#1
I'm new to this forum, I can only assume this is the best place for this kind of thread. I've been wanting to dive into the world of extended range for years and finally did it and purchased the sterling JP70. So far I love it but there is definitely some things I would like to mess around with. Tuning down what so ever is not really an option with the strings that came with it (which I guess are 10's??). I tried to tune it down a whole step and the 7th string was buzzing a lot and feeling like it was going to fall off. I'm probably going to spend more time in standard than anything else but I still want to have the option of tuning it a whole step down. If anyone has a seven string or has this guitar specifically I would be interested in knowing what y'all did and what I need to do as far as adjusting the truss rod and things like that. Thanks!
Last edited by ryane24 at Jun 5, 2015,
#2
Sorry if I am completely off the mark but I would have thought the idea of a 7+ string guitar is that you don't have to tune down.
#3
NEVER LOW ENOUGH! It just depends on what your into. Bands like Dream Theater, Korn, Periphery, and others use 8 strings but also tune their 7 string down. I happen to be fond of Djent and the like.

EDIT: I guess the better answer to that is that I want to go as low as possible but I still want to be able to play non 7 string stuff with my 7 string and I feel like playing six string stuff on an 8 string would just be a pain in the ass and I'm not really wanting to go beyond 7.
Last edited by ryane24 at Jun 4, 2015,
#4
Seems like you need a bass and not a guitar to me.

But if you are set on it just buy a heavier gauge of strings then adjust your truss rod accordingly.
#5
I'd get a 10-52 with a low 60.
Or some shit similar.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#6
When I'm in standard with B, I go no lighter than a 58 for the low B. When I go below B, I put a 62 on the bottom, which gets me to G# with no rattle, so you're going to need a thicker gauge of string regardless. Remember that when you change string gauges and tunings you need to adjust the saddles for correct intonation, though it sounds like you need a bit of bow in the neck. This requires adjusting the truss rod, and if you're not confident in your ability to eyeball or measure the bow in the neck while making small, incremental adjustments to the truss, take it to a local shop as you can absolutely ruin your neck by stressing the truss rod too much.

But those are the three points you should check to make sure you're buzz-free, or close to it depending on your preferences. I prefer a bit of bow to my neck so the strings have a little bite-back - I like them a little lively, but it's preference.

The general rule for adjusting the truss is to stand the guitar, and looking down at the headstock with the back of the guitar against you, turning the truss clockwise gives you relief (flatter neck), and turning counter-clockwise gives you bow (concave). Never turn it more than a quarter turn at once, and I've found even that to be extreme. Small, incremental turns, and check your neck shape/feel/listen for buzz after each adjustment. Remember, many small turns add up, so be mindful.

Best advice I can give you is that if this sounds too complicated or makes you uneasy, let someone who knows what they're doing take care of it. A ruined neck is not only a tearjerker, but it's also a costly mistake and can potentially ruin a guitar you love.

“We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.”



silentfall.bandcamp.com
#7
Quote by an.interloper
When I'm in standard with B, I go no lighter than a 58 for the low B. When I go below B, I put a 62 on the bottom, which gets me to G# with no rattle, so you're going to need a thicker gauge of string regardless. Remember that when you change string gauges and tunings you need to adjust the saddles for correct intonation, though it sounds like you need a bit of bow in the neck. This requires adjusting the truss rod, and if you're not confident in your ability to eyeball or measure the bow in the neck while making small, incremental adjustments to the truss, take it to a local shop as you can absolutely ruin your neck by stressing the truss rod too much.

But those are the three points you should check to make sure you're buzz-free, or close to it depending on your preferences. I prefer a bit of bow to my neck so the strings have a little bite-back - I like them a little lively, but it's preference.

The general rule for adjusting the truss is to stand the guitar, and looking down at the headstock with the back of the guitar against you, turning the truss clockwise gives you relief (flatter neck), and turning counter-clockwise gives you bow (concave). Never turn it more than a quarter turn at once, and I've found even that to be extreme. Small, incremental turns, and check your neck shape/feel/listen for buzz after each adjustment. Remember, many small turns add up, so be mindful.

Best advice I can give you is that if this sounds too complicated or makes you uneasy, let someone who knows what they're doing take care of it. A ruined neck is not only a tearjerker, but it's also a costly mistake and can potentially ruin a guitar you love.


Thanks for the detailed reply. It does make me uneasy but that's because its my brand new guitar and I love it. However I'm very handy, I build computers, car repairs. I want to learn how to do my own guitar stuff eventually. I've adjusted action and intonation but the truss rod business makes me nervous. Maybe I should mess with one of my cheaper guitars first haha.

Also, I heard somewhere that if you dont' want to tune heavy gauge strings to standard tuning and then one of my friends told me that's not true. Thoughts on that?
Last edited by ryane24 at Jun 5, 2015,
#8
Quote by ryane24
Thanks for the detailed reply. It does make me uneasy but that's because its my brand new guitar and I love it. However I'm very handy, I build computers, car repairs. I want to learn how to do my own guitar stuff eventually. I've adjusted action and intonation but the truss rod business makes me nervous. Maybe I should mess with one of my cheaper guitars first haha.

Also, I heard somewhere that if you dont' want to tune heavy gauge strings to standard tuning and then one of my friends told me that's not true. Thoughts on that?


As long as you work in quarter turns with your tross rod, it's fine, nothing will happen to it. Tighten or loosen 1/4 of a turn (you have to see which way you have to turn), wait 10-15 minutes for the truss rod to settle, and check neck bow again. If it's fine, then leave it be, if it still needs adjustment, then do a 1/8 or another 1/4 turn. If you want to tighten the truss rod and it won't turn, don't force it. Loosen it a little bit, wait 1 day or so, and tighten it (at least that was what I was told to do in case that happens).

If it's really heavy, it may be way too tight for standard tuning. I've only had a heavy gauge once on my 25.5 scale guitar, 12s I believe, I wanted to downtune at that time, and I felt the strings were going to break when I got past D standard. I tried to tune to E just because I was curious about how tense the 12s would get at that tuning. They might not break, but they were too tight at D standard.
Last edited by DanyFS at Jun 5, 2015,
#9
Putting very heavy strings to standard pitch is a great way to put tons of extra stress on the neck, and yes, it can be harmful. Not every time without discretion, mind you, but it is very possible to warp the neck as the excess tension is constantly exerting pull force on the neck between the nut and the bridge, which will eventually damage the wood as it's, well, wood. Again, this isn't across the board, and it depends on how you set your truss rod, what gauge the strings are in proportion to the tuning, and how badly you care for the guitar. I've seen jazz guys put 11s or 12s on for standard, but they set the guitar up for that specifically and care well for the instrument.

As for messing with the truss rod without much knowledge or experience, I'd definitely use a guitar that's not your main axe until you've got the hang of it. A quarter turn doesn't seem like much, but it's enough to ruin a neck if you're not careful.

“We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.”



silentfall.bandcamp.com
Last edited by an.interloper at Jun 6, 2015,
#10
It sounds like you are planning on using this guitar for a wide range of tunings.

This is not a good idea.

To use an example, Periphery's 8 string tuning is F#BEADGBE, and your 7 string is tuned to BEADGBE. You would literally be tuning down by 2 and a half steps, the same difference as tuning from E on a 6 string to B. This is fine if you are going to set the guitar up properly and keep it that way, but if you are planning on changing between B tuning for Dream Theater material and F# tuning for Periphery then I strongly suggest rethinking.

Changing between E and Drop D is fine. To put this in perspective what it looks like you are suggesting is to do this two and a half times on every string.
#11
Quote by Random3
It sounds like you are planning on using this guitar for a wide range of tunings.

This is not a good idea.

To use an example, Periphery's 8 string tuning is F#BEADGBE, and your 7 string is tuned to BEADGBE. You would literally be tuning down by 2 and a half steps, the same difference as tuning from E on a 6 string to B. This is fine if you are going to set the guitar up properly and keep it that way, but if you are planning on changing between B tuning for Dream Theater material and F# tuning for Periphery then I strongly suggest rethinking.

Changing between E and Drop D is fine. To put this in perspective what it looks like you are suggesting is to do this two and a half times on every string.


Maybe I should have been more clear, what I want is to go one whole step down. I really don't need to go further than that.
#12
Quote by ryane24
Maybe I should have been more clear, what I want is to go one whole step down. I really don't need to go further than that.


In that case you can probably pull it off with minimal setup. I would still advise against repeatedly adjusting the truss rod. Get the guitar set up how you like in whichever tuning you are going to use most, and then detune as and when you like. Unless you are planning on spending some time in the lower tuning then there is no point adjusting the setup.
#13
Quote by Random3
It sounds like you are planning on using this guitar for a wide range of tunings.

This is not a good idea.

To use an example, Periphery's 8 string tuning is F#BEADGBE, and your 7 string is tuned to BEADGBE. You would literally be tuning down by 2 and a half steps, the same difference as tuning from E on a 6 string to B. This is fine if you are going to set the guitar up properly and keep it that way, but if you are planning on changing between B tuning for Dream Theater material and F# tuning for Periphery then I strongly suggest rethinking.

Changing between E and Drop D is fine. To put this in perspective what it looks like you are suggesting is to do this two and a half times on every string.

Disagree. The setup required to change tunings more than a step down is superficial - intonation, really. The nut might require some filing depending on the string gauges used, but that's not always necessary either.
The truss will always need an occasional adjustment, with any guitar, even if you keep it in a single tuning with the same string gauge - it's just how weather, humidity, and use affect the wood. But changing tunings definitely does not require a full, top to bottom set up every time. They point is to always keep the tension applied on the neck proportionate (string gauge and pitch, if used correctly, won't exert any more force on the neck in G# than they will in standard) - that's why string gauges vary based on tuning. Lighter strings + higher pitch = even tension based on the lessened amount of weight and pull necessary to keep them vibrating at pitch, and heavier strings + lower pitch = even tension based on the increased weight of the strings necessary to vibrate at the lower pitch.

You are absolutely, one thousand percent right about not repeatedly screwing with the truss rod, though. It's bad for the rod, bad for the neck - just all around bad.

“We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.”



silentfall.bandcamp.com
Last edited by an.interloper at Jun 6, 2015,
#14
If TS is planning on changing strings when he changes tunings then I agree, but I presumed that he would be playing a couple of songs in B, then down-tuning to F# for a couple and then back up, in which case the guitar isn't going to remain playable.
#15
Quote by Random3
If TS is planning on changing strings when he changes tunings then I agree, but I presumed that he would be playing a couple of songs in B, then down-tuning to F# for a couple and then back up, in which case the guitar isn't going to remain playable.


I agree, I don't see how you could play the same set up in standard and drop F# but I have no plans of doing that! If I want to play in F# that bad i'll buy an 8 string. 90% of my playing will be in standard but I want to the option to tune down a whole step and have it sound good. It buzzes a little in standard as it is. I was looking at these top heavy strings:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/ernie-ball-2730-cobalt-7-string-skinny-top-heavy-bottom-electric-guitar-strings
Thoughts? I'm not really sure what the difference is with cobalt strings
#16
Cobalts are a different type of Ernie Ball string.

http://www.ernieball.com/products/electric-guitar-strings/4978/cobalt-regular-slinky

Basically they are supposed to sound better and last longer, but they cost more.

In my experience they sound fantastic for a brief period of time but then they deteriorate FAST in terms of tone and feel.
#17
Quote by ryane24
Maybe I should have been more clear, what I want is to go one whole step down. I really don't need to go further than that.


If all you're going to do is go down a step, you can probably use whatever strings you use when tuned standard. When you drop down, you're loosening the tension on the neck. The truss rod is there to counter the tension on the neck that pulls it forward with the truss rod that wants to pull it back. If you loosen the string tension, you'll also need to loosen the truss rod, and not much. On most of my truss rods, it's righty tighty and lefty loosey. Quarter turn increments, no more. Retune, play a bit, wait a bit (I usually wait a day and then, if necessary, add another small bit.

For future reference, you might take a look at the Variax guitars if you're going to be doing a lot of alternate tuning and if you play to take it farther afield. They don't have a 7-string (yet), but they do have a Floyd-equipped version. Since, using the Variax setup, you never vary the string tension, you don't need to consider string gauges, truss rod adjustments, etc.. Just rotate a switch and play.
#18
Quote by Random3
If TS is planning on changing strings when he changes tunings then I agree, but I presumed that he would be playing a couple of songs in B, then down-tuning to F# for a couple and then back up, in which case the guitar isn't going to remain playable.

Ah my bad - I'd assumed he was going to do a gauge change in going from B to F# and wouldn't be trying to use the same guitar for both within a single set...

I can't imagine playing in F# with anything lighter than 62, to be honest. Yeah, TS - if you're planning on changing tunings multiple times with the same string gauge, not only are you going to need to do more adjustments, but I don't even know how you'll get to F# with a standard low B to begin with and have it sound any sort of good.

“We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.”



silentfall.bandcamp.com
#19
Quote by an.interloper
I can't imagine playing in F# with anything lighter than 62, to be honest. Yeah, TS - if you're planning on changing tunings multiple times with the same string gauge, not only are you going to need to do more adjustments, but I don't even know how you'll get to F# with a standard low B to begin with and have it sound any sort of good.


That was actually my mistake, TS is planning on going from B down to A, not B down to F#. I assumed it was B to F# because he mentioned Periphery.