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19mm string spacing, 5 strings...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Darkstrike, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    More usually, you hear disappointment that 5ers don't have this pair of specs, or at least a version as such. *Stares at EBMM and G&L*

    I'm quite on the opposite end, I find myself very interested in a lot of 5ers that are as such(Sadowsky, Lakland, etc), due to past issues with a 19mm 5er, they just seem harder to play to me, cramping my hand up fairly quickly. Every now and then I pull out my bass, a Squier Jazz Deluxe V, play it for a bit, and unhappily put it in the very back of my wardrobe(worthless to sell as it's been heavily, near irreparably modified).

    Got to thinking about it again, and some of my preferred 5ers, my Roscoes to be exact, their string spacing is fairly wide, a hair over 18mm, which I can play effortlessly(talentlessly too, but that's for another thread...). I took out a calipers and took some measurements, strings just under 4mm further apart on the Squier, and the neck 4mm wider at the 20th fret. There's quite a large difference at the nut, 1.75 vs. 2.008.

    So, could this minor 4mm difference really be causing me all this much trouble, given that I play 19mm 4's without issue, and even the odd 6er? Or is it more likely that some other combination of specs on the Squier is the real culprit? Maybe it's just the overall quality, or perhaps the chunkier neck? Then again, I have some 17.5mm 5ers with somewhat chunky necks that also give me no issue. Could it involve that ridiculously wide nut(IMO, that is, of course, I wouldn't want a 6er's nut wider than 2") be part of it? Maybe it's due to the touch of neck dive, due to it's light body and 5 big tuners?

    Am I asking legit questions, or just ranting?

    Is this really worthy of a thread?

    Regardless.... *hits Submit New Thread*
  2. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    What was the question?
    Dan Bass likes this.
  3. Maybe it's the neck profile?

    String spacing doesn't affect playability for me at all. I can play on 19mm or 16.5mm just as easily. But if the neck is too wide or too fat I can't play it comfortably.
  4. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    I have trouble with fives with close string spacing. I play mostly 4 string Precisions, so I'm used to a lot space between the strings. I prefer to maintain that comfort zone when I switch to a five. My Yamaha BB above feels just right.
  5. i cant play a bass with less than 5 strings. i cant play a bass with string spacing any bigger than my (currently stolen) OLP 5er. anything bigger and im a mess on the fretboard.

    its not just you. in the conditions i like, ive gleaned that i am a very proficient player. anything other than that, and i sound like 13 year old kid playing nirvana songs after picking up the instrument the day before. night and day.
  6. Essthreetee


    Aug 19, 2007
    Visalia, CA
    I don't know how to answer that...except to say that both of my fivers are 19mm (Ibanez BTB and MTD CRB). I had others that were not...Ibanez SR505 (17mm I think), a Fernandes 5 string Jazz (super tight spacing), and a TBC 5 string Jazz (17mm I think). While they were all nice basses (not as nice as Roscoe) the narrow width actually made my hand hurt. The BTB is wide and flat and, to me, very comfortable. I haven't played the squire, so I can't say...but...I am not sure what I am trying to say....:confused::rollno::eyebrow:
  7. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    My problem is that my left hand likes a 17.5mm spacing but my right hand prefers 19mm. :(
    oaklandthumb and comatosedragon like this.
  8. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've had a lot of five string basses that were less than 19mm and they ultimately had to go. For me it needs to be 19mm.

  9. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    The Squier you have has very wide neck profile. I don't think it's the spacing as much as it is the neck width.
  10. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Cheers everyone, good stuff!

    I can quite comfortably do tighter spacing, even down to 14mm(that's more I can than I want to, though). I'm definitely happier with 17-18mm usually.
    That neck really is a beast, my biggest issue is that there really isn't anyplace handy with 5er basses, especially 19mm ones to try out, I'd probably have to go to England to demo stuff.
  11. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
  12. This is a common issue that many go through. Some like the 17.5mm spacing, while others like the 19mm, and for some neither works. So, as I take it, you don't like 19mm? but you don't like 17.5 either?

    I know that Carvin lately has been going much more towards the "wide 5" with their basses, and currently they only have a few basses that don't have a 19mm spacing. Those that are 17.5 have the option for 19mm with a wide asymmetrical neck. All of the Carvin bolt-on 5ers have the same wide 5 bridge.

    the main thing is to find a bass that works for YOU. there are some hipshot bridge designs that allow the string spread to the changed a bit, so maybe you should look into basses with those.
  13. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Some MTD's do I believe.
  14. EBMM should make a 19mm Stingray 5. Maybe if we made a big enough stink they would consider making a limited run of them, say 200. We should start a petition!
  15. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    eh... heheheh! :D
  16. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Seems like it would take a lot of modification to EBMM's production line. At 17.5mm, the B and G strings are already pretty close to the edge of the fretboard. I'm thinking it would require a physically wider neck.

  17. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    I play everything from 4, 5, and 6-stringers, from my wide Yamaha TRB-JP's to my tight Carvin LB-76ers and back to 4 without any issues. Each bass has that certain characteristic that makes me play/think a tad different, bringing out a different technique, voice, or style of playing. String spacing won't scare me off and I will not discount a bass because of it.
  18. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
  19. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    That is where I am too, although the more I play basses in stores the more both hands are adapting. The one line of fivers that consistently plays naturally and comfortably for me is the Ibanez SR and I have all but decided to go that way. Another one that plays very well for me is the Squier Deluxe Active V. The Ibanez have narrow spacing (16?, 17?), and narrow necks. The Squire is 19 mm and wider at the nut but it plays quite nicely for me too. Haven't measured it but I suspect that its neck is thinner, front to back, than other Squiers, Fenders, etc with 19 mm. Thin would help compensate for wide and 19 mm makes my right hand feel at home. I'd probably go with the Squier if it were not so very much like the Fender Deluxe Active IV that I already own. I'd like to get something at least a bit different from what I already own and the Ibanez line does play the best for me so I think they will ultimately get the nod.

    It is curious to me that the Peavey Millennium AC BXP on paper looks very similar to the Ibanez SR yet the Peavey just never plays as well for me. And all of the other 19 mm fives I have played have necks a little narrower than the Squier Active V yet the latter plays nearly as well as the Ibanez for me while the other 19 mm basses are a bit behind the Peavey. Clearly for some of us there are some specifications beyond string spacing and neck width that control how we react to a given five. I really do not like round wounds yet pretty much all basses come with them stock. In some cases I may be reacting as much to the strings as the bass, I suppose. I hope that does not make it impossible for me to find the right five.

  20. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Oh, I know all about that neck. I've had one of those basses. I really liked it. I have large hands and that was a wide neck at the nut.

    I can almost guarantee this won't fix the OP's problem. Tighter spacing will still leave a large neck width.

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