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Sting gauges for low tuning thoughts...

althekiller

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,171
I have a Les Paul tuned in C standard and after using 12-60 gauge strings for a long time I switched to 11-56 and for what I play I think they sound a lot better. After resetting the guitar up and correctly slotting a new nut the strings stay in tune and intonate better with the lighter gauge as well.

Basically, I like the way a lighter gauge sounds tuned low because it actually sounds like it is tuned low. I know a lot of guys like to tune low, put big tight strings on, and have a very tight amp in the low end....This defeats the purpose of the lower tuning imo. I like the wobble sound it makes when lighter strings are tuned down and believe that is one of the contributions to the Sabbath sounds.

And before someone says 11-56 isn't light for C standard, I'm using a 24 3/4 scale guitar and top wrapped. Makes them feel very loose and get a wobble sound when I hit them hard almost like a cocked wah thing going on. They feel lighter to me than my SG in E standard with 10-46 gauges strings.

For those of you that tune lower than E standard and Eb what string gauges do you use and does the actual sound of the strings matter or is it all in the tension and how they feel? Curious about others philosophy on tuning down and string gauge and set up.
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,540
I use 10's, and don't change string gauge for drop tunings. I go as low as C# sometimes on my Les Paul with 10's.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
43,677
I saw the thread title and thought this was going to be a BDSM thread.

Sorry, I got nuthin. I never go lower than drop D.
 

aman74

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,962
Well, the top wrap isn't changing the tension, but the compliance. You're still achieving the same tension or else your pitch would be off.

As far as your general thoughts though, yes, I do think it can help achieve certain tones....not better or worse of course, depending on your goals there's probably going to be a preference. From what I know the Kyuss album Sky Valley, with it's glorious tones, used a similar idea. They tuned down, but didn't gauge up or even went down to achieve that feel and tone. Makes sense if you listen to the album.
 

orourke

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,506
I tune this D standard and use 11's, works great:


Rick Kelly built this for me years ago as a baritone, I could tune as low as A, it has a really long neck (don't know the scale length) but I use a 11's and tune it to C, once again, works great:

 

Kashmir Oceania

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
225
Toni Iommi used 8's in C# so string gauge doesn't really have much (if anything) to do with thickness of tone.
 

althekiller

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,171
Well, the top wrap isn't changing the tension, but the compliance. You're still achieving the same tension or else your pitch would be off.

As far as your general thoughts though, yes, I do think it can help achieve certain tones....not better or worse of course, depending on your goals there's probably going to be a preference. From what I know the Kyuss album Sky Valley, with it's glorious tones, used a similar idea. They tuned down, but didn't gauge up or even went down to achieve that feel and tone. Makes sense if you listen to the album.
Welcome to Sky Valley is a favorite of mine...IMO the pinnacle of how great a lower tuning can sound and it goes against everything that many guitarists strive for and still sounds amazing. Neck pickup, tons of low end, C tuning, and is somehow still manages to sound huge and clear and not over gained. Many guitarists try to do this and it just ends up being complete mud but somehow that combination just sounds massive and perfect for the songs. Even the chugging on the chords have a womp womp type of sound instead of the tight bass you hear so many modern metal bands do that tune low.

Loose strings and less gain than many think plays a big part to that sound I believe. Oh, and volume!
 




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