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Are 6 string basses, boat anchors?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jerry J, Dec 28, 2002.

  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I've seen more than a few, very high end, 6 string bass just sit around in shops. They are beautiful, hand made instruments. But they just sit for almost years, it seems.

    I've found three 6 strings basses lately that I thought were extremely playable and with great tone. I'm actually seriously contemplating a Fodera Imperial Elite 6. I've never, ever found a need for a C string but I'm thinking that I might just go for it anyway. Funny but I've just not been really keen on single-cut basses for that matter. I might be making an exception, though.
  2. Oddly enough I had this same dilemma a couple weeks ago. I have wanted a certain 5er for years and never wanted to pay to huge price tag. But recently I was looking at them used with reasonable prices and decided to get one. After have two different sellers flaked on me I found a 6er made exactly the way I wanted it and for a better price then the 5. I don't have it yet but it is about 25 miles away at the UPS facility. I still really don't know if I'll ever use the C string or not.

    So here is my idea, customize it by losing the C string, lose a small part of the frets where the C is, cut the nut and put in a different saddle and drop a flat wound E string there in it's place. I want a fretless too and I think this may work. Someone please tell me. (I'm not doing this myself or for sure-yet)
  3. sounds like a bad idea to me. I'd just keep it the way it is and play it. If you want a fretless, get one.
  4. niomosy


    Nov 9, 2002
    For me it's the opposite. I seem to find more uses for a C than the B.

    Still, 6's just don't sell like 5's or 4's do so most stores don't carry too many of them.

    As for the Fodera Imperial Elite... mmmmm. That would be pretty tasty. I'm not quite used to the spacing on them yet, though.
  5. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I'm feeling the urge, too. There's a 6 string singlecut that I keep looking at while thinking, "I could use the C in THIS song...".

    I had a 6 string Modulus for a couple of years and did enjoy playing it, although I do virtually no soloing or chording.

    Gas pains....
  6. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    listen to bach, most specifically the famous tocattas and fugues. the function of "bass" (rhythmic and harmonic support) does not have to necessarily be performed in the "bass" frequency range.

    one of the things that i do often in our songs is comp out doublestops on the top two strings along with single note bass paterns on the lower ones to create sort of a "web" structure similar to a simplified classical guitar piece. by putting some of the color tones in the higher frequency region i open up some melodic posibilities for the guitarists in my band.

    the high strings on a 6 or more string bass are not just for solos. :)
  7. It's possible that anyone who could afford a high-end 6'er would prefer to have one custom built for about the same price instead. Actually, a custom built bass might even be less because if the luthier is out of state, you wouldn't pay tax on it. The store would probably also mark it up a bit so you would save that too.

    It seems to me, the way to go for high-end instruments is to go direct to the luthier. I realize that not all luthiers sell direct though.

    That being said, it is important to support your local guitar shop.

    - Dave
  8. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I guess the retailers that order the 6 string basses figured that there would be a better market for them. It seems a shame to see such beautiful instruments just sitting there with dust on them.

    I'm still thinking alot about that Imperial 6. I'm just conscerned that if I find I'm not liking it that I might get stuck with it if I decide to sell it even if it is a Fodera.
  9. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    John, I respect what you saying here but the type of music that I play never calls for anything on the C string. But then again I play/practice alot of music in my music room that is just for my enjoyment and pleasure. I do think that a six string bass would certainly open alot of learning/enjoyment opportunities for me.
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    True. True. I use the range of my sixes and sevens a LOT when I solo but I generally make use of chords even more often. I love to be groovin' along and then throw in a quick accent chord up high and then drop right back down to the groove. Methinks it's a GOOD thing! :D
  11. bobboco3


    Jan 2, 2003
    Maine, USM
    well, all i can say is that i've gone from a 4 to a 5, and now all i want to do is go back to a 4. I hardly ever use my B string and i think if i were to get a 6er, the most i would do with it is start playing like a guitatist. if i wanted to do that i'd go get a guitar, and a guitar would have less spacing anyway. if you could find a good use for the extra string, go for it, but don't waste your money if your not confident on wither or not you really like it.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Hey, if you ever run into that problem, I will take it off of your hands for say, $1500?:D
  13. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    The point of the matter is if you have the c string there you might one day need it! Then you will always know you have it. I have had a couple 6 stringers but i always found myself going back to the four stringer. But alot of that has to do with the fact that i mainly play old school funk and slap n thud alot. And on a four i can just get nasty! Its a comfort thing i think.
  14. niomosy


    Nov 9, 2002
    I was originally wanting an Imperial 4 and 6 but since that would take forever (and probably be shot down by the wife) I'm looking towards basses other than Fodera at this point (unless some miraculous used deal comes along... yeah right). Plus, if I ever decide that I want to concentrate on 4 over 6 or 6 over 4, it's less money spent ;)
  15. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Are you thinking of having one made or is it in a store somewhere? I'd love to see pictures of it if you are thinking of getting one that already exists.
  16. ThunderPig

    ThunderPig Guest

    Dec 15, 2002
    Oakland California
    Mine is, but it prolly floats. It might make a good rowboat oar.
  17. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    It is a used Imperial Elite 6. It either koa or bubinga on mahogany with a kingwood board or rosewood board.

    If the deal works out I'll be sure and post pics.:)
  18. ThunderPig

    ThunderPig Guest

    Dec 15, 2002
    Oakland California
    Ahoy matey. Aweigh this anchor. Join the navy and get drunk in guam and have this image tattooed on your forearm.
  19. mrbungle


    Nov 13, 2000
    tampere, finland
    Yep, I don't have a bass with high c string but i'd need one ... I use the high notes for rhythmic accents and quick fills to make my playing more 'full' and dynamic in jazz trio. The high C-string is definitely not for thumping quarter notes over a chord :)

  20. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Ohh man this is what i hate! I help host the local battle of the bands in my area and it seems like there is this trend of bands that the bass player gets a 5 string and thinks the b is a e? I think the problem is they think wow thats low man. so i will just use that. Its kinda heavy punk music! This stuff makes me wanna pull my hair out. When i play my 5 string i use it for fill at most 2 times a song. A slide here and punch there. But to do a metallica type soudn and only use the b string is just stupied! And whats up with all these kids? They are so spoiled these days. I have seen so many kids get on stage with a nice bass and you can tell they have only played for a few months! Isnt that kinda like giving your kid a bmw for there 16th birthday?