Could you convert a jazz 4 to a 6 or 9 string octave

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WarriorJoe7, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Just wondering if anyone has tried this?

    Take a jazz bass with a 1.5 inch nut and converting it to a 6 or 9 string octave bass (like a 8 or 12 string octave bass... a la cheap trick.)

    I imagine all you would have to do is change the nut and then change the bridge to a strat bridge and redo the grooves on the saddles so that the octave strings and fundamental strings are close together. (if it is a 9 string then the 2 octave strings can share the same saddle for intonation purposes.)

    The only concern would be the spacing between sets of coursed strings. It may be too wide unless there is a narrower 6 string guitar bridge that might be perfect for this.

    I suppose a p bass might actually be good enough for an 8 string (but probably not 12) and then it would be a problem finding 8 string bridges that don't cost an arm and a leg.
  2. I'm sure there are more, but-
    I can't imagine a 1.5" nut having nearly enough room for another set of string, even tightly spaced thinner-gauged ones. I'd go for a P-width nut.
    Just filing additional notches on the bridge means you can't intonate the strings individually, which I'm guessing would be fairly important w/the different gauges. There are 8-string bridges available that intonate individual strings, IIRC.
  3. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Yes you can file additional notches on a saddles if there are 6 saddles for the 6 strings (use a guitar bridge.) This will allow for different intonation of the fundamental and octave strings.

    In the case of 2 octave strings for each fundamental (on a 9 string) the strings should be identical so that they can share a saddle for intonation.

    You may be right about it needing to be a precision neck. However you will only have 3 sets of strings Ee-Aa-Dd so a jazz might be enough. A precision may handle 8 strings however it will definitely be tight.

    8 string bridges cost over $100 new. Doing a 6 or 9 string allows you to use a guitar bridge at $20 a pop and also allows for a normal width neck. No G string though...
  4. OK, I'm seeing what you mean now. Crazy & cool. :cool: