A 24,7" guitar with Bass VI type strings tuned A-A?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NoiseNinja, Dec 9, 2016.


  1. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    I got a cheap but decent Epiphone SG Special guitar with a 24,7" scale neck with a nut with of 1.68", and I am pondering in turning it into a baritone using the the 5 upper strings of a set mend for Bass VI type instruments and then some fitting gauged string as the 6th string, and tune it A-A.

    That means a set of strings looking something like this gauge wise:
    016, 024, 032, 042, 054, 075

    I am wondering if I could away with just that, beside drilling bigger holes in the tuners, filing broader cavities in the nut and adjusting the truss rod or I would need further modding before being able to make something useful out of it?

    Also wondering if the neck of my guitar would be able to handle the extra tension, or it would give in?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  2. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I do believe you'll have to relocate the bridge.
     
  3. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    Hmm, ok, I am just not sure I understand why a bridge relocation should be necessary?

    Also would the neck indeed be able to handle the extra tension from the strings?
     
  4. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The intonation. I could be wrong. Someone more knowledgeable and less sleepy will explain it better shortly.
     
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    I think you are, I know some made sub short scale bases out of Gibson scaled guitars, I am not entirely sure they did not in fact relocate or replace the bridge, so I could be wrong on this assumption.

    Also I think ii depends a lot on the gauge of the strings, at least I know that is the case with bass strings.

    Also I found some strings that probably would fit my specifications better, strings actually made for baritones tuned A-A, a bit slinkier than what I specified, and also would be closer to my scale length, namely 27": Ernie Ball 2839, which is gauged .013, .018, .030, .044, .056, .072

    Edit: Also just read a reply on some forum that someone uses that set on his 25,5" scaled piccolo, so would think at least the strings would be right for this configuration.

    I guess my only question left then, beside the unsolved bridge problem, if my guiatar neck would be able to handle it?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  6. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Total tension should be in the ballpark of that of a medium electric guitar set.
    Gauges look good in fact (as does the revised set in your later post). Using the D'Addario chart, and guitar nickels (bass VI strings may or may not have heavier cores, but I wouldn't expect dramatically different tensions anyway) I got 121-odd pounds tots (for a strat-scale, so it will be less on the SG). Less than some sets here (see the Family Tension Chart).
    I believe the neck and rod can take it no prob.

    As for intonation, a guitar Tune-o-matic bridge doesn't have a lot of room for adjustment so there is a chance you'd have to move it back, but in that case expect it to be just a couple mm's.

    P.S.: not stalking, just being the usual, bass-VI curious self!
     
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  7. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    Thank you very much :)

    Will try it out then :bassist:
     
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  8. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    So lost patience, as usual, and just decided to string my guitar with whatever I had lying around of short scale bass and guitar strings with a fitting gauge, and the result actually ended up great.

    Sounds great, plays great, nice tension on all the strings, and so on.

    Sure, as expected, the truss rod needed a fair deal of adjustment after I swopped strings.

    The intonation on the other hand, to my surprise, was almost perfect.

    Only needed to adjust the saddles under the E and high A string.

    In that aspect it was probably lucky I never bothered setting up my guitar, or the intonation would probably had been way off.

    Anyway, that means I have no electric guitar anymore, however I got something much more useful and valuable instead, to me at least, namely a new A-A baritone guitar to play with :):woot::hyper::bassist:

    Thanks for helping me out :thumbsup:

    Edit:

    Just for information for those who might be interested:

    I ended up with the 3 bottoms strings from a Daddario EXL220S set (that would be nickle wound short scale bass steel strings with the gauge 75-60-40).
    The 3 top strings I am more unsure about though, as they were taken from loose guitar strings I had lying about, but my guess is 32(w) - 24 (w) - 17 (plain).

    And I am planing on buying a brand new set matching these specs, except the 17 will be nickle wound as well.

    And I guess I might as well include a picture of the finished result :

    u9f28.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  9. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    So I did a recording, so I could get a better impression of what it sounded like, as well as give people a chance to hear how it sounds.

    First I just recorded some noodeling though my Behringer active 12" PA speaker with muted horn, just plugged directly in without any pre-amp, compression or effects, through my hand held recorder (from the perspective it ought to give the most honest impression of what it really sounded like)

    I discovered the higher frequencies sounded a little muffled, so might have to unmute the horn again, otherwise I though it sounded quite good.

    However when I listened to the recording it sounded sounded kind of dull, so I though instead of honest I'd go closer to the potential of the sound, without completely changing it with too much effect, so I added some compression, a little EQ and reverb as well and run it though an amp emulator.

    Anyway here's the result:



    I might update with a recording where I run it though both my PA speaker (with unmuted horn this time) as well as my Trace Elliot bass amp at the same time and use my compressor and add a little EQ and reverb and then record it through a proper microphone, to get a better impression on how it would truly sound while fully rigged in a live situation.

    If I am not satisfied with that either I might need to change pickups.

    I mean they sure can't be too great on such a cheap guitar, and I know for sure there's nothing wrong with the playability of it, or how it sounds unplugged.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  10. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    Update:

    So I made another sound test, this time going through my recording setup, and this time I didn't hold back on processing the sound to the best possible result I was capable of:



    I still count on trying the "live" setup out and see how that sound at some point.
     
  11. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    So here it is, as promised, the sound test of my baritone through the "live" rig.

    Effect chain with the double amplification setup through my Trace Elliot Combo and my active PA speaker :

    Baritone >> Zoom B3 (A slight bit of chorus constantly on in the first effect slot, phaser in the next effect slot (on occasionally), and finally spring reverb in the last effect slot (also occasionally on)) > EHX Black Finger compressor (constantly on) >> Trace Elliot combo 15" > (through Tuner Output of the amp) Behringer Tube Unltragain Mic 100 > (through XLR cable) >> Behringer Eurolive B212D 12" with horn muted active PA speaker

    So here it is, me noodling on the baritone recorded through the setup above with my handheld recorder:



    It sounded quite alright, and definitely better than my first test just directly through a jack cable in the active PA speaker or through my Trace Elliot combo alone.

    I am sure through that a new pair of pickups will do wonders for the sound, as the stock pickups on the cheap guitar lacks quite a bit a clarity.
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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