Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
A-tuning, final report
I've finally succeeded with tuning my guitar down a step to A-standard. And boy let me tell you, it's a monstrous result! On a "25.5-scale, I used a set of GHS Boomers, regular .010's, bought an added .052 for the low D and a D'Addario .068 for the low A. The .068 fit without any problems whatsoever, no modifications needed.
The result is a wonderfully even tension throughout. The treble-strings work wonderfully for legato now that they are a little bit looser from the downtuning, thus less force is required to tap them for achieving the desired soundlevel. The low end is consistent, and the low A feels just like it should - it's monstrously heavy and defined, due to the drastically heavier string-gauge. Someone on these boards once said that he was doubting the "25.5-scale's ability to handle the 7th string - and with the gauges currently used in stock string-sets, it's hard to blame him. However, he has now (thankfully enough) been proven wrong. It is possible to cram out great results out of the extended range of a 7-string on the "25.5-inch scale - although it will require rather unusual solutions. Mixing gauges is something that not a lot of people do, but once you've tried it, you won't go back. I sure won't.
Finally, I definately want to put in a good word for the DiMarzio Blaze Custom and Air Norton 7-pickups. Even at low tunings, the warmth of the AN7 doesn't become overpowering, as the tone is still remarkably balanced between warmth and clarity when playing clean. The BC, with its midrange absolutely kills everything else tone-wise in cooperation with the low A. The midrange brings awesome clarity and bass-punch to the insane roar produced when you slam down a few riffs on it.