Need help for Low F tuning...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Warlock626, Sep 16, 2012.


  1. Warlock626

    Warlock626

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    What's up everyone,
    I'm currently playing in a band that plays with 8-string guitars. The tuning is weird in a way, but is drop A# with an added low F. The F# string is tuned a half step down to F, and the rest is tunes a half step up. However, to compensate the weird tuning, I tuned my bass to drop A# (A#,F,A#,Eb, Ab).

    I want to down tuned my bass to F,A#,F,A#,Eb, which are the thickest 5 strings of my guitarists and I found a string company called Circle K that makes all gauges possible for detuning. The string gauges I'm going to give it a try are .182,.136,.094,.076,.061. Will be the low F with .182 (34.2 lbs) be too much? Or go a bit lighter with .174 (31.2 lbs).

    Any recommendations are appreciated.
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    34 pounds is what I consider 'floppy as he**'. You might want to go up a couple of steps. 40-45 would be normal, 50 or so would be getting too high if you ask me.
     
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    If I played in you band I would simply play a 5 string bass and tune it down from B to Bb (A#) ... For notes lower than that play the octave above. Pretty much anything below a low A sounds dull, muddy, floppy, and begins to go sub sonic.

    That low F# tuning works on guitar because it is an octave higher. But the problem is your guitars in that band are playing bass notes on their 2 lower strings so then you are forced to go subsonic to stay lower than their notes.
     
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    You could also just get an octave pedal and play normal.
     
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  6. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    30 pounds is the CKS recommended minimum, extra light tension. 35 pounds is light tension, either is fine it depends on how heavy your technique is. CKs feel very loose for their tension so 30 pounds will probably 'feel' ultra light and 35 pounds extra light.
    I noticed your chosen gauges have tensions 35 35 40 45 50, a steep rise from low to high, i assume that's intentional and you used the tension chart to design it? I usually recommend an 'equal tensions' set as a starting point.
    if your bridge has a limited range of intonation movement a thinner low F has a better chance of working since it will be more flexible and not need the saddle so far back.
    i wouldn't exceed .190 because the .200 has 4 layers of wrap wire instead of 3 and will be significantly stiffer. A .190 low F will have medium-light tension. So i recommend .174 .182 or .190.
    I think you'll find an equal tensions set much more comfortable and easier on your body, i would recommend .190 .142 .094 .070 .051 which is 38 pounds across the set.
     
  7. Warlock626

    Warlock626

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    Thanks ixlramp, I made it with weird tension because I was trying to match my current tension with the D'addario s set that I have. The gauges are .135T,.095,.075,.060,.040.
     
  8. Josh Pelican

    Josh Pelican

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    .174 will be pretty damn light if you ask me. I'd (personally) give the .182 a try, but like ixlramp said, the .190 set wouldn't be a bad choice either.
     
  9. Warlock626

    Warlock626

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    Now the question is... where I can find the files. I have 4 files of .056,.078,.095, and .130. I was thinking in using both .130+.056 to make the .186 for the .190 and .095+.056=.151 for the .142. A rep from Circle K said I should use .190,.150,.098,.073,.055. And the tension from thickest to thinnest will 37.8, 41.2, 41.8, 41.5, 42.5. I'm probably going to go ixrlamp set because it will be easier on the body like he mentioned.
     
  10. Warlock626

    Warlock626

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    Now the question is where can I find filers for the low .190, and .142?
     
  11. the explode man

    the explode man

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    Hey Warlock626,

    From another bass player that plays in a low tuning, I would highly recommend that you actually tune up as opposed to tuning down.

    My band plays in Drop B standard, which has the standard .130 gauge from a 5 string. We have some songs in the 190-195 BPM range, and when you are pedalling hard on those low notes, it is really hard to gain any clarity out of those strings.

    I imagine that given your tuning, you're probably playing Djent or something like that, which isn't a particularly fast type of music, but I would recommend you tune your low B a half step down to A#, then gauge accordingly from there, instead of going that much further lower. I have a feeling that even if you resolve your gauge problem and get your bass setup, you might run into a brick wall as far as speaker handling goes. That is, have fun getting a cab that can handle that F with precision.

    Sorry, this wasn't to deter you from what you want to do, and I get that you were looking for help to do what you wanted, but take this as a caveat emptor before you start filing away at your bass.

    Thanks!
     
  12. Solarmist

    Solarmist Supporting Member

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    ^ Yes.
    After reading many of the threads in the "Amps/Cabs" forum - another question would be can your rig reproduce those low of notes?
     
  13. Josh Pelican

    Josh Pelican

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    I've tuned down to Eb0 and played through my normal Ampeg stack. I love how it sounded, whether or not it "handled it" with precision. Some people just love the sound and feel of going as low as they can.

    But just because he's tuning down to F doesn't mean he's playing "djent", which I'll never consider a real genre. But, I'm not here to start a genre war. I love low tunings and hate "djent", that's basically just what I'm saying. He could be playing anything.
     
  14. Warlock626

    Warlock626

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    @the explode man: My band plays within the lines of Meshuggah, Periphery, and After The Burial. Awesome low tuning bands. Meshuggah's bassist does what I'm currently doing by tuning up. I am using a Carvin BX500 with a 2x10 Carvin Pro bass cab that produces notes as low as 22 Hz in the active setting, so I'm not worried about it.

    My quest now is to find files for .190, and .142 without combining a .130 file and a .056 to come up to .186. Some people are telling me to get a real fine sand paper and wrap it around the string and carefully file it without making it deeper. I searched through all the brands and no result s so far. I can try combining files and/or use fine sand paper.
     
  15. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    Yes this^
    If your nut is hard plastic then sandpaper around the string is a good idea. Otherwise buy a small and fine curved or semi-circular file and work on each wall of the slot separately. Don't touch the curved floor of the slot, only the upper 75% of the slot walls need to be filed back. It is the valley curve of the slot floor combined with the downforce on the string which centres a string in the slot, not the slot walls, so you don't have to be ultra-precise with the width of the slot, you can also go back to thinner strings afterwards without needing a new nut for that reason.
     
  16. Warlock626

    Warlock626

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    I have is graphite nut, so shall I try sanding it using the string wrapped in sand paper? What grade should I get?
     
  17. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    Hmm graphite may be too hard for sandpaper, but if you try it you need fine grade on tough paper. Fast and gentle strokes and slow progress. I used a slim half round needle file to work on each slot wall separately:
    [​IMG]
     
  18. the explode man

    the explode man

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    Hi Warlock626,

    So you do play djent! I love that genre and your tuning should suit you just fine then. Just try not to go bankrupt with the price of those strings. You're probably aware of this, but also be careful on your bridge/action. You might have to set your intonation off because with a really thick gauge, you also run the risk of breakage if there's too severe of an angle at the bridge.

    Do you guys have any demos or live videos up at all? I'd love to check out a fellow TB'ers metal project.

    Thanks!
     
  19. Warlock626

    Warlock626

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    The explode man, we are in the process of recording, but you can follow us at www.facebook.com/cityofthesuntx.

    Ixrlamp, is there any requirement for me to get those needle files? Or I can order some from allparts.com?
     
  20. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    Requirement? Nothing is compulsory :) I bought mine from a hardware shop. Personally i would try the sandpaper first in case that works.
    Keep in mind CK strings cannot be strung through body, you need a standard top load bridge.
     
  21. Warlock626

    Warlock626

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    Ixrlamp, I have a Carvin Icon5 and can be either fed string-thru and/or top-load. By any chance you know what grade shall I get for the sand paper trick? I don't know what grade to get so it can be easier on my graphite nut.
     

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