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Bad for my bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Johnny5, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    Hi, new guy here.
    Wondering if my current string setup has/will have any ill effects on my guitar. I like the deep sounds of a 5-string but don't like playing the bigger neck so I put the 4 thickest strings on my standard 4-string bass. So instead of the E-A-D-G setup, I'm playing a B-E-A-D*

    *to clear up any confusion, I'm tuning it B-E-A-D (not E-A-D-G with thicker strings)
  2. fish man

    fish man

    Nov 14, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    yeah i was actually thinking of doing that to my Precision once i get something new... I expect it would be harmless, because that necks always have more strength than they need
  3. Lots of players do this. Shouldn't be a problem, just get it set up properly.
  4. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    The neck doesn't need more strength. There will be less tension on the neck when strung BEAD than EADG.
  5. fish man

    fish man

    Nov 14, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    what what?
  6. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    BEAD is lower in pitch by a 4th, so the tension on the neck will be lower.
  7. fish man

    fish man

    Nov 14, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    mmm yes, but i though that the fatter string in some way bends that neck more...(???):confused:
  8. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    I understand your confusion...but check out these tension specs on page two of this .pdf document for TI Power Bass strings.

    Click Here!


  9. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    You're right in thinking that there is more mass in the thicker string, but it won't be tuned as an E so there will be less tension thus floppier.:eyebrow:
  10. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Tuning like that would work and I've seen basses do that, but you might run into a problem with your nut not being able to fit the thicker strings. So you may have to get one made.
  11. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Or do some filing.
  12. Don't let a simple nut replacement be an impediment to you though. They are generally relatively inexpensive (50 bucks), and if you really want to go BEAD, that's really all it takes.
  13. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    You can 'massage' the nut if need be. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, take your bass to a qualified tech.
  14. I don't think he's changing the string gauge if i understand his first post

    As mentioned, you can tune down, your tension will decrease on your neck and it probably will shift. In which case a slight tweak of your truss rod and re-intonate and done.

    Is this a one time thing or are you switching between B-D and E-G often?
  15. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    Hey guys, thanks for all the responses so far.
    Correct, the string gauge will stay the same (I think I play 45's). There'll be no switching or alternate tunings, the B-E-A-D setup will be permanent.
    I've been playing an entry level Yamaha and it seems to have held up really well with the thicker strings, I don't remember adjusting anything come to think of it (action, intonation, nut filing). It stays in tune ALL the time (plus I keep it in a hard case). I recently invested in a Jazz Bass, and I'm thinking of setting it up the same way ASAP. Any last minute advice?
  16. fish man

    fish man

    Nov 14, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    wow. I'm surprised that the difference is that high...

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