crazy 8 string & 24 string basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Power Axe, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. basicly i would like to know if such thing as an 8 string bass exists, not the standard 8 string but an F#BEADGC tuning one instead.
    also it sounds crazy but would it be possible to play a 24 stringer done to the same tuning but with 3x8 strings.
    if they exist please tell me where i can find one, nice one.
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    That's a tall order man. I suppose you like the sound of triple coursed string alot. I have never seen one like that, so finding strings would be a nightmare within a nightmare.

    Also, that will make the fretboard extremely wide; probably similar to the Adler 11 if I had to guess. The only luthiers who would even consider it would be the main ERB guys (Conklin, Nogeura, Adler, Benavente.

    I hope you have a small fortune saved for this project.
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the 8 string definitely exists
    a 24 sounds impossible to play, even a 16 would have to be quite wide :eek:
  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I have seen a few 18 string basses, the now deceased Allen Woody had one made by Alembic I think. It was tuned BEADGE in sets of 3 and flying "V" shaped. I'm sure some of the Allen Woody fans could give you more information. I've also seen some Galveston 8 string basses on eBay recently that I think are tuned EADGBEAD. As for a 24 string my question would be why? I'm sure you could have a company like Alembic or Conkin build you one but man it would be expensive for something with a limited use. I would just get an Eventide harmonizer and run my bass through it. It would be cheaper, easier to play and sound better too.
  5. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    A few problems:
    1) I'm quite sure the strings for it don't currently exist.
    2) The tension of all those strings would require a neck stronger than probably any neck that currently exists.
    3) The neck would be so incredibly wide that even if you had it, you probably wouldn't even want to play it.
    4) It's weigh damn near 25-30 pounds (perhaps I exaggerate a bit), another thing to make you not want to play it.
    5) There are much better, more comfortable, less expensive, and far less insane ways to get the same effect.
    6) Nobody except bass players would even consider taking you seriously.

    Yesterday I attended a lecture by Dr. Andrei Aleinikov, and he forced the whole audience to "think outside the box" and be creative. I must say, I wish you had been there. I'm definitely not chastising you for thinking of all this; if anything, I'm congratulating you. But there are, of course, boundaries that cannot really be crossed at thi point in time. Maybe one day, in the future of incredibly strong composite materials and genetic engineering, we will see a 3-course 24 string bass. Don't give up, but don't expect to see it tomorrow.
  6. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    F# B E A D G C F actually. And yes they exist... Here are my two:


    There are also 9, 10 and 11 strings out there!!
  7. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    There was also some discussion on another thread (I believe it mentioned something about a theoretical limit on ERB's) where they were talking about all of the issues which come up around the strings. Tripple strings are well within the realm of things for 4 and 5 string basses, maybe even 6's (I'm no expert at these things, I'm just regurgitating [sic :p ] the enlightenment I found in that thread).

    But they were mentioning that the higher pitch strings in the 8-9-10-11 string basses were getting VERY thin due to the scale length required for the lower pitch strings and their tensions were getting very close to the breaking point. Some of that can be alleviated by using the Fanned Fret/Multi-Scale/Novax approach, but there is a limit to that to maintain some playability.

    However, to then find string guages and tensions for 2 courses of higher pitches (esp. if you wanted +1 and +2 Octave) to go along with it would be impossible (today at least, remember at one point they thought 6 string basses were theoretically impossible)

    But I'd love to see it if it was possible. maybe with a nice "moitle" burl facing... :D
  8. Why the hell would you want 24 strings!!!

    to me that sounds stupid.
    I think going beyong an 8 is ridiculous.
    If I ever get an 8 string would be one of those power chord types where the strings go by 2's.
  9. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Uh Oh!!!!

  10. You'd be surprised how handy ERB's can there is nothing like shooting into your guitar players range to piss him off :p
  11. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Try thinking outside the box, instead of bashing something that you can't see a use for. Trust me, ERB's are extremely functional in the right hands. JT, Al Caldwell, Yves Carbonne, Bill Dickens, ad nasuem. Even if you dislike their respective styles, you cannot deny that all those guys can play very well.

    Try to think before you post.

    Also, many double course 8 strings are tuned like a four string with higher octave strings, not Root+Fifth ("Power Chord types"). I'm sure they could be tuned that way, but I think most are tuned Root + Higher Octave.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Why is it a problem for you if somebody wants 24 strings, or 8(9,10,11) individual strings?

    Are you somehow threatened by this? Or does it make you feel inadequate?
  13. vwbtletdi


    May 6, 2004
    I might be a little biased because of my relationship with Adler Guitars. But, abark000 has a good idea about contacting builders that consistently make ERB’s. I know that Mike is open to talking about different projects and answering questions on how possible the build might be. Benevente is also a pretty cool guy and will really tell you like it is also.
    I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the task is impossible, usually items aren’t invented unless there is a need for them. Don’t let the others tell you it can’t be done, if we listened to people like that we would still think that the world was flat.
  14. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I'm not sure of the "flying V shaped" bass you mention, but Mr.Woody did end up with an 18 string (tripled B,E,A,D,G,C) that was made by Modulus in the traditional Modulus shape. It was originally made for Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick (he of 12 string fame), but he didn't like it.

    Gary Goodman currently has an Adler 11 string (non paired or tripled) tuned low C#,F#,B,E,A,D,G,C,F,Bb,Eb.:eek: :bassist:
  15. Are those Galveston basses any good? I think they are tuned F# B E A D G C F, judging by how the strings look very very thick.
  16. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I don't know if Galvestons are any good as I have had no experience with them, but for the money it would be interesting to try one out. I play a Pedulla 8 string (2x4 strings) Normally 8 and 12 string basses are tuned EAGD in pair or triplets of octave strings. I tune my 8 string EE AA AD DG to give the two highest strings a fifth instead of an octave. It really sounds full and if you get the Chris Squire Bass Video its something he does as well.
  17. Man, I love Bill Dickens, he's an AWESOME BASS PLAYER. I like the slap/pop/tap style of music. He's an excellent bass player. it just seems odd to me to want a bass that has a neck bigger than your hand.

    but.... a 24 stringed bass. Honestly I dont think thats even physicly possible. Unless its played like a Stick.
  18. Thats a cool idea...A stick style bass...though I think they have one of those already...
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i have 2...


    tuned f#-b-e-a-d-g-b-e . they both also have rmc piezo/synth outputs, as well as the only 2 seymour-duncan MM style pickups for 8 string basses in existence, to the best of my knowledge.
  20. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama