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5 string vs a modded 4 tuned B-E-A-D

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Greevus, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    Recent convert to the 5, but haven't tried a modded 4 string. I have read a few things on here and was just wanting some opinions. The 5 has closer spacing and a wider neck that make for a bit of adjusting. I miss all my space and smaller necks. What do you think? Any problems with enlarging the nut and using the B-E-A-D strings of a 5 string set? Pros? Cons? I just love the B and could let the G go....
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Not all 5'ers have narrow spacing, or the same shape of neck as each other--in fact they vary quite a bit. So bear that in mind. That said, there is usually nothing wrong with stringing BEAD. Some basses and some strings will do a better job with a low B at 34" scale than others, so YMMV; but if it doesn't quite work out on the first try, a different set of strings and maybe a different setup (string height, pup height, etc.) will often pull it all together.
  3. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    i always miss the g string (insert joke here) when i tune a 4 string to daeb
  4. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    If you feel like the G is unneeded, go ahead. It's something I'm not willing to try personally, but I love the feel of a 4-string neck. Just make sure the neck is not too cheap, or some truss rod horror could happen.

    Take a look at your strings' tension rates. Sometimes, the D has a significantly higher tension than other strings (even the E and B), so you might want to ask a luthier about placing it close to the side of the neck.
  5. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I've done it to most of my basses, at one time or another, its actually very cool, I have one, a 35" 4 string, that always stays BEAD, with a drop key for Drop A, but on that I use high tension, heavy guage flats.

    I also play fivers, I find I have a different approach to each.
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I did this to a Ric 4004Cii with great effect. Better sounding/feeling B string than my previous 5 string bass was. And, I don't miss the G string at all. My other 2 basses are normal EADG, but when I play my "beast", it's all about the lowend.
  7. meta


    Mar 11, 2009
    any good recommendations on a 34 or 35 scale bass that can handle a low b better than most?
  8. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    I've got an SX P-style bass that stays in BEAD all the time. No problems with it at all. You can look up the tension of the strings you're planning on using but I've read that BEAD actually puts less strain on a neck than EADG. I didn't have to make any adjustments to my truss rod when I set it up--just widen the nut slots a bit and I'm good to go.

    My primary basses are standard tuned 4's but this one is fun to throw in the mix from time to time.
  9. anonymous101511

    anonymous101511 Guest

    Mar 5, 2001
    Dean Markley Strings, Xotic Basses, Kubicki Basses
    I would highly recommend B-E-A-D for a 34" scale. The longer 35"+ scales make the low strings bigger sounding and the higher strings 'thinner'. String tension won't be an issue, go for it. I use my 34" Kramer fretless tuned BEAD on the Kenny G gig all the time.
  10. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    I can't make it without a "G".
  11. countshockula


    Feb 22, 2008
    This gives me a great idea, I'm gonna use my spare lummie necked kramer to go BEAD!
    No way the aluminum will warp right!?

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