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Fender/Squier Bass VI --- change to heavier strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by 83_Silberpfeil, Oct 21, 2013.


  1. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    I am looking at acquiring either a Fender or Squier Bass VI. The reason is to play the Peter Hook (Hooky) bass lines for a few New Order Songs ---- for our tribute (to New Order) band.

    Now Peter Hook uses very heavy gauge strings on his 6-string Shergold Marathon VI: 100, 080, 060, 050, 050, 045 (Newtone Strings from UK).

    If I were to get a Fender/Squier Bass VI and put the Hooky string gauges 100 to 45, would there be any issues?

    I see from Fender/Squier website that they stock strings are:

    Fender Bass VI: 024, .034, .044, .056, .072, .084
    Squier Bass VI: .025 to .095

    Much thanks in advance!
     
  2. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    You have a bunch of options - do you want to go with flats or wounds? This will change the landscape a lot . . . .

    I use 106s on my Squier Bass VI
     
  3. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    I play with steel roundwound. For my other two basses Hagstrom Viking reissue and Yamaha BB1200S, I use Ernie Ball custom size steel roundwound from bass strings online.

    K-H --- When did your Squier Bass IV arrive? How do you like it? Can you comment on build qual and sound/tone/intonation?

    Thanks!
     
  4. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
  5. ChopperDave

    ChopperDave Hai-ohhhhhhh!

    Nov 14, 2012
    Boston, MA
    I use a 102-28 roundwound LaBella set. No issues.
     
  6. kenstee

    kenstee

    Oct 9, 2009
    You can also order custom gauges to your own specs on LaBella's web site. It is cheaper than buying one of their pre-packaged sets. Rounds only at this time for this customization option. Incidentally, for a 6 string bass you might get a more authentic Hooky sound with a Shergold (what he uses) or a Burns Barracuda rather than a Fender. YMMV though.......

    You may need to slightly file the nut on the Fenders to get these thicker gauges to work properly. Appear to be some "buzzing " issues with both the Pawn Shop and Squire VIs. Both are constructed to accommodate the thinner "stock" strings. Also check out the Bass VI group on Facebook for answering/reading questions and solutions etc from other VI'ers. Another option is the MIJ 2013 Fender Bass VI LTD which has more traditional construction, significantly better and wider bridge/components, etc. Goes for around US$1,399 or so. It is the same as the MIJ VIs now available in Japan http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BassVILTDCAR.
     
  7. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I ordered mine from Musician's Friend and have had it for a month. I do like it!

    The nut was cut well (I hear that has been an issue for some), once the truss rod was tweaked it took relief well, and I had to rotate the bridge (so the adjustment screws are facing the neck) to get it to intonate properly. It is very true to the original Bass VI in function and in sound. I cut in to the nut to experiment with gauges and then replaced the plastic one with bone when I knew the gauges I preferred.

    I use mine more as a guitar than a bass, but the strangle switch is instant bass vibe. Best $350 I can remember spending!
     
  8. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    So, I see that you are Circle K strings. Can you recommend a set of roundwounds for my upcoming bass VI? Note that I am seeking to replicate Peter Hook gauges --- see my opening post.

    Should I take the new Squier to a luthier and have it set up correctly --- make the changes you've made? Or do you think it will be OK out of the box?

    I pulled the trigger and ordered it yesterday via Sweetwater. FedEx has custody now and will deliver this weekend. I signed up for email notification with Sweetwater. Got the email @ 2:45 AM. Thought about it thru the morning and placed the order before noon. 20 min later, it was out of stock. I went with the black. These things are hot for now --- availability is now 12/30!




     
  9. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    Thanks for the comments/recommendations Kenstee. Much appreciated.
    I would love to get a Shergold Marathon 6 --- very rare, very $$$. Only ~ 100 or 200 true (non-modified) Shergold 6 were ever made. Peter Hook has two. My New Order Tribute bandmate has 1 --- which is what I'll use when we play on stage/gigs. The Squier Bass VI is mainly for practice at home.

    I've seen the Burns Barracudas online --- very nice, but hard to order here in the US. The MIJ Fender VI is very nice --- would love to have it, but too much $$$. I really like MIJ stuff --- like my Yamaha BB1200S (circa '83) a la Peter Hook.

    I will search on google/youtube to see if there are instructions/videos on how to file the nut to hold thicker strings.

    Thanks again Kenstee!


     
  10. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I don't know Hooky's tuning - does he do some unison stuff toward the top end? The bottom side of that set looks okay. Perhaps a little light on the .100 given the .080 above it, but pretty close. Seems he leans toward the heavy side which will be good for transients. Making actual recommendations is against policy here - sorry.

    If you aren't comfortable with setups consider taking it to someone - a $350 bass likely will not have had much attention paid to it, and you won't know what weather conditions it's been subject to in transit. It may arrive perfectly fine - you'll know pretty quick once it's arrived.

    I am delighted with mine - I'll get around to modding the electronics eventually and I want it to be a hardtail one day. I'm having fun with it just the way she arrived . . . .
     
  11. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Uh? what tuning is that? Are the top 3 strings very closely tuned? In all fourths those gauges top 3 gauges are very wrong.
     
  12. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    As far as I know Hooky uses E-e one octave lower than standard guitar. It might be unconventional --- or as you call it 'wrong', but that's how he gets his poppy bright sound.

    Similarly when he plays his 4 string, he uses Elite Bass Sensors, strung from .060, .065, .080, and .105. Again, the top two are very close --- may be too close/wrong. Both of my 4 string basses (Yamaha BB1200s a la Peter Hook; and Hagstrom Viking Reissue short scale hollowbody) are strung exactly like Hooky.



     
  13. hellboy

    hellboy

    Nov 5, 2002
    Hooky uses standard tuning (he can barely keep that straight, an alternate tuning would blow his mind), he just likes really heavy top strings. You don't need to go that far though to get a convincing sound IMO. I have a Marathon 6 and a Schecter Hellcat VI and I bet the bridge pickup on the Squier would get you pretty close. I have my M6 strung 105-30 and my Hellcat is 95-26 or whatever the standard LaBella steel rounds for the Hellcat are. I've considered going a bit heavier on the top (the M6 neck is huge, so it can definitely take it).

    You don't need the Japanese Bass VI to get proper intonation, worst case scenario is you get a wider bridge from StayTrem, which is a drop-in mod and much cheaper than buying a Fender bass. Thinking about getting a Squier myself.

    83_Silberpfeil, how do you find the heavy G-string to play & sound? Is there a noticeable difference? I've considered going heavier and experimented by tuning my D-string up, but wasn't sure I liked it or it would be worth the trouble. I also like DR strings and they don't make a .050 string, so I can't split the difference, either.
     
  14. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    HB --- My knowledge about basses is very limited. Been playing for only 1.5 years. That way I see it is if it works for Hooky, then I'll replicate it --- lessening the trial/error. I appreciate the advice to go with a bit smaller top strings, but already placed the order for EB Slinky Rounds from bassstringsonline.

    On my two basses (BB1200S and Hagstrom Viking), I find the heavy top strings very 'bright' sounding --- like a sparkle/pop! I do believe that's what makes the signature Hooky sound. The downside is that it hurts my fretting fingertips like bloody hell! I play with a plectrum 99% of time. For New Order's Perfect Kiss, at the start, I will pull/tug the strings.

    Give it a try and post your experience back here.

    Wow -- BB1200S, Marathon6, and Schecter HC VI! You sound like someone I know --- had that exact same 3 basses. You might as well be a Hooky fan --- are you? Your Dearmand can mimic Hooky's Eccleshal "HOT1" or "VIKING1"! I use the Hagstrom Viking to imitate Hooky's live/stage bass.


     
  15. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    Got my custom sized strings from Jason @ bassstringsonline.com. Great service.

    Unfortunately the high E --- my choice to use 45's did not work. Tension got to high and the string pop'd --- two times (yes, I anticipated and bought two high E 45's). Then, switched to an extra 040 that I had left over (Warwick). That pop'd also. So, now going to order 30's and 25's from Jason and try again. I hope 30's work.
     
  16. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    Another question --- Since my custom set were Ernie Ball Slinky Steel Rounds, but they don't come in 030 or 025, I'm going to mix/add with La Bella.

    Any issues with mixing string brands? Only the high E would be La Bella.

    Thanks!
     
  17. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    By mixing and matching the only risk you run is that they will sound different from string to string - the up side is that you can get a sense for what gauges work and single source them when you know.
     
  18. 83_Silberpfeil

    83_Silberpfeil

    Aug 15, 2011
    Thanks K-H. Ended up going with 028 Ernie Balls. They fit fine and tune fine --- no snapping.

    Will post a video of sound shortly
     
  19. Brian Bloom

    Brian Bloom

    Nov 19, 2015
    I think the name "Elite Bass Sensors" is getting thrown around a lot and may be incorrect and confusing some people (myself included). After looking further into this, I think he uses Elites from "Bass Centre" not "Bass Sensors". In the following interview (Hooked on Peter Hook | Bass Guitar magazine) he is quoted as " There are a few people who sponsor me at the show, Trace Elliot for example who I’ve got a long standing relationship with, and also the Bass Centre who supply my strings, so it’ll be nice to see them".

    I think these are the strings he may use: http://www.basscentre.com/elites-single-strings/elites-stadium-series-single-strings.html , which says "This is where it all began... The Bass Centre’s original stainless steel roundwound, long-scale bass strings, still the brand of choice for a huge number of A-List artists, including Guy Pratt, Norman Watt-Roy, Peter Hook and Jerry Meehan."

    So *those* are the "Bass Centre Elites" that he is listed as playing in a few forums, not "Elite Bass Sensors"...
     

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