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Anyone else immediately disregard basses with a wide string spacing?

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


  1. Im with ya. I like my 5er’s at 17mm spacing. I played guitar for almost 30 years before I switched to bass so my muscle memory still wants semi tight spacing. I’m a 90% pick player so I’ve found that the 17mm spacing works well for me in going back and forth between pick and fingers.
     
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  2. Dincrest

    Dincrest

    Sep 27, 2004
    Behind you!
    I can't dismiss such things until I get a bass in my hands. The numbers only tell part of the story. It's all about getting my hands on a bass and strapping it on that really gives me the goods.

    I have smaller hands so I'd normally think a Soundgear 5-string with a slender neck and narrow string spacing would be ideal for me. Guess what? Those necks feel too skinny for me and my plucking hand feels cramped.

    That's why my SB5000 blows my mind. I should normally rebel against its 19mm string spacing, yet it feels narrower and more comfortable than other 19mm basses do to my plucking hand. What sorcery is this?

    I also love that the nut is slim (45mm/1.77in); I've tried 5ers with 46mm/1.81in nut widths and that's too wide for me. It's easy to see why SB5000s are such sought-after basses here on TalkBass. They are super comfy to play.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  3. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1 Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    I only buy basses that allows for adjusting String spacing.
     
    Cut the middle and OogieWaWa like this.
  4. OogieWaWa

    OogieWaWa

    Mar 17, 2013
    Oak Harbor, OH
    Nice cross-thread post.
     
  5. Yes! Over time I’ve found that I prefer 16 - 16.5 spacing. I just bought a bass with 17, but I think it will be fine. It’s also worth noting that I mainly play 6-strings, so it also helps to keep the neck as narrow as possible.

    I’ve always been tempted to try one of the Gerald Veasley signature Ibanez SRs. I think they have close to 14 mm spacing!
     
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  6. swarfrat

    swarfrat

    Sep 23, 2014
    Another 16.5 pick player here
     
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  7. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1 Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    What did I do now???
     
    Cut the middle likes this.
  8. OogieWaWa

    OogieWaWa

    Mar 17, 2013
    Oak Harbor, OH
    Put it this way, I've got 3/16" thick felt wrapped around my motorcycle grips to keep my finger tips from digging into the heel of my hands, and have to buy XXXL gloves.

    On vacation at a jam night the host hands me his 5'er with a skinny little neck and black nylons on a dark fretboard, and I'm in a dark corner. I got half way through a song, handed it to him and walked off stage, for me it was unplayable. It was crazy, fretting two or three strings at a time and couldn't tell them apart. Glad I learned that before buying bass #2. (and 3 thru ?)
     
    JeezyMcNuggles likes this.
  9. OogieWaWa

    OogieWaWa

    Mar 17, 2013
    Oak Harbor, OH
    There was just a thread on that very thing, variable string spacing, the other day! It wasn't a reference to that one?
     
  10. Like what? All my basses have 19mm spacing. The nuts throw the feel off between them though. You'd be amazed at what a slight difference in nut width actually does for the playing area. You'd think it'd just be different on the fretboard. Nope. Both. But, I have a hard time playinh anything under 18mm. Strings are too close together. It hurts. And, you can forget about slapping. Everything is just in the way.
     
  11. Woah, I bet you can slap like a beast on that thing
     
    HG1180 likes this.
  12. BarfanyShart

    BarfanyShart

    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    For the longest time I played a 7/8 DB and a five string Warwick that I bought because it was the biggest neck I could find on a fiver. Now I got a 4-string with pretty wide spacing, and I just enjoy playing on the wide neck more. I know my technique and my hands don't need it, and it definitely makes some things harder, but I just click with wider spacing.
     
  13. HG1180

    HG1180

    Aug 11, 2019
    Millsboro,DE
    Well, Im honored to have someone think I can slap well atleast :D
     
    JeezyMcNuggles likes this.
  14. Cut the middle

    Cut the middle

    Apr 17, 2020
    Narrow spacing doesn't bother me for slapping, but can make snapping the d string a little more difficult.

    Just my fi'ty cent.
     
  15. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    I’m pretty much comfortable right hand-wise on any spacing, tight or narrow.

    But, I will say that I don’t care for the girth of the 19mm 5 string necks, especially near the neck joint. Not ergonomically. They just feel like I’m driving a truck rather than a high performance car. Since I don’t really care about the spacing either way from a right hand technique standpoint, I prefer 18mm or slightly less on my 5’s; just so they don’t have that dual axel feel. YMMV
     
  16. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    California
    16mm at the bridge, 9.5mm at the nut for my 5 string.
    4 string I don't care...anything is groovy.
     
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  17. Well, its the popping that needs the spacing. Its really difficult getting your finger under the string without it. Especially in the moment.
     
  18. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    I like the Jazz Bass width 1.5“ on my 4 string basses and exactly 1.75” On the guitar. No more. No less. .05” takes noticeable extra time (chording at least) and I don’t need more room and I can’t play it right with even .03” less. My hands are XXL - XXXL, long fingers. This is general since string spacing may vary.
     
  19. I bought an OLP Stingray years ago, bought it exclusively for slap. When I played it, I wasn’t
    able to play the stuff I had played before. I thought my slap chops were magically gone!
    A few months later, I got a Jazz bass, wasn’t even set up for slap, played the same licks on it
    Bam! Chops are back! Measured the necks, the OLP was like a standard, modern Stingray
    wide. With the 1.50 Jazz neck, string crossing was cleaner.
    When the ‘Musicman’ came out, the necks were thinner, then they went to a ‘P’ style neck.
    They have since come out with a bass more like the original, the SLO Special.
    So yeah, a little bit makes a huge difference.
    .
     
    Sands likes this.
  20. 5fingerfrenzy

    5fingerfrenzy Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Burlington, VT
    18mm is my sweet spot. Anything more and I look away.
     

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