#1
Hi guys ,what the best gauge of strings for tuning down a whole step for playing metal and what adjustments do I need to make to my guitar,i have tried in the past but it doesn't sound right and the tuning is always out.
#2
I would say for a step down tuning, first try one gauge above what you normally use. If that feels too light, try going up another gauge.

The adjustments you need to make depend on the guitar, but it's pretty much guaranteed that the intonation will need some tweaks and that's probably why the tuning never sounded right to you.

you might need to adjust the truss rod, or you might not, and if you're using a particularly heavy gauge it's likely you'll need to widen the nut slots too (not something to attempt unless you really know what you're doing as you can end up needing a new nut if you do this wrong)
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#3
For D I use .11 .15 .18 .28 .42 .52.
If you got a floating bridge or floyd, be sure to setup so the bridge is in parallel with the body of the guitar. Because of the thicker gauge of the string the pull on the bridge will be increased so it will be higher.
#4
I downtuned my guitar from E standard to D standard several months back. (I also did the same with my bass guitar, though for a different reason.) I used the gauge that was one "step" thicker than what I previously used. I previously used .11 to .52 for E standard, and I now use .13 to .56 for D standard. (I like thicker strings.)
Also, I might recommend a string set with thicker cores (such as the Dunlop Heavy Cores), as this will give you more mid-based punch. Sometimes, thicker strings downtuned have a tendency to sound less "full of life". Thicker cores can help with this.


As far as what needs to be changed, well...

You might or might not have to adjust the truss rod. Depends on whether the tension of the new, thicker set of strings (when downtuned) is within a certain range compared the tension of the old, lighter set of strings. (Just google a guitar string tension calculator to find a website that calculates string tension.) It also depends on your guitar neck, as thinner necks may be more likely to need a truss rod adjustment than thicker necks.
You will definitely have to adjust intonation. Action might need an adjustment; you should be able to tell if it does. As perilio said, if you own a floating bridge, you will need to adjust the bridge so the bridge is parallel to the body -- which means adjusting the springs in the back. I don't think I'm missing anything.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 27, 2014,
#5
I was just recording Sad But True (Metallica cover) tonight and all I used was a Les Paul with 9s in D. Worked great. Stayed in tune. Sounded Huge. 10s might get some more "girth".... but so does double tracking and eq tweaking.
#6
Quote by cheesefries
I was just recording Sad But True (Metallica cover) tonight and all I used was a Les Paul with 9s in D. Worked great. Stayed in tune. Sounded Huge. 10s might get some more "girth".... but so does double tracking and eq tweaking.

Good for you. Now, back to the thread.
#7
13-56 might be a little harsh for one step IMHO. I'd start with 11-52 and go thicker only if needed. The smoother, the better.
#8
Quote by rootsofmy
13-56 might be a little harsh for one step IMHO. I'd start with 11-52 and go thicker only if needed. The smoother, the better.

I agree. But see, I already had 11-52 on E standard. I was just using jumping from 11-52 up to 13-56 as an example of the kind of increase to go by.

If TS has 9-46, then I would go with 11-52.