#1
Hey guys! My band is thinking about upgrading to extended scale guitars for our music. We were specifically looking at Bass VI copies...Our genre is similar to some doom bands.

Example (Pallbearer): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BIoVnFL2rQ

And we also have a lot of tremolo riffs like some atmospheric black metal bands

Example (deafheaven): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWyVhIBmdGw

Basically, we want to tune low, but still be able to keep a high end for the tremolo stuff.

We're looking at these two in particular:
http://www.rondomusic.com/argustoaskbk.html
http://www.rondomusic.com/harm1natashextended.html

How would these hold up to the genre? Also, how well will the toaster pickups respond to it?

I was thinking using the bottom two/three strings an octave below the others and use lighter gauge strings for the rest for the high end.

Thanks in advance for any advice, we appreciate it.

-True
Last edited by GuitaristTrue at Aug 27, 2013,
#2
Quote by GuitaristTrue
I was thinking using the bottom two/three strings an octave below the others and use lighter gauge strings for the rest for the high end.

I wouldn't recommend doing that. It'd be hell to keep set that up properly.

If you want to have an extended range with access to "higher notes", your best bet is to get a 7 string guitar. (I wouldn't get an 8 string, because that's even more of a transition than from 6 to 7 string.) That way, you have that long end string, it's set up to be tuned correctly, and you have all the highs you had with a regular 6 string.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 27, 2013,
#3
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I wouldn't recommend doing that. It'd be hell to keep set that up properly.

If you want to have an extended range with access to "higher notes", your best bet is to get a 7 string guitar. (I wouldn't get an 8 string, because that's even more of a transition than from 6 to 7 string.) That way, you have that long end string, it's set up to be tuned correctly, and you have all the highs you had with a regular 6 string.

We thought about it, but they decided that they don't really need an extra string just to have a longer neck scale length for lower tunings.

The other option is getting a 27" six string, but I don't know if it could handle how low we want to tune, plus it will look a lot less awesome.
#4
^ The issue is that on a 6 string, you only get lower tunings. A 7 string allows you to have lower tunings and higher tunings at once.

How low do you want to tune?
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
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#5
Quote by GuitaristTrue
We thought about it, but they decided that they don't really need an extra string just to have a longer neck scale length for lower tunings.

Ok, that's fine, but you're going to have to down-tune the higher strings proportionally. For instance, if you want to play in B standard (BEADGB), it helps to be within that tuning (which generally means same octave). You also should have strings which are all proportionally guaged. (Example: Dunlop heavy core 7 string [toss the lightest string].) The reason for this is because of tension on the neck.

In theory, you could get someone to set up your guitars with some weird set up and weird tuning, but in practice you'd have 2 different actions (one for the lower strings and one for the higher) and it'd feel really awkward (if not impossible) to play.

Btw, just a note about heavy core strings: it helps, if you're tuning low, to have strings with a thicker core. This is because, with a thicker core, that punch that you expect out of a string tuned to regular tuning is still there. It gives you more of a full sound. And Dunlop isn't the only company to make heavy core strings; they're just the 1st one I could find on MusiciansFriend in a hurry.

Quote by Offworld92
^ The issue is that on a 6 string, you only get lower tunings. A 7 string allows you to have lower tunings and higher tunings at once.

Bingo!
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 27, 2013,
#6
Quote by Offworld92
^ The issue is that on a 6 string, you only get lower tunings. A 7 string allows you to have lower tunings and higher tunings at once.

How low do you want to tune?


Probably comfortably around G or F .

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that only because seven strings generally have a higher neck scale length?

Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Ok, that's fine, but you're going to have to down-tune the higher strings proportionally. For instance, if you want to play in B standard (BEADGB), it helps to be within that tuning (which generally means same octave). You also should have strings which are all proportionally guaged. (Example: Dunlop heavy core 7 string [toss the lightest string].) The reason for this is because of tension on the neck.


I gotcha. Yeahh that makes sense.
I was thinking that the solution to this problem would be using a seven string set of strings or an eight string set.
I figured since Meshuggah does it some how with 29"-30" eight string guitars, in theory I should be able to do the same with a 29"-30" six string right?
#7
Quote by GuitaristTrue
Probably comfortably around G or F

Then, your best bet may be to get 7-strings and tune to either Drop G (GDGCFAD) or G standard (GCFADGC), whichever you prefer. (I'm not sure I'd tune as low as F, unless you're in the market for a 8-string.) You're just not going to get the highs you want out of a 6-string, especially not out of a baritone, which is designed to be tuned lower than a regular 6-string.
Anyway, if you decide to go the 7-string route, I'd make sure to tell the salesman/guitar tech that you're going to be tuning to G and then get thick enough strings that you can do that, without the strings slagging or sounding really dull. (Like I said, heavy core strings help.)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that only because seven strings generally have a higher neck scale length?

The reason for longer scale length is because it allows you to tune to lower tunings with less issues. So, a 27" 7-string that is tuned to BEADGBE or ADGCFAD would stay in tune more easily. There's other reasons, such as ease of proper intonation (and pretty much everything else involving setup of the guitar), which also factor in.


I gotcha. Yeahh that makes sense.
I was thinking that the solution to this problem would be using a seven string set of strings or an eight string set.
I figured since Meshuggah does it some how with 29"-30" eight string guitars, in theory I should be able to do the same with a 29"-30" six string right?

Well, kind of. An 8-string is set up and designed much differently than a baritone 6-string. Although Meshuggah doesn't emphasize highs as much, some of their songs do still use highs -- and if nothing else, they have those highs available.

Although I hate Djent bands (I feel like they all copied Meshuggah's basic ideas -- badly), a lot of Djent bands use 7-strings or 8-strings and get really good highs and really good lows. Obviously, as a Doom band, you're going to be using a much different tone, but the principle still applies.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 27, 2013,
#8
I don't know what you're budgets are, but below are some 30" scale guitars 6+7s cuz as stated this would give you extended range. Also with the guitars you have picked yes they are 30", but they are not exactly a doom style guitar, and at some point if you would like to add new pups these guitars are a lil more suited. Also what length are you playing in now? Jumping from 25.5" or heaven forbid 24.75, 5" is going to be huge. you maybe be able to get your sound with a 27 which on rondo is much more common and available. Any way my 2 cents, don't be afraid of 7s and make sure 30" in nescessary. My 7 is 25.5" (fender scale) and hold tune find, I just use big strings.

http://www.rondomusic.com/interceptorpro630tred.html

http://www.rondomusic.com/septorpro730ebwtpass.html

http://www.rondomusic.com/product6152.html
#9
I have a Fender Bass VI, 30" running .95 gauge on the lowest. There is no comparison in tone to a guitar. It sounds more like a bass even on the P90 pup. With a lot of overdrive it can start sounding a little like a guitar. Tried it on a number of bass and guitar amps with the same result on all of them. Orange TB1000, Orange AD200B, Fender 100T, Fender Super Bassman, Fender BXR 400, BXR 100, Orange TH30, Fender Twin (evil), Fender Super Sonic 212. With an octave down pedal you can play the bass register down to B fairly easily and it tracks well but I wouldn't say it's a substitute for a real bass. It's not a substitute for a real guitar either. It's something different.
Last edited by negativefx at Aug 27, 2013,
#10
Get seven strings with fanned frets and use a suitable low drop tuning. Don’t let that extra string put you off! You’ll get used to the wider neck in a few practice sessions. Just keep an open mind and you’ll find it easy to jump between a Gibson, a baritone, and a five-string bass.
#11
Quote by Silver77
I don't know what you're budgets are, but below are some 30" scale guitars 6+7s cuz as stated this would give you extended range. Also with the guitars you have picked yes they are 30", but they are not exactly a doom style guitar, and at some point if you would like to add new pups these guitars are a lil more suited. Also what length are you playing in now? Jumping from 25.5" or heaven forbid 24.75, 5" is going to be huge. you maybe be able to get your sound with a 27 which on rondo is much more common and available. Any way my 2 cents, don't be afraid of 7s and make sure 30" in nescessary. My 7 is 25.5" (fender scale) and hold tune find, I just use big strings.

http://www.rondomusic.com/interceptorpro630tred.html

http://www.rondomusic.com/septorpro730ebwtpass.html

http://www.rondomusic.com/product6152.html


Right now one of them use a 26.5" iceman, and the other is a 25".

We used to use 27" seven strings about a year ago for a death metal band, but we've been working on this doom project for about eight months now. They (the guitarists, I play drums in this project), really want to stick with six strings if at all possible. I'll definitely mention moving back to seven strings though since you guys have some really good points.

What sucks is that we can't try one out . Literally no place anywhere near here sells 30" scale six strings, so we have no idea if its even doable.

Quote by negativefx
I have a Fender Bass VI, 30" running .95 gauge on the lowest. There is no comparison in tone to a guitar. It sounds more like a bass even on the P90 pup. With a lot of overdrive it can start sounding a little like a guitar. Tried it on a number of bass and guitar amps with the same result on all of them. Orange TB1000, Orange AD200B, Fender 100T, Fender Super Bassman, Fender BXR 400, BXR 100, Orange TH30, Fender Twin (evil), Fender Super Sonic 212. With an octave down pedal you can play the bass register down to B fairly easily and it tracks well but I wouldn't say it's a substitute for a real bass. It's not a substitute for a real guitar either. It's something different.


Is it like that because of the pups? (I don't know if your bass VI is the model with only single coils, or if its the one with the humbucker).

Also, theoretically if you used lighter gauge strings (like a 8 string set, probably the lowest at around .70-.80 somewhere) wouldn't it sound less like a bass and more like a guitar?

Quote by crazysam23_Atax


The reason for longer scale length is because it allows you to tune to lower tunings with less issues. So, a 27" 7-string that is tuned to BEADGBE or ADGCFAD would stay in tune more easily. There's other reasons, such as ease of proper intonation (and pretty much everything else involving setup of the guitar), which also factor in.


Wouldn't a change in pickup or lighter strings solve a lot of the intonation problems?
I guess nobody's tried it yet (that I know of at least).


___

Also, this is kind of a side question, but if we do end up getting those rondo models, is it possible to swap out the toaster pickups for other more metal-suited pickups?
Would using normal six string guitar pickups (Like some blackouts for example) not be possible?
#12
Quote by GuitaristTrue
What sucks is that we can't try one out . Literally no place anywhere near here sells 30" scale six strings, so we have no idea if its even doable.

They're really not that popular, because the vast majority of 30" 6-strings are baritone guitars (and therefore don't have the high notes most guitar players want). There are some people who bastardize their regular 6-strings and tune them really low (usually nowhere near F or G tunings though), but that leads to potential set up issues.

Quote by GuitaristTrue
Wouldn't a change in pickup or lighter strings solve a lot of the intonation problems?
I guess nobody's tried it yet (that I know of at least).

No. Not at all. Read this to understand what intonation is. (That article is a few years old, but still mostly accurate.) Put simply, you can't fix intonation issues simply by switching out strings or pickups. In fact, pickups shouldn't affect intonation all that much*, and switching out for a set of new strings may mean you need to re-intonate the guitar. The article goes into a bit more depth.

*If the pickups are affecting intonation, then they're way too close to the strings, causing the magnets to pull too strongly on the strings. This is rarely, if ever, a problem though, since it'd be uncomfortable and awkward for most people to play their guitar with the pickups that close to the strings anyway.

Also, this is kind of a side question, but if we do end up getting those rondo models, is it possible to swap out the toaster pickups for other more metal-suited pickups?
Would using normal six string guitar pickups (Like some blackouts for example) not be possible?

Assuming you didn't have to use a router (or similar tool), in order to make the new pickups fit -- yes. But it might be better to get a cheap-ish 7-string and replace the pickups with Blackouts.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 27, 2013,
#13
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
No. Not at all. Read this to understand what intonation is. (That article is a few years old, but still mostly accurate.) Put simply, you can't fix intonation issues simply by switching out strings or pickups. In fact, pickups shouldn't affect intonation all that much*, and switching out for a set of new strings may mean you need to re-intonate the guitar. The article goes into a bit more depth.

*If the pickups are affecting intonation, then they're way too close to the strings, causing the magnets to pull too strongly on the strings. This is rarely, if ever, a problem though, since it'd be uncomfortable and awkward for most people to play their guitar with the pickups that close to the strings anyway.


Thanks for the article, I didn't really know what it was up until reading that hahaha.

So technically, using a 30" scale guitar shouldn't affect the intonation anyways right?


Assuming you didn't have to use a router (or similar tool), in order to make the new pickups fit -- yes. But it might be better to get a cheap-ish 7-string and replace the pickups with Blackouts.


Right on, thanks.


I guess the main question I have is whether or not taking this route will sound good or not, I guess thats what it boils down to. I know getting a seven string is probably more efficient, but my guitarists are pretty set on staying with six strings.

Basically if we went this route (six string baritone 30") we would
1. Change the strings to a lighter gauge set (Probably .80-.20) and tune up to F or G.
2. Probably change the pups.


Would this sound like absolute garbage? Or would it sound good for the genres we're going for?


You guys rule by the way, thank you so much for the input.
#14
Quote by GuitaristTrue
Thanks for the article, I didn't really know what it was up until reading that hahaha.

So technically, using a 30" scale guitar shouldn't affect the intonation anyways right?

Well, not the intonation itself. I mean, that would mean longer strings, but the scale length shouldn't really change whether it's easier or harder to intonate a guitar or bass.
#15
You can tune to F standard or G Standard that way with no problems, the issue I have is that you stated that you want the high notes... you will not get them on a 6 string. That's what we're trying to say (sorry if I'm reiterating points you already understand).

Taking a 6 string and tuning down to F, for instance, is like having an 8 string guitar, but not having the 2 highest strings, which is what it seems like you want. If you have a 7 or an 8, you have the low range you want, as well as keeping the high range intact.

Disregard if this point is clear and your guitarists are just trying to have their cake and eat it too.
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
#16
Quote by Offworld92
You can tune to F standard or G Standard that way with no problems, the issue I have is that you stated that you want the high notes... you will not get them on a 6 string. That's what we're trying to say (sorry if I'm reiterating points you already understand).

Taking a 6 string and tuning down to F, for instance, is like having an 8 string guitar, but not having the 2 highest strings, which is what it seems like you want. If you have a 7 or an 8, you have the low range you want, as well as keeping the high range intact.

Disregard if this point is clear and your guitarists are just trying to have their cake and eat it too.


Gotcha. This actually helped a lot.

Thanks a ton guys, we really appreciate the help.

I'll come back here and post the results of whatever they decided to do.