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Bass tuned an octave down

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kraig99, Jul 21, 2002.

  1. I had an idea for a four string bass tuned EADG an octave lower than standard. Would this be doable? I would probably use a 36 fret neck to get as many notes as possible and 35 inch scale for tighter strings. Doesn't Reggie Wooten's 10 string have a Low E that is an octave lower than normal? What gauge string does he use for that? Does anybody have any tips for doing this type of thing? Thanks in advance.
  2. rudybaker


    Jul 21, 2002
    North Carolina
    Try Piano wire (just kidding). I dont know if you can get that on a standard neck. You would probably have to get pretty heavy guage strings to be able to do that.

    Let me know how it goes.
  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I'm sure that it can be done, since Jauqo III-X has one tuned down to a C# (one and a half steps below that). In order to just try it out, you could probably use a heavy gauge 5-string set and leave the G off, but you might wind up needing to have the nut on your bass re-cut for the fatter strings.

    I'm sure Jauqo could give you some better insight, though.

  4. umm... why?
  5. Why not? I play a lot of metal and have a use for super low notes.
  6. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, there's more to those low notes than just the bass. You'll want an amp/speakers that can reproduce them as well--probably at high volumes, if you're playing metal.

  7. EEbass04


    Dec 28, 2001
    Lee's Summit:MO
    Well I hope you have an amp capable of that. your gonna need an ELF processor. And like Dancehall, I don't see a point in it. I mean you do actually wanna play a note...not just feel it. And your ear isn't capable of hearing frequencies THAT low
  8. if you want to go an octave lower, just get a pedal that does it.... :)
  9. you don't have use for notes that low. neither does your audience, who won't even be able to hear the notes, even if you COULD get your trace elliot boxer 65 to reproduce them at concert volume without blowing up. which you couldn't.

    low frequency does not equal heavy. heavy comes from the chord progression.
  10. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

  11. Look man, I didn't ask whether YOU have a use for it. I just asked if it was doable. Also, you can hear notes that low, like the C# from Jauqo's sub contrabass which is even lower. And yes, I realise that my current amp would not give me a good sound that low.
  12. true, but i didn't really mean "hear" as much as i meant "distinguish from a muddy mess of indecipherable sound." i'm still waiting to hear an mp3 of jauqo's sub-contra bass...

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Hey whats up Kraig99 I support your question.for the record lets deal with logic.yes you can do it If Reggie Wooten can go an octave lower than the standard E then A,D.and G would be a breeze.remember the main issue of the lower than standard E has been taken care of therefore the rest is much easier.dont worry about trying to have more than 24 frets,21 will even work .a 35 inch scale would be perfect.as far as hearing notes that low yes! it is possible,not only will you feel it but you will hear a nice clear note.you need the proper amount of headroom from your amp to help push the low register.the key to capturing the best of the low register is to always allow room for the highs and work on the proper balance of the two untill you come to a nice even middle of good clean low end.and like I've said so many times before you can not have lower than normal bottom without having the proper amount of highs.remember on my Low C# string on the the third fret is the note E.so go figure.and Dancehallclasher Im working on something else for you to hear the Low C# other than mp3.other than my solo project,Im working on some clinics for Ashdown and I may be bringing my Sub-Contra Bass with me.
  14. Awesome, thanks for the reply. Do know what gauge string Reggie Wooten uses for his Low E and whether it is possible to get strings like that without having them custom made? Also, on your page you mentioned that you got special pickups from Bartolini to put on your sub contra bass. What makes these pickups different from normal pickups? Are there are any types of pickups that you would reccommend for this low range? Lastly, I think I may have asked you this before, but what type of amplification do you need to get a good sound at a high volume for the lower strings? Thanks for the info!
  15. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I'm gonna have to go ahead and agree with DHC on this one.

    You will not be able to hear any actual "tone" from these super-low notes. Basically they will just sound like low-frequency noise. It's hard enough to find a good-sounding 5 string bass, let alone a bass tuned to an octave below low E.

    And even if you think you can hear these notes, there's no way your audience would be able to (assuming you have one, that is.) Also, you have a friggin' Trace Elliot Boxer 65. I mean, come on.
  16. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    It all depends on the harmonic content. With the super-fat strings Jauqo and others are using, you get higher tension and more harmonics (and less slop). I've never heard anything below F#, and not much of that even, from a bass. But I've heard pitches this low from other instruments and there's tone to be had.

    And, in case didn't bother to read all the posts, he's been asking about what kind of amps are required for this - clearly he's not intending to run it through the boxer.
  17. Wouldn't-it-require-an-absolute-minimum-of-an-eighteen-inch-sub?(and-a-good-one-at-that)
  18. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Casey C.

    Casey C.

    Sep 16, 2000
    Butler, PA, USA
    hmm... not being able to hear the bass but being able to feel it... kinda cool if you ask me. it would be pretty odd
  20. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Again, you can probably hear it just fine. The fundamental is 20Hz which is pushing it but mostly you'd get harmonics at 40, 60, 80, etc Hz. The ear is pretty insensitive to the fundamental of a low B string even (30Hz).

    You want what you describe, grab a synth and put out some pure sine waves around 16-20Hz. Watch out (speakers go bye-bye before you can really hear anything, probably) :)

    Or, here, check this file out. It's a MIDI file of nine tones, descending from F to C#, with the "sine wave" patch selected. So they are, in order:

    F - C - G - D - A - E - B - F# - C#

    Try using a good pair of headphones - don't play very loud through any speaker systems!

    Compare the sounds of the B and E tones to the B and E string of a bass. Not very similar - there are a lot more high frequencies in the bass signal.

    I can't hear the C# tone - I'm not sure if it's even coming out of my sound card or headphones though.


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