#1
I have a dilemma. The vast majority of the music I play is in standard or drop-d, and I typically use size 10 strings or 9 top 10 bottom. Lately I've been learning a technique Sergey Mavrin uses (see video), and he tunes to Drop-A# and uses 11, 14, 18, 32, 56, 70 gauge strings. I've strung up one of my guitars this way and have had a love hate relationship with it ever since. It just doesn't have that crunchy rhythm tone I like (Deep Purple/Rainbow live, ARIA, Savatage) but it does make lead playing sound nice and more importantly it shifts the range of the guitar in favor of Mavrin's technique. Btw, the guitar I have setup like this is an alder strat, not very resonant, with a single coil sized super distortion in the bridge and a dimarzio chopper in the neck.

I'm currently having a bunch of work done on my Suhr Modern Carvetop (mahogany body, maple top, maple neck, ebony fingerboard, Bartolini PBF-77d bridge humbucker, Bill Lawrence L-500L neck humbucker). I'm debating whether to set it up using Mavrin's drop-A# setup or to go with my standard tuning setup. I'm posting here to get your input on the drop-A#/custom string gauges and whether this will work better with my Suhr than it does with my strat, your thoughts on using Mavrin's technique in standard tuning instead of Drop-A#, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIk1Pb8bTY8
keep it [the bat] in a cage, and right before your next gig starts, and your on stage and everything, bite its head off. AMD MUNCH DEM TINGS DER DOWN!!