Pimp My Eight String

Discussion of all aspects of multi-string guitars, namely those with 7 or more strings.
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RobMacKillop
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Pimp My Eight String

Postby RobMacKillop » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:10 am

I got an Ibanez 8-string classical as a test run before buying a more expensive model, but it turns out to be quite a good guitar. I'd like to make a few upgrades, and could do with some advice.

Tuners: four-a-side. Any suggestions for brands that don't cost the Earth?

Nut and bridge saddle - what should I go for? The nut width is 70.4mm, bridge 103mm.

Anything else? The string spacing and action are fine.

MessyTendon
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby MessyTendon » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:33 am

Leave her alone...maybe try using some gut strings which might cost half of what you paid for the guitar :)

How thick is the soundboard and finish? I ponder the possibility of french polishing the top if the finish appears thick. Something tells me the factory finish is a fast UV catalyzed polymer finish which might be quite good...

For purely aesthetic purposes I think it would be awesome to french polish it using the darkest possible shellac...you'd get a beautiful contrast of the grain and possibly a sound improvement. If you want to pimp it that's what i'd to itaesthetic purposes, possibly sonic improvement but I doubt it very much.

Hahahah or perhaps have a luthier put a new soundboard in...heheheh I mean the cost of good tuners is about the same price. If the stock tuners work then keep em.

Gary Macleod
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby Gary Macleod » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:22 pm

One of the easiest ways to change the sound is the saddle, search 'black diamond guitar saddles' they do a carbon fibre type saddle which they claim makes big improvements to sustain and volume. I've just made an enquiry myself

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby RobMacKillop » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:33 pm

Thanks, Messy. Thanks, Gary. I'll follow those up.

Gary Macleod
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby Gary Macleod » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:39 pm

Mind you these saddles are kinda pricey, $99 ! Have a look at some of the reviews on the forum.

MessyTendon
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby MessyTendon » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:09 pm

It's also possible with trial and error to adjust the compensation of the saddle for intonation, but if it's not broke why fix it? It seems like the best upgrade would be to experiment with string combinations which suit your playing style. The stock Svarez may or may not be the best. I do think the low bass string might be improved

Maybe try the La Bella 8 string set...it's reasonably priced. I use a modern Tusq saddle but don't think the bone is inferior...it's just that the stock bone saddle was lower for flamenco but the higher height Tusq gives me some better sound.

Modern saddle materials are no better or worse than traditional bone material. It's simply a matter of how the saddle is setup.

Tusq saddles cost more than bone, but they aren't nearly expensive as the black diamond 99.99$ wonder saddle...Honestly I'm not buying it, or giving the manufacture any praise. It's absurd to suggest that these wonder saddles do much of anything.

The reason a luthier charges average 60-80 dollars for nut's and saddle setup is mostly because of the trial and error involved in getting intonation as good as possible. Before you commit to any nut/saddle setups you should first find the string gauges you will be using. Only then can the nut and saddle be setup to it's best performance.

Inspect the saddle slot with the strings loosened up. Does the saddle fit securely...is it glued in place? Some budget guitars such as Ibanez will glue the saddle in place. If so you can carefully use a soldering iron tip to gently heat the glue, or epoxy type bonding material and the nut should pry right out.

If it is not glued in place check it for play. It should slide tightly in tightly. There should be little to no up and down play. It should also firmly slide in with some resistance, if it glides like butter than you should make a new one which fits snugly.

It's entirely possible that the guitar is perfectly setup up for the stock Svarez strings, and if you like em...well no sense in fiddling around.

What I'd really love for you to do is shellac the top :) You said you want to pimp the guitar out. I really think the Garnet toned shellac would make the guitar look superb...imagine a lush amber hue in contrast to the Mahogany back and sides.

You could mask off the back and sides and only do the top...get a bottle of 190 proof neutral grain alcohol, and dilute the flakes. I suppose you could get entirely inebriated and shellac the guitar at the same time :) But seriously man, do the Garnet shellac flakes and the top will look gorgeous.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby RobMacKillop » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:13 pm

Hmm. I'll think about it. It would look nice, for sure.

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby Scot Tremblay » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Rubner in Germany makes nice tuners in pretty much any configuration. Just have to tell them what you need and they will put it together. The best in the price range IMO.

http://rubner-markneukirchen.de
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby Scot Tremblay » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:18 pm

MessyTendon wrote:...What I'd really love for you to do is shellac the top :) You said you want to pimp the guitar out. I really think the Garnet toned shellac would make the guitar look superb...imagine a lush amber hue in contrast to the Mahogany back and sides.

You could mask off the back and sides and only do the top...get a bottle of 190 proof neutral grain alcohol, and dilute the flakes. I suppose you could get entirely inebriated and shellac the guitar at the same time :) But seriously man, do the Garnet shellac flakes and the top will look gorgeous.


Were it only that easy.... :?
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

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bear
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby bear » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:30 pm

Gary Macleod wrote:Mind you these saddles are kinda pricey, $99 ! Have a look at some of the reviews on the forum.


I looked at them and read the reviews, which were mostly positive, but $99.00 is a lot for a little improvement.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Guistina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

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tom0311
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby tom0311 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:31 pm

You could try a zero glide if they do them for 8 string nuts widths?
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.”

JosephRomano

Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby JosephRomano » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:49 pm

Rob, I just saw the video on YouTube with your new 8-string. I thought it sounded great, and a lovely piece, too. Thanks for sharing that. I also looked up the guitar you're playing, and it seems they're quite reasonable. Though, I must say, six strings may be enough for me to handle.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby RobMacKillop » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:02 pm

Thanks, gents. I'll follow up all the comments.

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Feynman
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby Feynman » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:33 pm

After listening to your latest performance, my vote is to leave it as is. It seems to produce great music in your hands.

I realize that I don't actually have a vote though, so do as you see fit. :)
-mitch

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Pimp My Eight String

Postby RobMacKillop » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:34 pm

Haha. Well, Feynman, your advice is for the easiest course of action, which always sounds good to me!


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