Can a Bass VI be tuned to drop c?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassunite1, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. bassunite1


    Jul 15, 2012
    Hey guys,
    I recently picked up a bass VI and I was wondering if I can drop tune it to C. Would a simple setup take care of that or is this bass not able to handle this?

    ROCK ON :bassist:
  2. With the right string gauge, I see no reason why not.
  3. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    You can tune any bass to anything you want to my knowledge. You may have to adjust the truss rod and or bridge and saddles so you dont get fret buzz and so forth. What kind of bass is it?
  4. Sumaru

    Sumaru Supporting Member

    May 16, 2013
    If you're referring to a six string bass, yes. I did mine just the other day. My low B became a low G, and I had to back the truss rod off about a quarter turn, but all seems OK. Slightest amount of flop in the B and E string, but tolerable. Certainly wouldn't take her any lower without a heavier guage set.
  5. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    And yes, string gauge does come into play here. The thicker the gauge the better if youre going to drop tune in most cases.
  6. Sumaru

    Sumaru Supporting Member

    May 16, 2013
    Oh. I just looked up a bass VI...was not aware of that particular model! My comments may not apply to your situation at all…
  7. The short scale length isn't going to do you any favors.

    You might need a bass tuner or two installed and no clue if it would fit the bridge.
  8. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I know no one has mentioned or even thought it in this thread yet so I'll just state... string gauge.
  9. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL

    Yeah they did.......
  10. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I've read comments from guitarists who claim that they tune 27/28 inch baritones down to a D. Guitarists are more willing to use light gauge, low tension, "floppy" strings than bassists are. When I run a low C on my 34 inch basses I go with 0.125-0.145 strings and I can tell you that the tuners on a Bass VI are unlikely to accept such thick strings. Circle K sells Bass VI sets with up to 0.106 strings and I am guessing that is about as heavy as Bass VI tuners will accept without modification. Is that thick enough for you? If so you can go down to a C. I am hoping to try a Bass VI myself and I intend to try to tune it down to a C but I am willing to go with a higher tuning if need be.
  11. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    The stock low E string on a Bass VI barely works for standard tuning.

    As other people have said heavier strings should let you tune lower, but the tuners have guitar-sized posts, so you'll have to be very careful to get the right wrap length so that the full thickness of the string isn't trying to go around that small post.
  12. Most .105-.130 strings will also have the taper start after about 35". Pretty hard to wrap that kind of diameter around a tuning peg. Not gonna happen with a guitar tuning peg.
  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Bass VI's have a Jazzmaster-style tailpiece, so that might make it possible to find strings that would work.

    Still a really bad idea, though.
  14. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Get a set of the heaviest Bass VI strings available through Circle K string and detune those, or e-mail the owner of Circle K strings directly and check with him. I'm sure the heaviest gauge set can be comfortably detuned to D standard, but I'm not sure if it'll become too floppy at drop-C.