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rolio boh

Transcale Baritone and tuning?

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I just bought a used transcale baritone in the blue. I'm really liking it! However the prior owner just had it in standard tuning. I thought that can't be right so I tuned everything down a whole step. Seems like that was Steinberger's intention since the literature for the model says to roll the built in capo up "a couple of frets" to play like a regular guitar. Plus DGCFAD tuning would make sense because of the two fret offset between the two different sets of fret markers.

 

Still, wikipedia speaks of baritone guitars as usually tuned down a perfect fifth, a perfect fourth, or a major third. Wow, that's a long way. So my question is what is Steinberger's intention here? I'm sure the guitar is engineered to play optimally at some given string tension or tuning, so before I go buy a set of the 12/68 baritone strings I'd like to know what tuning the mfg suggests for them?

 

I didn't get any owner's manual. Funny that in all the info online on the st-2fpa nowhere does it actually say how it is tuned except the vague idea that it is a baritone guitar.

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I thought that can't be right so I tuned everything down a whole step. Seems like that was Steinberger's intention since the literature for the model says to roll the built in capo up "a couple of frets" to play like a regular guitar. Plus DGCFAD tuning would make sense because of the two fret offset between the two different sets of fret markers.

 

DGCFAD is correct and the intended standard tuning.

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DGCFAD is correct and the intended standard tuning.

 

Thanks! The baritone double ball string set looks great to me since I play mostly steel string acoustic. Switching between acoustic and electric guitars should now be a breeze since I can put on the .12/.68 set and play with the same force as I do on acoustic, more or less.

 

Plus the 3rd string being wound is killer. I always hated the sound of the electric unwound 3rd for ballads plus the fact that on most electric guitars the unwound 3rd is fraught with intonation problems that a wound string doesn't have. I may be speaking too early but I think I've found the electric guitar for me in this Steinie baritone. Can't wait to try it with the baritone strings.

 

I'll have to clean the fretboard now. I use windex or 409 to clean fretboards. I assume the phenolic fretboard takes normal fingerboard oil then?

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I'll have to clean the fretboard now. I use windex or 409 to clean fretboards. I assume the phenolic fretboard takes normal fingerboard oil then?

 

 

The recommended cleaning agent for phenolic resin fretboards is something like WD-40. Do not wet the fretboard with it, as it should not run into gaps, openings or the wooden part of the neck. Just use a slightly moistened wipe. Here is a great explanation of the advantages of WD-40.

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I just bought a used Trans-scale and put a set of D'Addario Jazz Mediums (.13 - .56) on it. The limitation here is in what the single-end adaptor can take. I tried a .65 and it wouldn't go in. The .56 fit without a problem, so the max is somewhere between those two. I saw that Steinberger used to have a double-ball set of .13 - .62, but I haven't been able to find them online.

With this .13 - .56 set, I can tune down to A-to-A easily, but the low tension has it sounding a little muddy and hitting the fretboard too much. So, I tuned it to B-to-B and it sounds and feels great now. It has a guitar-like tension and the low B rings clearly. Now, I'm excited about it.

I know Ned's intention was for an easily-convertible drop D, but I can achieve that sound on any of my guitars, I wanted something that sounded noticeable different but still played like a guitar. This B-to-B seems to be working out, even if it makes the weird offset-side-fret-marker system even less useful.

So, that's my tip for anyone else who finds themselves hitting this thread after buying an old, unpopular, weirdo guitar on a whim. 

Edited by Willybone

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