Optimum tuning for 'Old School' Death Metal
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Thread: Optimum tuning for 'Old School' Death Metal

  1. #1

    Join Date: Mar 2013
    Location: UK

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    Optimum tuning for 'Old School' Death Metal

    So after realising that 'lower tuning' isn't synonymous with 'heavier tone' I've started to think about what the best low tuning for OSDM would be. I say Old Death Metal in particular because, lets face it, it's the best.

    My first mistake was buying a 14-68 set for my 27" ESP EC-401B and thinking it would go down to F standard without any issues and then getting a 13-56 set to go to B. This was too tight for all but for the low B, which was at pretty much perfect tension so I needed to go to A# to get the tension I was comfortable with but then that put the B out of tension just enough to make it too muddy.

    While playing around with these string I found that personally I wasn't too keen on how the thick (ish) 56 felt, even at perfect tension. It wasn't comfortable for me. It also made me consider the timings that most of my favourite DM bands played in and realised that they never went lower than about C#/C Standard but still sounded incredibly heavy.

    I'm planning on getting a 12-54 set and going to C but wand to get some other two cents before I go. I know it's all personal preference but I think it would be interesting to hear some of your experiences.

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  3. #2

    Join Date: Sep 2013
    Location: Just outside Boston
    ME: Jackson DXMG
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    well, for me 12-54 is perfect for D standard. everybody is different tho. i like tighter strings and low action

  4. #3

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Glasgow - Scotland
    ME: Suhr M5
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    theres a million threads on what strings are best for what. Ideally i like 12 - 56 for B and 11 - 56 for C.

    If i had a baritone scale id probably drop to a 54 for B and 52 for C.

    This stuff is personal preference really a lot of older bands tune to B standard eg Carcass, at the gates, entombed. But Morbid Angel and Cannibal corpse have plenty of great stuff in Eb.

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  6. #4

    Join Date: Oct 2013
    Location: USA

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    I tune my 27" scale ESP/LTD to B, and actually just went way down to 56-13's. A jazz medium set. They're not very floppy at all, and the tone remained really thick. It's really stable. In 2004 the guitar shipped with the 56-13 - 56-46-36-26W-17-13. I figured that I'd go back to the factory gauges and see what happened. I'm really happy with how it plays now, and the action is nice and low.

    It's a six string, BTW.
    Last edited by multiply.infinity; 10-14-2013 at 11:37 PM.

  7. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
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    Wirelessly posted

    I had 12-60 for C standard on mh SE custom 24 and my LTD (25" and 25.5") both times the 60 felt a little loose but that's me.
    Needs Sleep

  8. #6

    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
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    I've been tuning DGCFAD for 3-4 years now. Best all around tuning out there IMO. D'addario EXL116 (52-11), although sometimes I go for EXL110+ (48-10.5) when the guitar can take it for a change.

    Very rarely I tune 5 semitones to B. Tried the EB "Not Even Slinky" set, I think that's 56-12 or something. That set fucking sucks. Avoid it like the plague.

  9. #7

    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: St.Louis USA
    ME: Parker MaxxFly DF824
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    Personally, I think D standard is just the best for old school death metal. Its low enough to be heavy, but still has bite.
    Confront and Cry

  10. #8

    Join Date: Mar 2013
    Location: UK

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    Thanks for the responses. I think I'll probably get an 11-52 set and 12-54 set to see which has the tension I like the most in C/C#. I'll probably get a set for D too, so see if I don't mind the sound. I know Death went down to D but I thought that Entombed played in C# for Left Hand Path?

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