Baritone string gauges for A standard with 27" scale

RedfoxRambler

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60
I have a Squier Cabronita baritone 27" that came with 0.14 / .018 / .026 / .044 / .056 / .068 strings, and I find them to be a bit floppy/muddy/not well intonated in A standard (especially if I do drop G on lowest string which I often do, playing sludgy doomy rock/metal and occasionally slow heavy country/folk). I also have a 30" Squier Jazzmaster Baritone that does great in A/drop G with that set, though I now have this EB set on it which is similar except a .072 for 6th string and a .030 for 3rd. Haven't tried it on the Cabronita, have been hesitant to switch just those two strings out since it wouldn't give a representative full picture. I want to get the Cabronita to sound close to as good as the Jazzmaster as the 27" scale is a lot easier to play live, so I'm wondering if:

1) a slightly heavier gauge than the EBs would be better, for example I put together this custom set at StringJoy: .015 / .019p / .032 / .046 / .058 / .074
2) Do I need to do anything other than slight truss rod adjustment a week or so after putting on heavier strings? Assuming they'll pull neck and create higher action/worse intonation

Thanks!
 

CanuckChris

Member
Messages
2,363
I have the same guitar and use EB Mammoth Slinkies (12-62) on it in B-standard tuning. According to Stringjoy's tension calculator, that puts me right around the same tension as a regular set of 9's in 25.5" scale length.

I think what you're experiencing is less about string gauge and more about appropriate scale length for the tuning. If you put in your proposed string gauges in Stringjoy's website at 27" and A-standard, you're getting a lot of red numbers (i.e. too high of tension) popping up. The lower you go, the longer your scale length should typically be. The Bunn on YouTube has some good discussions on this.

If you go ahead with it, aside from truss rod adjustment you may need to widen the nut slots.
 

Chad

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853
To me, the point of a baritone is to be able to run lower tunings with lighter strings compared to traditional scale lengths. Lighter strings sound clearer, brighter, and more guitar-like. With that said, the gauges you mention sound absolutely mammoth overkill that would sound unnecessarily dark, but tastes vary. I’d start with something like a 59 for the low A and go from there. But that’d probably not work for you.
 

RedfoxRambler

Member
Messages
60
I have the same guitar and use EB Mammoth Slinkies (12-62) on it in B-standard tuning. According to Stringjoy's tension calculator, that puts me right around the same tension as a regular set of 9's in 25.5" scale length.

I think what you're experiencing is less about string gauge and more about appropriate scale length for the tuning. If you put in your proposed string gauges in Stringjoy's website at 27" and A-standard, you're getting a lot of red numbers (i.e. too high of tension) popping up. The lower you go, the longer your scale length should typically be. The Bunn on YouTube has some good discussions on this.

If you go ahead with it, aside from truss rod adjustment you may need to widen the nut slots.

I didn't realize stringjoy site had a tension calculator, thanks for the heads up! Hmm now I'm thinking about selling the Cabronita and picking up an Eastwood Sidejack which is 28"
 

RedfoxRambler

Member
Messages
60
To me, the point of a baritone is to be able to run lower tunings with lighter strings compared to traditional scale lengths. Lighter strings sound clearer, brighter, and more guitar-like. With that said, the gauges you mention sound absolutely mammoth overkill that would sound unnecessarily dark, but tastes vary. I’d start with something like a 59 for the low A and go from there. But that’d probably not work for you.

I mean, the point for me is to have the most massive, heavy, sludgey wall of sound possible while still being able to make full chords, which for me equals heavy strings and low tunings through an all tube ampeg bass amp. .059 isn't much bigger than what I might use for low E on a standard scale E standard lol
 

balata9999

Member
Messages
327
Your set in the original post seems ok, I use a set of 16 to 70 on a 27.95” scale for B standard so I think you will be fine. Truss rod, and maybe a slight widening of the nut slot if they seem to bind or not fully seat in the slot.
 

RedfoxRambler

Member
Messages
60
Your set in the original post seems ok, I use a set of 16 to 70 on a 27.95” scale for B standard so I think you will be fine. Truss rod, and maybe a slight widening of the nut slot if they seem to bind or not fully seat in the slot.

Thanks, when you say my set in the original post, which set did you mean? The ones it comes with, the EB that has heavier 6th and 3rd strings, or the stringjoy custom set i proposed?

With your current scale and gauges, do you think A standard/ drop G would work fine? Just debating on whether a 28" Eastwood Sidejack might work a bit better for A than the 27" Cabronita (I'm pretty attached to A at this point, been writing in that with the jazzmaster for a couple years but I'm worried about it causing too much fatigue if I start to play out)
 

Chad

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Messages
853
I mean, the point for me is to have the most massive, heavy, sludgey wall of sound possible while still being able to make full chords, which for me equals heavy strings and low tunings through an all tube ampeg bass amp. .059 isn't much bigger than what I might use for low E on a standard scale E standard lol

You can get that with standard scale lengths. I have a PRS Mushok 27.7” scale that I’m probably going to sell because the extra clarity of the increased scale length isn’t worth the stretching required to play chords. I get the sounds I like on 25.5” scale just fine (even with tunings like drop A) and they play easier. I might play a 26.5 or maybe 27 if I wanted to go close to an octave down, but beyond those scale lengths doesn’t comply well with my fingers.
 

balata9999

Member
Messages
327
Thanks, when you say my set in the original post, which set did you mean? The ones it comes with, the EB that has heavier 6th and 3rd strings, or the stringjoy custom set i proposed?

With your current scale and gauges, do you think A standard/ drop G would work fine? Just debating on whether a 28" Eastwood Sidejack might work a bit better for A than the 27" Cabronita (I'm pretty attached to A at this point, been writing in that with the jazzmaster for a couple years but I'm worried about it causing too much fatigue if I start to play out)

The custom stringjoy set.

I definitely prefer 28” to 27” in a baritone but its pretty much personal preference kinda like gibson/fender scale length in a standard tuned guitar.
 

RedfoxRambler

Member
Messages
60
You can get that with standard scale lengths. I have a PRS Mushok 27.7” scale that I’m probably going to sell because the extra clarity of the increased scale length isn’t worth the stretching required to play chords. I get the sounds I like on 25.5” scale just fine (even with tunings like drop A) and they play easier. I might play a 26.5 or maybe 27 if I wanted to go close to an octave down, but beyond those scale lengths doesn’t comply well with my fingers.

What do you do to avoid strings being floppy/muddy af and horribly intonated when fretting on a 25.5" in A standard? It's been a long time since I experimented with anything below C on a "regular" guitar, but even that was getting a bit into mud land. After playing the 30" jazzmaster for awhile, the 27" Cabronita feels like a "regular" guitar, and a 25.5" feels teeny tiny now haha
 

Chad

Member
Messages
853
What do you do to avoid strings being floppy/muddy af and horribly intonated when fretting on a 25.5" in A standard? It's been a long time since I experimented with anything below C on a "regular" guitar, but even that was getting a bit into mud land. After playing the 30" jazzmaster for awhile, the 27" Cabronita feels like a "regular" guitar, and a 25.5" feels teeny tiny now haha

I play with a light touch. No mud whatsoever. The heavier the strings, the muddier it gets. I prefer light strings and playing with a light touch, but everybody is different.
 

Baelzebeard

Member
Messages
397
I m with Chad. I only prefer longer scale lengths tuning below A standard. My hands get worn out with the big stretches.

I play primarily in B standard (7 string) (black/doom/death metal) with Stringjoy custom sets of 9 1/2 - 62, on 25.5" scale and they feel, sound, and intonate perfect. With A tuning I'd bump it up to something like 11-68 and be perfectly satisfied. I like to run my wound strings around 20 lbs, and my plain strings at 16-17. Feels good under the fingers, and sounds like a guitar should.

I have a 27" 8 string, and my B string on that is a 54 I think, and 74 for F#.

There is a tension "illusion" with longer scale lengths. You can have adequate tension with the lighter gauges, but to me the strings feel slinkier than the same tension on a shorter scale. I dont know the science behind it but is a recognized phenomenon. 20 lbs. of tension at 25" does not feel the same as 20 lbs. at 27". Especially Bends. Bass strings are around 40 lbs.(at 34-35") and they dont feel twice as hard to fret/play.
 

RedfoxRambler

Member
Messages
60
This is definitely interesting, and makes me want to experiment more with lighter gauges and low tunings. I remember reading Iommi used super light low tuned strings but used a light touch, maybe the difference between mine and Chad / Baelzebeard's (would be down to check out any links youall have to recordings online btw) situations is that I may not have a traditional bass in the band. May either do a drums/baritone 2 piece where I want as much low end from the guitar as possible, or may use overdriven analog synths for bass and hadn't decided how much I want baritone to contribute to low end in that case. So, my assumption is that lighter strings in lower tunings on shorter scales is more applicable when you don't really want a ton of low end from that instrument bc it's ideally coming from a bass. Correct me if I'm wrong there, and also according to the way youall approach it I should be fine in A with my 27" Cabronita with the strings already on it, right?
 

bobluke

Member
Messages
294
I normally use 62 for Low A on a 26.5 scale. Ive recently used 66 on a 27 inch scale and it was plenty tight and sounded pretty good. It was a bit more muddy/thick sounding. Im sticking with the kalium drop sets though.
 




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