#1
Hi. I used to play in drop A a lot and with the style of music i'm delving into, I'd really like to be able to play in that tuning again. Right now the only strings I have are ernie ball regular slinkys.. which is 10-46 in guage and I can't go past drop C without getting a super flubby sound. I'd like to have a pretty decently tight sound in drop A or even Drop A#. Does anyone have any advice on what guage my lower strings should be? I'd also like to be able to still play leads pretty well so thinner guage strings for the top would be nice as well. So far I've looked at the ernie ball skinny top heavy bottom strings but the site says if you play in Drop D you'll love these..? SO yeah. Thick stable strings in drop a or a# please. DO NOT recommend I get a 7 because I already have one. There are certain chords that are only playable on a 6 that I'm in love with right now. Thanks nigs.
#2
I'd say 12-60?
Tomorrow will take us away
Far from home
No one will ever know our names
But the bards' songs will remain
Tomorrow will take it away
The fear of today
It will be gone
Due to our magic songs

ALL HAIL CELESTIA
#4
Quote by JacobCaine
That sounds gewd, dude. I was hoping somebody would know fo sho, though.


String gauge is not a science, it's subjective preference. There's no way anyone can tell you what will work, you have to find out yourself. Start with a 12-60, see how it feels and go from there.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#5
What's the scale of your guitar? You do NOT want to be downtuning a 24.75" LP/Gibson type scale to Drop A. Bear in mind that you're going to have to re-intonate your guitar and probably re-do the nut and maybe the saddles. Rondo music has guitars with 25.5", 27" and 30" scales (there's one 30" that's only $425). If you're going to put really skinny tops and really thick bottoms on a guitar, you're going to induce a certain amount of neck twist -- just be aware of it.

There's another option, however.

I have a Variax that will do Drop A, Drop Bb (A# if you insist) and anything right up to mandolin tunings. The tension on the string never changes and you can string it with 10's or even 9's. It does all of the alternate tunings using pitch replacement technology.

The JTV-89F (Floyd) and the JTV-89 (hard tail) are 24-fret 25.5" two-humbucker guitars (available in black and blood red). Its alternate tuning knob is marked for tunings down to Drop Bb and Baritone, but you've got the ability to set up any "custom" alternate tuning and even save it to that same knob. You'll be playing the guitar as if it were tuned to Drop A, but it will remain at standard E. There are magnetic pickups, of course (standard humbuckers), but the alternate tunings will be done on one of the modeled guitars (there are 28 choices, including five high-gain models based on the guitar's own magnetic pickups.

#6
Quote by Offworld92
String gauge is not a science, it's subjective preference. There's no way anyone can tell you what will work, you have to find out yourself. Start with a 12-60, see how it feels and go from there.


Horsefeathers.

It can ALSO be a science, and in fact it's basic physics. How the hell do you think they build pianos that range from spinets to grand pianos in scale length? There are websites out there that will ask you what you want a particular string tuned to, and it will ask what the scale is and it will give you tension poundage for each gauge choice. You'll be able to match tensions across the fretboard.

Start here: http://www.daddario.com/DAstringtensionguide.Page?sid=69d67f04-d277-4bb9-a7af-b7d50c865f5d
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 8, 2013,
#7
Get some not even slinkys if you're liking the ernie balls. Or you could use a 7 string set as its near enough the same tuning, take the littlest string as a spare and use 4 bass and 2 treble strings. You'd still be able to tune your 2nd string down to an F# like this, instead of a G which is what it'd be on a 7 string.
"Air created the greenness. And once you've got something, that leads to otherness." - Karl Pilkington.
#8
Dspellman that is a neat guitar. And offworld.. I explained my subjective preference. I want it to be TIGHT in drop A. What more is there? Granted I did not tell you guys what guitar I am using.. It is an Ibanez RG120 with a floating bridge so dspellman you're probably right in that I am going to have to adjust some things in my guitar. I really hope I don't have to adjust the nut, though -.-. I don't want to have to go somewhere and have it done. 12-60s it is, though.
#10
Quote by dspellman
Horsefeathers.

It can ALSO be a science, and in fact it's basic physics. How the hell do you think they build pianos that range from spinets to grand pianos in scale length? There are websites out there that will ask you what you want a particular string tuned to, and it will ask what the scale is and it will give you tension poundage for each gauge choice. You'll be able to match tensions across the fretboard.

Start here: http://www.daddario.com/DAstringtensionguide.Page?sid=69d67f04-d277-4bb9-a7af-b7d50c865f5d


You are attacking a different issue than I was talking about. Yes, if you like a certain tension in one tuning, that same tension can be calculated per string for a different tuning.

But the OP was painfully sparse. No useful information was given, so I gave a generic subjective answer. OP mentioned 10-46 strings, but did not say what tuning he liked their tension in. OP didn't mention what the scale length of his guitar was. I have to make assumptions and I have to give advice based on what I have to work with.

Don't forget that just because a tension works in one tuning, doesn't mean that anyone will even want that same tension in another tuning.


OP, "tight" doesn't mean anything. Some people think 10s in Standard are tight. Other people use 13s in standard. I can't read your mind, you have to quantify this stuff if you want real help.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#11
Offworld, you make some good points. My guitars scale length is 25 1/2. By tight, I mean just that. But if I have to go into specifics I'll go ahead and say I want as little pitch movement as possible when I pluck the string. By pluck, I mean PLUCK. Hit hard. I want to be able to attack the string without the note being recorded as a hair or two sharper than A or A#. I want it to be as close to the desired semi-tone as possible. If you have any more suggestions on my desired gauge, I'd be happy to hear them.
#12
For drop A on 25.5 i wouldnt go lower than daddarios 13-62 set.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#13
Wow I didn't know they made those. The tension chart on d'addario's website states that they are optimal for B standard tuning. Which means they should do the trick for A#. Thanks man, I'm going to have to with these and maybe order custom strings next time for a gauge that better suits A for the lowest strings.
#14
You might have to make a custom set. I use a 60 for a C in C std on a 25.5". For A you might want something like a 64.

There are a lot of sites out there for ordering custom sets, I've looked at all the ones I've been told of, and Strings By Mail is by far the best, in regards to shipping costs. http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/electric-guitar-strings-8/ A custom set will cost around $7, which isn't bad considering it's custom gauges, but on a lot of those sites the shipping costs are outrageous, like $10+, or they'll have a minimum set order.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#15
Quote by JacobCaine
Wow I didn't know they made those. The tension chart on d'addario's website states that they are optimal for B standard tuning. Which means they should do the trick for A#. Thanks man, I'm going to have to with these and maybe order custom strings next time for a gauge that better suits A for the lowest strings.


13-62 aka Baritone Light is a great set, quite even in tension and just right feeling for B standard. Drop A is pushing the 62 string but its playable without feeling like wet spaghetti. If you stick strictly in drop a you may want to consider swapping the 62 string from 64 to 70.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#16
Quote by MaaZeus
13-62 aka Baritone Light is a great set, quite even in tension and just right feeling for B standard. Drop A is pushing the 62 string but its playable without feeling like wet spaghetti. If you stick strictly in drop a you may want to consider swapping the 62 string from 64 to 70.

I wouldn't say A is pushing it for a 62, at least on a 25.5" scale guitar. That being said I'm fairly certain OP is using a 24.75" scale guitar, so a 64-66 might work better.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#17
Quote by oneblackened
I wouldn't say A is pushing it for a 62, at least on a 25.5" scale guitar. That being said I'm fairly certain OP is using a 24.75" scale guitar, so a 64-66 might work better.


Well, to me it was a bit too low on tension compared to other strings. I found 65 to be perfect for low A.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3