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5 String Piccolo Bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by hottuit, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. I have a SR5005 I want to convert to a Piccolo Bass.

    Five string sets do not seem to be available.
    I have not decided if I want the 5th string to be a low "B" or the 1st string to be a high "B".

    I have even thought of making the 5th string a stand Bass "E".

    Does anyone know who has five string sets.
    Or what gague to use for the low or high "B"
    And which "B" seems the best way to go!.
    Or is there even a better way to go!

    Or should I stick with a four string Bass!

    If And Or But
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I haven't seen five-string piccolo sets either... but I suppose you can order custom sets from some manufacturers, or just leave one string off (that would perhaps look a bit silly, though).

    What I would like to have is a six-string piccolo bass, tuned EADGBe, like a regular guitar, only with those comfortable bass dimensions. High register sound with low register feel. :D
  3. Lovin Bass

    Lovin Bass

    Feb 8, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I think LABELLA has piccolo sets. I am not sure about 5 string though. An alternative may be to buy the gauges individually and sorta piece a set together. In the November 2001 BASS PLAYER magazine there was a complete article about piccolo bass and some hints to convert a standard bass to piccolo. The article suggest using the following gauges:

    E: .060
    A: .040
    D: .030
    G: .018

    Add either
    low B: .080
    high C: .012 (unwound)

    These are just guidelines as the article says and the bass setup will need to be adjusted to accomodate the different string tension. I am worried whether I will have to change the NUT for the significantly smaller string gauges but I don't know much about this so it may not be a problem at all.

    My main bass is a G&L ASAT 4-string but I have an IBANEZ Ergodyne EDB600 4-string that I was thinking would make a good candidate for piccolo. Since it is a rather dark sounding bass, I thought that it would give a nice deep rhythm guitar tone as a piccolo. Please post if you go thru with it and any complications you may run across.
  4. Zon makes a 5 string picolo set. Not sure how they sound but they make nice bases. i think they run a litle pricy at $35 bucks I think. The other option would be to custom order a set or buy a 4 string picolo set and order the extra string that you want.
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    A true 4 string piccolo bass is ADGC. So a 5 string piccolo could have a low E or a high F.

    There are many places that sell individual strings so you can build your own set for you own tuning
  6. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    5 string balanced tension piccolo sets for any possible fourths tuning here http://circlekstrings.com/store/standard-balanced-5-strings.html
    They are nickelplated outer wrap over steel inner wrap.
    Use the CKS tension chart to discover what tension you prefer and to choose a set http://circlekstrings.com/CKSIMAGES/CircleKtensionChart130105.pdf
    Keep in mind the CKS .025 cannot be tuned above standard bass C as it has a thin core.
    Depending on how high you tune the top plains may be too thin to take bass tension, however i recommend a much lower tension for piccolo bass (20-30 pounds) thin strings feel tighter for the same tension.
    Their singles come at no cost penalty so you could even design your own set, personally i like a steady decrease in tension from low to high for piccloo bass, it has many advantages.
  7. Tyler Trenhaile

    Tyler Trenhaile

    Apr 9, 2015
    Fodera has piccolo sets in nickel, Stainless, and many gauge choices. They are also great quality and reasonably priced.
  8. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    Does anybody ever read original post dates?
    xixo likes this.
  9. Resurrecting a 14-year old thread.

    I have a Squier Standard Special Precision V that I very rarely use. I'm contemplating ordering a set of these strings below and tuning it BEADG up an octave. For example, the open B-string with this setup would be the same tone as the 2nd fret of a standard-tuned A-string, and so on.

    Does that make any sense?

    D'Addario XL Nickel Round Wound Fender Bass VI String Set - 24-84
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Those strings are for a 30" scale instrument.
  11. Ah. Good point.
  12. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    You can use a standard bass piccolo set (usually octave-up EADG) and add a matching single string for the octave-up B. The rough rule is: for the same tension octave-up half the gauge, so around .065.

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