basic question about 5-strings

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by skie`, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. skie`


    May 4, 2003
    Corvallis, OR
    i'm just starting out on bass, haven't bought one yet, but thinking about a 5-string, just for the extra range.

    so my question is this... could i get a 5-string, & tune it EADGC or BEADG, alternately, or does that require different strings/different setup?
  2. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I would want two different sets of strings - and two nuts - for those two different tunings.
  3. it would require two different sets of strings
    and two different nuts.

    ever try to tune a .130 string to E?
  4. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    Rotosound makes a set with a .130 add a detuner and maybe a good trussrod sdjustment and it would work.

    Why not just use a 6 string?
  5. well if its a starter bass...... you can bet the neck wont allow for enough adjustment to compensate for the pull of the .130
  6. skie`


    May 4, 2003
    Corvallis, OR
    thanks for the answers - 5 string sare significantly more common than 6 strings, & also cost less, which is why I'm more likely to go with a 5 string.

    I might just get a 4-string for starting though, & add a 5th once I know a bit more about it & what I would want.
  7. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

  8. Rotosound make sets with .130 strings.......but I doubt the intention is to tune it to 'E'....:eek:

    (I use the RS665LD set with the .130 in it for my 5 stringers BEADG!)
  9. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    If you're just starting out, a 4 would be okay to learn on, but depending on the style of music you intend to play, a 5 would be an extremely useful tool and I would recommend it if you can find a decent one you like for a decent price (I don't know your budget or personal tastes). There are quite a few decent, "starter" 5 strings available from companies like Peavey, Ibanez, and others, and a good majority of them are of quite decent quality and playability where as you progress in your playing you wouldn't necessarily feel the need to replace them with a better or more costly bass.

  10. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    The single biggest advantage I've found with my 5 strings is that it makes transposing a piece of cake.

    My band often changes the key of cover songs to better match our vocal range (sounds a whole lot better than trying to stretch to match the original). With a 4-string this often causes real problems, and you wind up having to play part of the bass line an octave up, which sounds terrible. With a 5, you just use that 5th string, and you're done.

    Personally, I find the low B a whole lot more useful than a high C would be. I've never, ever run out of room up high, but I've run out of room a lot down low with the 4 string for the above reason.

    So I'd go with the 5 and stick with the standard tuning (BEADG). Spend your money on a decent bass now, rather than getting a 4 and spending more later to get a 5.

    A great bang for the buck bass is a used Carvin. I have a LB75 and a BB75FP. They're very good instruments, well made, sound good and don't cost a ton of money. Easy to find on ebay for $500-$900 for a really nice one with premium wood, etc. You won't outgrow this bass, and if you buy used the depreciation has already taken its toll... you could unload it for what you paid.