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will this work for heavier strings lower tuning


madoman
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I have a variax- the les paul model and an hd500.  it is amazing.  I would like to get heavier strings to at least take this down two full steps to a C to C range. I don't see why that wouldn't work. Randy 

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I have a variax- the les paul model and an hd500.  it is amazing.  I would like to get heavier strings to at least take this down two full steps to a C to C range. I don't see why that wouldn't work. Randy 

All documentation and "official" talk regarding this suggests it won't work on JTVs.

Shuriken version evidently uses baritone scale length, and lower physically tuned strings.

 

Just confirmed on FB page:

 

Stevic uses 10-46 gauge, and drop D tuning. Evidently the modelling and pitch shifting still handles this amount of variation from standard tuning.

Edited by eenymason
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actually I screwed up here- I dont want to mess with my current JTV but if I purchased this shukiryen, I would go with a heavier string guage and take the tuning down to Cto C (how does that goe- from C to shining C!!!)

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You would be skirting the edge of pitch tracking capabilities by physically tuning down that far.

That's what the Alt Tune is for.

 

Also be sure to have the set-up checked by a guitar tech if you change string gauges. When you

change gauges, that changes the string tension, which in turn has an affect on the set-up.

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I used a JTV-89 fixed bridge for about 2 years and I always kept it tuned 1 full step down in D Standard.  As long as it was set up and intonated properyl, it never had issues with the alt tunings.  The virtual capo feature didn't always track perfectly, but the alt tuning knob worked fine.  I used 10g strings down a full step as it is similar in tension to 9s in E standard.  

 

The Shuriken is a 27in scale guitar, so there is more tension on the strings just from the scale alone.  They come with 10s and seem like they will be tuned to E standard from factory. That equals out to be a lot more tension than I like.  Stevic, the man behind the signature model, says the extra tension helps with the notes tracking when using the variax alt tuning for super low notes (he goes down and octave and a step).  It makes sense to me that the extra tension would keep better contact with the piezo in the saddle.

 

From my experiences with extended scale guitars, the biggest benefit is being able to physically tune lower while not needing massively over-sized strings to keep the strings from slacking. The difference between a 25.5" and 27" scale is close to going up a string guage. 

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hmm, my jtv is tuned a half step lower due to the inability of it to stay in tune( need to upgrade tuners!).  Also when I do baritone tuning on it and do harmonics that doesn't work well- it won't track,  but I notice when I do the same harmonics with the 1 step lower tuning it works!  I want to tune it down with string guage like to 12's to 52's(?) I highly doubt there would be problems.  It would be tuned lower, less stress on the neck- at least a step and a half lower.  I have taken my jtv down in tuning  mechanically, sort of alt tuning and then took it to baritone on the computer part of it and it has had no problem tracking.  My main guitar is a YB1 alvarez acoustic tuned baritone or d to d depending on string set.  my motivation on this?  if you write music on a guitar you are going to use d form and end up with melodies above a d in tuning.  my voice sounds like crap above a d.  baritone fixes that.  

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if you write music on a guitar you are going to use d form and end up with melodies above a d in tuning. my voice sounds like crap above a d. baritone fixes that.

I have been amongst and around guitars and music theory, including the teaching thereof, for more than 2/3 of my life...and I haven't the faintest idea what this means.

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I sort of get what he's trying to say,... sort of.

 

Been in choral groups and learned theory and composition myself. Use a keyboard

for most composition, orchestration and arranging. I use guitar for guitar compositions.

 

As far as Baritone fixing that, you can get baritone from the guitars Alt Tune function.

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Guest madoman

ok, clarification: my JTV- when I put it in Baritone tuning and I do some harmonics, it sounds weird, too weird to perform for other people, the computer simply doesn't translate it.  So, I wanted, ideally, a long scale variax so that I could put slightly heavier strings on it and tune it to a c to c tuning.  my other guitar is a baritone- I like it for playing songs in the 'D' form so that the melody doesn't go up to an f# but a c#.  I don't sound well singing above a D and so I like the baritone for that.  bottom line a standard tuning variax, which I have, is great but on the baritone setting, the harmonics don't sound good. 

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If it's a whistling sort of howl, then the intonation needs to be dialed-in a little tighter.

If the string gauge was changed without having the set-up checked afterwards, then

that would be the source of the artifact. Changing the gauge had an affect on the

set-up,... which includes the intonation. 

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The info supplied regarding Shuriken suggests the extra string tension over the bridge saddles increases the accuracy of "pitch shifting". So, going by the laws of physics,  by using a heavier gauge of strings on the JTV59, you could attempt physically tuning lower, and retaining pitch shifting accuracy - although, as for how low you can go, who knows?

Maybe you'll have to tell us, when you do it!

 

I'm personally interested in the results of this test!! I'm predicting C# will start to show glitching, and C will be too problematic to use, but I'd be more than happy to eat my hat....

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  • 4 weeks later...

No, no, no NO!

 

The Shuriken has a 27" scale and it specifically designed with that scale so a player can use lower tunings WITHOUT having to use CABLES (as Stevic puts it) for strings.  The 27" scale is a great compromise as it's easy on the fretting hand and the increased tension helps with tracking.

 

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No, no, no NO!

 

The Shuriken has a 27" scale and it specifically designed with that scale so a player can use lower tunings WITHOUT having to use CABLES (as Stevic puts it) for strings.  The 27" scale is a great compromise as it's easy on the fretting hand and the increased tension helps with tracking.

 

 

 

That's what I thought too.  And to me that is the biggest benefit of extended scales length guitars.  I like thinner strings on baritones for better note clarity and sustain as they are allowed to vibrate more with less effort, but they retain enough tension when down tuned so as to not flap around and buzz.

 

However the models are coming from factory turned to E standard with 10g strings.  From what I've gathered thats how Stevic uses his.  Sometimes he physically tunes to drop D.  Thats quite a bit more tension than some folks might be used to.   I had the chance to set up a couple Shurikens in lower physical tunings and it worked out well, so that option is still there for sure.

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That's what I thought too.  And to me that is the biggest benefit of extended scales length guitars.  I like thinner strings on baritones for better note clarity and sustain as they are allowed to vibrate more with less effort, but they retain enough tension when down tuned so as to not flap around and buzz.

 

However the models are coming from factory turned to E standard with 10g strings.  From what I've gathered thats how Stevic uses his.  Sometimes he physically tunes to drop D.  Thats quite a bit more tension than some folks might be used to.   I had the chance to set up a couple Shurikens in lower physical tunings and it worked out well, so that option is still there for sure.

My understanding is that Stevic physically tunes to drop D all the time.

Are you able to expand on your success and/or lack thereof, regarding physically tuning lower than standard?

 

cheers, Ian.

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One of the things about the Shuriken is that Stevic won't have to tune down,

If I recall, one of the "artist models" should do that for him. I think he mentioned

something about the tuning during the NAMM demo I saw. He gets into that. There

should be a video or two somewhere out there.

 

Might go to Stevic's Shuriken Facebook page and ask him.

 

BTW, that prototype built by Charles Cilia was awesome to play (cocobolo neck

and all), as was the Line 6 Shuriken I prepped for Stevic for NAMM.

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My understanding is that Stevic physically tunes to drop D all the time.

Are you able to expand on your success and/or lack thereof, regarding physically tuning lower than standard?

 

cheers, Ian.

 

I tuned one down a full step to D standard and another to C standard.  My preference is usually for less tension. And with the baritone scale, the D standard tuning with 10g strings felt more like 10s in E standard on a 25.5" scale.  In C standard it was closer to 9s in E on a 25.5' scale.  That part is really just preference.

 

The alternate tuning still functions fine like this.  A quick roll of the tuning knob had all them functioning and tracking properly in D. In C it got a bit weird with the factory alternate tunings that made larger jumps.   I used Helix to change the Variax tunings, and keeping the pitch shifting within a step  or two makes it all track and sound better to me.  But the guitar does need to be properly intonated in which ever physical tuning you use.  For that, the bridge is easy to work with and has plenty of range in the saddle-travel to accommodate.

 

Obviously one of the big points of Variax is to do the alternate tuning stuff for you. But to me once you're pitch shifting a 4th or more, the tone isn't like what you'd be used to with magnetic pickups and a physically de-tuned guitar.  I've found that de-tuning the Variax itself lets me alt tune, up or down, with better tone/less oddities.

 

I didn't get a chance to try virtual capo with Shuriken, but when I physically detuned the JTVs, that was the only time I noticed a hiccup.  It would work, I just had to enter the notes I wanted a couple times before it would take the tuning correctly - (sometimes strange harmonics would show up).

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The info supplied regarding Shuriken suggests the extra string tension over the bridge saddles increases the accuracy of "pitch shifting". So, going by the laws of physics,  by using a heavier gauge of strings on the JTV59, you could attempt physically tuning lower, and retaining pitch shifting accuracy - although, as for how low you can go, who knows?

Maybe you'll have to tell us, when you do it!

 

I'm personally interested in the results of this test!! I'm predicting C# will start to show glitching, and C will be too problematic to use, but I'd be more than happy to eat my hat....

 

 

The part about tension is true,  the tracking and alt tunign sounds much better with more tension.  I've always thought that about the JTVs and the Standard.  Stevic's sound is by far the best I've heard when pitch shifting that far, and he attributes it to the extra tension (he's going down an octave to D).  I tend to prefer low tension, but it seems like more tension (and/or possibly bigger string guage) sounds better for the Variax.

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  • 6 months later...

I think there is a limitation to the frequency range that the Shuriken can shift. I have mine physically tuned to drop c# (drop d down 1/2 step) and the when using a full octave lower via the Shuriken, the bottom string doesn't consistently get the note correct - think it is optimized for Standard or drop d physical tuning.

I use it anyway because it gets it right most of the time (9 out of 10 times) and I don't play it open often.

 

Ps I am using 10-52 strings but don't want to go heavier gauge than this.

If you wanted to go to C you may need heavier strings than this... dunno how well it would work though

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