C standard tuning - preferred string gauge?

adew1

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For 25.5" scale length? In standard tuning on a 24.75" scale guitar I use 10-46, replacing the 46 with a 50 for better tension when in Drop D, but I'm not sure where to start with a Fender scale guitar in C standard.

Any suggestions/preferences? Thanks!
 

Biddlin

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ae00-22324.jpg

Or get a proper baritone guitar...
 

neikeel

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We keep a Les Paul in C-standard and use Jazz Lights (12-52 with wound 3rd string) but of course that is 24 3/7 scale length. If you are using 10-46 then maybe try the 12-52?
 

adew1

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Thanks all! That's given me a good range of choices. :D
I think I'll get a couple of different sets and see what I like.
 

Wildeman

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Good choices. Only things i keep down there are my acoustic 12's , medium string sets and sometimes i go to Bb.
 

Solid State

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I use 9-46 most of the time. I buy 10-52 once in a while because it always stands out that I use low gauge strings for as downtuned as I play. Then I remember Tony Iommi uses 9-42 these days.
 

houseofrock

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I use D'Addarrio 11-50 medium balanced tension on a SG set up for C#. I don't own any 25.5" scale guitars but I've heard that 9-42 on a Strat feels like 10-46 on a Les Paul as far as string tension goes. YMMV. So yeah something with 11's or 12's ( if you like more tension ) would be a good starting point. For 12's I would probably try Dunlop 12-54. $4.99/set.
 
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Headache

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If you do a lot solo work, I really like the ernie ball beefy bottom skinny top 10-54

If you're a rhythm guy, beefy slinky's are great for C-std. 11-54

I play C std and drop B and they are tight, tune stable and really boom! Unless you like bass strings, you don't need to go fatter.
 
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Filipe Soares

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lately I've been playing a lot in down tunings... but my solution was a digitech drop pedal.

The feel of playing in C with 009 is amazing lol.
 

adew1

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Thanks again for the suggestions.

Tried these:
50867195827_c95b9b77f6_w.jpg

Not quite enough tension on the bottom strings for my tastes.

Then tried these:
50867195872_08406b2b71_w.jpg

I like these for the bottom string tension. Yes, overall, they feel good.
 

Ralf_M.

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Hi,

I'm aware that this is an old thread, but it likely helped me with getting what I want at the first attempt. My guess is that we can't have everything. IMO those of us feeling comfortable with .009 sets on Fender scale guitars could go as low as a standard C# by using a hybrid .010 string set. I seriously doubt that without rebuilding the guitar, aka buying another kind of guitar, it's possible to go as low as standard C by keeping the feel of a .009 set of strings at standard E. It seems to be even more worse. My impression is that using thicker strings, adjusting action and intonation as well as the positions of the pick ups is limited to some extend. Even if we are willing to play strings with higher or lower tension, at some point adjustments become impossible.

For standard E I'm in favour of playing Fender scale guitars with sets similar to the Fender 150XL .009, .011, .015, .024, .032, .040 for almost all kind of music styles and playing techniques and wanted sound produced by the guitar. IOW to me such sets are the lowest common denominator, with pros and cons related to the kind of music style, playing technique and wanted sound produced by the guitar.

One of my Fender scale guitars is factory adjusted at standard E to Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky 2222, .009, .011, .016, .026, .036, .046. It's quite close to the mentioned lowest common denominator, but already the cause for some additional pros and cons. However, the action is very good and intonation is perfect, no buzz, no dead notes. IOW it's perfectly adjusted.

The extra pitfall of my Fender scale guitars is the combination of whammy bar and a guitar synth pickup.

guitars_1.jpg

For testing purpose I tuned the Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky 2222 equipped guitar to standard C. After adjusting the springs of the whammy bar it might already fit to the needs of some musicians. The loose tension rendered it useless for my needs, so I didn't test intonation and other things.

After stringing the guitar with Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom 2215, .010, .013, .017, .030, .042, .052 tuning to standard C doesn't fulfil the lowest common denominator anymore. Tuning to standard C# seems to be ok and back to the lowest common denominator for almost all kind of music styles and playing techniques and wanted sound produced by the guitar. After adjusting the springs of the whammy bar there's nothing more to do to satisfy my needs.

The whammy bar isn't in perfect balance anymore, but it's quite close to it. It's a little bit tilted to the neck, hence the action is higher. Note, unless you dive bomb the action doesn't become lower, it becomes higher when tilt to the neck. I mounted the springs of the whammy bar unsymmetrically to cause more tension to the 6th (low) and less tension to the 1st (high) string. The difference is hardly visible, but it's audible. Without changing anything else intonation and action don't need additional adjustment, as long as tendencies to buzz are ok for the guitarist. Adjusting the guitar synth pickup settings, such as sensibility settings is required, too. The guitar synth pickup doesn't need an adjustment on the guitar, just adjusting settings by the synth are needed.

Getting completely rid of buzz is likely possible by adjusting the action. I can stand the buzz, so I stay with the still quite good action.

The Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom 2215 set isn't a standard .010 set, it's already a hybrid set, but it doesn't feel like a hybrid set. When tuned to standard C# it feels close to a Fender 150XL .009, .011, .015, .024, .032, .040 alike set at standard E.

I will not try to get a heavier set of guitar strings to reach standard C, since sensibility of the guitar synth pickup for the bass stings reached the limit. More output caused by thicker strings would require to reposition the pickup and I doubt that it is possible to adjust the action to fit to such strings. Those strings would probably cause an intolerable amount of buzz. I don't think that it only requires to file down something, it more likely requires an unplayable high action and probably intonation adjustments that can't be done at all without rebuilding the guitar completely.

Over time my mileage may vary!

Regards,
Ralf
 


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