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January Clearance 2017

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

8-string curiosity

czzgtr

I've recently become enamored by the sonic possibilities of the electric 8-string guitar, and am curious about the stringing.
What is the "usual" tuning for the instrument? and, what are the "usual" string gauges?
The Ibanez's look very nice, but I see the Shecter & others are also popular. What are the advantages / disadvantages of each manufacturer? I don't really care about "artist endorsements" here, just sonic & playability facts.
Thanks for any info, I appreciate it.
January 17, 2013 @02:04pm
R Whittington

I've recently become enamored by the sonic possibilities of the electric 8-string guitar, and am curious about the stringing.
What is the "usual" tuning for the instrument? and, what are the "usual" string gauges?
The Ibanez's look very nice, but I see the Shecter & others are also popular. What are the advantages / disadvantages of each manufacturer? I don't really care about "artist endorsements" here, just sonic & playability facts.
Thanks for any info, I appreciate it.

forgive me...I'm not very knowledgeable about this topic...but one of my associates here at Sweetwater is.
He was having issues logging in today so I'm forwarding his post on the topic. If you have additional questions feel free to contact Arend at his posted info below his response
"I use 8 strings mostly for piano style clean tapping, and here's what I can tell you...
Standard tuning for an 8 string is F# B E A D G B E
My preferred string gauge (varies from player to player) is 10-13-17-30-42-42-54-64-74.
As far as a guitar you can play right out of the box (without swapping pickups and tuners, tweaking the bridge, etc), the Schecters (Anything ABOVE the Omen 8) are pretty nice, though I prefer the neck profile on the Ibanezs. However, IMO, the RGA8 and RG8 really need upgrades to be tiptop.
So, you can get into a Schecter SLS C-8 or ATX 8 for a good price, and it's a happy guitar right from the factory, though my personal favorite (and this is a fairly common consensus), is the Ibanez RG2228. It's really kind of the "Workhorse" 8 string. It also sports a 27" scale length, which is long enough for intonation and tension on the low F#,but not so long as to make fretting complex chords difficult. Schecters are usually 26.5" or 28"."
Arend Raby
Senior Sales Engineer@Sweetwater
800 222 4700 x 1276
arend_raby@sweetwater.com
January 17, 2013 @04:22pm
czzgtr

I was thinking more like a 7-string with an added high A (5th fret on the "high" e-string of a "normally" tuned 6-string). Hmm... is that even possible with these new 8's?
Thanks again, 'preciate the input.
January 17, 2013 @07:02pm
R Whittington

I was thinking more like a 7-string with an added high A (5th fret on the "high" e-string of a "normally" tuned 6-string). Hmm... is that even possible with these new 8's?
Thanks again, 'preciate the input.

a High A string can be done, but he has to go with a super light gauge string, and in this case, would be better off with the 26.5" scale of one of the Schecters, as the shorter scale would allow for less tension on the high A, and minimize breakage.
Arend Raby
Senior Sales Engineer@Sweetwater
800 222 4700 x 1276
arend_raby@sweetwater.com
January 18, 2013 @10:46pm
sgpoyzer

forgive me...I'm not very knowledgeable about this topic...but one of my associates here at Sweetwater is.
He was having issues logging in today so I'm forwarding his post on the topic. If you have additional questions feel free to contact Arend at his posted info below his response
"I use 8 strings mostly for piano style clean tapping, and here's what I can tell you...
Standard tuning for an 8 string is F# B E A D G B E
My preferred string gauge (varies from player to player) is 10-13-17-30-42-42-54-64-74.
As far as a guitar you can play right out of the box (without swapping pickups and tuners, tweaking the bridge, etc), the Schecters (Anything ABOVE the Omen 8) are pretty nice, though I prefer the neck profile on the Ibanezs. However, IMO, the RGA8 and RG8 really need upgrades to be tiptop.
So, you can get into a Schecter SLS C-8 or ATX 8 for a good price, and it's a happy guitar right from the factory, though my personal favorite (and this is a fairly common consensus), is the Ibanez RG2228. It's really kind of the "Workhorse" 8 string. It also sports a 27" scale length, which is long enough for intonation and tension on the low F#,but not so long as to make fretting complex chords difficult. Schecters are usually 26.5" or 28"."
Arend Raby
Senior Sales Engineer@Sweetwater
800 222 4700 x 1276
arend_raby@sweetwater.com

That tuning stands to reason as the tuning for my Taylor Baritone 6 string is a B to B tuning, however where you noted the G tuning the B tuning requires the F# in its place.
April 17, 2013 @10:36pm