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  1. #1
    Little Dreamer vanhammersly's Avatar
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    01.05.12 @ 08:01 PM
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    Half Step Down Tuning on Peavey Wolfgang

    Since my wolfgang doesn't have a floating trem (only goes down) can I tune down half a step without going in to the back of the guitar and adjusting spring tension on the screws? If I have to do this and I have no experience in doing it, should I take it to a tech or can I do it myself? Thanks in advance for the tips.
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  2. #2
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    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
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    No adjustments needed on the Wolfgang.
    Only if you had a floating trem would you maybe have to adjust the trem claw.
    Last edited by Dino5150; 08.14.09 at 04:50 PM.

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    12.06.17 @ 10:09 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino5150 View Post
    No adjustments needed on the Wolfgang.
    Only if you had a floating trem would you maybe have to adjust the trem claw.
    +1.
    All you need to do is unclamp the strings at the nut, tune your strings a half step down, re-clamp and you're done!
    WGAF?!!

  4. #4
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 01:21 PM
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    Yep easy peasy.

  5. #5
    5150
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    04.02.10 @ 06:19 PM
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    agreed. the only thing i can think of is the tension might feel heavier when using the trem arm. if so you can loosen the screws half a turn to a full turn other then that nothing needs to be done.

  6. #6
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:16 PM
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    Hold on, hold on.

    I have to respectfully disagree with you guys on this one.

    While you could get away with simply tuning down 1/2 step and be okay, that isn't really all you should do.

    First off, the trem will be harder to pull down as mentioned by J-A, so you may want to loosen the trem claw screws.

    More importantly, the decreased tension on the neck will more than likely require you to adjust the neck. You will more than likely start to notice fret buzz between the nut and the 10th fret if you don't adjust.

    Finally, you will want to adjust the intonation when the other adjustments are made. Your intonation will be thrown off slightly when you tune down. Intonation is simply checking that the open note and the fretted note are the same on each string. It is adjusted by increasing or decreasing the vibrating legnth of the string at the bridge saddle.

    You can probably get by without these adjustments, but for your guitar to play to it's maximum potential, you will want to perform them.
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  7. #7
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Hold on, hold on.

    I have to respectfully disagree with you guys on this one.

    While you could get away with simply tuning down 1/2 step and be okay, that isn't really all you should do.

    First off, the trem will be harder to pull down as mentioned by J-A, so you may want to loosen the trem claw screws.

    More importantly, the decreased tension on the neck will more than likely require you to adjust the neck. You will more than likely start to notice fret buzz between the nut and the 10th fret if you don't adjust.

    Finally, you will want to adjust the intonation when the other adjustments are made. Your intonation will be thrown off slightly when you tune down. Intonation is simply checking that the open note and the fretted note are the same on each string. It is adjusted by increasing or decreasing the vibrating legnth of the string at the bridge saddle.

    You can probably get by without these adjustments, but for your guitar to play to it's maximum potential, you will want to perform them.
    Spot on. If you're quick tuning your guitar down to learn something half-step down, then sure it'll be okay. But if the intention is to always have your guitar tuned half-step down, then you must do a full setup (neck adjustment, trem adjustment, saddle intonation). Also, if you like the string tension when tuned normally, you may want to consider stepping up a gauge for half-step down tuning. For example, 9s on a 25 1/2" scale guitar (like the Wolfgang, or more commonly the Strat) will feel VERY loose tuned half-step down, and either going with a 9.5 or 10 set will be better all around for string and neck tension.

  8. #8
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 01:21 PM
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    Apart from adjusting the trem, I have never had to mess with the truss rod when tuning my guitars down, and they're all down 1/2 step. Sometimes the intonation is off a bit, but that's an easy fix. I also hate heavy strings, have always stuck with 9's. I guess I just like that loose feel of the strings...or I'm just very used to it.

    I think once I adjusted the truss rod on one of my Kramers because I got some buzz on the 9th fret, but other than that never really needed to. Not saying that I have been doing anything right, just my experience.
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  9. #9
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Spot on. If you're quick tuning your guitar down to learn something half-step down, then sure it'll be okay. But if the intention is to always have your guitar tuned half-step down, then you must do a full setup (neck adjustment, trem adjustment, saddle intonation). Also, if you like the string tension when tuned normally, you may want to consider stepping up a gauge for half-step down tuning. For example, 9s on a 25 1/2" scale guitar (like the Wolfgang, or more commonly the Strat) will feel VERY loose tuned half-step down, and either going with a 9.5 or 10 set will be better all around for string and neck tension.
    +1
    Always important to get your intonation as bang on as possible for real responsive harmonics too. Alot of people neglect to dial in the intonation perfectly, especially with Floyd's because they can be a big pain to do cuz' you gotta completely slack off the string, unlock the saddle, then retune, strike a harmonic and fret and maybe repeat this several times per string, whereas with a standard trem you can usually adjust alot quicker minus the unlocking and relocking step for each string, but I tell ya, when your intonation is bang on, your harmonics will jump off the fingerboard, so it's worth the time and patience. Though it is usually not an issue with a Floyd, though I have seen it in rare cases (it's usually something to do with the neck), you can run out of adjustment for or aft due to a slight manufacturing error, but as long as you're within a couple of cents up or down on the tuner, you're gold. I'm a big promoter of learning to set up your guitar yourself. It gives you a much deeper connection and understanding of the instrument, plus it saves you coin, and you have the satisfaction of doing it yourself. Truss rods are nothing to be afraid of. Their access is there for a reason. The important thing to remember is very small adjustments, like a 1/4 turn at a time with no string tension and letting the guitar climatize to the change before retensioning. My luthier (who I use for refrets) for example alows at least two hours between adjustments to avoid any binding or warping on standard finished neck and will wait even longer on oiled necks, especially birdeye maple. Check out Dan Erlewine on Youtube. I've followed his columns for years. He's a great luthier. He's the guy that made me feel comfortable working on my guitars. I was scared shitless of fucking them up, but like anything, once you try it you'll feel more comfortable.
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 08.17.09 at 10:39 AM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    I'm kind of in the middle on this one. I've had guitars that I tuned down 1/2 step permanently that did not require any adjustment anywhere...not the neck, not the floyd and not the intonation. So in this respect I'm with Bret.

    however, I've had other guitars that dropping down the 1/2 step did in fact require a full set up so in this respect, I'm with Andrew and the rest.

    Drop down a half step, clamp up and play for a while. If you notice fret buzz, tuning issues, don't like the feel of the trem arm anymore...well...go spend the 30 bucks or so on a good set up and you'll thank yourself later. If everything feels great, well, keep doing what you're doing.
    Stay out of it, dude.


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  11. #11
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    I'm kind of in the middle on this one. I've had guitars that I tuned down 1/2 step permanently that did not require any adjustment anywhere...not the neck, not the floyd and not the intonation. So in this respect I'm with Bret.

    however, I've had other guitars that dropping down the 1/2 step did in fact require a full set up so in this respect, I'm with Andrew and the rest.

    Drop down a half step, clamp up and play for a while. If you notice fret buzz, tuning issues, don't like the feel of the trem arm anymore...well...go spend the 30 bucks or so on a good set up and you'll thank yourself later. If everything feels great, well, keep doing what you're doing.
    That's very true too. I've tuned down 1/2 a step and not noticed any ill effects, but then I'm like Brett as far as using 9's is concerned. I had my Frankie strung with 10's back in the day and if you tuned down 1/2 step, that thing would go wacko! Your preffered action is a huge factor though. I play with a real low action so buzz was a factor at the 7th. fret for me. but it only required a very slight truss adjustment. As far as intonation, I think it affects heavier strings more often too, and also just the manufacture of the strings can play a part. I switched to D'Darrio's 2 years ago and found the intonation to be much improved from set to set. I found my usual Boomer's although I loved their sound could be a little inconsistent. As far as my description of intonating your Floyd, that applies to any tuning, not just ocassional dropped or alternate tunings. Like I said alot of people make do with the "close enough" situation. It's worth it to put in the extra time and patience to set it up perfect. My buddy has Jackson with a Floyd and it drives me nuts everytime I visit and we couch jam. He's not pro but when you tune the guitar to itself you can hear it's out. He simply does'nt take the time to intonate it because "it takes too long". I've offered to do it for him, but he's like "I'll take it in someday." He still hasn't! LOL!
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 08.17.09 at 12:36 PM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    I've always played 10s. 9s feel like rubber bands to me. I also play with what many would consider high action. I hate guitars with super low action...I can't seem to dig in. I need the guitar to fight back a little, not just roll over for me. I think the higher action, coupled with the heavier strings has prevented, and caused, some of the various "issues" I've had over the years.
    Stay out of it, dude.


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  13. #13
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    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
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    You guys are technically correct in your theories, but the question was ...
    "Can I tune down half a step without going in to the back of the guitar and adjusting spring tension on the screws?"

    I stand by my initial response in that you do not have to make any adjustments when tuning down 1/2 step on a Wolfgang.

    Sure, you could adjust the springs, adjust the intonation, adjust the truss rod, etc ... and yeah, it would optimize the performance of your guitar but does one really have to make all of these adjustments just in order to tune down 1/2 step? ... I still say "no" for the simple fact that I've been doing it for some 25-30 years and it has had absolutely no ill effect on any of my guitars, ever.

    A guitar is far from the "perfect instrument".
    You could probably justify making adjustments twice a day if you really wanted to just based on the rise and fall of temperature throughout the day/evening!

    For someone who knows how to make these adjustments, you may prefer to tweak your setup when you tune down 1/2 step ... I can appreciate that.
    But for someone asking if they need to take their guitar to a "tech" just to be able to tune down 1/2 step? ... I still say no.

    Also consider the fact that the author of this thread never really gave any indication as to whether he intended on keeping his guitar tuned down 1/2 step, or if he would be alternating back and forth from standard tuning.

    Again ... I do believe you guys are technically correct in that there are adjustments the could be made if one so chooses. But I also believe that in doing so, you're probably addressing "issues" that don't even exist.

    JMO
    Last edited by Dino5150; 08.17.09 at 02:01 PM.

  14. #14
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    you tell 'em dino!
    Stay out of it, dude.


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  15. #15
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 01:21 PM
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    Well I'm one of those people that has tuned down and has not needed to set up the thing again, and I have been playing 23 years and set up plenty of guitars on my own. So I guess I prove Dino's theory. In fact the Charvel So-Cal I just bought was tuned standard. And all I did was adjust the trem springs and replaced whatever was on there with my Ernie Ball 9's. No buzz at all, thing plays fine with very low action.
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