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8 string gear question


sethris
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hey guys, i posted a topic on building an 8 string a few days back and have started on my project. my question is to any one who might have allready gotten or built and played an 8 string. i originally contacted conklin about building one for me but there prices where out of my range, for what i wanted, however the guy i spoke to, said that i had better have one hell of a rig to play through, as regular stuff just wouldnt cut it. i currently run through a mesa booghie single rectifier head and cab. any suggestions?

thanks, seth

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I think it's more about the rig you have already which sounds great and your choice of pickups.

I would go with pickups that have a bar magnet like an X2N so that they pickup the distribution off the strings more evenly.

Seems to me a standard 6 pole pickup might give problems, have you thought about that yet?

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The easiest way to test your setup is to detune one of your other guitar (preferably a 7 stringer) to the note that will be the lowest on your 8 string - or just plug in a bass :D . As for pickups the most viable option is cirtainly EMG's. There extended bass series is perfect for the job. Seymour duncan will also make you 8 string pickups (they do it for conklin) and they come to about $200 each. Lundgren pickups are also well known for there 8 stringers (custom ordered of course) and these are the only ones that i know of that have pole pieces, this company make 8 string pickups for Nevborn guitars, which meshuggah play.

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well said jammy. :D

seth, what kind of bridge are you planning to use? this is about the only 8 string bridge i can find: Hipshot 8 String Fixed Guitar Bridge.

as for ampage, i think you would have to experiment with that yourself - just to cover personal needs of what you want your tone to sound like. the single rectifier might be good enough. i know meshuggah use Line 6 Pod Pros. may be when it is built, you could bring it to the guitar shops and try the amps out there with the 8 string. all you might need is an equalizer with the mesa.

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Another interesting Idea I was throwing about for amplification for 8 strings was to use a pair of pickups (one for the low 4 strings, and one for the higher 4) then taking the signals from each of those and sending one into a bass pod, and one into a normal pod... Just something i thought about doing :D

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If I do an 8, I'll use Bartolinis, perhaps three P62 bass size, sort of a 3 strat singles setup with an active system, low mid boost probably. Note to note clarity over the entire dynamic range is essential on an 8, and even a 7 for that matter. Most of my own guitars have normal passive pickups, but for string separation within a chord, and low note clarity (i.e. anti-mushiness) Bartolini is the man. Any degredation along the way to the rig causes greater damage to the low strings than the high ones, even though signal degredation usually happens to the high end. Its that clarity you need for the low notes. The higher strings already produce enough highs. So I would take an active system over a Duncan. Otherwise for your gear drop tuning is about the best test you can use for now. If you're planning on using heavy overdrive (like, its not for jazz comping) it's true that lots of amps will just fall apart pre-OD in that range. In other words, the power amp would handle it just fine, but the way it distorts is affected. I imagine Line 6 stuff, and other modelers would work well here, because they are a digital process to the sound, not an actual overdrive of a preamp. In other words, they don't know you're not supposed to tune that low, so the OD model simply follows you down there, where an actual amp would flub out.

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thanks guys, i did shoot hipshot an email about building me a custom bridge with a tremelo, but have not heard back from them yet. as far as rig goes i think that adding a 2 15 cabis going to be the route im taking and ill see how it turns out. im wondering about bertoline pu's, do you have any contact info on them? other wise im probably going with emg actives

thanks again,,,,seth

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They're at www.bartolini.net and the site is pretty informative. You can e-mail them or perhaps send an e-mail to Tom Wagner. He's a distributor. Allparts also became a reseller years ago and apparently have a decent stock. They can custom order I'm sure. If you wanted a truly custom order, like a specific pickup sound mounted in a special sized chassis, those can take unrealisticly long. Although on a custom project from scratch, usually if you order a custom pickup it'll be ready by the time the instrument is done.

The thing about an 8 string is that if you're thinking "I want a PAF tone" your low strings will suffer. If you want the low strings clear and piano-like, your high strings may sound sterile to you. His standard 6-string bass pickups are good for low end clarity, but have a pretty "guitar-like" voicing on the high strings. I think its part of knowing that his 6-string bass pickups are used in "lead bass" situations. That's why I'd take the chance with stock units. His treble/mid/bass preamps bring out the slap/pop frequencies, so if you use the "flat" TC3 preamp with a mid boost, and set it for a fat lower midrange boost, you'd have a top notch "guitar" system, even though you're using pickups sold as 6-string bass pickups.

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