Extended Range Bass (Club??) Thread

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ed Goode, Feb 23, 2009.

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  1. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    A few weeks ago a thread popped up regarding an 8 string ERB build, which prompted a PM or two with John Turner regarding the relative absense of extended range players here at TB. As JT suggested in a PM, extended range guys used to get a bit of a beating here but times have changed .... stricter rules regarding needless bashing of gear have helped to calm the former stormy waters. And it doesn't hurt that an Admin is a significant ERB player ... ;)

    At any rate, JT was right .... a lot of ERB guys have either split or are just lurking and it's time to come back into the light :D. Hopefully this thread can help to ease the big-necks back onto the TB scene without getting all ugly. So, some suggested guidelines to kind of move this along:

    I know a lot of players here don't understand the ERB thing and think that 4 (or 5) strings should be enough, but there are many that like the additional range ERB's provide. Let's make Guideline #1 "Accept the fact that some people like extended range basses" and try not to be mean spirited regarding string count.

    There is always debate about what an extended range bass actually is .... 5 string? 6 string? 9 string? It seems to be generally accepted that any bass 6 strings and up is an ERB (since 5 string basses have become so numerous), but in reality any thing that "extends" the bass range beyond EADG could be considered extended range. IMO 6+ strings easily fits most any definition, as do sub-contra range (low F#, C#) or less commonly 5ths tuning or ultra long scale (ex: 39" Knucklebass). But in the spirit of unity, let's make Guideline #2 "String count doesn't matter".

    Not all extended range basses are exotic custom made "coffee table top" $5K one of a kinds. Ever since Conklin made the very affordable Groove Tools GT-7 available to ERB players, lesser known factories have been pumping out 6,7 & 8 string basses, too. Brice, Douglas, Galveston, Tennessee, AntonioTsai, etc have been making affordable ERB's for a while now, and they are no longer automatically pieces of junk. You don't need to play a Roscoe, Stambaugh, Skjold, Clement, FBB, LowEnd, Conklin, ACG, Sei, whatever to be in the "club" .... extended range is extended range, regardless of the builder. Guideline #3: "Price doesn't matter"

    Another huge misconception is that ERB guys are all soloing/tapping/shredding wankers that don't care about the groove. This may be a good opportunity to have the masses find out that, in fact, most ERB guys are groovers first and foremost. Don't let the YouTube vids fool you, there is a whole lot more to extended range than playing video game themes. So, let's try for Guideline #4: "An extended range bass is, indeed, a bass", not a harp or piano ... :)

    Just for clarity, these guidelines are only suggested and not rules of any sort. Additions, deletions, corrections are more than welcome. I've never been a "club member number guy", but if that works for anyone we can do that, too. Let's see how far we can get, keeping it civil and informational ..... :cool:

    edit: Numbers being issued after all .... see post # 31
  2. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    I know you've seen these too many times already, but to get things started here are my main players:

    FBB fretted 7 (BEADGCF)


    FBB fretless 6 (F#BEADG)


    Brice Z6 fretted 6 (BEADGC)



    Apr 30, 2008
    austin tx.
    I am a big fan of sixers. :hyper:
  4. sei24bass


    Nov 28, 2006
    Ed, good idea and hopefully others will also be willing to share without the needless bashing that has at times gone on before.

    I personally have a SEI 8 string fretless and am currently a year into the build of a SEI 9 string fretted bass:

    No pictures of the SEI 9 yet I'm afraid...
  5. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    I've always considered a 5 string an ERB. People always say:
    "why does your bass have 5 strings?"
    "Jaco only needed 4"
    "What so special about a 5 string?"
    "I don't understand why you need to go that low."
    "If you can't groove on a 4 string, you shouldn't play bass."
    "There have been plenty of good basslines that only needed 4 strings."

    These are usually guitar players saying these things.

    I'm not usually one to like a 7+ string bass, but if you can play it, all power to you! I will bash no one for there choice of strings.

    What's funny is, when I bought my first bass it was a 5 string, and my guitar player/friend at the time constantly told me a 5 string was pointless. 2 years ago however, he got a gig playing bass in a church and called me wanting to know if I had a spair bass to lone/sell. All I had was a six string I was wanting to get rid of. He traded me out of it and now swears by a six string...go figure!
  6. smakbass

    smakbass Smakkin basses for 25 years..

    Aug 6, 2002
    Vancouver Canada
    What are you guys using for an F# string? Which size string and from who...
  7. If this is a club, I WANT IN!

    I'm currently playing a Conklin GT-7, and am waiting on my new 9-String Bee Bass. IMO, no matter what amount of strings youre into expressing yourself with, its all about how you groove it. Some prefer traditional uprights, some prefer grooving modern day "ERB's" to the likes of Jazz, or even high speed technical DeathMetal. Theres no right or wrong in personal preference, so relax, and enjoy the groove :bassist:

    anyway, heres a couple progress pics of my new 9-String "Stinger Bee" by Bee Bass. I hope to have it within the next couple months.

    Attached Files:

  8. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Good start :D

    Just to clarify, string count doesn't matter .... if 5 feels like an extended range bass to any player, that's cool ... :cool:

    More on strings, and where to source them out, coming up next. Little short on time right now, I'll get some links in tomorrow ..... :D
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I am in with a Cirrus 6. And would like to get a GT7 soon! If we are issuing numbers, I hereby reserve #007.



  10. NICE TOP!!
  11. JAW DROPPING BASS!!!!!! :eek:
    Miculit Dorin likes this.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Yeah, it was a 'made for NAMM show' model. The store where I bought it had NAMM 4 and 5 stringers tiger eye finishes too. The five was even sicker than my six.
  13. Thunderitter

    Thunderitter Bass - The Final Frontier.. Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    A couple of 4-string exception to rule that all ERG must be 6 strings +:

    KR Guitars Ursa - Xtender and 29 frets -

    Wishbass Fantasy - 3+ Octaves

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Count me in.

    Hey sei24bass what is the string spacing on your 8 at the bridge?
  15. Count me in!!! :)

  16. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    Silly question I'm sure...but what notes do you tune a 7, 8, or 9 string bass to?
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    C#F#BEADGCFBbEbAb for strings 1-12 on a 12 string. I would guess a 13 string would add a high Db string?

    For reference, the strings in bold are the ones on a four string. Not all 7, 8, 9 stringers will have a C# or F# string, some start with B, and there are probably a few that start with the standard E.

    Of course, this assumes standard fourths tuning. People tune them different ways.
  18. Guess I'll jump in here as well. Proud owner of a Conklin GT-7, swapped out the standard pre for a Bart with the switchable mids,...can't remember the darn model number at the moment. Old age does that to ya they tell me. :rollno: I may have to give it up though, shoulder problems, another "age thing" :meh: but have to say, the bass plays SO easily!! I may just resign it to sit down jobs and home recording because it is SO much fun to play, and there's another big plus to ERB's too,....they intimidate the HELL out of guitar players! :D

  19. Is it just me or is that bass' body massive?

    I'm in with the Cort Curbow fretted 6, which i rate very highly!

    Need Gigs likes this.
  20. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    I play 4,5 and 6 string basses, and all of them have their place in different songs (or different bands). Still, a sixer works for me now, so... I'm in!

    (stupid self picture mandatory :))

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