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$500 5 string bass that tunes well to G#

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dantes990, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. dantes990


    Apr 22, 2004
    I need a 5 string bass that can tune to G#, C#, F#, B, E and still have good tone definition on the low strings. My budget for this is around $500 max, not much to work with unfortunately.

    Can anyone throw out some model name/numbers they have done this successfully with. I plan to go to music shops and try out different basses and find one that sounds good tuned low, but I'd like to have some model numbers to look for to make my search more effiecent. Right now it looks like 35" scale will be beneficial, although some people seem to have success doing this with 34" so I guess it just depends how the bass is built.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    MTD Kingston?


    How about using a very high tension B string?
  3. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Methinks thou mayst asketh too mucheth....
  4. Unrealistic at best.
  5. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    You might consider finding out where these 7 stringers are getting their low F# strings. You could string F#,B,E,A,D and still have pretty normal string tension.

    If you need the G#,C#,F#,B,E tuning so that you can utilize open strings in your songs, you could always do as I suggested above and then capo at the 2nd fret.
  6. BigTopBruno


    Sep 6, 2002
    NJ, USA
    - agree, MTD Kingston/Hier, used
    - Hipshot top-load bridge, A or B
    - Duncan MM S'ray replacement pre-amp

    ...and the right strings and nut/bridge adjs, etc....
  7. This is an unrealistic quest. Why do you need to go that low?

    The best chap to tak about this with is Jacquo III X or whatever his name is. He tunes pretty low, but its on custom/pricey instruments.
  8. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    I would make sure to get something with 35" scale. It's hard enough finding a good 'B' string in that price range.
  9. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Maybe Scott Hembry could come up with something. He's done a doubleneck 5-string built for very low tunings. And he's done a very good job making me a P-bass which has a great low C string (low B tuned up a half-step) - just moved the pickup closer to the bridge.
  10. dantes990


    Apr 22, 2004
    Damn, I was kind of thinking that this wasn't going to be easy.

    Maybe I can tune differently. Basically the guitar is tuned down to C# and it is easier to follow along when the bass is tuned the same - so notes don't have to be transposed, (bass follows guitar most of the time). The B (or G#) string rarely is even used.

    With my price range would it be more realistic to tune the B string up to C# and the rest of the bass up accordingly? Or will that put too much stress on the neck?

    Do you think it would be easier to find a 4 string that can tune down to C# and still hold definition, or would this be the same story... basically not going to happen for $500?

    Thanks for the help.
  11. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    IME, if you use the right kind of strings and adjust your neck properly, tuning down to C# shouldn't be much of a problem on any decent 4 string bass... I've tuned down to C# on my Ibanez SR500 (yea thats right, a Soundgear) and it sounds great, though I had to get some heavier gauge strings of course. Considering it's 34' scale, and cost me about $500US, you should have no problem finding a well-built 4 string in your price range... doesn't even have to be extra long-scale.

    I'm sure you could look at hundreds of basses in that price range, just go to some music stores and try de-tuning some of the basses and see which ones can go that low, I'm sure the store guys would love you :smug:
  12. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    4-string tuned C# is much easier. Just use a heavy 4-string set. That's safer than tuning up a 5-string set though the latter can also be done with a good neck and proper adjustment.

    Or use a 5-string tuned BEADG. The only hard part there would probably be to get your guitarist to call a C# a C# and not an E.

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