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Anybody have piccolo experience?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Wilbyman, Feb 15, 2005.


  1. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I don't have guitar envy. Wait. Yes I do. However, it's not for wanking. I want to play chord melody and other, ahem, tasteful things in a higher octave.

    I'm kind of pondering getting either a 5 (BEADG up an octave) or a 6 (same setup with REALLY high C). However, I'm curious as to whether the high C will be simply too much tension even with a .18 piccolo string. The ERB people might be able to weigh in on this.

    The Carvin BB76's have such narrow spacing that they might be viable for the 6 string setup, but I'm worried about the neck pretzelling. Alternatively, I've got a line on a Dean Bromberg 5 which is fairly inexpensive for the experiment. But I don't totally wanna knacker that either.

    Any input much obliged.

    W
     
  2. Hello,
    I have a piccolo 6 string bass and the tension is fine using a .009
    The thing is tremendous for chording, and add a little FX and you're golden. I just took an old 6 string I had kicking around, didn't have to mess with much setup, and no nut changes. Just had to figure out the string gauges which I would be happy to share if you're interested in the other 5 strings. :)
    Good luck it's fun.
    Dirk
     
  3. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Do tell on your gauges, please. I ordered two different Ken Smith piccolo sets but between them .18 is the thinnest. Where'd you score the .09? Guitar set?

    Will
     
  4. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Wholfehollow (sp?) IIRC has a piccolo six, maybe he could chime in, I'm also interested.
     
  5. Hey guys,
    Yeah I ended up using what I consider a Pic 6 lite top heavy bottom. :)
    .70, .50, .32, .17, .12, .09

    I had to mix and match brands and just went to my local store and ratted around in the guitar string single box. The ones you have to be careful with (depending on your headstock config), mines 3x3 so the .32 and .17 have to be long enough. The bass I'm using is 34" scale so they barely wrap once, but they hold.

    Originally I had thought this scale would do it:
    .80, .60, .40, .25, .16, .11

    But they didn't have them all.
    Here is another thought:
    .70, .50, .30, .20, .14, .10

    And lastly the dream lite set would have been.
    .60, .40, .25, .17, .12, .09

    You can see how I had to deviate dependant on what they had, but to be honest I'm really happy with the first set.
    Good luck, and I hope this helps someone.
    Dirk
     
  6. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I have a 6-string 32" scale that is tuned E to F. What I use is a 4-string set of D'Addario strings with two D'Addario guitar strings for the C and F string. The only problem that I have is that the ball ends are too small on the guitar strings. So, I have to string them through old bass ball ends that I cut off of old strings.

    You can buy sets and individual strings through juststrings.com. That is where I got mine. Given your tuning, you will need to use more guitar strings than mine. My lowest gauge is .024.
     
  7. What kind is it? Pics?
     
  8. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    yes what kind of bass is it? I waould like to get a Piccolo six (preferably cheap) but I'm confused for scale length, and I think my strings would cost ALOT and be very hard to find. I wouldnt mind getting a 2nd Carvin and making it Picollo, I wouldn't know wether to go fretless or fretted however. Are there any manufacturers of small scale 6es or a way to get one for cheap?
     
  9. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Xyllion has a custom made Karl Hoyt 32" 6-string. Might be the one in his avatar.

    Carvin looks like a good choice because of their typically skinny necks (BB75's withstanding) but I hear so many mixed opinions on their truss rods that putting alot of tension on a Carvin neck might be dodgy. I dunno.

    I have a Fernandes 5 that's going to get restrung with the piccolo set. Maybe I'll be able to record something and get it up for all to critique.
     
  10. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    really? I never heard anythign about their trussrods. just electronics :p Mine has stood up great so far, haven't had to adjust it once yet and already went from summer-winter, nearing spring and changed the strings. howver granted sticking a 6 string piccolo set would drastically change the tension! I think they have a good guarantee for that though. I guess I could always get a new nut and re-string the ole' Aria but I think I'd prefer fretless.
     
  11. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I'm not intimating that I have personal knowledge of the rods, I'm just relating what I've heard. I'm glad yours has been good to go. I know they have a good warranty but I doubt they'd cover something like a 6 in piccolo tuning :)

    I personally doubt you'd enjoy a piccolo fretless...well, I doubt I would enjoy it. Not much mwah to be had when the string is that skinny. However, Pat Metheny seems to get some cool sounds from his fretlei.
     
  12. Hey folks,
    Don't worry about the neck much, when I put mine together, an 90's neck-thru Ibanez 1306, no truss adjustment with that stringing. And it's been over a year and no adjustment needed still. Nothing to do with the nut or bridge. Try it you'll be surprised. And if I recall I spent maybe $10-$15 on strings. :)
    I forgot to mention it is fretted, but a fretless seems like it might be fun too.
    Also why do you want a short scale, to me full scale is what gives the great tone and sustain, hmm much like non-pic basses, go figure. LOL And best of all the fingering and stretch just feels right.
    Ooops I forgot to include IMHO. ;) And YMMV
    Dirk
     
  13. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Yep, Wilbyman is dead on. My 6-string is a custom made by Karl Hoyt. The point is that you are not limited by what your local store carries. Online string sales are relatively quick. Keep an extra set or two on hand just in case.

    As for truss rods, can't really say what would happen if you went an octave up from standard on a 34" scale bass. I like my C and F string, but have doubts that I would want to go much higher. Guitars are wonderful instruments and cover those higher notes very well. My 6-string is definitely a step towards a guitar because I went with the shorter scale and a tighter string spacing to make chording easier, but I don't see taking it any higher than I already have.


    Pictures are here if you want to see them: http://www.bassviews.org/showlisting.cgi?lid=262
     
  14. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
  15. very cool! piccolo bass has a richness that guitars just can't nail down. Nice use of fuzz tones. And the regular bass backing it was nice and tight.

    I was intrigued by piccolo bass a few years back when I grabbed a copy of Brian Bromberg's "Bassically Speaking" and had absolutely no idea what this guy was about or anything. Anyone interested in pic bass should seriously check Mr. Bromberg out.