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Converting a 5er to a 4 string

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by skidmarkbass, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Has anyone ever converted a 5 string to a 4 string. By changing nut/pickups/bridge. Or would the spacing just be ridiculously wide. I like wide spacing. I have switched back to playing 4 strings, I have an old Warmoth 5 and I would rather try a modification than give it away for peanuts. Thanks in advance.
  2. I would think it can def. be done. My guess is that you can add shims to the sides of neck pocket and or neck however these would have to be secure. Also this is an exact science so will be involved...not like slapping some wood together. You can either match the neck wood to make it somewhat unnoticeable or use a pick guard to cover the mod. Im assuming your thinking about reusing the old neck. I would avoid that as the spacing would prob be too wide.
  3. No, I don't plan on putting on a different neck... Still using the 5 string neck and changing the nut.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Change the nut. Change the bridge. Don't bother changing the pickups until you've tried playing it. Chances are decent that your existing pickups will work fine.

    I built a fiver last year that uses four-string pickups. Worked just fine. I'm now in the process of converting it to a headless four-string. :hyper:
  5. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    If you want the bass to play and look nicely, you have got a lot of work to do.

    Defret -> trim both sides of the neck -> cut some 5 plugs, glue them into all tuner holes -> thin the peghead and layer it with veneer, or paint it (front and back parts) -> drill 4 new tuner holes -> refret -> carve the neck -> refinish the neck -> level and dress the new frets.

    I'm assuming that this is a cheap bass that you can trash.

    I said that because I have no idea about how experienced you are with power tools, like router.

    You can definitely mess the neck up completely.

    On the positive side, if this will be your first mod, it would be a good and interesting experience for you.

    You will never know if you didn't try...

    All the best for you.


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