#1
Hi guys. I have tried to setup both new and old guitars to C-C tuning
C-F-A♯-D♯-G-C

No matter which axe I do it on I get the same problems.
-To high action on some of them.
-The frets, so sensitive how hard I push the strings. (Detuning)

I read all over the net about people just buy a new axe and throw on thick strings and tune down. When I do it now on 5 different axes it is not even close to a good playing guitar.

I tried different guitars (bridges), different strings 10-52, 11-60 and some other too. Different brands.

I had one guitar setup by a "pro" and that came out good. But $350 for each new guitar I buy will not be fun for a setup. The cash well ok but the wait ... Last time it took 3 months.

Anyone could give me some hints here ? I know the truss is adjusted... It seems to me like you have to do a proper fret grind to make it even possible to go down to this tuning ... ?! Or could it be about the nut ? It makes me so confused.....

Sorry if you consider this as a lame question but I have soon followed every guide on the net. Spent so many days of trying and reasearch that I feel it must be something very important I'm not thinking about?

Thanks in advance =)
#2
I don't have the answer, but you may have to go with string gauge 13. A setup should not cost $350, that's what an expensive PLEK job would cost. Nor should it take 3 months. The nut could be in issue if the slots aren't wide enough for the strings you're using. With a locking nut it's not an issue.
#3
I've tuned to C quite a lot (Kyuss/QOTSA) using 12-56 ernie ball. Never had a problem. You could get a simple setup for like $30 and get "set up" for C standard.
#4
dthmtl3: Thanks. So you think I thicker gauge on the strings would do it ? What do you suggest overall on the thickets ? 0.60 ? The issue is te same no matter if I use it on Kahler, Floyd or regular plastic nut with tom... Well reason I it cost that much is that this far I had no succuess setting up a axe with so low string action without pleking or having someone to do a progessive grind fretting. Do I have to high demands or just bad luck ? May I ask what axe you have a similar setup on ?

ImDesigner: Thanks man. Cool. What guitar are you using? Have in mind where I live there are no guitar techs so I have to send them away. And I see my experienced to fix normal setup (tross, intonation etc) but still this endless high action and out of tune when I hit the strings... I do hit hard ... Problems seems to go away when I tuned up to D...
To D no problems ... But to C nothing is as it should ...

Starting to think about trying a seven string and tune up the thickest string to a C and then I would have regular setup but with a half tone up?! I'm totally lost here ...
#5
Thicker gauge could help. Perhaps it won't. I can't even get my guitars to D standard without fret buzz and high action using 11-50s.

Getting a 7 string is a good idea, I've entertained it as well. Or you could get a Drop pedal then you can go as low as you want without doing any changes to the guitar. Another alternative is a Line 6 Variax guitar.
#6
I think you need to tell us where you're located. And where are you shipping those guitars for a three-month downtime and $350?

You might also have to tell us what the scale is on the guitars you're trying to downtune.

You're tuning nearly (just half a stop off) to a Baritone tuning (B -B), which is usually accompanied by a 27" - 28.65" scale. It can be done on a 24.75" scale, but it's not going to be pretty. 25.5" works, but it's definitely not optimal.

With almost any guitar, low action is going to require level frets and a good setup. A PLEK job with setup here in California (LA, SF) will run closer to $200, and I've had them turned around as quickly as 8 hours. A manual fret level with setup will take longer and cost a bit under half that price. Once you've got it dialed in, you'll want to stay with the same tuning, the same string gauge and the same *brand* of strings. If you change any of the three, there's a decent chance you'll be out of whack.

I spend very little time with the truss rod on my guitars, to the point where it's stunning to me how much setup conversation on these forums includes truss rod tweaking. Either my necks (and the weather in my house) are a lot more stable or I'm changing strings often enough that there are fewer changes. I also have very little relief (.005-.008", *measured*, not guessed at or "business carded") on my necks, and I play with a pretty light touch (both fretting and picking hand).
#7
Quote by dthmtl3
Another alternative is a Line 6 Variax guitar.


I've gone this direction (and mentioned it, perhaps tediously, before).

I have a pair of JTV-89F guitars. Aside from all the modeling of other guitars available in the firmware on the guitar, you can alternate tune these guitars to almost anything (one of the factory downtunings is Baritone, another is C-C and Drop B). These are 25.5" scale guitars with jumbo frets, flattish (16" radius) fretboards and Floyds. They don't go out of tune (or rarely) as much as a TOM type guitar, of course, and you have the opportunity to set all kinds of odd tunings without ever changing string tension. And you get to play with a Floyd and you don't need bridge cables as strings. New, these run about $1200 at Guitar Center (less the various discounts and specials), but if you're using alternate tunings a lot, they'll save you buying and maintaining quite a few other guitars.
#8
@dthmtl3 Oh. Then I must be doing something right if you cant get your axes down to D without high action and buzz... Sorry to hear about that. Honestly I'm not a fan of any pitching tools or pedals. I want the real deal so to say. =/ Otherwise that would have been a good fix.

@dspellman I'm out in the woods of Sweden which mean I have a long way to travel to hook up with any good luthier or Plek. In Sweden a Plek cost around 315 USD. That is "ok" to pay if it really help. I used to send my axes to a guy and it took ages and cost so much but he actually mangage to fix all of my problems beside ONE ...
The sloppy feeling on the strings. When I play I can go almost one full tone out depending on how hard I push the string between the frets. As I'm a hard hitter this mean it sound sour with so sensetive and sloppy strings. Is this because of the tention or more because of the height of the frets ?
But I hear you and it seems like we are on the same path here ... I open up this topic to see if I was the "bad tech" or if its against the law of nature to have a guitar down from E-E to C-C with low action?! You also mention fret level and I see no other way to go to get the result I'm after? Do you guys ?
Agree on the truss. I have it meassured and mine is not really a problem. A few times I had to change it after a cold dry winter here....

@dspellman Thanks for all info. This is really a good sollution for live axe but I'm a little keen on the real deal and not emulated... So I think I have to stay with the wood and not go the "easy way" even if that is a awesome tool.

To everyone invloved this far. THANKS!
And again... Are there anyway to go round this easy? The more I think and read the more I realize the frets needs to be fixed for what I ask ? Or am I wrong ?
I'm thinking about 3 different ways to go ...
1. Seven string "tuned wrong"
2. Plek
3. Find a insane good luthier somewhere =)

I just want to add this ... I called some stores around in UK and Sweden and they all said ... Oh man we setup your guitar without any problems in 5 minutes to the strings you want and C-C ... I don't think they know what they are talking about ? =)
Everywhere I read how easy it is but I'm starting to realize that people that claims this must be wrong or have magic axes =) ?
#9
Most likely, I'm doing something wrong myself or rather, I don't know the secret either to a great setup. One of these days I'll have my teacher setup one of my guitars to D, see how well he can do it. All of his guitars have insanely low action and zero buzz, but then they are all in E standard are all Custom Shop Jacksons.
#10
I don't know man, I did it myself with little issue using thick gauge strings. No floppy strings, no going out of tune, by choosing a guage that gets close to the same tension per string as in E-E you don't even have to do much in the way of adjusting (this can be a bit of a challenge with standard sets but you can get close).

I just don't think I understand what the issue is. If you tune that low you're going to want to up the guage, but besides that it should be like an average setup (assuming nut slots are properly wide).
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#11
@dthmtl3 Yeah do that. Would be fun to see if he can fix it for you. I tried Jackson Custom, Esp Custom and Squier, same issue no matter what price range we talk for me...

@dementiacaptain Indeed interesting. May I ask what guitar you have and also what gauge on the strings you used when you did it ? For me.. The action should be about as low as it is by the nut down by the humbuckers... Did you manage to get that too? When I do it... The strings will even be laying against the frets without that I touch them?! Approx how high action do you have ?`I mean I can do it with an action of 2 cm but going ultra low action ... The strings will touch the frets on every axe I tried on...
#12
I've never been one to measure action, but I can tell you that I prefer a fairly average action, not too low, not too high. I've several different guitars and string guages, from an LTD EC400 with 13-56 to a EBMM Silhouette with 11-49. It requires tweaking and takes a lot of time in some cases (especially with a Floyd) but it isn't impossible.

From what you are describing though, you may have unreasonable expectations for how low your action is. You describe yourself as heavy-handed yet you want super low action, seems a bit counterintuitive.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#13
@dementiacaptain I don't measure it but I can see it pretty clear =) indeed. Tweaking take a lot of time and patient =)

I think you are on the right path. I'm asking for too much I think.... Just that I need to finnish our new records in C then I'm gonna go back to D again cause that work so much better with my playing style... C and hard hitter .. I'm not gonna reach to where I "hope for" ...

Gonna try a seven string soon and tune up the thickest string so it play i C standard and see if that extra tention will be better for my hard hitting ... The seventh string can just hang there =P
#14
So wait, are you thinking of tuning the whole thing up then? It would seem like raising the action slightly on a 6 string would be easier, but it's all you man.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#15
@dementiacaptain I had in mind of getting a 7 string and take the B string (thickest) and tune it up to C and then the guitar would be C-C beside the thinnest string.... Would be a half step up on the thick one and that's all.... For me this feels like way less to go than tuning a 6 string down 4 half tones ?! Or am I wrong =)
#16
But then your E would need to come up half a step... I guess you could keep it where it is but then you have to play all your chords a bit funny

Hey man, do whatever you feel is best. I just know that what you want is achievable and doesn't require the purchase of a new guitar. It may take a bit of getting used to, but I bet that with a carefully chosen gauge of strings (perhaps you may have to make your own "custom" set) and a good thorough setup you can get a 6 string to do exactly what thousands of other people have done successfully.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#17
@dementiacaptain Haha I had that in mind but I will just try to ignore the E string =P

Reason I want another guitar beside this problem is that I'm not actually happy with the sound and sustain either.... So I open up this topic a bit to see if there where particular axes that could handle this better too ...
Anyway. I think I just have to pick something that sound sweet up and then go for string experimenting and eventually a PLEK for the action I want and see what happens. =)

Hmm. What about a evertune for my rythm as I hit so hard? That would make it stay in tune better I think ?
Last edited by Invocation at Mar 21, 2016,
#18
Honestly at this point man it sounds like you just want to spend some money. Go for it.

I wouldn't, I'd just learn to live with whatever shortcomings my instrument had and work on overcoming them with improvements to my technique. But this is you, and you should do whatever works for you.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#19
@dementiacaptain not really but I tried out a friends axe a while ago. That sustain!!! It was so amazing... And as my other axes are somewhat close to what I do I thought ... If I'm gonna do this again maybe try on a new... Anyway. I will think more and see where it all ends. I'm indeed grateful for the inputs you gave me here! Thanks a lot!!!
#20
Quote by Invocation

Hmm. What about a evertune for my rythm as I hit so hard? That would make it stay in tune better I think ?


Unlikely, since what's MOST likely pulling it out of tune is your technique and the high action it seems to require.

My guitar teacher explained to me long ago that if I'm playing an electric guitar, I should let the electric guitar do the work. In short, I shouldn't be playing it like an acoustic. So I developed a light touch, both on the fretting hand and on the picking hand. You can still get great dynamics; you just don't pull every string out of tune.

An Evertune won't help that.
#21
Dspellman makes a good point.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.