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5 string, strung high or low?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassist286, May 27, 2005.

  1. bassist286


    Nov 22, 2001
    rhode island
    i was just looking for some help and opinions with how you would want your fiver strung. i have a 5 string aria pro II and it's really a nice bass, but i do think that i should restring it with a set of "high fives" like E,A,D,G,C or would you say to stick to the more popular B,E,A,D,G? I do't get much use out of it now, so maybe re string it and bring some now life to it?
  2. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Well, that depends if you need the low B, or if you rather prefer a high C! :D
  3. I have been pondering the same thing. I haven't much use for the low b either...but some have told be I'll need to change the nut if I go the high C route (intonation problems)
    any one make this change? and what was the result
  4. Atomic-Hedgehog


    Dec 9, 2004
    hmmm... i'm not sure, i'd buy a 5-string just for the low B to match a guitarists' 7-string. i don't know why you'd tune ti up higher.
  5. You can go either way. If you were planning on lots of chords/melodic solo stuff, strung high its just like a 6 string without the low b. A new nut wouldn't hurt, but you can try it without first to make sure you like it.

    On the other hand, sometimes you can use the low b to mimic synthesizer bass lines. Depends what you want to do with it.

  6. I got my first 5 string back in 2001, a carvin bb75p. I just never favored the sound of the low b. I had owned 2 six strings, and have sold both. I've got an ergo eub with a lowB on order however. I haven't played a bass with a low B that I really like. I'd love to check out a six string dingwall, but other than those, i can't see myself ever using a 34" or 35" scale instrument with a lowB.On switching, You will have to change the nut though, and unless your favorite string company makes highC sets, you'll have to piecemeal them together. I'm a rotosound fan, and can't find the six string sets, so I just buy a set of RS66 Roto's and get an individual string, around .030, sometimes bass strings, sometimes guitar strings, depenends on what is in stock, and use those.
  7. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    You could try a set of tapered strings which is supposed to brighten up the sound (slightly), or just buy a four string set and add the C string; if you don't like it, add a B and you're only out the few bucks you spent on the C string.

    As for a good sounding B, Dingwall's the answer. My last fiver was a Peavey TL-5. It was a solid bass, the B wasn't that bad, but the tonal difference between it and the E was too great to be very usable. On the Voodoo Z1 I have now I can camp out and live on it. There is still a tonal difference, but it is more like going from the A to the E. The B sounds full without being overly dark--it even has some zing to it--but this is using the OEM Dingwall strings. I have a set of DR Hi-Beams I'm going to install soon which aren't tapered.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    I find that in my playing, I need the low B a lot more often than a high C.....2 sixes are on my G.A.S. list for the times I start soloing more and really need the C.
  9. klorence


    Nov 21, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    i've been stringing my MM SR5 with a C on top since 1990. Didn't make any mods or anything to the nut, and it's worked fine.

    i did it to prep for getting a 6 string to see what it would be like, and never switched it back. i was playing a lot of fusion, lots of solos, etc. and found the C was nice for soloing. i think it depends a lot on what type of stuff you play. i play mainly 6 now, as the variety of stuff i do (and the way i play) requires both the high & low strings.

    back before 5 string sets were readily available, and i'd have to buy a 4-string set & add the B or C, it was nice that a high C string was only $1 or $2. A low B would set me back ~$6 or $7.

    Razman said it - Dingwall's got the best B string response I've come across so far. haven't tried an F bass (yet!). among other things, they're supposed to have really nice B's too...
  10. I changed and I didn't have to change the nut. As far as intonation problems, I'm not sure how the nut would affect that anyway. You will prob need to adjust your truss and your saddles, but that should be about it. If you leave the stock nut like I did, your action will be a little lower on your lower frets but to me that's a good thing :)

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