#1
Hi guys, I have a dilema, I'm planning on tuning my Les Paul to B standard or even drop A but not sure what gauge of strings to buy. Any recommendations?
Gear
Good Old Les Paul
Aria Acoustic
Marshall MG10CD
Laney Linebacker Reverb 100w
Ashown perfect ten 30w
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Digitech RP100A
#3
Cheers man, 52-10 would be a tad too light?
Gear
Good Old Les Paul
Aria Acoustic
Marshall MG10CD
Laney Linebacker Reverb 100w
Ashown perfect ten 30w
Fleetwood bass
Digitech RP100A
#4
How much tension do you like when you play? 56 is the standard gauge for a 7th string on a guitar which is a B, but it's not really all that tight. Will be slighter looser again assuming your LP is a 24.75" scale. If you want B and you want to drop to A as well I would suggest at least a mid 60 (64/66 or so) - give take depending on how much tension you like.
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#5
Quote by Cold Reader
Probably something like these, not sure of your brand preferance but I'm sure there will be similar ones for different brands.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ernie-Ball-Even-Slinky-0-12/dp/B0002E1J3Q

These are perfect. I currently use 54-10, and am in C standard, but B standard makes them a little too loose. The not even slinkies should do the trick
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#6
when tuned to standard I like the tension of a 46-9 hybrid. What would be the equivalent of that in B?
Gear
Good Old Les Paul
Aria Acoustic
Marshall MG10CD
Laney Linebacker Reverb 100w
Ashown perfect ten 30w
Fleetwood bass
Digitech RP100A
#8
Quote by cl94
when tuned to standard I like the tension of a 46-9 hybrid. What would be the equivalent of that in B?


11's maybe. Maybe 12's. Probably 12's considering the LP scale legnth.

Also you'll probably need some minor nut and truss rod adjustments to get this guitar playing properly with the new string types.
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#9
Quote by cl94
Cheers man, 52-10 would be a tad too light?


A tad too light? Try impossibly light. I use a 52 in E standard.

I wouldn't suggest anything lighter than at least a 58 for your 6th string. The EB's Cold Reader linked could work, if you like really loose strings. That gauge is what I'm using in Drop C right now.

EDIT: You'll want at least these http://www.guitarcenter.com/D-Addario-XL148-Nickel-Wound--Drop-C-Tuning-Electric-Guitar-Strings-106356876-i1518424.gc

Even these are recommended for Drop C, let alone Drop A.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Feb 11, 2012,
#10
I use to just buy seven string sets and leave off the high 'e'. Having 4 wound strings takes some getting use to though.
#11
It has a standard output les paul bridge pickup which sounds a little muddy compared to my Active HB-105 on my Schecter, do you think I should replace the bridge pickup with a 16k steam hammer I have in my other guitar prior to the conversion to such heavy tuning or will the standard pickup do?
Gear
Good Old Les Paul
Aria Acoustic
Marshall MG10CD
Laney Linebacker Reverb 100w
Ashown perfect ten 30w
Fleetwood bass
Digitech RP100A
Last edited by cl94 at Feb 11, 2012,
#12
If you like the tension of .09-.46 in E Standard then a .11-.56 would be right for B Standard. .11-.58 (or even a .60) would be advised for Drop A. Bear in mind that with strings that thick, it'll be torture on your neck if you keep tuning from Drop A to B Standard. It would be much smarter to stick to one tuning and have the guitar set up solely for that. Also remember that for moving up to strings that thick you'll need to have the guitar's nut altered (perhaps even replaced entirely), you'll need to tighten the truss rod very slightly, raise the action and you may need to get new tuners for the 6th string, as many stock tuners aren't made to take any more than a .56 string.

Also remember to lower your pickups (especially the neck pickup), or the magnetic field will pull your strings out of tune constantly, plus they'll sound terribly muddy.

Quote by cl94
It has a standard output les paul bridge pickup which sounds a little muddy compared to my Active HB-105 on my Schecter, do you think I should replace the bridge pickup with a 16k steam hammer I have in my other guitar prior to the conversion to such heavy tuning or will the standard pickup do?
Contrary to popular belief, putting in a hotter, more ''metal'' pickup will not make thick strings and low tunings sound better. It'll just make them sound muddier. By 'steam hammer', I'm assuming you mean the high-output pickup made by IronGear; that's a very thick and mids-heavy pickup which won't help you get a clearer tone.

What you need, if you want a clear and responsive tone on a 24.75" scale guitar with thick strings tuned that low, is either place mid-output passive pickups far from the strings or you need to modify the guitar for active pickups. This is the main reason why you so rarely see 24.75" scale guitars tuned that low, it's a right bitch to get it sounding good.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Feb 11, 2012,
#14
@MrFlibble thanks for the help, so in your opinion it would be better to leave the standard LP humbuckers in it? I was thinking of converting my Schecter which has active pickups (and a longer scale neck) to B standard, but I play too much stuff in standard tuning on it. So the LP was chosen to be the one alternatively I also have a Wilkinson zebra humbucker, not sure about its output though.
Gear
Good Old Les Paul
Aria Acoustic
Marshall MG10CD
Laney Linebacker Reverb 100w
Ashown perfect ten 30w
Fleetwood bass
Digitech RP100A
#15
If anything, I'd use the LP for E Standard and the Schecter for B Standard & Drop A. But if you want to do it the other way around, your call.

I'm not hugely familiar with Wilkinson pickups, but from what I understand they're not much different to the stock pickups found in Epiphones, LTDs, Agiles, Tokais are so on. I can't imagine they'd be a big improvement.

As I said, for thick strings + low tuning + smaller scale length, what you want are really clear pickups with a wide response range. Active pickups are the clearest pickups with the widest response range possible; failing that, getting scatterwound pickups would also give you a clear tone for low tuning, although this is usually more expensive than fitting actives. For regular/cheaper pickups, you want something ceramic but not hugely overwound - SD Custom is a good choice, and I use the DiMarzio Evo 2 with a 24.75" scale guitar tuned to C Standard and that stays sounding very clear too. Whatever pickups you use, keep them far from the strings. The closer your pickups are to the strings the bassier and thicker your tone will be. When using thick strings and low stunings, that equals nothing but mud.
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