Anyone know how the best way to setup a 4 string in BEAD tuning is?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ReelBigNick, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. Stu Hamm

    0 vote(s)
  2. Victor Wooten

    6 vote(s)
  3. Michael Manring

    2 vote(s)
  1. ReelBigNick

    ReelBigNick Guest

    Mar 17, 2001
    Hi, if anyone could tell me the best way to set up my Squier P-Bass with BEAD tuning is, that'd be really helpful... Like what gauge strings should I get? And can my bass's neck, nut, and tuning peg handle a B string? Well thanks in advance.
  2. phaneo


    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX
    I play an Ibanez Soundgear SR500 and have it setup this way. At first I was just tuning down real low, but I was breaking lots of strings. I also have a Peavy Foundation. The bridge on the Peavy would accept up to a 125 guage string but no larger. My Soundgear however wouldn't take anything bigger than a 110. I found a shop that built custom guitars and did repairs. I took in my Soundgear and he drilled the bridge to accept a 130 and also filed the nut so it would fit into the groove. This setup works great I don't get all the fret buzz like downtunning gives and I don't break strings anymore. I payed like $40 for this but if you're inclined with the skills just drill out the hole on the bridge and file out the nut a bit. I like using the fattest strings I can get 130's, some strings are tapered on the bridge end wich helps keep the action a little lower so try both types of stings(Pedulla's are tapered and good steel strings) and (Zon's are not tapered and are also good steel strings) I hope this helps.
  3. I have an Ibanez EDB600 set up this way, with .065, .085, .105, and .130 strings. All I had to do was file the nut a little bit, since the bridge is an Accu-Cast and it doesn't have any of those holes.
  4. mkbass


    Mar 11, 2001
    GET A 5 time, money, and head ache
  5. Save money...?

    Strings are usually cheaper than a whole bass.

    The nut should wear itself down (well it did in my case), so if possible, don't file the nut!
  6. I've become very interested in B E A D tuning and yesterday I rang some music shops to ask about 5 strings bass strings. When I explained what I wanted to do the general response was "That would be interesting" etc.

    To buy a B string it would cost around $25 (Aus dollars) but one guy said I could get a set of Warwick 5 strings for $45.

    Before I do this I just wanted to ask, is it worth it? And more importantly what hassles will I have? I'm prepared to drill the string hole in the bridge and all that but would I have any troubles with thicker strings going on a bass that was meant to take only 4?

    Also are there any websites on this subject?
  7. phaneo


    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX
    I've been playing it this way for about a year now. No problems yet!!
  8. Today I bought a set of 5 strings and I dropped my G string ;)

    The strings have a bit of fret buzz and and the B feels slightly floppy but otherwise I'm quite happy with this setup. One problem I had was that after I tuned the D string it broke the side of the nut off. So my Dad suggested drilling a hole where the broken piece of the nut is and putting a small nail in. This works ok but I will get a new nut.

    Speaking of the nut I found that all strings fitted very well in the grooves and the B string easily fit through the hole in the bridge. The B string is a .130 gauge (apparently there is .145??).

    My next bass will surely be a 5 string, I love that B!
  9. Believe me, I'm working on it! :)
  10. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    When I became a 5 string guy my beloved '75 P started to get very lonely. I never took it to gigs or even rehearsals. Then I decided to make it a BEAD as an experiment. At first I was prepared to have a new nut installed and set up by a pro. But just for the hell of it I bought a set of D'Addario Chromes and installed the BEAD strings without a new nut. There were a number of pleasant surprises.

    The B and E strings certainly sat higher in the nut than the E and A strings in the standard tuning. But the difference in slightly higher action was acceptable especially after resetting the bridge saddles and a slight tweak of the truss rod. I was very concerned about intonation but it turned out NOT to be a problem. Despite sitting high on the nut the strings are very stable (and my fingerstyle is fairly aggressive).

    It was a very successful experiment and I still might have a new nut installed. I now take my BEAD Precision on about one of every five gigs. No it doesn't take the place of my Roscoe Beck.But I find the P with the B string way more useful than with the G string.Another bonus is not having to get my "mindset" back to EADG tuning.

    A five string is better than a 4 with BEAD. But if you want to experiment with B string without shelling out for a five string bass try this on your four string. You can change it back pretty quickly.