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4 String B-E-D-A

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by iriegnome, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    :help: I am looking to either buy or create a bass that is strung B-E-D-A. Does anyone know who all ready makes one? If I take a regular P-Bass and cut the nut to fit the strings, Does anyone know why this would or would not work? I want the low end of a 5-string, but I do not want the 5th string. How does the tension work on a 4-string that would make doing this difficult because of a 34" scale? Do you think that it would allow enough tension on the neck to get good tone?
    HELP HELP HELP. I do not have any close people I can geek out with when it comes to such fine detail.
    I know that there are a few of us out there.
    THanks everyone.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You just take a regular 4-string and put the lower 4 strings of a 5-string set on. Leave the nut alone unless the strings don't fit AT ALL, and watch the neck for the next days. Only adjust the neck if needed.

    BTW, the tuning is BEAD, not BEDA.
  3. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm pretty sure Trevor Dunn of Fantomas (previously Mr.Bungle) plays a P-bass tuned BEAD with that band, or at least it sure sounded like it when I saw them last week. It sounded awesome, btw. You will need to recut your nut as others said but you'll end up with less tension on the neck than before so don't worry about ruining your bass.
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Search the Setup forum for BEAD. Some others and I have done quite a bit of stuff on BEAD conversions.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    So if you tune it B-E-D-A, is the D going to be a seventh above the E, or a step below the the E?
  6. Fred312b

    Fred312b Proof that gear doesn't make you a better player Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    tim cummerford(?) from rage/audioslave plays fender jazzes tuned bead as well. other than the new nut, i can't forsee any problems it would present if you adjust the neck's relief. :bassist:
  7. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I tune my 4 ADGC - whole step lower than what you're after - and it works great. All you should have to do is cut the nut grooves wider, though the slots in the nut may be too deep for a B set.

    Might want to consider getting a new nut and cutting it for the B and hang on to the E slotted nut in case you want to put it back.
  8. Another thing to think about is the string gauge. You will probably want to get a heavy set, something that has more tension to make up for the 34" scale. I know that's what I did with my 4 string tuned DGCF. I also had to file my nut a little.
  9. GeddyisGod

    GeddyisGod Four on the floor and nothing more!

    Feb 4, 2004
    Moberly, MO
    I think ESP/LTD makes a 4-string set up for low B tuning. I've done low tunings on my various 4 strings through the years with no trouble.
  10. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I am hoping to use .130 as the B. I am thinking that there will not be enough tension on the string to sound good. Has anyone had this problem or am I thinking too much about it.
    I just bought one of the basses from Rondo Music. $110.00 brand new. I am going to try this out with it. If it works I am going to convert my 2000 P-Deluxe to this configuration.
    I am concerned about a floppy B though.
    Thank you so very much everyone :bassist:
  11. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    By no means are you over-thinking it...

    I prefer a 135 for a B (or thicker still - but that's just me)
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    You really only need a .130+ string if the B is weak to begin with (as on 5 strings) getting a .005 or .01 thicker string isn't going to make a B string magically better. You need a solid foundation to get solid results.
  13. IIRC, Schecter (not ESP) used to make a four string bass specifically designed to be tuned BEAD. It had a 35" scale. I think it was called the Scorpion. It was metal looking.
  14. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI

    Ah ha! Someone who has done what I thought about doing...what type of music you play...how does it sound...what do you play and through...is this a 5 string set that you discarded the bottom string????
  15. I use heavy Elixers on my Dean Rhapsody 4 bb, tuned DGCF. I think the E (or now D) string is .110, it's just a heavy gauge 4 string set. I had to open the nut up a little using a fine rat tail file, and it took some tweaking to get the intonation back. But, now it plays real nice.

    I play thru a SWR WM 4004, with a Sansamp RBI, and an Avatar b410 cab. I play hard rock.

    Here is a link to some recordings with this bass. Come Together, New Deal, Pieces, and Master Plan were recorded with this bass. Torn was recorded with my Edge fretless, and Explode was recorded with my DP Custom 5.
  16. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Yup, Schecter I believe has had the Scorpion Bass(and also the 'Devil Tribal'-version me thinks, with tribal inlays on fingerboard) in their catalog for some years, and recently ESP came up with their own version - which is quite direct copy from the Schecter, tribals on the fingerboard and all.

    I tried the Scorpion some time ago, and actually liked the feel and sound. It has EMG-HZ pups and such, but indeed is quite 'metal' looking.
  17. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Whooa...way cool. That's what I'm talking about. That sounds a lot like our old material before the split...just way better! I like the beat to pieces...hard to hear your bass cuz I'm on a crappy computer at work...i'll check it out more when I get home on my 200 watt klipch speakers with sub. However kinda sounds like the style of Ryan Martinie on that one.

    Does the drummer have double bass? It's not coming through on these speakers.

    I want our drummer to hear this...it seems he uses the same four beats for about 10 songs...gets old...be original!
  18. Actually I recorded everything myself, Guitar, Vocals, Bass, and I used Fruity Loops for the drums. I tried to make the drums sound as real as possable.

    Thanks for the compliments!
  19. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Heard of the scorpion bass. Didn't Sam Ash or something like that carry them? Will having a thicker B make any difference? I chose .130 because I thought it was a pretty typical B. I picked up an Essex Bass to try this out on. It has a hugh 1-11/16 nut width and a 34.5" scale. I think that the extra .5" will help alot. I am used to playing Jazz type basses. 1-1/2" nut width so this is going to interesting.
    Thanks everyone!!!

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