Converting P-bass from EADG to BEAD.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JonathanWho, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. JonathanWho


    Dec 6, 2016
    Hello there!

    So having played several 5 string basses and loving them i have been wanting to slap a set of fives on a four stringed bass, throwing the G off to the side. I am aware that i need to have the nut adjusted in order to accommodate for the thicker strings. Any concerns? Will the strings put too much stress on the neck? I have heard some 5-string p-basses not handling the low B string well, so might it be the case that p-style pickups do not handle such low notes well?

    The bass in question is a stock first run of the Nate Mendel signature p-bass. Basically this just means that it has a Badass 2 instead of the Fender High-Mass bridge.

    - Seymour Duncan SPB-3 Quarter Pound spilts.
    - Badass II bridge
    - Slim "P-style" 34' neck (Jazz/P hybrid).

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Your results may vary. I have been going thru the whole five string bass and B string issue allot lately. I'm in a modern country band and tried like heck to add to the stable any five string basses I tried.
    Since my band downtunes I'm good with my fours but really wanted to add a five.
    I just cant find one in my price range that sounds good to me to justify the costs. Speaking of cost, just because you land a great sounding Five with a great B will your rig support it well? So you could be seeing added expenses. Some people are hardheaded around here on this issue....I just want some opinions.

    Oh sorry went off on my personal thoughts. :D To answer you question, Yes some fours handle a B string well. In fact my lowly Peavey Patriot is strung right now BEAD using a five string set of chromes with the G not used.
    Its the best sounding B string I have played lately over any 5 string bass I have tried...go figure.
    I did slightly file the old E string slot at the nut to allow the B string and adjusted my setup. There was really no added stress on the neck and it plays very well.
    All I can say it try it and see what you think. You said you like fives so maybe you just need to add a five?
    One major benefit on a BEAD setup bass is the neck width and in most cases reduced weight. Sorry I went off on the rails on your thread.
    JonathanWho likes this.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    There will be fewer pounds of pull on your neck if you are using a standard set of strings.
    Most B strings have less tension than most G strings in standard sets.

    P pickups work with a B just fine.
    The issue with bad sounding B strings is usually related to neck stiffness.
    JonathanWho and bassbully like this.
  4. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    You might have to mess with the bridge a bit to get it to accept the B string. Maybe have to drill out the hole in the tail due to the girth of the string.

    Best to avoid winding any of the full thickness portion of the B string around the tuner post. The BA bridge helps with this, as the tail is further back from the saddles and mounting screws than on a typical Fender bent metal bridge. This shifts the string slightly back, so the full wrap thickness is less likely to reach as far as the tuner post. Winding lengths are different from one string manufacturer to another, so some B strings will be easier to mount than others.

    You should get good string to string signal balance due to the favorable height adjustability of the two halves of the P pickup.
    JonathanWho likes this.
  5. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    I have an '06 Carvin LB-20 set up BEAD, with 65-135 La Bella Black Tapewounds. It works pretty well; but, although the tapes are pretty stiff, the B string is not as tight/stiff/whatever as I would really like. Probably just me; but I might be happier with a little skinnier B string... There is a BEAD Club here (in the Strings forum); you might want to give that a look, and ask around. BEAD problems seem to center around; 1) a (real or perceived) floppy B string; and 2) not having enough adjustment at the bridge for proper intonation. My Carvin has a Hipshot A on it; I didn't have a problem, but there are a couple of strings without much adjustment left...:whistle:
    Other than that, IMO you shouldn't have a problem. Good luck with it... :thumbsup:
    JonathanWho likes this.
  6. JonathanWho


    Dec 6, 2016
    Love the replies! Thank you.
  7. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods!

    Ive done several this way. The BEAD set usually drops into place. Once in a while there is slight nut filing required. Once in a while. the hole on the bridge needs opening. Have at it....
  8. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    La BELLA 50-110 Jameson flats
  9. JonathanWho


    Dec 6, 2016
    I would actually much rather have rounds. I want some low, beastly, distorted aggression.
  10. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    Never heard of this until now. Could you please explain? Thanks in advance!
  11. Bassist59


    Oct 4, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Maybe I am just lucky but my 4 string bass works fine with regular 'ol D'Addarios (50-105) nickel round wound strings de-tuned to BEAD. Within a couple of minutes I can tune back up to EADG, play rock and blues songs, and de-tune back to BEAD and play "Extreme Metal", LOL!!

    I did have to raise the action a bit for the BEAD tuning, making it high for returning to EADG but it is a compromise. The neck is perfect EADG but a little too straight for BEAD.

    Also, my bass vibrates like an earthquake BEAD! I can only imagine how good it would feel if I widened the nut and put the real BEAD strings on there from a 5 string set. I just don't want to permanently change the nut and like going back and forth between the low and standard tuning. I LOVE BEAD, that's BASS! Sometimes my speakers can't handle!!!LOL

    Just try it. You might not have to do anything but detune!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
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