Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: Continuing the Change Over to Hybrid Strings

Friday, December 30, 2005

Continuing the Change Over to Hybrid Strings

Today I went crazy and decided to change over some more of my guitars to the Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkys... which are a 10 set on the bass side and a 9 set on the trebles. The first guitar I worked on was my Ibanez JS1200CA Satriani. This is one of my favorite guitars, so I was anxious to get it done. As usual, converting any double locking tremolo guitar to another string gauge is a pain in the ass. The float changes due to the heavier bass strings... and, of course, those strings needed to be re-intonated. Intonating a Floyd or Edge Pro tremolo really sucks because you have to slack the string, unlock the saddle and guess how much to adjust it, lock it back down , re-tune and check it again. This usually takes about two or three tries until you get it right.

Next was my Ibanez Jem... another favorite. It has had a loose nut for a while now. I can hear it give a little when using the tremolo each time I first pick it up. This is not good because over time the holes that the screws go into (that hold down the nut) can oval out. So I cut off all the strings and removed the nut. I applied a thin coat of wood glue to the headstock where the nut goes and carefully replaced the nut and the screws to a snug fit. This light bond of glue should keep the nut from moving again during trem use, but also is weak enough to break free if the nut ever needed maintenance or replacing in the future. After that I did the same setup and conversion for the new strings like I did for the Satriani.

Next was my Ernie Ball MusicMan Petrucci. I had converted it to the new strings some time ago, but I needed to raise the action a tad on it. I am now playing with a slightly higher action to improve tone and minimize fret buzz and choking. My action is still quite low by most standards. I am now setting it at 1.5mm on the high E at the 12th fret, and the same for the low E at the 12th. With a near straight neck this action works extremely well on all my guitars, even my Strats which have the much rounder 9.5" radius.

Coming up will be my Ibanez JPM-P1 (John Petrucci's old signature guitar) and my old American made Peavey Generation tele-style guitar. I have left these with a local luthier for re-frets, and I can't wait to get them back. More about these guitars a little later...

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