robertwilliam9
Registered User
Join date: May 2012
30 IQ
#1
So I have an old PRS Santana SE that I absolutely love, and I had an idea --

My idea is to buy a pack of 7-string strings and put the 6 lowest strings on the guitar, while omitting the high-E. The reason is that there are a lot of songs I'd like to play that use 7-string guitars, and tuning that low with a regular set of strings only sorta works.

I was gonna possibly invest in a 7-string guitar, but then thought this might work just as well.

Has anyone else tried this with any success? I don't see why it wouldn't work, but I'm just morbidly curious since I've never heard of anyone doing this.
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sea`
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Join date: Sep 2007
50 IQ
#2
A 7-string guitar is not some magical instrument where low tunings work better. It's just a guitar with 7 strings instead of 6. Therefore yes, your plan would work, just be aware that you'll want to tune to B standard rather than 7-string standard (E with a low B). The only thing to be aware of is that you *may* need to have your nut slot re-cut for those heavier strings (though I would say probably not unless you plan to go with drop F# and 74-80 gauge strings).

I highly recommend using Dunlop Heavy Core 10-60 strings, they are excellent in that they aren't quite telephone lines but they have as much tension on them as some significantly heavier strings. Perfect for B standard tuning. The usual 13-56 strings you find around just do not cut it for a low B in my opinion, you will run into intonation and tuning stability issues without at least a 60.
Last edited by sea` at Mar 22, 2013,
sea`
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2007
50 IQ
#4
Quote by FrauVfromPoB
You could just buy a normal six string set of heavy-ass strings. I personally run Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms in B Standard, with plenty of tension.

You use a 52 for low B? Does it intonate correctly? I'd still imagine it flops around quite a bit... even the 60 "heavy core" I use is a bit floppy here and there.
oneblackened
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#5
Quote by sea`
You use a 52 for low B? Does it intonate correctly? I'd still imagine it flops around quite a bit... even the 60 "heavy core" I use is a bit floppy here and there.

More to the point, he uses a 10 for his high B. I wouldn't touch B with lower than a 12-60 set, ideally a 13-62 set.
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robertwilliam9
Registered User
Join date: May 2012
30 IQ
#6
Thanks for all the information guys. I agree that 52 isn't big enough for a low-B. Drives me crazy when I'm tuned low and it feels like I'm playing rubber bands.

I'm thinking 10-60 would get the job done.
Paul Reed Smith CE-24 2005 and Santana SE with Seymour Duncan pickups.
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MESAexplorer
Spider Pig
Join date: May 2006
140 IQ
#7
It depends more on the scale of the neck than the gauge of string you use.

If you have a .52 on a 27" scale guitar, it's going to have quite a bit more tension than on a 25.5, 25, or 24.75.

That being said, most 7 string packs are still meh when it comes to gauges. I personally would save myself a couple bucks and just stick with the skinny top heavy bottoms.

All that said my 7 string set is a skinny top heavy bottom with a low .62 and my 8 string set uses standard gauge 10's with a .60 and a .75.
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sheaaa
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2008
30 IQ
#8
Yes, I've played in Drop-A for years and years and I do the same thing on my Jackson and ESP.
You will have to adjust some things, though... Truss-rod, action, even the nut might need widening a little so it can fit the larger strings.
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sheaaa
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2008
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#9
I should add, for what it's worth, that I use the 7-string sets instead of the large gauge 6-string sets mainly because I prefer the sound and feel of the wound 3rd string much more instead of having a plain string.
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antisun
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
120 IQ
#10
Quote by sheaaa
I should add, for what it's worth, that I use the 7-string sets instead of the large gauge 6-string sets mainly because I prefer the sound and feel of the wound 3rd string much more instead of having a plain string.


Daddario baritone light's are excellent for this purpose.
Ultraussie
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Join date: Mar 2011
170 IQ
#11
I'd take the guitars scale length into consideration when choosing what tuning to use.
PRS's have a kinda short scale.
Longer scales work better with lower tunings, but that doesn't mean you can't.
Bands like Carcass and Inflames do use 24.75" guitars tuned to low tunings like B and Drop A#
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#12
TS, personally I would just buy a 7 string guitar. I think it'll save you much hassle in the ong run. Save up for one depending on how much you think you're going to use it. You could get an RG7321 for like $400 new, I'd guess like $200 for a used one. Also, 7 string > Baritone, imo. The 7 string has a baritone in it essentially and usually the necks aren't hard to adjust to with my little time playing them. You might even find a new playing style and ditch 6's all together.
Caution:
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