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Baritone strings on a regular electric guitar?

Steven

Member
Messages
2,291
Is it possible to string an ordinary electric guitar with baritone strings (014-068) without running into problems with the intonation of the guitar (more than the usual inonation when changing string gauge). I have a parts tele that I´m not using much and I wanna turn it into a baritone guitar.
 

Bleak

Member
Messages
290
Nope, there shouldn't really be any issues. Are you downtuning with that set, or keeping it in standard?
 

baimun

Member
Messages
1,270
As someone who been putting heavy duty baritone tunings on standard guitars for over a dozen years...

You may need to widen each nut slot a bit to keep them from binding, but don't cut them as deep as the originals. Heavier, thicker strings tend to move more and will clatter against the frets or buzz if you get the action too low.

The adjustible saddles will be no problem on most bridges. If your tele bridge has 6 separate saddles it will work best. You have to go pretty thick on the last string to get the intonation out of the range of the adjustment screws.

The reason for moving the intonation point is the thickness of the string itself throws off the actual position of the center core of the string. You adjust the saddle so the center core of the string is resonating at it's harmonic intervals at the 12th, 7th, 3rd, etc once fretted.

I've had some setups where the lowest saddle needed to move a bit further back and the screw started crunching up on the sadde. That spring just makes sure the saddle is pushed all the way to it's furthest point, so you can cut the spring down or in my case, I used a smaller, strat pickup spring instead.



Like stated above, depending on the tension you're looking for, you may want to downtune a half step or such to get the individual string tension where it's comfortable for you.
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,611
Wouldn't there be issues with the neck holding up under the extra tension of the barry strings?
 

phantasm

Member
Messages
1,219
I wouldn't think there'd be too much issue with the neck in this situation. Look at a jazz bass- thinner neck than most regular electric guitars. Just adjust the truss rod.
 

baimun

Member
Messages
1,270
Wouldn't there be issues with the neck holding up under the extra tension of the barry strings?
Guitar necks can take a lot more tension than people give them credit for... particularly under the stress of string bending, heavy tremolo use...

... in the 80's when we did stupid stuff like the "Jack Butler" (pulling the guitar up during a high harmonic by only the trem and then shaking the guitar) it was usually the high strings, trem bar, or in one unfortunate case, the trem bolts in the body wood that give way... not the neck.
 

Steven

Member
Messages
2,291
Nope, there shouldn't really be any issues. Are you downtuning with that set, or keeping it in standard?
Thanks everyone! I have made a few nuts for my guitars so I know how to fix the slots for the increased string gauges.

I going to tune down - maby to C, F, Bb, Eb, G, C? Is there a "standard" tuning for a baritone guitar?
 

baimun

Member
Messages
1,270
There's as many "standard" alternate tunings as there are "standard" regular tunings.

If you get REALLY adventurous... here's the alternate tuning I use on my guitars



String gauges are:

.0095 (D'Addario guitar)
.013
.024
.046
.065 (bass string)
.100 (bass string)

You'll notice my high E is normal.... and the pitch of D, but my D string is my third string instead of my fourth. The 24 fret guitar is one note shy of 5 octaves.
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,081
I going to tune down - maby to C, F, Bb, Eb, G, C? Is there a "standard" tuning for a baritone guitar?
Yes - B-E-A-D-F#-B - one fourth lower than guitar, is the most common.

You could do what you're described - I did it on an old Epiphone Rivera I used to own - but without the longer scale length you don't get the kind of 'oomph' out of the string you'd be really wanting to get out of baritone strings.
 

papersoul

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,783
Bump...

I am doing this now with my PRS...Singlecut.

Keep in mind that heavier and thicker strings move less and have less buzz and clang so I keep the nut cut the same depth, obviously, but widen the wound slots slightly. Keep in mind, its just physics.
You really can't change the depth anyway, unless you add some resin to raise the height, but you can always low the nut depth. My guitar was already set up well by my tech for 11-54, so with the really heavy gauges, I use the string itself like a file and widen the nut slot. Works well. It feels so tight, no buzz or clang of any sort. Lighter strings, I hate the extra movement and clang/buzz.
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,506
I did this on an 80s Charvel. It had a locking nut at the time so adjusting nut slots was not an issue. The problem is that the strings were fairly flabby owing to the 25.5" scale. The low B string will likely be difficult to intonate properly.
 




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