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  #1  
Old 11-10-2012, 08:32 AM
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Convert 4 string fender jazz bass to 5

Hi.i have a fender jazz bass Japan fretless and I want to convert to a 5 string.is this possible???
  #2  
Old 11-10-2012, 08:46 AM
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It's possible. But string spacing will be very tight, especially at the nut. Replacing the neck will yield better options.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2012, 08:58 AM
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More tight than warwicks?????
  #4  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:03 AM
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Back in the day

John Carruthers in LA did this with the wide neck P basses. It works. (the 1st model Yamaha BB5000 is essentially one of these) but the spacing is a bit narrow. At the time, this was done one of two ways- 1- punch a hole in the headstock and replace the nut and bridge, or 2 - reverse string the 5th string, ala Steinberger,with a bridge that has a tuner built into it.

Frankly, though, you'd probably be better off just buying an inexpensive 5, like from Rondo or a Squire..
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:06 AM
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The p bass has wider neck than jazz bass??
  #6  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:25 AM
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Yes,

The standard for Jazz width nuts is 1.5" at the nut. It's 1.65" for P basses. Still not a lot of difference when you're talking about adding a string.

I agree with agureblue.

I would go with an inexpensive 5 string. In addition to SX or Squire, maybe a Sterling by Musicman Sub5; http://www.sterlingbymusicman.com/sub-bass

Best of luck,

Bob
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctmullins View Post
It's possible. But string spacing will be very tight, especially at the nut. Replacing the neck will yield better options.
Yeah but even then, can of worms. String spacing can't be an afterthought.get a 5ver with at least 1.75@ the nut and 17.5mm @bridge.
  #8  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsane View Post
Hi.i have a fender jazz bass Japan fretless and I want to convert to a 5 string.is this possible???
Yes and in just two easy steps:
1) Sell 4 string.
2) Buy 5 string.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsane View Post
More tight than warwicks?????
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsane View Post
The p bass has wider neck than jazz bass??
Yes.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2012, 01:02 AM
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thanks for the help guys...
  #10  
Old 11-11-2012, 01:05 AM
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You should PM TB user Ric5. This guy converts Rickenbacker 4-strings to fivers, but I'm sure his advice would pertain to Fenders as well. He really knows this area well, it wouldn't surprise me if he has done the conversion you are considering.
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2012, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by electracoyote View Post
You should PM TB user Ric5. This guy converts Rickenbacker 4-strings to fivers, but I'm sure his advice would pertain to Fenders as well. He really knows this area well, it wouldn't surprise me if he has done the conversion you are considering.

thank!!!!
  #12  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsane View Post
Hi.i have a fender jazz bass Japan fretless and I want to convert to a 5 string.is this possible???
I do it a lot. A p-bass neck works better than a jazz neck.





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  #13  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:43 AM
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The string spacing???
  #14  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsane View Post
The string spacing???
At the bridge 2 1/2" or 2 5/8".

At the nut 1 1/2" or 1 5/8" depending on the neck used.

Also you can put on a 5 string neck and get a wider spacing. This will require some neck pocket routing
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Last edited by Ric5 : 11-12-2012 at 09:47 AM.
  #15  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:58 AM
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Possible, but almost certainly not worth the time and expense. You'll probably end up happier and with more money in your pocket if you turn your 4 stringer into a 5 by selling it then searching the classified for a 5er that works for you.
  #16  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctmullins View Post
It's possible. But string spacing will be very tight, especially at the nut.
And the pickups should be changed for 5-string versions - or else your strings will not be aligning with the pickup poles. Needless to say, you will need to replace the bridge as well, and the extra tension of a fifth string may be more than is healthy for the neck. All in all, a bit of the proverbial can of worms. Yes it can be done - it has been done. In all cases I have dealt with, I would judge the outcome to be less than satisfactory. Everyone I know that went this route ended up selling the bass shortly afterward.
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2012, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Turnaround View Post
And the pickups should be changed for 5-string versions - or else your strings will not be aligning with the pickup poles. Needless to say, you will need to replace the bridge as well, and the extra tension of a fifth string may be more than is healthy for the neck. All in all, a bit of the proverbial can of worms. Yes it can be done - it has been done. In all cases I have dealt with, I would judge the outcome to be less than satisfactory. Everyone I know that went this route ended up selling the bass shortly afterward.
My best and favorite basses are conversions ... 8 poles usually cover 5 strings just fine. Most modern necks can easily handle a 5th string.
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  #18  
Old 11-12-2012, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric5 View Post
8 poles usually cover 5 strings just fine.

Tell that to all the people that complain that their pole pieces don't line up with the strings.
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  #19  
Old 11-12-2012, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Ric5 View Post
8 poles usually cover 5 strings just fine.
Part of the problem is the shape of the magnetic field. When Leo created the pickups for his basses, he started with one magnet pole per string. But he found that the response was improved with 2 per string. It has to do with the pattern of the field of magnets. It's an elliptical pattern that is broadened when two magnets are placed side by side. He he placed two magnets at a particular distance from each other to broaden the field. It worked exceedingly well. So well in fact that many other manufacturers adopted this pattern. Hence, the typical Precision and Jazz basses and their "clones" use this pattern.

There are some folks that say that a single magnet works fine, and those that say that string-to-pole misalignment works, but just because it works doesn't mean it's the best way to do it. Certainly it's not without compromises. How much you are willing to compromise is the issue. How good is good enough?
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  #20  
Old 11-13-2012, 12:12 PM
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when you have 8 poles lined up in a jazz pickup it really starts to act like a rail and it puts up a fairly consistant magnetic field for the strings to be in.

Rickenbacker uses the 6 pole toaster pickup for 4, 5, and 8 string basses as well as 6 string guitars. It works fine for all of them.

I have built a lot of frankensteined basses and rarely do I find an 8 pole pickup that does not cover 5 strings. It happens rarely.

The Seymour duncan 1/4 pound pickups handle 5 strings very easily because of the fatter poles.
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