#1
So, being that 7-string pickups are designed with the low 7th string in mind, it makes sense that for passive 7-string pickups, you should be able to get clearer sound on the low string than you would on a heavily down-tuned 6-string.

However, does this also apply with active pickups? Would a 7-string with an EMG 81-7 tuned to Drop A sound clearer on the low A than a 6-string with an EMG 81 tuned down to Drop A would? Technically, if the 6-string had a thick enough string, shouldn't it sound the same... being that active pickups deliver a flat frequency response? Or is there something fundamentally different about the 7-string pickup even when it comes to actives?

Thanks.
#2
Actives don't necessarily give a flat frequency response. The 81 tends to, but even the 85 and 60 sound quite different. Also, I've never used one so don't quote me on this, but I believe that the 81-7 is reasonably different so it's not likely that an 81-7 with a drop A 7 string would sound the same as a drop a 6 string with an 81. Would probably be reasonably close though.

Basic point is that 7 string versions of active pickups ARE designed differently, just as 7 string versions of passives are because they have to take the 7th string into account, while still trying to hold true for the original 6 strings.

In terms of clarity, I think it's sort of a 3 pronged thing: between the pickups, the string gauge and the guitar's scale. And of course the woods used and stuff like that will also factor in to it a bit.
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#3
Polepieces. They're the catalyst in what the pickups actually do. In a 7 string pickup the polepiece specifications are a little different to project a magnetic field that results in the sharpness and attack you would need to take some kind of pitch from a heavy string such as a 7th. A 6th downtuned to drop A is going to be muddy as all hell since the pickups aren't designed for that much motion on the string. Too narrow of a field, so not much voltage is generated at all. The string's moving in and out of the field on either side, so you get very little response.

A 7 string pickup is designed with a wider field in mind, so the string spends more of its' motion-time within the magnetic field generating more voltage, thus a more accurate sound. Actives will affect your sound in the exact same manner that active 6 string pickups affect a 6 stringer versus passives. A sharper, not necessarily harsher but more punchy responsive sound.

edit:: at least in theory. I hope I don't get shot for that if I wind up wrong. pretty sure I'm not wrong though.
Quote by fly135
Great list Rutch. On re-reading this one I'd have to say Solid State means not liquid or gas.

I figured it out.
#4
If you're using a thick enough string gauge, I don't see why a 6 string tuned that low would sound flubby.

I have an RG 570 with a Dimarzio Crunchlab/Liquifire set that I've tuned as low as a drop Ab and it sounds fine.
#5
Varies from person to person, axe to axe. My old ibby hated anything below C, and so does my agile, even with 52's. my old RR4 took drop B pretty well though.
Quote by fly135
Great list Rutch. On re-reading this one I'd have to say Solid State means not liquid or gas.

I figured it out.
#6
I see, thanks for the replies everyone!

One of the reasons I ask is because I really like Drop B-flat and plan to use this tuning for a few different songs I will be recording, and I was just wondering if it'd be worth it to keep my 7-string tuned up a half step to Drop B-flat or just use one of my six-strings tuned down to Drop B-flat.

Any input on that? Thoughts? Comments? I want clarity in the low string, but I see plenty of people tuning down to Drop B-flat with a six string and still have very clear response.
#8
I have my first 6 string electric (a cheap LP copy) tuned down to Drop Bb with what I believe is a set of 10 - 46 strings. The guitar has been upgraded with a seymour duncan SH6/SH2jazz combo and it sounds great. The strings are very loose though. I don't normally keep it this low, I'm just playing some in flames!
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#10
It seems like the biggest factor is just string tension .
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