Got my first 5-string today!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sailor, Jul 3, 2001.

  1. sailor


    Jun 10, 2001
    Thanks again for the heads up about the sale at Samash. I ordered one of the Pilot Plus 5 strings for $159 and it arrived today. Since this is my first 5-string I have a couple of questions. Is it normal for the B-string to be softer than the rest? Is it part of 5 string technique to have to attack the B-string with more vigor than the other four? I think I am going to like this bass, but I am going to have to work on it a little. The action is too high and since I play an Ibanez 4-string, the neck feels wide to me. The B is kind of soft and mushy sounding. Any hints on setting up the bass and my amp to take advantage of this new low guy? Thanks.

    Ps The bass is wine red and is very comfortable and shiny. Shiny is always nice.
  2. Sinde the B is so much biger than the rest of the strings, it is pretty normal for it to have a somewhat softer feel. As for attacking the B, I think you're all wrong. To keep the B from rattling all over the place, it's often necessary (I know I speeled that wrong) toplay the B a little softer. As for the tone being kind of mushy, changing the string might help some. Also, boost the treble a bit to give it more definition. Once you get used to the B, though, you'll love it.
  3. holderman


    May 25, 2000
    Do you mean that the B string sounds weak?
    Check the pickups: I guess they are standard 4-pole pickups...
  4. sailor


    Jun 10, 2001
    Yea, the B string is weak. The pickups are standard four pole. I have been playing with it some and it sounds better. The bass did not come set-up and I am experimenting with it a bit. I have lowered the action. The A string has a rattle that I have not located yet. It cannot be heard while using my amp, but it is evident without the amp. It sounds like it is somewhere in the headstock, but rattles can be deceiving. Overall, I think it is going to be a great back-up and first five string bass. For $159 it can't be beat!
  5. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Play with your pickup height a bit. Your B should not be weaker than the rest. If anything, they are usually more pronounced than the others. I frequently have to be conscious playing a little lighter on the B.
  6. First of all, congrats on your new bass, and welcome to the realm of 5-stringed basses(tm) :)

    If your B-string sounds softer, there's nothing wrong.. most factories install their basses all in the same way, so there's virtually no fintuning..

    No problem ! that's just the way we like our basses to be :D Grab a small cross-head screwdriver, a set of hexagon-thingies** ,a creditcard/bankpass and a towel, coz it's time for....

    Dr. AllodoX's 5-step bass-finetuning lessons.(tm)(c)(r) :D

    **) i don't know the english name for them, but in dutch the hexagon-thingies are called " Imbus "

    step 1: the thrussrod
    Put the bass on your knee, and fret the 1st fret on your A-string ( 4-string bass : 2nd string from top ; 5-string bass : middle string ), then use your right elbow to push the strings down on the last ( 24th ? ) fret.
    Now use your right indexfinger and tap the A-string on the 12th fret. there should be some movement ( i use the creditcard's thickness to determine the movement ).

    1) If you have no movement, you'll need to loosen the thrussrod a little. this is done by using a hexagon-wrench-thingy ( imbus ? ), and turning the bolt on the top of the neck, in the beginning of the headstock, counterclockwise a little.
    Most basses require that you losen some strings to be able to reach it, and a lot of basses have a little plastic triangle covering the bolt.

    2) if you have too much movement, you need to tighten the thruss-rod a little.
    First, losen all strings a little.
    Put the towel on the ground, and put the " butt " of your bass on it, then flip the end of the towel up, and put your right foot up against it ( towel prevents damage to your bass )
    next, put your bass up against your left knee.
    Now you need to apply some pressure against your headstock, in a way of pushing your bass' neck backwards, while turning the hexagon-bolt clockwise a little. tighten strings again, and re-check the movement.

    Now if you let go of all strings and strike your a-string it should have fret-buzz

    Step 2 : raising the strings

    This part is very easy.. Use a small hexagon-wrench-thingy ( imbus ? ) on the bridge to raise or lower the strings, until they stop having fret-buzz.

    step 3 : the pickups

    This is also very easy..if your bass sounds really soft ( volume ), you could try raising your pickups a little.. this is easely done by losening or tightening the screws on the side of the pickups.

    the key is to raise the pickups so that all strings have pretty much equal volume-output.

    ( e.g my bass has less space between B-string and pickup than the G-string and pickup )

    step 4 : intonation
    After tuning your bass, it's time for intonation.
    fret your B-string ( or E-string if 4-string bass :D ) on the 12th fret ( with 2 dots )
    and strike the string. it should be in tune.
    if not, turn the screws on the backside of the bridge until it's tuned.
    Repeat this step for the other strings as well.

    step 5 : enjoy

    Now it's time to play and enjoy your freshly set-up bass :D ofcourse it takes some practice to reach perfect set-up.
  7. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    In the USA the imbus is an allen wrench. :D
  8. Cool. I got my 1st 5 stringer last weekend.

    It was[\b] perfectly set up when I got it.

    It came with tapered strings and two sets of free non-tapered strings. I changed to the non-tapered strings and since then the intonation is knackered. The bridfge saddles wont actually move back far enough to give perfect intonation - which is why it came with tapered strings in teh 1st place! The shop sent me a set of tapered strings which I'm going to sort out tonight.

    Other than that she's an absolute beauty... I named her June... cause I bought her in June (clever huh!)
  9. I have to report that it's difficult to adjust to the extra string... I've been playing it a week and I piked up my 4 stringer the other day for the 1st time since I got the newie and it was so much easier to play.

    t's going to take me ages to get up to scratch again!