#1
Hey guys, I usually don't post on here unless I am legitimately desperate, but at this point I am. I am having to rethink all physics I've known about guitars and low tunings from this issue. The past three guitars I have owned I have tuned down to drop B with 13-62 gauge strings. All guitars have been professionally set up for this tuning, the truss rod, nut slots, bridge, everything is ideal for a drop B set up with plenty of tension. Every string plays and sounds immaculate BESIDES the lowest (thickest) string. It buzzes, rattles, and has hardly no sustain or resonance. It just sounds and plays like complete garbage.

I have experimented with different gauge strings (going lower than 13-62 and higher, but always going back to 13-62 because it IS the tension I am going for), different BRANDS of strings, low action, high action, pickup height, everything you could possibly think of to no avail. I have traveled to cities hours away from my home to meet up with the most respected guitar luthiers in the area, only to have them all scratch their heads and say there is nothing they can do, that you just run into these problems with low tunings.

I'm getting so sick of hearing midlife crisis men telling me I will never be able to achieve the set up I am looking for just because drop B is so low. Newsflash: Low tunings are becoming increasingly more popular as time progresses. It is common to be able to turn on the radio these days and catch a band here or there that is playing in something lower than "standard tuning." People play in tunings WAYYYY lower than drop B with even lower scale length than I have and achieve perfect clarity.

If it helps, these are the specs on the guitars I have been using:

Schecter Hellraiser Extreme - 25.5 scale length
LTD EC-1000 Deluxe - 24.7 scale length
ESP Eclipse Standard II - 24.7 scale length.

I actually sold all of my 24.7 inch guitars to hopefully rid myself of this issue with the added tension of a 25.5 scale length guitar. The Eclipse Standard II was my dream guitar, and I sold it, losing tons of money in the process only to end up with the same exact issue.

The only thing techs and luthiers have told me is "Some guitars just play better than others in certain tunings." Which is what is making me have to rethink all psychics I claimed to know about guitars. If I can't go off of gauge, tuning, and scale length, then how in the hell will I ever be able to determine a guitar that will not have this issue? I am stumped. Any advice at this point would be greatly appreciated.

- Chris
#2
Sell all three and get a bariton guitar, it's almost impossible to achieve no string buzz in drop B on a 25.5 scale guitar, and impossible on a 24.7 scale. The luithers aren't baffled, they think you are crazy.

Or get a 7 string. I've never been able to get no fret buzz and low action in drop b and anyone who claims to is crazy, unless you are fairy twinkle fingers and strum super light and pick super light. But if you play right, your playing will cover up the fret buzz and nobody will be the wiser.
#3
Quote by Bojiggles
I'm getting so sick of hearing midlife crisis men telling me I will never be able to achieve the set up I am looking for just because drop B is so low. Newsflash: Low tunings are becoming increasingly more popular as time progresses. It is common to be able to turn on the radio these days and catch a band here or there that is playing in something lower than "standard tuning." People play in tunings WAYYYY lower than drop B with even lower scale length than I have and achieve perfect clarity.

Sounds like you've had a lot of qualified people trying nicely to tell you that you might need to try something else.

Maybe some people can get drop F# or whatever out of a 24.75 scale and it sounds good, but I haven't seen it done myself, and if you've tried everything and asked a bunch of good techs, maybe you should listen to what they're actually saying. A smart solution here, and the one that seems to work for most people, is to get a Bari or a 7 or 8. As people have told you already, it's going to be really hard to get drop B on a standard scale length guitar.
#4
Quote by Bojiggles
I'm getting so sick of hearing midlife crisis men telling me I will never be able to achieve the set up I am looking for just because drop B is so low. Newsflash: Low tunings are becoming increasingly more popular as time progresses. It is common to be able to turn on the radio these days and catch a band here or there that is playing in something lower than "standard tuning." People play in tunings WAYYYY lower than drop B with even lower scale length than I have and achieve perfect clarity.

Actually, the people who have the best experience in low tunings either use ERG's (aka "extended range guitars) like 7-strings or 8-strings OR baritone guitars.
Most 6-string guitars (non-baritone) are not designed, in factory, to be tuned as low as Drop B. If you think the manufacturers design them with the concept that you'll be drop-tuning to Drop B, you're fucking kidding yourself.


Oh, and I'm 25. So, I'm hardly middle-aged here. I'm not really sure why you bring up the whole "midlife crisis men" thing, since most of the techs and luthiers who have told you this probably know way more about guitars than you do. Quit being a shit and have some damn respect for guys who have spent years working on and/or building guitars.

If it helps, these are the specs on the guitars I have been using:

Schecter Hellraiser Extreme - 25.5 scale length
LTD EC-1000 Deluxe - 24.7 scale length
ESP Eclipse Standard II - 24.7 scale length.

I actually sold all of my 24.7 inch guitars to hopefully rid myself of this issue with the added tension of a 25.5 scale length guitar. The Eclipse Standard II was my dream guitar, and I sold it, losing tons of money in the process only to end up with the same exact issue.

I would not say that the scale length is long enough for Drop B on any of those guitars. If you only want 6 strings, then buy a baritone. If you're willing to have more than 6-strings, then you seriously need to look into getting a 7-string or 8-string.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jun 24, 2014,
#5
Quote by Bojiggles


I'm getting so sick of hearing midlife crisis men telling me I will never be able to achieve the set up I am looking for just because drop B is so low. Newsflash: Low tunings are becoming increasingly more popular as time progresses.


Newsflash: It may have nothing whatever to do with other people's midlife crisis. It may have something to do with your ears. You're simply not listening.

If you're tuning Drop B often, you may want to look at a guitar that has a longer scale (Rondo Music has them at 27", 28.65", 30") and/or one that has more than six strings. You may even want to consider a multi-scale (fan-fret) guitar, where the high strings are, say, 25.5" and the lower strings are at 27", etc.

Think of it like a piano. The little short upright spinets have 88 keys, just like a 9' grand. But if you play the bottom four or five notes on a spinet, it's very difficult to tell them apart. That's because while the strings are *tuned* correctly, there's not enough string length to reproduce very well -- they sound like mush. The 9' grand, however, has a lot more string length (longer scale) and those bottom four or five notes articulate just fine.