Down tuning and intonation



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Down tuning and intonation

Postby John Matrix » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:24 pm

I'm joining a band that plays in drop A#. I don't want to buy a baritone so I am tuning down one of my guitars, a Jackson Dinky Reverse. I'm having a lot of intonation issues which I expected, but I've gotten to a point where I can't go any further and I was hoping to get some advice before I make some modifications that cannot be reversed.

I can't get the lowest two strings to intonate properly. The neck is about as flat as can be, the saddles are as far back as can be (springs removed). The string gauges are pretty fat 58, 48. It's a regular ass tremolo bridge (non locking). The guitar scale is 25.5"

My next step is grinding down the saddles so that they can move further back. Is there anything else I should try before going this route?
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby aen » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:19 pm

Wow, I would definitely go with some thicker strings. I always did my baritone tunings on standard scale guitars with GHS 70-11 strings. Intonation was pretty good!
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby gnomethrone » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:47 pm

Yeah if you don't wanna do stuff to your guitar just keep getting fatter strings til it works. I do drop B on a 25.5 with ernie ball "not even slinkys" and those are only 54 at the low string. Not much wiggle room but it intonates and I like the action. Maybe the extra behind the bridge helps? I dunno.
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby Bassist_Diver » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Sounds like you need a 7 (or 8) string.
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby waltdogg » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:12 pm

hebbier strings
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby John Matrix » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:49 am

One thing I forgot to mention. These are the heaviest strings I can use. I have locking tuners on this guitar and I was not able to get a 60 gauge string through the hole. :facepalm:

On some other forums people were saying that the heavier strings actually require more distance to intonate correctly...but that contradicts what y'all are saying and I don't think any of the dudes saying that shit had actually tried it.
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby oscillofuzz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:14 am

Before you start grinding down the saddles, try to assess if such a marginal change in distance is going to bring enough of a change to reach the right intonation. If you're almost there then maybe it will, but if you're still nowhere near the A# when you play the 12th fret it might be a more realistic approach to try and find a wider bridge that doesn't require drilling new holes.
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby gnomethrone » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:12 am

Its a pain in the ass but I've seen people unwind the last bit of a string so it will fit through a tuner hole. You still have that 60 gauge string laying around?
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby waltdogg » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:27 pm

oh. you know what. john. come to me. or the next time i'm in sac i'll help you out. i live out in oakland. and have family in sac. i understand the locking tuna dilemma quite well. all my guitars have locking tunas so the biggest strings i can use are not even slinkys or d'addario jazz light to jazz heavy roundwound.
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby John Matrix » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:29 pm

oscillofuzz wrote:Before you start grinding down the saddles, try to assess if such a marginal change in distance is going to bring enough of a change to reach the right intonation. If you're almost there then maybe it will, but if you're still nowhere near the A# when you play the 12th fret it might be a more realistic approach to try and find a wider bridge that doesn't require drilling new holes.


I am pretty close but I am going to try on a more accurate tuner and see what it says.

gnomethrone wrote:Its a pain in the ass but I've seen people unwind the last bit of a string so it will fit through a tuner hole. You still have that 60 gauge string laying around?


I do still have it. I'll try this. It actually has a really narrow tip that will fit but locking tuners are not designed to wind up the string that much so I can't utilize it.
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby John Matrix » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:30 pm

waltdogg wrote:oh. you know what. john. come to me. or the next time i'm in sac i'll help you out. i live out in oakland. and have family in sac. i understand the locking tuna dilemma quite well. all my guitars have locking tunas so the biggest strings i can use are not even slinkys or d'addario jazz light to jazz heavy roundwound.


Sweet. I may take you up on that if I can't get this shit handled soon.
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby repoman » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:36 pm

Can you put a different tuner on the guitar or drill out the hole on the stock one to make heavier gauge fit? I think you would need something more like a 70 for the low A#
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby aen » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:32 pm

Bassist_Diver wrote:Sounds like you need a 7 (or 8) string.


That's a standard scale guitar with a wider neck, yo. They have heavier strings on the bottom.
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby Stamnes » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:14 pm

waltdogg wrote:hebbier strings


I totally googled "Hebbier Strings" like they were a real company! Thought maybe they were French like "Hebbey-yay" or something

Bravo Sir!
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Re: Down tuning and intonation

Postby oscillofuzz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:12 pm

Stamnes wrote:
waltdogg wrote:hebbier strings


I totally googled "Hebbier Strings" like they were a real company! Thought maybe they were French like "Hebbey-yay" or something


this cracked me up :lol:
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