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Detuners on all 4 strings? Possible or not?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by kebbs, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hello everyone,

    Is it feasible to have 4 detuners on all 4 strings, so that I can drop EADG to BEAD?

    I understand that strings will be floppy (especially the E), that the feel will be very different as a result, and that it may not be the best way to go about it (i.e. I should get a 5-string, I know...)

    But just wondering if it has been done and if it will work somewhat decently?

  2. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    It will mean very floppy strings, bad intonation, and you sounding horrible. IMHO, a very stupid idea.
  3. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Michael Manring has 'em on his Zon, but not for downtuning that far.
    Not very fesiable really, your setup would be way outta whack in BEAD, not to mention how much the neck will straighten, dropping your action, add lower tension, buzz city.
  4. If you use a heavier gauge strings the problems may not be as bad. Instead of a .105 E string use a .115-.120, .90/.95 A, .70/.75 D and .50/.55 G.

    Yes, when in standard tuning things will be tighter, but as along as you're not playing with a pick really aggressively, the strings shouldn't break. The neck will be fine if you adjust accordingly.

    The intonation problem can be avoided altogether by making the bass fretless. I don't think it would be horrible on a fretted bass, but it'd be better to go with a fretless neck.
  5. ...detuners can drop that much?

    ou'd be better off just stringing the bass BEAD and playing higher on the neck. Maybe you could use a capo?
  6. ppk


    May 16, 2007
    maybe on a quake bass but even then i dont think that will work. i think a 5 string is the best option
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Manring does pretty darn well with the tuning on his, but OTOH it is a hella expensive custom instrument designed specifically for that purpose, not a regular bass with drop tuners thrown on.
  8. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Four detuners would be about the same as a bargain 5. And the truss won't need adjusting, the tension will feel right, the intonation will be good......

    I would say multiple detuners are redundant.
  9. Detuners can't drop that much. Any drop more than a step and a half, and you'll lose accuracy. I have a detuner on my E string, and I've never been able to set it at B with any accuracy.
  10. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    I thought the same thing.
  11. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Cool, thanks everyone. I will have to scrap that idea after all.
  12. Jim stinnett has a stambaugh with detuners on all strings as does grant stinnett his son- but I don't think they detune that far
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    There is this wonderful invention you should try ... it is called a 5 string bass it is tuned BEADG ... it really works well ... especially the ones with active electronics.
  14. I would go to the Manring forums and ask him, too
  15. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    I'd just tune down to BEAD and have it it. Grab a capo if you need to do stuff in standard tuning with lots of open notes.
  16. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Like everyone else, I think a 5-string or a 4 tuned to BEAD would be far superior - an E string tuned to B is not a great thing.

    But, it is possible from a mechanical standpoint. I actually have detuners on all 8 strings of my 8-string.
  17. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    To echo what's already been said, the Hipshot won't let you detune that far anyway. I have them on the E string of three of my basses just to go to drop D. We have a TBer (Jason Braatz I believe) who has one on his fiver to go to drop A.

    Not to mention, the guys who have them on all four strings (Grant Stinnett, Manring) use them to change tunings during songs, especially with harmonics.

    Grant Stinnett (that's a crazy Stambaugh bass!)

    Michael Manring

    This is similar to guys who post in the effects forum about getting a pedal to simulate a five string. In both cases, the only real answer is to get a five string.
  18. Don't forget that Manring's Hyperbass setup uses very light (virtually guitar-like) string sets and has both detuners and a custom hipshot detuning bridge. The bridge won't take the tension from a regular set of bass strings, and the way he plays it means that it is virtually *never* in either EADG or BEAD.

    And yeah, playing a five lets you go from EADG to BEAD without touching anything :p
  19. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    If you have a graphite neck I bet you could do it. They are stable and don't change the action based on string tension
  20. Beepo


    Sep 23, 2008
    Oslo, Norway
    Iwould get a 5-string. Or two cheap 4-strings.

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