#1
This is a really weird idea but hear me out

For a while now I've wanted a Bajo Sexto, but they're virtually impossible to get in Australia. So I have an idea. If I were to get six string bass strings and regular strings for a six string, do you think I'd be able to make a short scale Bajo Sexto? My main worry is that the neck won't hold the bass strings due to tension.

If you don't know what a bajo sexto is; the wikipedia page

And yes, I understand that the Bajo Sexto is technically a bass but since I'm dealing with a twelve string I thought this would be a better place to post as I'm dealing with a former acoustic guitar.
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
#2
the neck not being strong enough is a concern. d'addario lists the tension of each string on their sites, although the bass strings are measured at a much longer scale - probably 34" - where the guitar strings are usually measured at 25.5". that being said, the bass strings would be horribly floppy when used on a 25.5" scale.

d'addario light coated bass strings

G 0.0450 1.1400 47.900 21.700
D 0.0650 1.6500 54.400 24.660
A 0.0800 2.0300 45.200 20.510
E 0.1000 2.5400 39.000 17.690

d'addario light coated guitar strings

Note Inches mm lbs kg
E 0.0120 0.3000 23.360 10.600
B 0.0160 0.4060 23.310 10.570
G 0.0240 0.6096 28.440 12.900
D 0.0320 0.8128 28.730 13.030
A 0.0420 1.0668 28.080 12.740
E 0.0530 1.3462 24.370 11.050
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#3
First off, 12 string necks won't hold the tension of string sets designed for 12 strings. A 12 string light set has appx. 250 pounds of tension, a 12 string medium set has 300.

Probably it's more correct to say the soundboard won't handle the tension of the strings, as that's where you're going to run into problems. The soundboard warps and cracks, the bridges lift, all up which usually happens before the neck incurs damage.

I followed your link, it tells me the name of the notes tuned, but it doesn't tell me which notes, (alpha-numeric), such as "C-4", (middle C), the instruments are tuned to.

You might check in with the 7 & 8 string children as to what strings they use, but even at that, those guitars are 27+ inch scale.

TBH, I'd rather see you buy either a baritone guitar, or a 7 string acoustic, but I'm assuming you already had a 12 string in your possession.

FWIW, I don't tune my twelves to concert pitch, but rather use D-d as my standard, even with light strings.

I know we have acoustic basses widely marketed in the US. I just don't likes the looks of them, and I'm pretty sure you would want to tune down when you're not using one of them. (Yeah, I'm superstitious, so what)?

OTOH, Patti's numbers for light bass strings come to less than 100 Lbs total.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 10, 2014,
#4
they're not my numbers - they're copy/pasted from the d'addario website, and again, a 12 string guitar will have much shorter scale than a bass. btw, that's about 200 pounds, not 100...
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#5
Quote by patticake
they're not my numbers - they're copy/pasted from the d'addario website, and again, a 12 string guitar will have much shorter scale than a bass. btw, that's about 200 pounds, not 100...
So it is. I was reading kilos as pounds...:embarrassed:

Although, "Patti's numbers", is far less intensive than typing, "Patti's numbers that I'm pretty sure came from the D'Addarrio website".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 10, 2014,
#6
*LOLOLOL*

Quote by Captaincranky
So it is. I was reading kilos as pounds...Although, "Patti's numbers", is far less intensive than typing, "Patti's numbers that I'm pretty sure came from the D'Addarrio website".
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#7
hmm...

@Captaincranky - It'd be tuned to
F3-F4
C3-C4
G2-G3
D2-D3
A1-A2
E1-E2

Actually forget about this. A bajo sexto actually has a 25.5 inch scale length, same as most twelve strings, so I might as well put bajo sexto strings on a 12 string and not damage the neck.

Cranky, Patti, thank you for your help
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
#8
Quick question here, are these Bajo Sexto string sets nylon? Because I really don't see how even a 12 string guitar could withstand those tunings for very long.

If they are nylon, wouldn't the neck need to be wider because of the thickness of nylon strings and their tentative increased excursion?
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
Quick question here, are these Bajo Sexto string sets nylon? Because I really don't see how even a 12 string guitar could withstand those tunings for very long.

If they are nylon, wouldn't the neck need to be wider because of the thickness of nylon strings and their tentative increased excursion?

no, they're steel strings. And I've seen the necks on bajo sextos and I can say they look a lot like twelve string necks, same scale, same profile as a few twelve strings I've played and usually joined at the 12th fret.

Anyway here's a table of size and tensions of D'Addario Bajo Sexto loop-end strings, it's 2 in the morning and I don't have the time or energy to do basic arithmetic to determine the overall tension.

      Diameter         Tension      
 Note  Inches   mm   lbs   kg 
 F    0.0260 0.6604 27.400 12.430 
 F    0.0260 0.6604 27.400 12.430 
 C    0.0360 0.9144 30.500 13.830 
 C    0.0360 0.9144 30.500 13.830 
 G    0.0460 1.1684 28.000 12.700 
 G    0.0460 1.1684 28.000 12.700 
 D    0.0620 1.5748 28.300 12.850 
 D    0.0300 0.7620 26.600 12.040 
 A    0.0780 1.9812 26.000 11.810 
 A    0.0360 0.9144 21.600 9.780 
 E    0.0920 0.2340 20.300 9.230 
 E    0.0460 1.1684 19.800 8.980 
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
#10
I did the "calculations, or rather Windows Calculator did. With somewhat imprecise entries, I come up with 314+ Lbs. of tension. Or what I'd describe as "a ton".

That's way plenty enough to start lifting bridges and warping soundboards. I'd devise a care strategy that involves tuning down in between sessions, and maintaining proper humidity.

You can keep it a couple of semitones down. (Believe it or not 3 would be ideal). However, my experience with standard 12 strings shows the intonation doesn't hold up when they're capoed. Accordingly, you must retune with the capo in place. Yep, it's a PITA.

As for capos themselves, spring clamp capos won't hold the strings down well enough (IMHO), you have to use jack screw types like the Planet Waves, "NS" type, to quiet the buzzes. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/daddario-planet-waves-ns-aluminum-screw-type-capo
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 11, 2014,
#11
Quote by Captaincranky
I did the "calculations, or rather Windows Calculator did. With somewhat imprecise entries, I come up with 314+ Lbs. of tension. Or what I'd describe as "a ton".

That's way plenty enough to start lifting bridges and warping soundboards. I'd devise a care strategy that involves tuning down in between sessions, and maintaining proper humidity.

You can keep it a couple of semitones down. (Believe it or not 3 would be ideal). However, my experience with standard 12 strings shows the intonation doesn't hold up when they're capoed. Accordingly, you must retune with the capo in place. Yep, it's a PITA.

As for capos themselves, spring clamp capos won't hold the strings down well enough (IMHO), you have to use jack screw types like the Planet Waves, "NS" type, to quiet the buzzes. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/daddario-planet-waves-ns-aluminum-screw-type-capo

Hey, I'm cool with down tuning. Thanks again, I MIGHT try it but I think it's actually not that great an idea, I don't really want to ruin a perfectly good guitar on a whim.

Thanks again
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
#12
Quote by Captaincranky
FWIW, I don't tune my twelves to concert pitch, but rather use D-d as my standard, even with light strings.


I have two 12-strings, one with .010s that I tune D-d and one with .012s that I usually keep at C-c.