I fixed the Low B on my 2008 Fender P5!!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by EBMatt, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. EBMatt


    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    So when I got my new P5, the low B was ok, but definitely needed some work. So I sat down and tried to figure out how I could improve it or if I could at all. I played it for a while, then I realized that the low B almost sounded like it had that "Fender A string syndrome", but on the B. The low B was the only string that did not have a string retainer of any sort on it. I also remembered that the low B on the American Deluxe P5 that I used to own was pretty good. So I went ahead and purchased a set of hipshot string retainers, just like those that are found on the American Deluxe 5'ers. Got them in, installed them and DING DING DING!! A ginormous improvement in the low B. I strung the bass back up with the stock strings, but then thought that they might be holding the low B back a little too. So I strung the bass up with a set of Foderas and let me tell you, this low B is killer!!! A night and day improvement over the bass stock!! I was also able to drop the action a little lower too, because the low B doesn't flop around like it did. Only very minor downfall is that there are two tiny holes left on the headstock from where the old string trees were. But they aren't very noticeable and can be filled easily if needed. Anyone who has a P5 or is thinking of getting one, should really consider this $22 mod.

    Here are some pics:

    This is the bass before the mod - No string retainer on the low B!


    Here are pics of the new string retainers!!



  2. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    That's what Fender should have done in the first place. They've used Hipshot string trees on other models. Maybe they used the standard string retainers to cut costs.
  3. Very cool idea -- someone needs to email Fender this thread!

    FYI--if you like flatwounds, a set of good flats also tightens up the low B nicely.
  4. funkybassplayer

    funkybassplayer Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2003
    Longview, TX
    Nordstrand Audio, Epifani
    looks good man. and it makes total sense. is it 34" or 35" scale. I have a 34" 5er that i string EADGC becasue of the massive B-string flop. i am wondering if i add something like this then i can restring to BEADG.
  5. Rezdog

    Rezdog Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada/Motown
    Greetings from the North,

    Lookeen good...EBMatt.

  6. EBMatt


    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    I agree that Fender should put the hipshot string retainers on all of their USA 5's. It should be a standard. It works so well I don't know why they wouldn't. I would pay the extra $22 if they worked it into the price.:)
  7. EBMatt


    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
  8. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Hmmm this might make me reconsider a P5. The b-string was a deal-breaker for me.
  9. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I've got TI jazz flats on mine, and the Bstring is downright dangerous. Great clarity, and with that huge lowmid pillow that only a Pbass can bring. Lovin it.
  10. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    FWIW I've used the Fender strings on other basses like a Sadowsky NYC ... and that nickel low B string is fantastic.

    When you're talking about a problem with the B, do you mean open B or fretted notes on the B string? For fretted notes, the string retainer should not make any difference.
  11. agreed...the open note would be the note affected by the string retainer...

    break angle over the bridge saddle, however, will affect the entire string...

    when I restring, I ALWAYS push down on the strings to get a good witness point...for B's and E's, especially, this is most important.
  12. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I've never used the Fender Nickels, and generally prefer those to any type of stainless string, which are what came on the bass.
  13. i have an american deluxe jazz, (with those hipshots) and it has a killer B as well ;)
  14. another way to mimick the job of a string retainer is to simply wind the string more. If you wind the strings below each other on every round of winding like you're supposed to then this would in theory, create a down force on the strings over the nut and make them tighter. This is of course "in theory". I believe that the average is about 3 windings. but my stock tuners on my fender can get about 4 1/2.
  15. 2 things:

    1) the string retainer is consistant...therefore you don't need to depend on any particular amount of winds...it's the same, all the time
    2) the string retainer is located closer to the nut, so you get a greater over-the-nut break angle than you would with even the max # of winds on the post.

    I think that this is the main reason why companies like sadowsky use a bar...it's simple, consistant, and it works...
  16. Herrlster


    Oct 27, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    It's not the floppiness of the string. It's the break angle of the string from the nut. If there's not enough downward pressure on the string as it comes out of the nut, the string will rattle because it won't sit in the nut slot properly.
  18. Chris Breese

    Chris Breese Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    Middle of IL USA
    Could it also be the added mass on the headstock?
    oaklandthumb likes this.
  19. I put one of those hip shot retainers on my MIA jazz V and it makes the bass feel SOO much better!
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    A string retainer doesn't add any weight of significance, and it doesn't affect the tone of the string vibrations, other than making the break angle more downward.