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Electric Bass C-Extensions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jdapodaca, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. jdapodaca


    May 25, 2006
    El Paso, Texas
    I'm more of a Double Bass player, but a lot of times I play Theatre gigs on electric.

    Sometimes there are some sub-contra E notes in the book, and I just really dislike playing 5-string bass, which is what I do when there are any sub-contra E notes in the book.

    The thing is, this is the only time I'll play 5 string, and sometimes it's confusing, i.e. I'll play the lowest string, hoping to hear E, and I get a B instead.

    I was wondering if any of you have ever seen anything like a Double Bass C-Extension for the Electric Bass. Here is a photo of one if you don't know what I'm talking about.

    I've looked around but all of my search results end up in Double Bass C-Extensions.

    A low B-Extension would be neat to have on Electric, perhaps with closers in each additional fret, like some Double Bass versions.


  2. -Sam-


    Oct 5, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    The kubuki x-factor has something similar to that but it drops an e too a d.
    But I've never seen one that does to a B could be interesting.
  3. jdapodaca


    May 25, 2006
    El Paso, Texas
    I just don't like 5 String Basses, period.

    I play 4 string double bass, and would like to also play 4 string electric bass. I don't think it's necessary to train your mind to think "lowest string is B," instead of "lowest string is E."

    I made a little sketch with MS Paint, using a guitar headstock cause I couldn't find any pictures of a bass headstock from the side. Pretend the last two tuners aren't there. This is what I'm picturing:


    The part where the ebony meets the headstock would I guess have a little piece of felt, or something, and it would be good if it could be taken off and the bass could be restored to a regular bass without extension.

    The string could go through the end of the extension and then somehow back through the regular tuner, or maybe through the D or G tuner, similar to a Double Bass extension.

    Something tells me this is totally possible...Luthiers??
  4. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    so would that mean fretting notes over the headstock? would that not it'd be really awkward to play?
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Yes and no. The distance from the treble edge of the headstock is not that different from the reach to the B string on some six string basses. The biggest problem is hardware redesign. The headstock on an URB is is tilted back and slotted. Therefore there is room for the extension and access to the tuner is easy. A Fender style headstock is flat and the tuners are in the way.
  6. I wonder if a reverse headstock 4 in a row with a zero fret might work.

    Maybe a permanent extension to the fret board on that side and just (simple to say) add a small capo like clamp at the zero fret.

    I just realized the tuners would be in the way, reaching over the headstock to play would be awkward at best.


  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    extra two frets (not four) on headstock, similar to Kubicki, but looks a bit more like a double bass C extension because of the tilt headstock:
    click "experiments", look at #14 & #19
    also, more if you go to "belle vue" then "ancient galleries."

    None of them though have the stop like the upright or the Kubicki, just extended FBs. The "deep" tuner position is rotated.
  8. jdapodaca


    May 25, 2006
    El Paso, Texas
    That looks good. I think that bass has kind of a small headstock, so maybe 4 extra frets instead of 2 might look kinda funny.

    I think on a regular fender sized headstock, 4 extra frets would look good.

    Maybe if the tuners were in the middle of the headstock, around where the D string lies.

    They could be facing away from the bass, not up like a regular fender headstock, or down like a reverse headstock.

    Maybe there could also be a little pad on the back of the headstock for you to place your thumb as you finger the low notes.
  9. sublime0bass


    Aug 2, 2007
    Boone, NC
    orrrr..... you could use a 5string
  10. basses can have 5 strings?
  11. Check out the headstock of this 14-string guitar/bass, made by Andy Manson:


    Very cool idea that I've also thought about. I'm sure it could be done, you'd just have to find a willing luthier. That's the tough part...
  12. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I've got a spare neck lying around. No tuners or anything.
    But I'd be willing to put this up for testing purposes.

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