Acoustic 5-string tuning????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Diezel420, Aug 15, 2001.

  1. I was in the store the other day and I saw a Dean acoustic bass 5-string. I thought something was weird, and I noticed it wasn't tuned BEADG, but instead EADGC. I was just wondering if all 5 string acoustics were tuned in this fashion, b/c I'm a 5 and 6 string player and I kinda want an acoustic. A low B is what I would want. THANKS!!!!!!!
  2. Don't mind me, I'm just trying to keep this thread from dying.

    SOMEONE REPLY PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. I never heard of a different standard tuning for acoustic basses, i would think you could tune it any way you want, like a regular electric 5 string.
    just my opinion.
  4. Bass_Cadet

    Bass_Cadet Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    My Washburn AB-25 came with a low B. It's not too good soundwise (at least compared to the Zon Legacy Elite V) and I've thought of changing it to a high C. Acoustic bass guitars may not be big enough to get a good low B.

    FWIW, I'm currently converting a Zon Sonus Special V to fretless with a high C. Final note: I also have a 5 string Carruther's SUB-1 (EUB) and it has a high C.
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Acoustic electrics are just like solidbodies.

    You can tune them however you want to.
  6. you know why double basses are so big? because to amplify such low frequencies, you need a much larger resonance chamber than, say, a violin. this is why ABGs are fundamentally flawed IMO. it's not much bigger than an acoustic guitar, yet it's expected to match one in volume.

    so, a high C would be much easier to hear than a low B, and that's why it was tuned that way.
  7. Thanks for the feedback. If I were to buy the 5 tuned EADGC, could I just restring it BEADG?

    I do say that I, too, am offended at how ABGs are expected to be loud, and that a low B is hard to hear, but I just need something for acoustic gigs and "jamming".

    Anyway: EADGC to BEADG=Simple?
  8. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    You can tune the ABG however you want. You may have to adjust the nut and bridge a bit. Unplugged, the low B will sound muddy, but pluggged in, if the piezos are good, the sound can be quite nice. I had an Ovation ABG 5 tuned BEADG which sounded beautiful.
  9. You would probably need to make the slots in the nut bigger, or else the heavier strings aren't going to fit. Also, you will need to adjust the truss rod.
  10. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I just picked up a Dean 5 acoustic yesterday at a pawn shop. It was tuned to low B, and seems to be doing fine. Haven't had much time with it yet, so can't really comment on the tone in detail yet. Sounds pretty good thru the amp so far, but they really aren't designed for unplugged jamming (although I will say that the strings have a pretty even response all the way across, even the B; it's pretty much the same 'volume-wise' as the rest- which is not much...)
    Fun though! Makes you want to play "blister in the sun"... I don't know if that's good or bad.
    Not sure what strings I'm going to settle on yet, guess I'll go visit now.

    It's fighting for time with the Conklin GT 7 f'less and Acoustic 220 head I found the same day.
    Probably won't know if they're keepers till a month from now. Too busy! Anybody want to come help me break them in?
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I'll help you break in that fretless 7!

    If you decide that it's not for you, send me a PM.
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    not necessarily. do not do anything until you string it up first the way you want it. using the regular 5 string tuning, b-e-a-d-g, will give you _slightly_ less tension on the neck than the e-a-d-g-c tuning (probably ~10% or less) - the difference will probably be negligible.
  13. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I'll keep this in mind!
    Now I'm covered, just in case...