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  #1  
Old 09-07-2020, 09:05 PM
Explorer Explorer is offline
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Default Finding and downtuning an Amicus to standard tuning?

I've owned and enjoyed quite a few 12-strings over the years, including a Rainsong WS3000 sold during some hard times. I've also done many experiments in downtuning, starting with a Tacoma Papoose which I put into standard E tuning for a friend who is a little person. I currently have and enjoy a vintage Flatiron Mandela set up to play in GDAE as an octave mandolin , a fourth below its normal CGDA at its 17" scale length.

So now I'm wondering, as I'm looking towards an eventual purchase... has anyone here ever experimented with downtuning on an Emerald Amicus?

I've missed a few over the past year at good prices, but figure I might have a chance to pick one up for experimentation over this next year. (And, of course, if someone lets me know of a listing at a great price, I'll greatly appreciate that as well. *laugh*)

My friend C's Papoose is still going strong, so the thought of a travel 12-string in carbon keeps rattling around my head. I've also had my eyes open for a rare 12-string Blackbird Rider, as travel is the target.

So, anyone with experience downtuning an Amicus?
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:39 PM
dmcginnis dmcginnis is offline
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Are you asking about tuning it to E-A-D-G-B-E?

I have an Amicus now tuned to DADGAD and it works great...about to change strings, too...so could check...but I bet the tension will be too high on some of the strings. Someone else could have already tried it....
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:10 AM
warndt warndt is offline
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I recently bought mine from a forum member and it was tuned to "A" (tuned down 5 half-steps from recommended "D" tuning) using a standard extra light Elixir 12-string set.

It does sound very nice using this octave 12-string set.

Last edited by warndt; 09-09-2020 at 11:52 PM. Reason: CLARIFICATION: (tuned down 5 half-steps from recommended "D")
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:59 AM
Explorer Explorer is offline
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@dm - Yes, downtuning the Amicus to E standard, in what is the normal octave for a 25.5" scale guitar.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:28 AM
Fixedgear60 Fixedgear60 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcginnis View Post
Are you asking about tuning it to E-A-D-G-B-E?

I have an Amicus now tuned to DADGAD and it works great...about to change strings, too...so could check...but I bet the tension will be too high on some of the strings. Someone else could have already tried it....
Good question.... I have tried E-A-D-G-B-E tuning with a number of types/guages of strings and also chatted with Alistair about it a couple of years back. His comment was it might work but that the issue would be the high E string as it would have a lot of tension on it. He was correct. I tried a number of gauges of strings for the high E and all broke before getting to E. In my experience, I do not believe it is possible given the current design. Welcome any other opinions and explorations. Capo on the second fret for me :-)
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:01 PM
Explorer Explorer is offline
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Am I using the wrong word? Doesn't "downtuning" mean to go down in pitch? I even said to the normal pitch of a 25.5" scale length guitar, and it seems like you all keep talking about going an octave above a regular guitar.

Assuming "downtuning" is the wrong word for going down in pitch, what is the correct word?

And, now that hopefully that's clarified, has anyone tried this on an Amicus?
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2020, 06:57 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
Am I using the wrong word? Doesn't "downtuning" mean to go down in pitch? I even said to the normal pitch of a 25.5" scale length guitar, and it seems like you all keep talking about going an octave above a regular guitar.

Assuming "downtuning" is the wrong word for going down in pitch, what is the correct word?

And, now that hopefully that's clarified, has anyone tried this on an Amicus?
I understood what you meant, but figure you'd have to go down 10 frets worth to get to E-A-D-G-B-E... unless you come up with some special strings, that is going to be some kind of floppy.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:00 PM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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My used Amicus arrived tuned to B E A D F# B (6 - 1) down 3 frets from “Amicus standard” tuning. I liked it and kept it that way.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2020, 09:35 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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BEADF#B is exactly the same as the most common baritone B-b tuning, but an octave lower. So that leaves a choice - transpose down one whole step (two frets) for standard Amicus D-d tuning, or by four frets for your B-b tuning.

Either way I don't think it is feasible to have such a short scale instrument either tuned up to E-e an octave above normal, or tuned down to standard guitar E-e. It may be possible, but expect to do a lot of string experimentation.
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2020, 11:40 AM
K20C K20C is offline
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I had an Amicus for several years. I considered tuning it to standard guitar pitch, but after several exchanges with Emerald on why it wouldn’t work, I gave up on the idea.
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Last edited by K20C; 03-14-2023 at 09:01 PM.
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2023, 08:11 PM
stimpsonjcat stimpsonjcat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixedgear60 View Post
Good question.... I have tried E-A-D-G-B-E tuning with a number of types/guages of strings and also chatted with Alistair about it a couple of years back. His comment was it might work but that the issue would be the high E string as it would have a lot of tension on it. He was correct. I tried a number of gauges of strings for the high E and all broke before getting to E. In my experience, I do not believe it is possible given the current design. Welcome any other opinions and explorations. Capo on the second fret for me :-)
@Fixedgear60

And here I am three years later thanking you for saving me the trouble!

How do you manage A with the capo on 2? My fingees don't all fit!
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Last edited by stimpsonjcat; 03-14-2023 at 08:36 PM.
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