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BEAD setup + Zon bass question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Trev, Mar 20, 2004.


  1. Trev

    Trev

    Feb 23, 2004
    I love Zon basses and I plan on getting a fretted 4-string Sonus, however I want it to be set to BEAD tuning. I did a search here and found some helpful info on what I need to do, like getting thicker strings, adjusting pickup height, action, and intonation. I also read that I have to adjust the truss rod (neck relief) to compensate for the higher tension of the thicker strings. The thing is, Zon necks dont have truss rods in them and so are unadjustable.

    Will this be a big problem, or are their necks stable enough to withstand the higher tention? I really don't want a 5-string because after having owned two, (a Fender Deluxe 5 and a Warwick Corvette Proline which i still have) for almost 6 years now, I've decided that 1) they're way too uncomfortable for me especially when I play standing up, plus I'm going to be doing more gigs than usual this year - and 2) I hardly ever use the G, if at all.

    Any info would be great!

    thanks
    Trev
     
  2. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    The neck should be fine.
     
  3. If you check the tension figures on the back of a few D'Addario string packages, you'll note that on at least some of their string sets, the B and E strings actually put less tension on the neck than the G. Most manufacturers try to keep the tension fairly consistent across their string sets to prevent twisting of the neck when there is more tension on one side than the other. I've had a few Zon basses, and those necks were strong! I've strung up four string basses BEAD before with no problems. Buy a five string set, give the G to some guitar player to put on his baritone or to hang himself with, and be aware that you will probably have to widen (not deepen!) the nut slots to prevent binding and tuning problems. If the B string sounds flabby on the 34" scale, consider tuning everything up a half step or two. This means you have to transpose everything, but that's good practice. Your bass will sound terrific with those fat strings tuned to a higher than normal pitch! The alternative would be to get the heaviest gauge four string set you can find, but I don't think you will be happy with those strings tuned that low. You have chosen an interesting project, and once you get your string gauges dialed in, I think you are really going to love the HUGE sound of those big fat strings.
     
  4. Trev

    Trev

    Feb 23, 2004
    Thanks everyone, this helps a lot! One thing I forgot to mention... will there be a problem with the newer, thicker strings sitting too high on the saddles in the bridge? And if yes then which would work better - modifying the saddles to accomadate the new strings, or should I just get a tapered 5-string set and toss out the G string?

    thanks
    Trev
     
  5. The groove in the Zon bridge saddles has a soft shape, and the slightly larger strings should seat well enough. If your Zon has the Wilkinson bridge, the saddles might be a little tight. Try it with your first choice of strings before you start filing anything. Your idea of using taper wound strings should work in any event. That also keeps your original saddles intact, which can be a plus if you want to sell the bass. If you decide to widen the saddle slots, a few passes with a tapered rat tail file will do it. Make sure the slot remains gently radiused towards the back of the bridge, so the string "speaks" off the very front of the saddle.