String Gauges

Megatar offers two different string sets. One is optimized for the Bass Bottom tuning we recommend (tuned like a Standard Bass), and the other is optimized for the Inverted-Fifths tuning that is popular among Chapman Stick players.

Because we offer our instruments with the Buzz Feiten Intonation System installed, we do not offer multiple weights of strings.

Why? Because whenever you change the weight or tension of your strings, your intonation must be reset if you wish to play in tune. Normal guitars are only set to ‘standard intonation' with a certain string set, which may be adequate as long as you don't make major changes to the set up, for example big jumps in string gauges.  

Prioritizing intonation means that we therefore provide a single optimized set of strings for each of the two most common tunings:  The Megatar "Bass Bottom" straight 4ths tuning and the Chapman Stick "Inverted fifths" tuning.  These string gauges also overlap with the vast majority of alternative tunings.  This means that we can add the sonic benefit of the Buzz Feiten intonation system to many common tunings.  

Bass Bottom Tuning (Megatar)

Melody string gauges: .009, .011, .012, .016, .029W, .040W

Bass string gauges: .025W, .035W, .050W, .065W, .085W, .100W

"Inverted-Fifths" Tuning (Chapman Stick)

Melody String gauges: .009, .011, .012, .016, .029W, .040W

Bass String gauges: .095W, .080W, .060W, .030W, .016, .010

"Bi-Melody" Tuning
Here we install two melody-string sets on an instrument. The set of melody strings are tuned in the standard way, and ascend in the direction expected by any guitar or bass-player. We'll call these the 'Hi-Melody" strings.

For the "bass strings," we'll install another melody-string set. We'll call this set the "Lo-Melody" strings, and it will be tuned one whole step lower (two frets). The benefit of detuning the "Lo-Melody" strings is that we've created the same relationship for your two hands that we had in the Bass Bottom tuning.  This tuning is excellent for six-string tap guitarists who never want to run out of string again.

Hi-Melody String gauges: .009, .011, .012, .016, .029W, .040W

Lo-Melody String gauges: .009, .011, .012, .016, .029W, .040W

Other Tunings

Although we do not normally maintain stocks of all possible string gauges, we can create instruments with many other tunings, such as Daniel Schell's "Mirror Fourths" tuning, New Standard Tuning, the "Teed Rockwell" tuning, Ricky Wade's "Dropped-Bass" tuning, the "Crafty" melody tuning, dual bass, etc. For most of these we can install the Feiten Intonation System. Please contact us if you are interested in one of these variant tunings.

In Bass Bottom tuning the bass strings, are tuned exactly like a standard 6-string bass, which means that any bass player in the world can pick it up and immediately know where the notes are. 

In Bass Bottom tuning the standard melody strings are in straight fourths, ascending in the normal direction used by guitar and bass players. Because of the long neck, these strings cannot be tuned quite as high as a standard guitar without breaking, so they're pitched lower by 1.5 steps (3 frets). But since Megatar instruments have 25 frets, instead of 22 as in most guitars, you can still play as high as on a guitar. You've just got yourself some extra low melody notes!

In the Inverted-Fifths tuning we have the same standard melody tuning as in Bass Bottom tuning, but the bass strings are tuned in fifths rather than in fourths.  And the bass strings ascend in a direction opposite to the way that the melody strings ascend. 

 

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