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5-string conversion kit

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Taylor Livingston, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    on hipshot's website, they sell a kit for converting a four-string into a five. it includes 5 tuning machines, a bridge, and a nut blank. i don't get it. won't the string spacing be a bit unmanageable? especially on a jazz bass, which is what they show it on in the pictures. am i not getting something, or are other people more willing to put up with so little spacing?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    complete junk IMO - unless you're a pick player.
    Better buy a used fiver.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I don't know if they are around anymore, but Wilkinson used to make a 5-string conversion kit that didn't require any special drilling of the headstock. You'd replace the bridge, the nut, and the string retainer (which was the fifth string tuner). I de-converted a G&L that had one of these, and it was a breeze to make it a 4-string again.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Is this the one that the extra tuner was on the bridge?

    I played a bass like that in a pawn shop a few years ago.

    The spacing wasn't that big of a deal, to me at least. It was tight (about 9/16" or so) but playable.

    I would be more concerned about the long-term impact on a neck designed to be a four string that is taking the tension load of a five string.

  5. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    pardon me if i'm misinterpreting, but i think he's saying that the fifth tuner was where the string tree would go, and it has grooves, so it acts as a string retainer as well. i guess maybe the string retainer/tuner would be the fourth tuner, and the one that was the fourth gets bumped to fifth. does that make sense?


    gets bumped to


    sr being the newly added tuner. maybe that's not how it is; just my mind trying to envision.

    i agree about the tension - especially with the truss rod problems of fenders.
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    From what I have gathered, kits like that came out back when five-strings were very hard to come by, and they allowed people who couldn't get one the opportunity to have a fiver. Seems pretty useless nowadays, when fives are everywhere and don't cost much more than fours.