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5 to 4 string conversion

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by seamus bass, Apr 26, 2009.


  1. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    i found some posts about the opposite of this was wondering if anyone had tried this and what the outcome was. if it worked i would like to know how you did it, as i have a rough idea, seems it would be simplier than converting a 4 to 5. my pickups will work. is it a matter of just changing the bridge and nut or would there need to be more tension on the neck to compensate.
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    do like the bass player for lake trout used to, and just leave the low B off the bass.
     
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This better be a cheap fiver we're talkin' about!

    Riis
     
  4. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    its mid range, well by visual its looks like i would have decent string spacing if i just reconfigured the bridge and nut(my biggest complaint about more than strings)
     
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    So what you're really looking for is decent string spacing on your existing fiver?

    Okay, I'll bite....why not sell / trade it and get a four-string more to your liking?

    Riis
     
  6. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    its not so much about the spacing, thats just a perk. i love the sound of this bass,i have a four string version of it as well. id just like to try it out and see if it can be done. i have the parts and tools. dont really want to sell it,nor do i want to give into any GAS and buy a new one, moneys tight!! i think it would be cool to try it unless it would damage the bass then ill set the idea aside and deal with it.
     
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    With all the good 4 string basses out there why would anybody want to make a 4 string bass with a wide 5 string neck. Do you want to punish yourself for some reason?

    I see no logic or benefit in converting a 5 string bass into a 4 string ... unless you are 7 feet tall and you have huge hands that can't play a normal 4 string bass.
     
  8. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    ok dont worry about why im doing this,its my bass.
    Dont worry about logic,imagination is the answer.

    has this been done, and if so was it successful?
    theres nothing wrong with saying "i dont know" and if so then you dont need to waste a post.
    not trying to be rude. just looking for answers.
     
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Sorry, logic and common sense cannot take a pass on this. The WHY question is paramount here. If you have a 5-string and a 4-string version of the same bass, just play the 4-string.

    Simple answer: If you're dying of curiosity, leave the low string off the five and play it for a while. You just made it a 4-string with an inconveniently wide fingerboard. Then put it back on.
     
  10. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    the four is a on older model, the newer is upgraded with electronics from the factory,taking one string off in my eyes would throw the balance and look of the instrument off. i digress, thnks for the help
     
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The answer is "I'm 51 years old and I've never heard of anybody doing such a thing.....and probably for good reason."

    In total fairness, I do recall a re-fit kit which allowed a 4 to 5 conversion. IIRC, the kit included a new nut (Jazz bass width maybe?), bridge with a single Steinberger-esque mcrometer tuner, and a single double ballend string (can't recall which one). The concept was " hey, we've got plenty of room on this neck for an extra string....but where are we gonna put the extra tuner?" They were a big hit.....NOT!

    Riis
     
  12. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    The bassist from Muse done just this to a 5 string Peddula Rapture, when a tuner broke, so I've read.
     
  13. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    thanks dark thats the kind of response i was looking for
     
  14. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Glad to be of service.
     
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Did he reconfigure the bass (bridge / nut) or just use it minus one string?

    Riis
     
  16. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I'm not sure, I've heard he uses it for "really wide string spacing" so I assume he re-config'd it somehow.
     
  17. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Seems to me there would be a few things to deal with.

    First, of course, is the nut and bridge, but I believe you've thought of those already. Positioning a narrower bridge may reveal a tricky bit or two.

    Then there's the question of what to do with the tuners. It's not just that there will be one too many of them, but also that they will not be lined up with the (new) nut slots. Of course you could plug the existing tuner holes and drill new ones.....

    There may be a question of the string alignment over the pickup magnets, depending on the pup design.

    Then there's the difference in string tension and the resultant retensioning of the truss - not a big deal though.

    I would think you would end up with a less-than-optimal instrument - perhaps even marginal.
     
  18. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Smart. Take a $3500 and hack it up.
     
  19. I have a feeling he wouldn't really be worrying about money
     
  20. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    the only issue that i stated i would probabLY have is tension on the neck, whether there would be enough or would i just configre it as if i was detuned acroos the neck to say a whole step down, i can always go with heavier gauge strings to compensate. i have a bridge that will fit nicely over the original 5 string bridge. the tuners are set up 3 on top and 2 below so the third on the top is pretty much at the tip of the headstock. the idea to begin with was i didnt want to spend any money on a new bass and i wasnt happy with a five string. i also stated that i had a 4 string almost identical to the one im working on,however the electronics have an upgrade. so in a nutshell, why buy what you have already when you can mod what you have. the only thing i was inquiring was if it had been done before
    not why? or whether it was a good idea or not, as far as that goes i see people do more retarted things to there equipment and its deemed essential to them, hey thats cool just looking for a little advice from those who know all your help was appreciated guys thanks i keep you posted on my findings if ya like
     

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