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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nikolai, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Nikolai


    Apr 20, 2004
    I was thinking of re-stringing my dolphin.. cutting the B string, and having the E string in its place.. would you tune it like a guitar EADGB or like EADGC? has anyone done this? i found out i rarely use the B string.. so i was thinking about experimenting.. comments please :)
  2. Normally EADGC...but do whatever ya want.
  3. Lots of guys do that. Matt Garrison tunes his Fodera 5 that way.
  4. Nikolai


    Apr 20, 2004
    This doesent result in me having to readjust the neck, does it? since it will get lower stringtension... or will it?
  5. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    You'll probably get higher tension.

    Any adjustment of the truss rod will be simple. You might need to install a new nut as the nut slots will be too big.
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    String tension will be just a bit higher.
    Some adjustment might be necessary (both at the bridge and lowering the nut, too), but it would also work without doing that, just that it would result in higher action
  7. Nikolai


    Apr 20, 2004
    New Nut? a Warwick Just-A-Nut or whatever its called must cost a fortune.. if it comes to that.. ill keep my BEADG...
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    No, a new nut is not necessary, as the strings will fit in there well, but you need to adjust it to get the action a bit lower.
  9. Nikolai


    Apr 20, 2004
    Ok, Thank you :)
  10. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    This sounds like a good idea! I wanna try it

    I'm not a low player by nature, so 6 string benefits can be had without really losing anything. Sweeeeet
  11. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    No, no - wait a second, here:

    It's not right to just crank up the tension on a B-E-A-D-G! You need to 'move all the strings over one spot' (which you can't really do because the lengths would be wrong if you moved the same ones over) - What I'm saying is that your old B-string should be more the size of your current E, and the the old E will then be an A, so it should be skinnier, etc...

    Not only would they feel real stiff to just tune them up; not only would the harmonics be odd like that, but I don't think we're talking just a little more tension! That'd be LOTS more tension, wouldn't it?!

    I've considered trying that too on my 33"-scale 5-er, but I'd get an E-A-D-G 4-string set, and add (sp. order?) a C. I suppose you can buy 5-sets for that from someone, huh?

    I dunno - maybe we should ask the guys on the setup forum, but I'm pretty sure it's trouble to tune five half-steps higher on a set of low-B strings.

  12. klorence


    Nov 21, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've been tuning my Music Man 5 this way since 1990.

    Correct: Take a regular set of E-A-D-G strings and add a C string to them (usually a 28 or 30-guage will work; depends on the rest of your set). DO NOT JUST TUNE UP YOUR EXISTING (low) STRINGS! Yes, the tension will be significantly higher, and those suckers will break.

    The nut hasn't really been an issue for me; the net effect is that the slots are a bit wider than they need be, but unless you're doing some really aggressive bending, the strings should stay put just fine.

    You'll want to re-setup your action (truss rod, bridge saddle height, etc.).

    Good luck!
  13. I took my Fender P-Bass 4-string and went with a 5 string setup BEAD on it. I had to file out the nut to hold the fatter strings. Sounded ok, the P didn't have good enough pickups to really bring out the fatness of the low B. Never thought of going the other way tho. Then again I've got a 6 string so theres no need. I would think that stringing it up like that would result in much more string tension, so an neck adjustment is probably what will need to happen. Not to mention it'll throw you off for a little while till you get used to it!! Playing the wrong notes like I did when i switched my P.
  14. Ely

    Ely Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    I tune my Peavey Grind NTB 5 EADGC. I just got a 6 string set of D'Addario Prosteels and took off the B. I didn't need to adjust anything. I prefer it over the B, myself.
  15. klorence


    Nov 21, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    that's another way to do it...

    but depends on the price of the set, too --

    a lo-B string ~$7-9
    a hi-C string ~$1-2

    so check prices! if the 6-set is cheaper all around, go for that & lose the B.

    If it's cheaper to get a regular 4-string set & add a C, then there you go.
  16. AlembicBob


    Dec 28, 2004
    MA, US
    I really want to set up a five with DGCFBb. I would think a set of about 110-90-70-50-35 would work for it. I never get good tone below the D on my B string anyway, so I never go lower than that, but I like the low D and the ability to play five string patterns. If you want to be a pattern player, then stick with the even EADGC tuning. If you want to play mini guitar chords on the high strings, you may be more comfortable with EADGB. Whatever set of strings you put on should support either.

    What you want to do is much more common and several string makers package five string sets for EADGC tuning. What sort of strings to do you like to play? You should be able to poke at some manufacturers or dealers websites to find something that matches your taste, and you should then be able to order them via the web or your local dealer if they aren't stocked.

    In any case, don't let any standards of historic behavior stand in the way of trying new things!
  17. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I've never refitted a bass for this, but I do have a custom 6 that is strung EADGCF. There is no reason to tune like a guitar since it is impractical to use guitar chords. The standard guitar tuning is designed to make certain chords easy to finger. On a bass, most of those chords cannot be played the same way.

    I like tuning in 5ths because it is fairly common and provides me with a good range of notes to work from.
  18. niomosy


    Nov 9, 2002
    No need to buy a 6-string set. There are 5 sets made for EADGC setups. Here's the companies I know of that offer them (grabbed out of another thread a few months ago):

    GHS Electric Bass Boomers 5 Strings - GHS_5M-C-DYB @ juststrings.com
    La Bella Deep Talkin' strings - LAB_760RL-C @ juststrings.com
    Fodera Light Medium 5 - FOD_28100, FOD_28100N, FOD_28105, FOD_28106 @ juststrings.com
  19. I love tenor tuning!
    I've done a sixer tuned E-F and liked the result very much too!!

  20. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I had my 5 like that for a while before I sold it. My 6 is tuned E to E, just like a giant guitar.

    I rarely if ever use a low B. I guess I just don't like the sound too much.
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