#1
Hey guys, I've got two guitars that I'm looking to set up so I can change tunings regularly. My Ibanez had a floating trem so I blocked that off with a bit of wood, stuck some 13s on it and tuned it to C. Seems to be alright for changing between C and Drop B and whatnot, although quick side question: all of a sudden the Ibanez clean channel became louder and really crunchy for some reason, anyone have any ideas on why?

Anyway, I tried setting up my ESP (which has a fixed bridge) so that I can mainly switch between E and D standard. I put some 11s (with heavy bottoms), and it's all set up in E. My main problem is when I downtune to D I get lots of buzz and stuff, and occasionally one or two of the strings goes wildly out of tune.

Any help guys? Anything else I should look out for when regularly changing tunings like this? Thanks
#2
For the first question, doesn't it have to do anything with pickup height?
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#3
Hmm that's a good idea actually. Heavier gauge strings are gonna be closer to the pickups :O

Thanks
#4
The Ibanez: thicker strings basically cause more output. They disrupt the pickups' magnetic field a little more and the bottom of them is usually a little closer to the pickups. Lower your pickups to fix this. When going up to such a thick gauge its also normal to raise the string height a little bit as well to help rebalance the tone as well as avoid any fret buzz, which brings me on to...

The ESP: When you downtune the string is going to move more, its vibrations get a little wider. This can lead to fret buzz. Plus you say you put on a set of strings with 'heavy bottoms', so like the Ibanez, this thicker gauge is also going to be prone to buzzing anyway unless you raise the action a little bit, and/or add a little neck relief (if the neck needs it; don't change the neck relief unless you actually need to). As for going out of tune, that's normal with any new strings that either haven't been stretched properly or that haven't been put on the guitar properly (check the set up FAQ here for diagram of how to put your strings through the tuners in a away that will stop them from slipping). It could also be due to the thicker gauge. The 'heavy bottom' strings may be pulling the neck in when tuned to E (more neck bow), then when you tune them down to D you're releasing some tension, so the neck then may be settling back. This is probably why you're finding the strings going out of tune so often, as the neck keeps getting wrenched back and forth as you change tuning.

The best thing to do in these cases is set the guitars up for the heaviest strings you'll use in their tightest tuning. So if C is the highest you'll tune the Ibanez, set it up for that, and same goes for the ESP and E. However, during this set up make sure to set the action on the lowest strings very slightly higher than you normally would. It may be wise to also very slightly adjust the truss rod (just a quarter of a turn or so) to a point betwene what the higher tuning needs and what the lowest tuning needs. This way when you tune the guitars back down the strings should be able to clear the frets without buzzing and the necks shouldn't be too tortured.
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#5
Thank you so much! I'll be setting it all up tomorrow, so I'll let ya know how it goes