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Drop tuner on a 5 string possible?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by scottman72, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. I know...."why in the hell would you need a drop tuner on a 5 string??" I've been over this with some buddies of mine.....the band I'm currently in we play a lot of songs that are in "drop D", also there are a few songs that have bass notes lower than D. I hate to compromise the coolness of those low bass notes by playing them an octave higher, but also I enjoy the sound of the open D string in those "detuned" songs. So I guess really what I'm asking......Is there a 5 string bass that a hipshot or similar drop tuner can be used on the E string? I was looking at my old fender 4 string bass that has a hipshot on it and it doesn't look like there would be room for the lever if it was on a 5 five string. Any ideas??
  2. Steveman


    Jun 25, 2010
    Anthony Jackson has a drop tuner on his low-B, so yes, it is possible.
  3. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
  4. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Depends on the bass, which you did not specify...

    On my Roscoe, I can use an extender on the low-B _or_ the High-C -- but not both, there just isn't room for the moving parts.

    You may have room for a 'single-acting' extender but not a double-step. The installation instructions and dimensions on the Hipshot site, while fairly complete, do not show the full operating region of the actuating lever, which is a pity...
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I used to have a detuner on my low B, but it was set to flip between D and B. In the "up" position it was tuned to D, then when you flip the lever it would be tuned to B.

    It worked great
  6. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Actually, that's a great idea!
    The best of both designs. Playing a pedal D note on the third fret isn't always ideal, but that would be a perfect solution.
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    As long as your bass neck can handle it. Tuning a .125 or .130 up to D is a decent increase in tension.
  8. Razman


    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    The thought had also crossed my mind (putting a Hipshot on my E machine head) but there isn't enough room for it.

    The solution was buy two more basses - four strings - which I plan to keep tuned to drop-D. Well, I didn't need two of them, just worked out that way as I found two at really good prices within two weeks of each other.

    This also provide a temporary relief of GAS (for basses, anyway). :D

  9. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005
    I'm all for technology and acquiring gear, but it seems like you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Couldn't you just take a second between songs to tune your E to D? If you're playing loud venues I'd assume you have a pedal tuner just in case you can't hear.
  10. This is what I have been doing so far, sometimes we jump to the next song so quickly there is no time for tuning.

    Also I should have been more clear......I would be putting the hipshot on my E string and not the B string. I love the convenience of the hipshot on my 4 string.......then we started playing songs that required a 5 string. If there was time I would switch basses, but as it is I don't even have time to tune the 5 string lol.