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  #1  
Old 03.29.11, 4:15 PM
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Converting a 6 string electric into a 9 string

Hello,

I'm thinking of converting my old yamaha pacifica (which never gets played anymore) into a 9 string, in the style of the Ron Sargent ones played by The ****ing Champs or the First Acts played by Mastadon and Matt Pike (high on fire/sleep). That is to say a 9 string which is a 6 string with the 3 skinniest strings doubled like a 12 string, not a jumbo necked shred monster.

It looks like it could be fairly straight forward, the addition of a 12 string bridge like this one; STEWMAC.COM : Gotoh 12-string Bridge For Electric Guitar , 3 extra tuners (which there seems to be space for) and cut a few extra string grooves in the nut.

I was just wondering if anyone out there has tried this before or might have any thoughts or advice on the conversion?.

thanks
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Old 03.30.11, 6:15 AM
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yeah I've seen this sort of thing done with a jazzmaster. Its not very difficult to do. Only things I'd say is that it would be better to buy a new blank nut and then put the grooves into it. You may also have trouble with that bridge if the pacifica is routed for a tremolo.

If you're doing 9, why not go the whole way to 12? You can always leave off the strings you don't want and if you ever sell it it'll be easier to explain!
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Old 03.30.11, 5:52 PM
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My only concern would be if the neck is wide enough to accomodate a 12-string bridge and nut. I know it's just a tiny bit, but the difference could be enough to have your high and low e strings hanging off the edge.

Also, I would be concerned about drilling 3 more tuning holes into the headstock. You could end up causing cracks or splits if they're too close to the existing holes. This is why a lot of 12 strings have bigger headstocks to accomodate that.

I'm just being extra cautious here. Sounds like a cool idea, and it could work. But I would plan first and make the necessary measurements, etc.
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Old 03.31.11, 11:31 AM
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It looks like the headstock should be big enough to accommodate the 3 extra tuners, though i'm a bit concerned about the angle at which the stings will meet the nut . Making it into a 12-string would definitely require a new headstock/neck, and the neck is the best part of the pacifica.

Thanks for the heads up on the bridge routing, it might scupper the project.

I think plan b would be to just pick up a cheap 12-string, which would be alot simpler, but not as fun!.
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Old 03.31.11, 2:45 PM
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i have a 9 string i made froma dean boca 12 string (so i guess i went w/ your plan b!). it is awesome. the neck on it is HUGE though. that is my only complaint of it.

i will tell you: I had a guy re-cut a nut and the 3 saddles for me (since i went down to 9 strings instead of 12) and he didn't get them right. they are "off center" if that makes any sense.

I have a new tech how is going to do it up for me once i get the $ together to get it done. i also have to have him fill in the holes in the headstock for the 3 missing tuners.

so, it can be done! and you will get a ton of chicks because of it . . . alright, that last part might not be true!
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Old 04.01.11, 6:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riboflavin View Post
It looks like the headstock should be big enough to accommodate the 3 extra tuners, though i'm a bit concerned about the angle at which the stings will meet the nut . Making it into a 12-string would definitely require a new headstock/neck, and the neck is the best part of the pacifica.

Thanks for the heads up on the bridge routing, it might scupper the project.
Yeah it can be done but will require a lot of work (fill in the trem, replace/rebuild the neck and headstock etc). A cheap 12 string might be the way.

To increase the string angle you'll need some string trees out of interest.
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Old 04.01.11, 9:34 AM
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yep, I was thinking an extra string tree could be needed. I think a 7 on the top and 2 on the bottom would be the best layout of the tuners.

I'll check out what might need to be done to the trem cavity when i'm home this weekend. The woodwork side of thing should be fairly simple to do with a bit of help from my dad (hes built afew acoustics and has all the tools).
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Old 04.02.11, 6:54 AM
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Trem might not prove a problem but I imagine it will need addressing. Personally I'd suggest 8 strings over 9 - easier to get pickups and bits
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