Anyone else immediately disregard basses with a wide string spacing?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stuffedbread, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. stuffedbread


    Jun 19, 2020
    I just can't play Jackson basses because of how far apart the strings are, anyone else?
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I play both narrow and wide string spacings, and it depends on the number of strings for me. 4 string with 19mm spacing? Cool. I can dig it. 6 string with 19mm? Have some mercy...
    DTRN, Luka, Electricalbass and 6 others like this.
  3. akabane


    Jan 21, 2012
    I'm a 6 strings guy.
    My previous 6er was a 19mm and I loved it.
    My current Smith is 18mm and I sometimes wish it was 19.

    For what it's worth, I don't slap - so that's not a factor for me considering string spacing :)
    el murdoque, Mili, Randy Ward and 3 others like this.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm the polar opposite. I need room for my big hotdog fingers to move around. I can play an 18mm 5 string, but I don't enjoy it as much. Gimme 19mm and I'm at home. But I'm glad they make plenty of skinny basses for you!
    el murdoque, detoxxx, Mili and 16 others like this.
  5. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I've played 5-string basses from 16.5mm up to 21mm. I found out that my top end stops at about 19mm, otherwise I tend to trip & fumble due to the width of the strings, especially on fast passages. So yeah, I will pass on basses above 19mm because I know it will be uncomfortable for me to get around on - but being a 5-string guy, I'm usually lucky to find a 19mm, 5-string in the first place. :laugh:

    The other rare oddity I've come across once or twice is that sometime the string spacing is within my tolerable range, but for whatever reason, there seems to be extra side-to-side width built into the neck to accommodate the strings. Which I guess is sorta the same thing, only the fingerboard is to blame rather than the strings. Whenever I'm consider a purchase, I usually prefer to play whatever it is I'm considering buying to avoid surprises.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Nope. I literally do not care. I play them as they lay.
  7. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    Opposite here. I need a minimum of 18.5 mm comfortable and prefer 19mm or more. Need space at the nut too. Minimum of 1.625"

    I'm pretty sure these preferences are as a result of starting on upright, my first electric being a MIM P and having big hands.
    Mili, BarfanyShart, OogieWaWa and 2 others like this.
  8. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Same here. 19mm standard on 4 is fine, but for anything more I prefer 16.5mm, which is one reason that I find Ibanez 5 strings so nice and comfortable. I tried very hard to like 19mm spacing on 5s, to the point of playing one as my main bass for over a year to try to make myself adapt, but I came back to 16.5mm and just have no interest in wider spacing. I don't slap much anymore, but if I did I might feel differently.
  9. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    When I like the way a bass looks or sounds, the 1st thing I do is look for the specs to see how the spacing is.
    Especially because I play 5-ers, I don't like having to call an Uber to get from one string to the next.. :laugh:

    I'm used to the Ibanez SR's... so that doesn't help.

    stuffedbread likes this.
  10. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    19mm is my limit and I don't see myself ever going higher.

    Actually I'm playing a 17mm 4 strings, now, I I prefer the narrower spacing. I can navigate between both, though. But I prefer the 17mm, especially from the 7th fret upward, that's when I really start to feel the difference.

    I'm waiting on a 5 string right now and I specifically asked for 16.5mm.
    son_of_mogh and ajkula66 like this.
  11. spector_boogie

    spector_boogie No Limit Honky

    Apr 15, 2012
    The Woodlands, TX
    It all works. Warwick Dolphin tight to MTD USA, no problems here.
    kodiakblair likes this.
  12. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    My hands are developing arthritis. The pinkys curve in, and now the index fingers are starting to curve in. For my #1 gig bass I play an Ibby BTB845V, 33-inch scale, which I have had my luthier convert the nut from stock E-C "solo" tuning to "conventional" B-G tuning. It has a 45mm/1.77 inch nut and narrow string spacing at the bridge. With my prior bass that had the full 34 inch scale and wider string spacing, my hands hurt at the end of a gig; now, they are merely fatigued. So yes, I do not play wide string spacing basses anymore. Even my custom P-style fanned fret bass has a modified bridge for Rickenbacker 2 1/16 total string spacing instead of 3/4 per string - 2 1/4 total Fender standard.
  13. My Pbass is 20mm, so uh...whats that about wide spacing again?

    richwag and JeezyMcNuggles like this.
  14. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    I've accomodated to wide spacing of my Ibanez BTB pretty quickly. From the other hand, I've sold my narrow-spaced Skyway because I just wasn't able to get used to it. Well, it was 5-string vs my usual 4, but the string spacing certainly played it's part.
  15. Bolsyo


    Oct 18, 2015
    String spacing is crucial when I look for 5'ers, but in the opposite way. I can't play most Cort or Ibanez 5'ers with narrow spacing. I play 4-string basses 95% of the time, so I need about the same spacing on 5'ers. Love the wide spacing on Musicman and my Yamaha RBX375 etc.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I have preferences if I'm buying, but I'll play any bass given if needed. I prefer wider spacing at the bridge and narrower at the nut.
    JeezyMcNuggles and kodiakblair like this.
  17. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I can’t even play a Warwick because the spacing is so tight. Once I tried the Ibanez BTB, I knew wide spacing was my thing.
  18. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    While it has tripped me up before on certain basslines, string spacing isn't really something that concerns me. I do kind of prefer wider string spacing, but find I'm able to adapt to whatever's in my hands with time.
    JRA likes this.
  19. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    To me it comes to the whole instrument. My Les Paul Custom has really narrow spacing compared to my Jazz Bass.
    Depending on when you started playing or the age of the instrument you play it is entirely possible that spacing and nut width weren't even on the public specs.

    I have a decent quiver of basses and guitars and I do not know the spacing at the bridge or the nut width of any of my instruments including a custom bass. I just said "I sorta like my P bass more than I like my J bass neck". Am I not being picky enough?
    JeezyMcNuggles likes this.
  20. lowbassgroove


    Jan 17, 2008
    Reston, VA
    I don’t like 19mm, myself. That amount of space feels unnecessary when I play.