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Author Topic: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C  (Read 3308 times)

AnnunakiMassacr

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At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« on: September 29, 2014, 04:28:21 PM »
I've just seen a post for a very similar problem, but thought a mine merits a new topic due to the complexity...or should I say my fussiness haha.

I'll start by saying, like the other post, I play a ESP Eclipse. Hardtail and 24.75" scale. I've recently acquired quite a few guitars and thought it best to try and fine tune (no pun intended) my string gauges.

I grew up playing my trust old Epiphone Les Paul and LTD Eclipse later on, and I always bought Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms (10-52). I used these strings originally when playing Standard D and Drop C. But as I got into more music, I found myself tuning up to standard quite a lot, so these became my good-to-go strings. Something I did find though was: the tension of the bottom 3 strings I preferred in E Standard as they felt the were more secure and let my pick fast without flubbiness. At the time the top 3 (10-17) felt tighter in a certain sense, but my fingers developed strength and I now find myself preferring 10-52 for E Standard on 24.75" as it just feels perfect. Only think I could wish for is maybe a heavier E String for when I drop to Drop D...but it's liveable.

Even though I still use this Guage to go to Drop C/D Standard, with the new guitars I've got, I'm wanting to take it to the next level and have a guitar especially set up for Drop C at all times. Whilst the guitar will be set up as Drop C permanently, I still want the bottom string to be able to be tuned up to D Standard without causing any damaging stress. But preferably I want the feel of something like the 10-52, but tuned a whole step down, with a heavier bottom string for better tension.

I don't mind getting a 6 string set and then replacing the bottom string. I'm just looking for guidance at the moment

I just thought I'd add, when I play my MusicMan JPXI (25.5"), I find the top strings a tad bit too tight. Just so you have a few ideas on what I'm looking for.
BKPs: ESP Eclipse I CTM FT w/Riff Raff bridge/Mule neck - ESP Eclipse I CTM w/Rebel Yells - LTD EC-1000 FT w/Aftermaths - Music Man JPIX w/Juggernauts

FELINEGUITARS

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 08:03:01 PM »
if you play normal tuning using 10-52 (10.13.17.30.42.52)
for d with drop C to get the same tension
swap 10 for 11.
swap 13 for 14 or 15.
swap 17 for 19 or 20.
swap 30 for 34.
swap 42 for 46.
swap 52 for 64 (for drop C).....58 will work well for D
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AnnunakiMassacr

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2014, 08:11:30 PM »
Do you think the best way is to create my own set from the numbers you listed, and if I feel a certain string needs to go one way or another, just try a different gauge the second time, and eliminate by trial and error? I know how to intonate a guitar, but will changing tensions on the strings cause any permanent damage? I just hear people moan these days that everything has to be perfect, tension wise, etc
BKPs: ESP Eclipse I CTM FT w/Riff Raff bridge/Mule neck - ESP Eclipse I CTM w/Rebel Yells - LTD EC-1000 FT w/Aftermaths - Music Man JPIX w/Juggernauts

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2014, 11:24:55 PM »
Try the numbers shown and judge for yourself.
The tensions are about the same as they would be with 10-52s in standard tuning, and you may not have to shift intonation too much.

Experiment to find the perfect set for yourself. It shouldn't cause any problems as long as you don't get crazy high in the gauges..
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AnnunakiMassacr

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2014, 12:54:05 PM »
If I got the 64 for the bottom C, how would it react in terms of if I wanted to tune the string up to D? Should I be fine, or would I be better off starting at something like 60?
BKPs: ESP Eclipse I CTM FT w/Riff Raff bridge/Mule neck - ESP Eclipse I CTM w/Rebel Yells - LTD EC-1000 FT w/Aftermaths - Music Man JPIX w/Juggernauts

AnnunakiMassacr

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2014, 01:01:17 PM »
How would you find this string set btw?

http://www.daddario.com/DADProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=3769&productid=26

Think it may work out cheaper, and I just need to play about with the bottom string? Or do you know any companies that do custom sets of strings?
BKPs: ESP Eclipse I CTM FT w/Riff Raff bridge/Mule neck - ESP Eclipse I CTM w/Rebel Yells - LTD EC-1000 FT w/Aftermaths - Music Man JPIX w/Juggernauts

Dave Sloven

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2014, 02:18:43 PM »
I use the Skinny Top Heavy Bottom set in D standard ... I can't imagine using a 64 in place of my 52.  Truss rod adjustment for sure ...On my SG I'd be starting to get scared that something would snap!
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CommonCourtesy

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2014, 01:55:14 PM »
I have a Les Paul studio set up in drop c, I use the Ernie Ball 'Not Even Slinky' 12-56's gauge. Its about right, not floppy and I can still tune the low 6th string to a D if needed, though I don't play in D standard very much. Feels like 10's in standard to be fair, and it works well. In time I may put a 60 to replace the 56 but its good at the moment.

My back up guitar is an Epiphone Les Paul Standard that goes through a variety of tunings, standard, Eb standard, drop d, drop c#, and drop c for the band. It gets a bit floppy sometimes but manageable. If it was a main guitar I'd have 12-56's on it all day long.

Custom sets you make up yourself are useful for experimenting. If I'm playing below a D on the low string I wouldn't use anything lower than a 52.

Dave Sloven

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2014, 11:17:48 PM »
Does that have a wound G?  As the sizes go up the unwound strings can be pretty awful to play (and even to restring), but death metal guys I know who play in low tunings like the wound Gs.
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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2014, 02:05:05 PM »
For the 12-56's set its a plain one, but it doesn't bother me as I don't bend a lot and it holds up better when I cane it on chords. I usually add a 5th interval on the top of a drop tuned power chord. If I was mega fussy I could switch it out but I'm not that bothered about it.

Alex

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Re: At my wits end with finding the right string gauge for Drop C
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2014, 06:23:32 PM »
It is all a matter of taste. I have also found that not all gauges are created equal and that claims such as "perfect for downtuning" aren't always to be believed.

The GHS LOW 11-53 is one of the heavier, tighter sets and should give you a lot of tension in D standard. I would just recommend trying different sets and seeing what feels right.
SIT strings and Dunlop make strings that feel tighter than their thickness would suggest.  I use the SIT ones currently .11-50 on my Eclipse (D standard) and am pleasantly surprised.

The Dunlop ones are nice when new, but their durability is very poor, so I wouldn't recommend those.
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