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curious about 4 stringed guitars

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RE: 4 stringed guitars | from davidAug 03 2000 - 19:18

i just bought a danelectro baritone - if you were wondering how it plays: just fine. the strings are a bit close together - takes a teency bit of getting used to - but it was never a problem anyway.
sounds great. the gain on my clean channel is pretty high for my other guitars which break up nicely (jazzmaster, telecaster) but with the baritone, this really great full rich tone comes through and is just great...
it was cheap too!
(though i've bills that need paying...)

RE: 4 stringed guitars | from ashJul 19 2000 - 16:21

do you know how i should go about getting one of those shecters? their web site says nothing about them. (at least it didn't about a month ago)
those dan-o baritones are pretty nice for a cheap price. any word on their actual playablity and quality?
thanks for the response and any future help...

RE: 4 stringed guitars | from robJul 19 2000 - 07:46

dan/ash: the schecter five-string came out last fall. as far as i know, it has not been a smashing success in the MI world. i've never seen them at retail, even in the mail-order catalogs.

the axe goes under the name "cello blaster" and was primarily designed with modern riff-metal sorts in mind. the "stock" tuning is in 5ths, with the lowest string @ A. the scale is like a baritone's; it's got a custom stop tailpiece, and pickups are duncan imports-- presumably with some high-gain characteristics.

most importantly (for ash anyway): since it's part of schecter's import line, you can probably get it for under 500 bucks. if it's anything like the other schecter "diamond series" axes i've played, it's probably a fairly decent mass-market instrument... nothing stellar, but not a piece of junk either.

if you don't need hums, you could always save a few bucks by purchasing a dan-o baritone and leaving off the top string :)

the live cd is great; the liner notes are a real hoot too. can't wait for the new album.

RE: 4 stringed guitars | from danJul 13 2000 - 18:18

I haven't heard about Schecter and
5-string guitars. I am thinking
that if we go down the 5-string
route, we may modify an existing
guitar. Our string spacing is
fairly wide on the 4-strings,
more like a classical guitar, and
5 strings spaced at that width
comes out just a bit shy of a
regular six string. Pickups are
always a hassle if you are
concerned about having a pole
piece beneath each string (you
have to have custom ones wound for
you). I think figuring out tuner
placement might be important as
well, especially if we use a
gibson style guitar (three tuners
on a side); One side would get
three strings, the other,.. two.
The bridge would have to be
modified as well. I don't know if
you can do that to a tune-o-matic.
Maybe you can get a blank one and
determine the placement of the
saddles width-wise yourself and
then manually install them. The
only thing left would be a nut.
Ideally we would figure out string
tension to use existing tuners and
just swap out the nut and the
bridge. That way we wouldn't hurt
a nice old guitar. But I digress...

RE: 4 stringed guitars | from ashJul 13 2000 - 11:00

dan & jeff,
i know it's been a while since this topic has been discussed... in response to dan's mention about experimenting with 5-stringers, have you guys heard anything about Schecter making a 5-stringed guitar? i heard somewhere a while back that they were going to make one. i assume that you guys will probably have them custom made, but i can't deal with the price tag that goes along with that right now. any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

RE: 4 stringed guitars | from jeremy trueJun 22 2000 - 15:10

good god! can we world handle Idaho if they start using ANOTHER STRING?!?! : )
i imagine the tunings also enable you to get those cool harmonics for the feedback solos as well... even though i thought you had used a regular six-string on this way out or something on a couple of solos...
hope you have a comfortable tech for the july 5th show!! : )

RE: 4 stringed guitars | from danJun 14 2000 - 11:13

The guitars really are very tightly strung, and string to string intervals are sometimes pretty severe. A very good side effect of this is that you really never get completely comfortable in knowing where a note is. Oftentimes a random stab with an available finger yeilds an amazing addition.

If I am not mistaken, the four string thing was more of an accident when John and Jeff were recording proto-Idaho material. An SG with two strings broken off was the only guitar in the studio. Some odd tweaking of the tuning pegs yeilded the first of Idaho's 16 or so alternate tunings.

We may do a little experimenting with 5 strings next.


RE: 4 stringed guitars | from jeffJun 14 2000 - 10:20

RE: 4 stringed guitars | from DaveJun 14 2000 - 00:23

Good topic. I was curious about
this too and I share pretty much all
the inquiries and opinions as
Jonathan above (except for the part
about "3 Sheets"; I'm probably the
only human who would put it last on
the Idaho's Best list, although
that in itself still ranks as

So Jeff, do you have a ton of
guitars (each with a different
tuning) when doing a live show?
What drove you to start doing that?
And lastly a random question: what
do you think of Sonic Youth's
mid-80's/early-90's stuff and all
their tunings?

curious about 4 stringed guitars | from jonathanJun 14 2000 - 00:09

i was wondering about your guitars.
are they just like tenor guitars
but tuned in alternate tunings?
do you have a whole bunch of them
with different p.u.'s and stuff?
was the idea to force limitations
upon yourself in order to be
creative? where did the idea come
from? i really like the cool
suspended chords and drones and the
way the acoustic one sounds too. the guitars and the vocal sound-
your production on 3 sheets to the
wind and this way out are amazing.

curious in canada.

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