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Thread: NGD- Real Men Play 14s

  1. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattayus View Post
    I never understood why people put THICKER strings on a baritone scale guitar. The whole point is so you can use lighter strings but get the same tension as thicker strings. I think maybe marketing language is to blame as a lot of companies have a super chonky string gauge set that they label as a "baritone" set (referring to tuning rather than scale length) and people assume they're meant for a long scale guitar.
    Yeah I was thinking of commenting something similar. On a 27" baritone a .014 gives approximately the same tension in A as a .010 does in E standard. Although the difference in tension between a 25.5 and 27" isn't huge - it's basically about half a step (i.e. a 27" 0.046 string has the same tension in Eb as a 25.5 has in E - based on this calculator https://tension.stringjoy.com/).
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  3. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattayus View Post
    I never understood why people put THICKER strings on a baritone scale guitar.
    Devil's advocate, it's for the same reason people do it on a normal scale guitar - to tune lower with playable tension. I've always been a fan of big strings but they are noisy and more than a bit impractical for a daily player. I especially like those ultra light stringjoy strings because it makes my baritone something I can play all the time and even consider playing leads on. A standard baritone set - not so much.

    I think maybe marketing language is to blame as a lot of companies have a super chonky string gauge set that they label as a "baritone" set (referring to tuning rather than scale length) and people assume they're meant for a long scale guitar.
    I do agree here though. "Tune low! Cover that djent song! BKP preset included! Blub Marrow GruvGear! Slap this set of 15s on your guitar and convert it into an 8 string!1!".

  4. #11


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    After messing with the setup a bit i am getting used to the 14s. Chris I orded the stringjoy set

    One problem has popped up. Adjusting the action lower has made the saddle height screws stick out too far for that wonderful shred my hands while palm muting action. I ordered some shorter saddle height screws to fix that.

    I went down a reppacement bridge rabbit hole and Callahan makes a half size, 3 bolt tele bridge, but putting a $100 bridge on a sub $400 guitar seems somewhat wrong
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  6. #12


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattayus View Post
    I never understood why people put THICKER strings on a baritone scale guitar. The whole point is so you can use lighter strings but get the same tension as thicker strings. I think maybe marketing language is to blame as a lot of companies have a super chonky string gauge set that they label as a "baritone" set (referring to tuning rather than scale length) and people assume they're meant for a long scale guitar.
    That's endemic to Fender, and any other makers who intended their first baritone offerings to be marketed as a bass to compete with the Danelectros, or some vague point on the spectrum between guitar and bass. Fender's first baritones were marketed as basses, and the iconic one, the Bass VI, still is. Obviously fatter strings are preferable on bass for all that nebulous stuff about, "the fundamental" and "piano like sustain".

    Fender does it because historically their "baritones" aren't guitars with longer scale lengths, they are Bass VIs with slightly shorter scale length. Bass VIs are 30", which is about as low as you can go and be widely considered a "short scale bass". They probably think the market for these is mostly people who want a Bass VI sort of thing.

    Fender never did baritone guitars historically, up til the modern era where you start seeing production baritones, the only model they did that fell between guitar and bass scale lengths was the bass VI.

    There are actually entire books on it, because the history is contested and no one agrees exactly where "baritone guitars" end and "short scale basses" begin. Basically, a lot of the baritone guitars were made when people looked at the Danelectros of the era and thought they were long scale guitars and not basses.

    Confusingly, a lot of people determine whether it is a bass or a guitar by the pickup placement, since other than a bunch of 80s basses from Carvin and shit like that basses don't traditionally have their "bridge" pickup as close to the saddles as a guitar. Despite that, the Bass VIs are still considered basses even though the pickups are much closer to guitar positioning. There's no generally agreed upon litmus test. Some say string spacing, but there are models like the Bass VI with extremely narrow string spacing for a Bass that are still generally considered basses.

    It's interesting you bring it up, because it is confusing. I think it's for tonal reasons. If you take a custom bass with an extremely short scale and a guitar with an equivalent scale, the bass is always going to have thicker strings for the "that sounds like a bass" tone. There are dudes with extremely short scale basses who use traditional ~.100s. A baritone guitarist tuned to the same standard E will probably go for something slightly thinner.

    TL;DR: Most of the earliest baritone guitars were made to compete with models that were marketed as 6 string basses. So historically they have bass string esque gauges. The "dudes wanting baritone for shreddy metal" is a relatively new demographic, brands like Fender are more familiar with the guys who wanted it for shit like surf rock.

  7. #13


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    The surf rock guys are actually all known for rocking ridiculous string gauges. I assume that's the main market Fender is catering too, kind of a surf rock throwback crowd. It's an essential part of 'that sound'. It actually works really well for that.

    https://www.fender.com/articles/arti...ick-dale-facts

    Dale’s battle-worn gold Stratocaster, nicknamed “the Beast”, was outfitted to be played loud, as it boasted massive .016-, .018- and .020-gauge unwound strings and .039-, .049- and .060-gauge wound strings that produce tremendous tension.
    If you are just playing the same stuff you would play on a regular guitar on a baritone "surf rock" one, yeah, the gauges are far from optimal.

    The "surf rock" setup is also flatwounds, which have less tension than rounds of the same gauge. It's basically partly Fender carrying over the gauging from something slightly different and Fender probably thinking the core market is surf rock guys.

    Jazz guys also use massive flats on their hollowbodies for tonal reason. Carol Kaye was actually a Jazz guitarist before she did all her prolific bass stuff. Some of her 60s credit (and surf rock in general) definitely blur the line between bass and baritone guitar, she used guitar amps for a lot of her stuff. This is a ripper.


  8. #14


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    OMG I had no idea they did this one. I think I need one 27" scale is fun.

  9. #15


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    Big strings like that are for tuning A-A, B-B, or E-E an octave down, depending on scale length. More like a Bass VI than a "let's get to C on skinny ass strings" application.
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  10. #16


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    Ok i tried the stringjoy 12 set aaaaaaaand they are pretty damn nice. I may go up to a 13 tho they area a bit too slinky as 12s. Going to let it settle in a bit and play it some and see how it goes.

    Had a hard time changing the setup tho it really wanted those 14 gauge strings back.

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