#1
Hi guys,

I recently decided to throw in a set of skinny top heavy bottom (ernie ball strings) into my guitar. I was previously using standard 0.10-0.46 on standard tuning, and now I want to have my guitar setup for Eb standard to Drop- Db tuning. I have an epiphone phant-o-matic, with a single truss rod, tune-o-matic bridge, and a stopbar tailpiece.

First thing I noticed, is the strings feel a bit more loose. Would I have to loosen my truss rod and to make it the strings feel a bit tighter? If the strings were too tight, would I tighten the truss rod?... also, I understand that, I will have to readjust the intonation after getting the proper tension.

Thanks
#2
If you tune down, you're obviously not going to have the same tension at Eb compared to Db. If you want to have a similar tension at lower tunings then you have to increase string gauge size.


The truss rod IS NOT for adjusting how stiff the strings are.
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#3
Quote by CageTheGates
I recently decided to throw in a set of skinny top heavy bottom (ernie ball strings) into my guitar. I was previously using standard 0.10-0.46 on standard tuning, and now I want to have my guitar setup for Eb standard to Drop- Db tuning. First thing I noticed, is the strings feel a bit more loose.


The GBE strings are all the same gauge so they should feel basically the same. Really the lower strings should be tighter if anything because they are thicker strings. Might be worth stretching the strings by hand, helps release tension and increase tuning stability.

Quote by CageTheGates
Would I have to loosen my truss rod and to make it the strings feel a bit tighter? If the strings were too tight, would I tighten the truss rod?... also, I understand that, I will have to readjust the intonation after getting the proper tension.


The truss rod is for adjusting neck relief, not string tightness. To use an extreme example, if you were to put crazy heavy strings on the guitar they are going to be extremely loose. Adjusting the truss rod is not the solution, although it may cause a very slight difference as it would very slightly increase/decrease the distance between the nut and the bridge.

EDIT: I misread where you said you changed the tunings.

Ok so a 0.10 gauge string tuned to E is going to be slightly tighter than if it was tuned to D#. Therefore, your highest 3 strings are going to be slightly looser due to the lower tuning. It may just be a case of getting used to it, I have used the skinny top heavy bottoms for Drop C so the strings being looser than you are used to isn't necessarily a bad thing. If however you want it to be as close to the same tightness as possible then you will need to buy slightly heavier strings.
Last edited by Random3 at Jun 3, 2015,
#4
If you want to do Drop C# I'd recommend .10-.52 Cobalts. They're great and they don't get real loose until about Drop B. But yeah the truss rod is for the action and neck bend. And if someone tells not to touch it because you'll ruin your guitar, don't listen. Just attempt it slowly and you won't have any problems
#5
Cool, I understand the 3 high strings will be loose. Isn't relief affected by string tension?...so less tension will cause different truss rod needs?...

Another guitar I have felt great with the string gauge swap, but I didn't lower the tuning.

EDIT: Or do you recommend me just checking relief. If that is ok, then I would need a thicker gauge.
Last edited by CageTheGates at Jun 3, 2015,
#6
Whenever you change tunings and/or string gauges, you should check how straight your neck is. And you're on to something, the bow of the neck will have some effect on string tension, but you don't want string tension to be your guide when tinkering with the truss rod. You'll probably have to do a complete set up. Afterward the tension will be what it will be. If you're unhappy with it, you can change your string gauge again as opposed to messing with the truss rod.
#7
The overall tension of a 10-52 set in drop Db is only a couple lb more than 10-46 in E standard.
stringtensionpro.com

Any truss rod adjustment needed will be absolutely minimal.

It's always worth checking neck relief, but I think action and intonation will likely be all you need worry about in this case.
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