Sunday, December 13, 2009

New strings

Well, despite much "help" from the Mighty Fang, I changed out the strings on the new Duo-Sonic. The 9's on there were just too dadburned skinny, it was impossible to keep it in tune when I capo'ed it or even moved down the fingerboard towards the middle. Great for out-of-tune shredding and note bending, but too much of a good thing IMHO given the short scale of the Duo-Sonic.

So that I could experiment with drop-D tuning, I went with Ernie Ball 2215's, which is a 10-13-17-30-42-52 set (heavy bottom, skinny top). Due to the short scale of the Duo Sonic the 52 is still loose enough that I can bend it if I wish, but it doesn't go out of tune just by breathing on it like the original 09-11-16-24-32-42 set (the fact that the low-E on the original string is the same as the A on the current set should tell you that much!). And 10's on a short scale act like 9's on a full-scale Fender so I can still do some fabulously slinky runs on the top strings if I wish. We'll have to see what happens here, but so far so good.

One thing that irritates me: This guitar has "classic" tuners. This requires you to cut the strings to an exact length so that the end of the string can be placed down the center of the tuner, then wound around the tuner with a specified number of turns. There is no (*zero*) documentation as to what the length of the strings should be. I used the old strings as my guide and documented it. Here it is: 6E - to 4th tuner from top. 5A - to 2nd tuner from top. 4D - to 1st tuner. 3G to tip of guitar. 2B - about 1" past tip of guitar. 1E - to about 2" past tip of guitar.

Oh yeah, my Shubb capo doesn't work well at all on the skinny thin neck of the Duo-Sonic. I love that neck, it's a sweet neck, but the Shubb's tensioning ball hits the neck off-center and pulls the strings out of tune (all of them together, so it's in tune as far as the strings relative to each other, but like a G## rather than a G). I got a Kyser. I hate Kyser capos, they're too bulky and clunky and I keep running into it while moving on the fretboard while the Shubb is inobtrusive and keeps out of my way, but (shrug). I might try another capo at some point in the future but this works so...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

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