#1
Hi everyone,

I am used to normally playing with skinny top heavy bottoms at E standard and drop D: .010 .013 .017 .030 .042 .052

I got my (only) guitar setup (fret levelling + truss adj + intonation) with beefy slinkys to D standard (DGCFAD), with the intention of using drop C about 50% of the time.

Beefy slinky: .011 .015 .022p .030 .042 .054

...so everything's fine, no buzzing, but on dropping to C, buzz all over the place, if I played hard enough, it sounded like the buzz was in the nut itself. Also, on frets 5-6 major buzz.

I thought this kind of heavy string would be able to handle it just fine seeing as I have read here people playing like drop C with 10-48 sets (must feel like loose rubber bands!).

So I swapped the beefy slinkys for EXL117s: .011 .014 .019 .032 .044 .056

These things ripped me up though as I do a lot of sliding on the lower strings (think mouth for war type sliding). .052 to .056 was too big a jump for me.

So now I have some dunlop heavy core: .010 .013 .017 .028 .038 .048 and am attempting to achieve Eb standard with the aim of drop C# but these strings are just about tense enough at E standard. These are supposed to be 'heavy core for drop tuning'. What? From E to Eb on one string?

What am I doing wrong here? How are people able to downtune so far with relatively skinny strings? I like 10-52 and that should be easy to hit Eb standard (I've got a spare .054 knocking around so could substitute the .052 if needed). I mistakenly thought the 'heavy core' 10-48 would be similar to the 10-52 in feel (if not in tension).

Really need some advice here. I am aware I need the guitar re-setup now but I thought I should be able to downtune (just one step on one string) this thing to get at least a rough idea of how it would sound without everything turning to shite. Quite frustrating after reading how easy other people are finding it, downtuning, then changing to something else, with minor adjustments here and there, using paper thin strings.

Maybe people are just playing with loads of fret buzz and not worrying about it?

Thanks for any help.
#2
Get a screw driver and raise your action. Try GHS boomers medium 11-50. I used those in my old highschool thrash band that played in Eb. I could achieve D standard tuning with those also, but my neck was 25.5", unlike yours.
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#3
I've just put on a hybrid mix basically to find the tension that I like at a certain tuning, before getting the setup. I'm actually quite happy with drop c# using:

.010 .013 .017 .030 .042 .054

This is my perfect tension on every string and doesn't actually give a whole lot of buzzing. Maybe the total tension kind of matches how it was setup in D originally. According to the tension calculator:

http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/stringxxiii.html (not sure how accurate this is but doesn't really matter if comparing two sets of strings as relatively it will be correct)

Beefy slinkys at D standard: 112.62lbs (total tension)
Low D: 20.55lbs
Drop C: 16.3lbs (buzz)

.010 .013 .017 .030 .042 .054 at Eb standard: 109.21lbs (total tension)
Low Eb: 23.06lbs
Drop Db: 18.3lbs (minimal buzz)

I'm taking it back to the guy who set it up for me as he very kindly offered to set it up again for gratis this time. Problem is I cant decide Eb standard vs drop C# and I can't keep changing it and screwing things up! That is, without learning how to fix it myself first.
#4
Take a free set up all day, just stick around a watch what he does so you can do it yourself in the future.
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#5
Quote by pantallica87
Take a free set up all day, just stick around a watch what he does so you can do it yourself in the future.


Yeah you're right. Also, remind me to get a 25.5" scale guitar next time.
#6
I play Eb standard and Drop Db (c#) on a Gibson Les Paul (so shorter scale) with Dunlop 10-52's with minimal to zero buzzing. You probably really do just need a setup.
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#7
Quote by RCA1186
I play Eb standard and Drop Db (c#) on a Gibson Les Paul (so shorter scale) with Dunlop 10-52's with minimal to zero buzzing. You probably really do just need a setup.


So I had the setup done but there's still a problem with buzz on the lowest string. Right now I've got on 10-52 (with a .054 on the bottom) at Eb standard with a drop C#. I've got the action on the low end at about 3mm now, truss rod is fine (there's a gap on 7th fret when 1st and 24th are pushed down), frets are levelled. Still buzzes around 6th to 10th frets on low C#. Does the action need to be even higher than that? It's turning into an acoustic guitar lol.

Am I just playing too hard or what? I like the tension of 10-52 at standard so using a .052 on a drop C# would feel very loose to me.

Maybe I should even go for a 11-56 set but all in all, this has been a real pita. My next guitar is 25.5" scale or a 7 string.

I've got a set of 12-60 on my dean (24.75") at C# standard and although the tension feels good, I get buzz there too.
Last edited by samwillc at Aug 17, 2014,
#8
I play an ASG Revolution in C standard atm with 10-52's and have zero buzz.

You need to either raise the action or adjust the truss rod man

EDIT:
You need to fret the 1st and 24th fret and check at the 12th to see if the truss rod needs adjustment, not the 7th

If you're getting buzz that high it's usually truss rod.
The first few frets is usually the nut
Last edited by darkwolf291 at Aug 17, 2014,
#9
Quote by darkwolf291

EDIT:
You need to fret the 1st and 24th fret and check at the 12th to see if the truss rod needs adjustment, not the 7th

If you're getting buzz that high it's usually truss rod.
The first few frets is usually the nut


Thanks. What sort of measurements are you getting for (a) height at 12th fret when 1st and 24th are fretted and (b) string action height when nothing fretted?

I have ordered a string height gauge so I can accurately tell my heights, it's a bit guesswork at the moment.
#10
Quote by samwillc


Am I just playing too hard or what? I like the tension of 10-52 at standard so using a .052 on a drop C# would feel very loose to me.

Maybe I should even go for a 11-56 set but all in all, this has been a real pita. My next guitar is 25.5" scale or a 7 string.

I've got a set of 12-60 on my dean (24.75") at C# standard and although the tension feels good, I get buzz there too.


Don't worry about buzz unless you can hear it through the amp. I can relate to you though -- I don't know how people can play guitars with such light strings. I literally can't go into a guitar shop and play any of the guitars, usually. I feel like I'm going to rip the strings right off the guitar.

Another thing to consider: For drop tunings (not DOWN-tuning which is just standard, only LOWER), I've always found it useful to buy an individual low-E string that is the next gauge up from what the string set came with. My V, for example, has (25.5" scale) a set of Ernie Ball Not Even Slinkys (.12-.56) tuned to C# Standard. Since I occasionally tune the 6th string down to B for drop-B, I always buy a .59 for that string. It doesn't feel bad in standard and helps with low-note clarity, and is still stiff enough when dropped to B.
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#11
I'll probably loosen the truss rod a touch to provide more relief. I use a 10-52 set with a 54 on the bottom. Bit tight in Eb, not too loose in C#. Works ok.

My dean's got a 12-60 set in C# standard and am mucking about with that trying to set it up. Cheapo guitar so not bothered so much if things go pear shaped. I've been playing for donkeys years but always in E standard/drop D so never really had to think about adjusting anything. This is a whole new learning experience for me.