1983 vintage Sierra E9/B6 Universal 14 Tuning

My Current U14 Copedent (Feb 2007)

This guitar has been converted to a keyless tuner system. My plan for this guitar is to extend the scale length from 25" to around 29" by relocating the keyless tuner unit and tuning it as a C9/G6.
Sierra has discontinued the 14 string model with Grover tuners and now offers only a keyless model with a shorter body. So a older body is required to obtain an extended string scale length.

The OEM string gauges (see the copedents below) on the bass side of the Sierra U14 are a problematic compromise and are too small to offer the clarity which can be obtained with a bit of simple ingenuity.

When I got my second U14 the previous owner had already converted it to a keyless tuner system and was using a DR brand .100 for the low E-string, and an .080 for the low B string. This improves the clarity of these strings substantially.

The Grover Tuners have tuner-hole which will accommodate a .080 (OEM) string gauge but this gauge is just below these tuners maximum capacity.

Locating .100 strings which can be made to work with a suitably-sized ball-end is a bit of a challenge. I and some other players replaces the ball ends on the .100 strings with ball ends recovered from old strings.

The trick to using a .100 string with a Grover tuner is stripping the windings off of the string to expose the core-wire where the string passes through the tuner-hole.

My keyless tuner unit uses a hex head screw to clamp the string in place. With the .100 string I find that my keyless tuner works better if I strip off the winding and only clamp the core wire under the screw head on the keyless tuner unit. For the low E string I also have added a washer between the screw head and the core wire.

My revised Copedent for my first Sierra Universal 14 Guitar (Which I no longer own)


Currently my only deviations from the factory standard setup (below) are:
1. – The changes for P1 and P3 are reversed. This is commonly called [Jimmy] "Day setup"
2. – and on LKL.

Sierra Universal 14 Factory Copedent


Note: This configuration of the P1 and P3 changes is commonly called the [Buddy] "Emmons setup."
The pictures below are of my prior U14. Except for the tuners both guitars look pretty much the same cosmetically.


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