#1
After previously receiving some great input here on this forum for what guitar I should buy for playing doom/sludge, I decided on ordering a Gibson SGJ. As I am waiting for the guitar, I am reading everything I can find regarding guitar setup for low tunings. How are your experiences with tunings such as drop A and intonation? Some claims perfect intonation in low tunings like this is impossible, others say its no problem as long as one use the right string gauge. Thankful for all input here!
Last edited by breaksoap at Jul 6, 2017,
#2
Well, perfect intonation is impossible on equal temperament, but for the sake of argument I think it comes down to
your personal preference on how close you have to get. Also what is important is the feel, since on a shorter scale you
need a thicker set of things to get that low without making strings flabby, but how flabby is too much is also pretty much down
to preference. Also your playing style as in fingering pressure and strumming strength affects all these things.

I think you're fine, especially for doom/sludge. You're there to make some noise, right?  


Altough... I use Bass VI strings on a tele to tune it an octave lower so take that with a grain of salt... 


#3
Those strings look killer! So youre playing in E standard, just an octave lower, right? Id like to keep to B standard/drop a, any recommendations on string gauge? I do like some flabbiness to get that gutty growl from power chords, but not too much. A normal 0.010 set on a 25.5" guitar tuned to D standard is quite satisfactory regarding "flabbiness" Maybe C# standard too
#4
Perfect intonation is impossible to achieve with any guitar and any gauge of strings. Adjusting the intonation on a guitar is all about achieving the best compromise so that as many of the frets are in tune with themselves as possible.

The issues you might run into with stringing a guitar with such a short scale length with such heavy strings is running out of intonation adjustment room on the bridge. There really isn't  good way to solve this problem other than to buy a new bridge with an extended intonation range. Either that or you may need to experiment with different string gauges. 

You'll need some very heavy strings to get an acceptable level of tension with a guitar that has such a short scale length in that tuning. And the heavier the string gauge you're forced to use, the duller and less defined the tone of the guitar will become. Heavier gauges of string over shorter distances have less mechanical flexibility than lighter gauges over longer distances, causing the strings to lose treble frequencies, which leads to a muddy and undefined tone. This is the scientific reason why guitars with longer scale lengths fare better with lower tunings, because they can get away with using lighter gauges of string for the same amount of tension in the same tuning, which helps maintain string flexibility and thus maintain definition in the low end.

But if you're playing doom/sludge, the muddy tone that tuning a short scale guitar low creates is probably exactly what you're looking for anyway. Personally though that sort of thing is just not my bag.
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#5
in reality, T00DEEPBLUE  is right.

when it comes to real life, that on a 24.75" scale will not likely  intonate as well as you want it to at those tunings. i can hold C#std on two SGs i own, both can intonoate, OK, but i would love to have it better if i were to record. i don't use those guitars to record, because the 'ok' intonation sticks out like a sore thumb. but that is why you buy more guitars
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#6
Maybe I'm better off with a guitar with a longer scale length and keep my SG for the black metal stuff in E standard... I know for sure that even the smallest intonation issue would trigger my OCD bad time :P