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5-1 = BEAD. Input? How many have tried this set up on their 4 string?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fatboy250, May 9, 2006.

  1. I was thinking about changing the strings and nut for a 4 string P/J so that I would have a low B string. Not having the G string doesn't seem to bother me since I rarely use it anyway. Anybody else try this?

  2. i think there was a thread on this recently.

    theres alot of work involved with this change, if you know how, or know someone who can do this, best of luck to you.


    By the way do you happen to be a Tim Commerford fan? Since this is what he did on one of his basses.
  3. I've never heard of him, sorry. I just thought this might be a useful way to string a bass.

  4. Sure, depends on what you want to accomplish. It's of course possible. Do some searches though man, these have been beaten to death. Good luck (PS. restrung my 6er F#-G).
  5. Lol. No worries.

    IMO its easier to buy a 5 string, since atleast you get to keep the G, never know when it'll come in handy.
  6. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    It's not that big of a deal just to try it out. I think what you were getting at was that for a "perfect" set-up you would need the nut redone, action and intonation checked, etc.

    However, to just change strings just to see if you like it is just like changing your strings. Because, that's all you do.
  7. mmhmm.
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I thought the same thing, and missed the g-string immensely. Hadda cut a new nut to put the axe back to right.
    Buy a G&L L2500 Tribute used for $400 and carry on.
  9. Thought about also eliminating pots. Maybe have a blend and a series/parallel switch. Depending on what finally sounded good, maybe I would just wire it that way.

  10. Thats the bit i meant could be hard work, i shoulda been more specific.
  11. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I've done it to a Peavey T-40, worked fine. Had to "V" cut the nut a bit. Wouldn't want it as my only bass, but it does come in handy.
  12. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Tried it for 5-6 months.

    Me and the B-string didn't get along that well

    G-string usefulness > B-string usefulness

    Got to the point where it was like basically having a 3 string bass

    This experience and the 2 5-strings I owned before this have more or less taught me that B strings just aren't for me.
  13. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I also missed the G string a lot, it made all the higher licks and riffs I had learned so far either tough or impossible to play and turned slapping and soloing into a bit of a pain, especially when combined.
  14. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    I have my Ric 4004Ci strung BEAD and love it. Cutting the nut is not a big issue and other than that all I had to do was tweak the truss rod a tad. I don't miss the G-string much....especially since I have 3 other Ric 4004's strung EADG. It's a good solution for me but may not be what you need so I'd second the notion of just swapping the strings before any alterations. You should be able to get a good idea if you'll like it before deciding to file the nut.
  15. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    It's more involved than that.
    A B string (.125") won't fit thru the hole on most bridges meant for an E string. Either you drill it bigger or have another bridge to go on (then off ) if you don't like it. The nut slots for all the strings have to be widened. Intonation WILL change and the neck bow has to be compensated for.
    If you're dead set against going back to EADG then it'll only cost a B string but the set up is very involved.
  16. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I did nearly the same thing to my MIM fretless Jazz when I added a Music Man humbucker at the neck. It was tuned BEAD for a while, and though it was useful, I switched back because it fit my style better. I had a blend/volume setup replacing the two volumes, and I love this modification. I probably would mod any future bass to this setup.

    As far as series/parallel, I was thinking about adding one of those. I think it may perhaps replace the tone knob, because I tend to do most of my tonal adjustments with my right hand, my left hand, and the pan knob.

    Let me know if you have any more questions about this.
  17. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I did it probably 15 years ago. I didn't want to file the nut, so I used pretty small strings. They were the top four of the lightest guage five-string set I could find (Ken Smith strings if I remember correctly). The B, and even the E, was pretty floppy. It needed heavier strings to do it and I was unwilling to make the modifications at the time. So I went back to E A D G.
  18. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    I'm with this guy... I still plays 5s, but they are strung EADGC. I don't think you want to have a bass without a G string. If you don't like 5 strings, you might want to simply install a Hipshot Xtender on your E.
  19. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I don't find much need for notes below the E.
    To me, the beauty of the five-string is being able to play more stuff in one position, without moving the fretting hand. So four strings B E A D doesn't do that for me.
  20. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Yes, many have (as noted here, with varying results and experiences). Search this forum (basses), try searching with just typing in 'BEAD' and you'll get a lot of hits.

    I did this to a Stingray and P bass, played them in a roots rock trio for close to 2 years, worked pretty well for me since I was expected to play low and solid, no solos (maybe in one tune, but very infrequently), and used only 4 bangers. The usefulness is obviously highly subjective and context sensitive. Out of that band now, traded the SR, still have the P, but I put them both back to EADG. Like others, 5 strings works better for what I do now.

    Good luck, have fun.


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