side of the guitar is exactly 26''. I swear to you, I am not stupid or anything, but I measured it twice after you all told me 24.75''. My SG is one of the "raw power" models, so maybe that's why it's different, or maybe I am stupid and I'm measuring the scale length the wrong way. Anyone?
#7
thats not how scale length is mesured..I believe its from the nut to the 12th fret..then doubled..or something like that..
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#9
i can assure you that your sg is 24.75.

baritone isn't a tuning. It's a scale length.

even if your guitar was 26 it would still be too short.
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#11
Quote by AcousticMirror
baritone isn't a tuning. It's a scale length.


Baritone is a tuning, it refers to the range of notes a guitar can play. Any guitar tuned between A and C is a baritone. Just like a man who sings in that range is a baritone, regardless of how tall or fat he is.

To clarify something; from the middle of the nut down to where the strings end at the other side of the guitar is exactly 26''.

Measure to the bridge, not to the tailpiece.

Anyway, tuning a 24.75" guitar to B is not going to work well. People do it—Kenny Hickey recorded Bloody Kisses through Life is Killing Me on an SG and a Dragonfly, both 24.75" guitars. But you’ll have to use huge strings and put up with a really loose low end. But saving up for an extended scale guitar will work better. When Kenny finally got an endorsement deal he jumped up to a custom 26.5" model.
#12
Quote by jpnyc
Baritone is a tuning,
Yes, but it really depends on context. When you say "a baritone guitar", you are implying a guitar with a longer scale length, i.e. one made specifically for that kind of tuning.
#13
The best way to convert ANY guitar into a baritone is to buy a baritone.
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#14
Quote by grohl1987
Yes, but it really depends on context. When you say "a baritone guitar", you are implying a guitar with a longer scale length, i.e. one made specifically for that kind of tuning.


I should have said that baritone is a tuning and a scale length.
#15
Quote by AcousticMirror
i can assure you that your sg is 24.75.

baritone isn't a tuning. It's a scale length.

even if your guitar was 26 it would still be too short.


No it wouldn't. O_o 24.75 is definitely good enough for B (I know, my Epi SG is tuned BADGBC, and I have pretty low action, and no buzz, I use a .54 for the low B). Although going much lower won't exactly sound wonderful...I've never heard of a 26" scale, but Schecter's 7-strings are 26.5" scale, and you can get a clear tone down to G# or sometimes even G on those.
#16
Quote by Ginsu
No it wouldn't. O_o 24.75 is definitely good enough for B (I know, my Epi SG is tuned BADGBC, and I have pretty low action, and no buzz, I use a .54 for the low B). Although going much lower won't exactly sound wonderful...I've never heard of a 26" scale, but Schecter's 7-strings are 26.5" scale, and you can get a clear tone down to G# or sometimes even G on those.



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#17
Quote by Mukersman

I like to keep my lowest string at a lighter tension than the others. From what I've experienced, lighter string = more treble response, more treble response = better djent tone. Though a .60 would probably do for normal tension.
#18
Quote by Ginsu
No it wouldn't. O_o 24.75 is definitely good enough for B (I know, my Epi SG is tuned BADGBC, and I have pretty low action, and no buzz, I use a .54 for the low B). Although going much lower won't exactly sound wonderful...I've never heard of a 26" scale, but Schecter's 7-strings are 26.5" scale, and you can get a clear tone down to G# or sometimes even G on those.


my 28.5 runs A-A 16-85.

but whatever floats your boat.
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#21
Quote by Pac_man0123
I don't see how you could use a .54 for a low B on a 24.75" scale guitar. I have a .60 on my 25.5" and it's almost too floppy in drop Ab.

As I said, I like the 6th string to be much looser. I play primarily prog in the style of djent, my good sir.

I use a .64 in drop G# which is of course the same of Ab. I just like sharps better. I also use a .56 in A#, which is around the same tension as the .64 in G#. 13.4 lbs or so.
#22
Quote by Pac_man0123
I don't see how you could use a .54 for a low B on a 24.75" scale guitar. I have a .60 on my 25.5" and it's almost too floppy in drop Ab.



You realize that you just said you're using only .06 high in gauge for tuning a step and a half step lower? Even with the scale length, I bet your string and his string feel pretty similar.