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Thread: moving to thicker strings without messing with the compensated nut...

  1. #1

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    moving to thicker strings without messing with the compensated nut...

    Hi folks

    A while ago I posted this - thanks to all those who chimed in.

    With the central heating on for a few weeks now, it is almost time to get my new Reflex professionally set up (first set up is free from the store I bought it).

    I am going to ask the floating trem to be fully blocked and I am going to request either standard C or Drop C tuning. I am going to need to move to a thicker string gauge than 10-46. Here is the Reflex:



    I would appreciate if you could please share your experiences with thicker gauges and the compensated nut. I do not want the Luthier to mess with the compensated nut.

    How thick can they go before binding becomes a problem? My guess is 11s should not be a problem. Or am I wrong? What a bout 12s, or a hybrid 'heavy bottom' set?

    Thank you.

    Cheers!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junta View Post
    How thick can they go before binding becomes a problem? My guess is 11s should not be a problem. Or am I wrong? What a bout 12s, or a hybrid 'heavy bottom' set?

    Thank you.

    Cheers!
    I don't play C, but sometimes D-D or mostly drop C# and Eb. 11-48 would be the better bet in the D range. They'd even be good for Eb, although I stick with 10-46 myself. It's just a bit on the floppy side.

    So maybe you can deduce from that what will work for you. The tech setting things up will probably give better advice. I'm thinking that you might be happy with 11-54.

  3. #3

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    Thanks KDude. Why do you stick with 10-46? Is it because you do not want to widen the nut slots?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junta View Post
    Thanks KDude. Why do you stick with 10-46? Is it because you do not want to widen the nut slots?
    I haven't messed with the nut. Generally speaking, I used to play 11-48 on a lot of guitars and messed with more tunings. I'm not as adventurous anymore. Somewhere along the way I noticed some Eb players play 9-46 or 10-46. I went with that and it feels fine. The buzzing is still manageable, except in drop C#, but I deal with it.

  5. #5

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    Strictly speaking, D standard requires 11 gauge, and C standard requires 12 gauge.

    Lighter gauges is on the floppy just like KDude said above.

    However, you can do as you please. I use both D standard and C standard (11 and 12 gauge) and the strings feel great. Nice and tight. Slightly filing the nut is not an issue. You shouldn't worry about it.

    JPXI Cardinal Red G57082
    JP12 Cherry Sugar G59225
    JP12 7 Cardinal Red F29322
    MAJESTY Glacial Frost M08083
    MAJESTY Ferrari Rosso M07113
    ARTISAN MAJESTY 7 Rosso M04775
    NOMAC MAJESTY Timeworn Matte Silver M06246
    MAJESTY Charred Silver Sparkle M08237
    MAJESTY Dargie 3 M08360

  6. #6

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    Thanks Johnnyboogie. I would not worry about filing the nut with an Albert Lee (in current production) but I do not want to make any permanent changes to the Reflex,

    In the reflex, I found my perfect Les Paul replacement, and I might want to go back to standard tuning on it. It was just sheer luck finding a 2011 model NEW in 2019! Mostly because it was hanging so high, simply using a stool did not help, the sales folks had to use a 6 feet ladder... And of course, because it was so expensive. So on a major sale, I just had to have it.

    I think I might try 11s with Drop C rather than C standard.

    Cheers!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junta View Post
    Thanks Johnnyboogie. I would not worry about filing the nut with an Albert Lee (in current production) but I do not want to make any permanent changes to the Reflex,

    In the reflex, I found my perfect Les Paul replacement, and I might want to go back to standard tuning on it. It was just sheer luck finding a 2011 model NEW in 2019! Mostly because it was hanging so high, simply using a stool did not help, the sales folks had to use a 6 feet ladder... And of course, because it was so expensive. So on a major sale, I just had to have it.

    I think I might try 11s with Drop C rather than C standard.

    Cheers!
    Awesome.. my Reflex was used and has quite the chip on the side :\ Fortunately, it looks to be just paint.

    "Going back to standard".. that's another reason I used to like 11s. It's probably the most flexible gauge to me either going flat or sharp, and usually without having to alter a nut. But since I'm not downtuning as much anymore, I went to 10s.

  8. #8

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    No problem!! Filing the nut does not prevent you from going back to 9 gauge in no way. You can always go back.

    I also use Drop C tuning with 11 gauge, as would I in D standard, but use a 56 or 58 for the low C.
    Last edited by johnnyboogie; 11-03-2019 at 01:00 PM.

    JPXI Cardinal Red G57082
    JP12 Cherry Sugar G59225
    JP12 7 Cardinal Red F29322
    MAJESTY Glacial Frost M08083
    MAJESTY Ferrari Rosso M07113
    ARTISAN MAJESTY 7 Rosso M04775
    NOMAC MAJESTY Timeworn Matte Silver M06246
    MAJESTY Charred Silver Sparkle M08237
    MAJESTY Dargie 3 M08360

  9. #9

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    Report back time...

    I hope this is useful to others too... I tried this set with my reflex for Drop C:



    well the Schaller locking tuner peg does not accept 56!

    Very short sighted parts choice! I was worried about the nut, but the nut was not a problem

    So I looked around in my man-cave and found a 52 gauge string: the Reflex DOES accept 52. I wonder if it does 54, although that is not very common.

    Not the ideal set up for Drop C - big tension difference between the two lowest strings. And definitely not enough tension on the low C for a 'passionate' player who is a hard hitter...

    So folks - it is probably the best to tune the Reflex to standard, or to Drop D...

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Junta; 11-08-2019 at 06:18 PM.

  10. #10

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    I just traded in that Cutlass in the photo above for a proper metal guitar by the way - Ibanez Presitge RG5121:



    So my perfect Music Man sunburst quartet is no more ...

    Oh well!

    To be fair, I reach for my Albert Lee SSS whenever I need single coils, so the Cutlass was not getting any play time at all! And I neither have any use for, nor can afford the Majesty (due to trem - I need hardtail for metal!)

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Junta; 11-08-2019 at 06:21 PM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junta View Post
    So I looked around in my man-cave and found a 52 gauge string: the Reflex DOES accept 52. I wonder if it does 54, although that is not very common.

    Not the ideal set up for Drop C - big tension difference between the two lowest strings. And definitely not enough tension on the low C for a 'passionate' player who is a hard hitter...

    So folks - it is probably the best to tune the Reflex to standard, or to Drop D...

    Cheers!
    Good to know.. I haven't tried anything big myself.. my bad for directing you in that way and getting you to waste a pack

    That Cutlass looked like a sweet guitar. But that Ibanez is nice too. I suppose if circumstances demand a "proper" metal guitar, what can you do? I just looked up the specs, but it says it's only Mahogany. Why does it look like it has a maple cap?

  12. #12

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    Hey KDude, no worries at all - you have been helpful indeed. I am glad to discover the 'no 56' limitation for the schaller on the reflex, I wonder if that is a period or model specific thing, or across the board.

    I am new to this forum, perhaps there aren't too many low tuning metal players here? But then there is the Majesty, so maybe I am way off! My apologies, if that is the case!

    That Cutlass was a better guitar than any Fender Strat I handled, literally except for the $4K plus custom shop models.

    I do not have the skills for intricate clean/blues type playing that could justify having TWO strat-type guitars - so my Albert Lee SSS is it.

    Dare I say, the pick ups on my 2002 Albert Lee sss sound immensely better than the 2016 Cutlass? I have never had pick ups that get my fuzzes sing so good; the 2002 guitar is truly special. The cutlass, was nothing 'special.'

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Junta; 11-08-2019 at 10:35 PM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junta View Post
    Hey KDude, no worries at all - you have been helpful indeed. I am glad to discover the 'no 56' limitation for the schaller on the reflex, I wonder if that is a period or model specific thing, or across the board.

    I am new to this forum, perhaps there aren't too many low tuning metal players here? But then there is the Majesty, so maybe I am way off! My apologies, if that is the case!

    That Cutlass was a better guitar than any Fender Strat I handled, literally except for the $4K plus custom shop models.

    I do not have the skills for intricate clean/blues type playing that could justify having TWO strat-type guitars - so my Albert Lee SSS is it.

    Dare I say, the pick ups on my 2002 Albert Lee sss sound immensely better than the 2016 Cutlass? I have never had pick ups that get my fuzzes sing so good; the 2002 guitar is truly special. The cutlass, was nothing 'special.'

    Cheers!
    I'm fairly new here too, and came for similar reasons awhile back to find more info about my Reflex. I'm sure there are some low tuned players here, but yeah, I'm not one of them exactly. Funnily...as an aside, I just bought a little Rectoverb. It's a great little amp for modern metal, but I don't think people appreciate how versatile the Rectifiers are for other things.

  14. #14

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    I love those little rectos! Almost bought one a couple of months ago, but it was in rough shape... If I see one in good condition... Those are fun!

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