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String spacing poll

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rotation, Feb 7, 2014.


  1. Rotation

    Rotation

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Location:
    Far East (of Californa)
    Do you care much about string spacing at nut or bridge? If so why, when, how much?

    I'm a new player and go between a five string, 1-3/4" 16mm and a four string, 1-1/2" 19mm. The wider strings are easier to play but having experience with narrow strings seems worthwhile.

    (My interest is four & five string basses, people with other preferences welcome.)
     
  2. danharris

    danharris

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    after playing 19mm 4 bangers for years, i have to say that ive grown quite fond of my 16.5mm space on my new six string. it took a few weeks of steady six string only playing to get used to it, but now i feel right at home in the tight space. im kinda gasing for a 5er now.
     
  3. 73jbass

    73jbass Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    1 3/4 at the nut,18mm at the bridge. Music Man and Fender are perfect for my small hands.
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    I have smaller hands so narrow spacing feels much better for me on 5+ string basses. I don't slap much these days but I've never felt cramped by 16-18mm spacing at the bridge.

    If you're a fairly new player I suggest focusing on the 5 string to develop good technique and playing habits, especially muting techniques (i.e. damping the strings that are not being played). Many of these techniques are easy to ignore on a 4 string bass which is why many folks struggle with the transition to 5+ strings. But if you get the technique right on the 5 string, not only will you feel totally in command of 4 string basses but you won't have to change your technique to play 6+ strings if you wanted to.
     
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  6. fnordlyone

    fnordlyone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    south Louisiana
    I'm learning on a 5 string and thinking of buying a 4 string
    and thinking about the spacing on low end. I think from playing a few standard P's and Music Mans that the neck width is within my comfort zone and the extra space between strings is a bonus.
     
  7. VeganThump

    VeganThump

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Fender is 18mm on a 5er and Musicman is 17.5mn on their 5ers. I can't play anything less than 17.5mm. I have a fender jazz V now and I had a stingray 5 I sold to get the jazz V, I know it's only .5mm but I can definitely tell the difference from the fender to the stingray, I actually preferred the 17.5 over the 18.
     
  8. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    I have 14mm string spacing on my 2 6-string basses and love it. Anyone who tells you that that's too tight to play fingerstyle doesn't know what they are talking about. I can even slap with that string spacing as well. Hell, classical guitarists pick with their fingers and the spacing on a guitar is around 11mm, so don't be afraid to go down to 14mm or something if you like. If you like playing chords or you just don't want a super-wide neck, it will make playing the bass so much easier.
     
  9. bassteban

    bassteban

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Location:
    Northern California
    Jazz-tight at the nut, typical P-Bass wide at the bridge.

    Edit: Why? Tight nut for quicker fretting, wide bridge for clean slapping. Im not a huge slapped but like the bass to cooperate when I do go all faux-funky

    Edit 2: When? When I play the bass, silly
     
  10. Emanuel Apascaritei

    Emanuel Apascaritei

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    I guess the string spacing liking differes from player to player. Less the 18mm at bridge and the bass is uncomfortable to me, but I could adjust.
    Nevertheless I strongly think that you don't have to adjust to the instrument but the way around. All you have to do is try how many basses out there as you can, with time you'll find out what's best for you.
     
  11. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    I use a J and P style basses. The string spacing is different but I'm used to both. I tend to prefer the J-style spacing.

    Davo
     
  12. Sartori

    Sartori

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    I hate taper. The less, the better.

    So I like my Rickenbacker, which has, I guess, medium to wide spacing at the nut, and narrow spacing at the bridge.
     
  13. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    NE US/CAN line
    For 5 string, I prefer 19mm but am OK with 18mm. <18 is a deal breaker for me. Ideal nut is 1.81" (Lakland) but up to 2" is OK.
     
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    I played Fender style fours for over 20 years: P-basses and Rays. So, string spacing at the bridge was about 19mm, nut width was usually 1.625", but I also liked the vintage 1.75". I didn't like the narrow J-bass nut width.

    When I switched to fiver in Y2K, I realized that string spacing is incredibly important to me at both ends of the bass. At the bridge I prefer 19mm spacing, or 20mm (as on the Warwick SSI5 I owned for awhile). My hands can't get comfortable on narrow fivers, and I've tried. It's too bad: I love the tone of the MusicMan SR5, but the narrow spacing feels horrible. Narrow spacing on a fiver is an absolute deal killer for me regardless of any other factor.
     
  15. SolarMan

    SolarMan Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Marlborough, MA
    Nut: 1.625"
    Bridge: currently running 20.1mm center to center
     
  16. sobie18

    sobie18

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Location:
    RAF Lakenheath, UK
    Don't give a rats hind flank in ANY regard. Each bass I own has a certain character to it and with different neck widths, sizes, number of strings, pups, etc. brings out another side of my playing. Even in the subtlest ways...

    From my monster-necked Yamaha TRB-JP to my Jazz-style necks...
     
  17. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    I've never been bothered by bridge spacing unless the strings are super close like on a Bass VI.

    I'm a lot more picky about neck profile, fingerboard radius, nut spacing and having equal space between the strings at the nut instead of having the strings spaced on-center.
     
  18. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I prefer it a little narrower at the bridge and nut than most people. The Fender Performer was just right for me. The Vaccaro 5er is pretty nice too. I am comfortable on Warwick 5ers (not the broad necks tho).
     
  19. Bobster

    Bobster

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    My 5-string LTD B-1005 has 17mm spacing and my Squier VM Jazz V have 18mm. I'm okay with either of these.

    My 4-string Fender Modern Player Jag has 20mm and my Ltd Surveyor-4 has 19mm. No issues here either.

    But my Rockbass Corvette 5 had 16.5mm and that was just too tight for me personally.

    All the best!

    Bob
     
  20. Immigrant

    Immigrant

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    West of Stumptown, USA
    18-19 mm at the bridge.

    Where's the poll?:p
     
  21. BioWeapon

    BioWeapon

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    I second what immigrant said, Where's the poll? :D

    Anyhow, I couldn't care less about my spacing at the nut. My hand is more than large enough to cover the spread of a 5 or 6 string. At the bridge? Yeah, I don't really like 19 mm spacing. I find it harder to skip strings, which something I find myself doing quite often. I actually find it easier to play on my 15 mm (edge to edge) spaced 5er, including slap. Sometimes when going fast it's hard to stop myself from hitting a low string however.
     

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