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I need a new bass for de-tuning, help?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Vacant, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Vacant


    Dec 27, 2004
    I have like 500 or less bucks to spend on a bass, I need to keep it in drop C basically all the time, I need to have a pink of deep growly tone, I will be using my fingers and a pick alot, I was thinking the Ibanez SRX series? I pluck pretty hard, and I will be doing studio work as well as live performances, touring, it needs to be pretty reliable.

    thanks for all the help in advance
  2. You might want to keep your eye on eBay for a Yamaha RBX 774. They're solidly build and with a 35" scale will keep the string tension tight for your dropped tuning.

    The current 374's that are new in stores are not the same quality, nor do they have the extended scale length.
  3. How about a P bass with a Maple fretboard?

    They're sturdy, relatively cheap, and the maple board will keep things from getting muddy - You could also string it BEAD with the bottom of a five-string set..
  4. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    i was going to suggest the same thing.:smug:

    or maybe he could get a 5 string; maybe a cort? i'm not sure how cheap they are in the States.
  5. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Cornell , IL.
  6. There are two ways to add tension to strings which would allow you to keep a lower tuning with about the same string tension as a standard tuned bass. One is to get a longer scale length. So other posters are right, you might want to look at a 35" basses, but honestly your options are kind of limited looking for a four string 35". Plus many players find the added length to be uncomfortable to play. The second is to play heavier strings. I have seen four strings with modified nuts to accommodate the lower four strings from a five string set - that would definitely add some tension to the neck! Remember though, in addition to mod'ing the nut you have to check the bridge to be sure it can fit a B string - not all will.

    No matter what you decide, bring your bass to a luthier to get a custom set up. Fully explain what you are doing so he/she can set an acceptable relief and tension. My bass guy hates me because I ask him to set up for strange tunings, but he does good work.

    I have a number of basses in my preferred tuning: all strings down 1/2 step, low string down an additional full step - C#, G#, C#, F#. I use the regular four string set of DR Low Riders mediums (45 - 105, I think) on all my basses - a Zon Sonus, a Tobias Growler fretless and an Ibanez 504. I tried heavier gauge strings for a while, but I hate wrestling with a huge low string. All of my basses sound good at the lower tuning, but they all have significantly increased string noise from the looser than normal tension. I have gotten used the extra noise and the feel of the strings but you may hate it. The Tobias works the best - as a fretless there is much less noise beause the strings don't rattle against the frets, plus my bass guy did a great job adjusting the bass. The Zon works well too, but the neck is graphite and has no truss rod so it cannot be adjusted like a regular bass (I think some newer Zons can be ordered with a truss rod, but they are expensive). The upside of that is that the neck doesn't really bow in with the lack of tension so it feels great to play - but is somewhat noisy. I love the sound though so screw it. The Ibanez handles it the least well, but it still does O.K. Even with a pro set up the neck feels a bit wierd and spongy at that tension and it is noisy as well. But as I use that bass to teach lessons with I tune it up standard as well, so I don't concern myself too much with it.

    How exactly are you going to be tuning? If you let us know we might be able to give you some more detailed advice.

    Good luck!
  7. Vacant


    Dec 27, 2004
    I will be mainly in Drop C, tuned low to high, C G C F
    I don't really care for using heavier strings, and I will probably buy an Ibanez designed specifically for detuning, like
    something from here http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/series.asp?s=srx&l=b
    I'm not sure what model I want, but its deffinatly going to be an Ibanez srx. They are probably the best bet for the bucks I have.
    And I will have it setup by a professional, it's a no brainer hahaa.
  8. Whitmore


    Aug 13, 2005
    I am pretty sure the SRX700 would suit your needs well. I could be wrong but i recall reading that Mike D from Killswitch Engage uses that exact bass and they are tuned to C quite a bit i believe. So that bass should work out for you well.
  9. Vacant


    Dec 27, 2004
    Yeah he does, So does As I lay Dying's bassist
    I was thinking about that one
  10. Before I made the switch to 5 string only, the best setup I had was a 35" scale Ibanez BTB 400QM using a .110 guage E string. Like fellow TB'er, agreatheight, I prefer tuning down a half step on my basses and with the Ibanez I'd vary the E string tuning from Eb to C# to C. From my experience, a 35" scale bass coupled with heavier strings does a nice job of compensating for lost string tension. If tuning standard & just tuning the E string to C, I'm sure you could get away with a .105 guage E string on a 34" scale bass like the SRX.
  11. Vacant


    Dec 27, 2004
    I might use stanrard gauges but for my low C string aka my 4th string, I might use a 1.20 to keep the tight end, I'm not sure, depends
  12. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    I play an ESP LTD B-254 with the top 4 strings of a DR High Beam 5 string set (125/105/85/65) and I tune to CGCF also.

    I modded the nut a little to fit the strings, but I love the way it plays. After using the bigger strings for a little while you feel right at home with them.

    I also spent under $500 for it.
  13. FeelTheGroove


    Dec 2, 2005
    I had a regular 34" scale bass that I tuned down to drop C with really thick strings on it, including like a .120 on the E. There was enough tension for aggresive pick playing, but it became such a workout for my fretting hand/wrist to play it with the really heavy strings.

    I dont play drop tunings much anymore, but if I did would either look for a 35" scale bass so I could still use medium gauge strings, or perhaps get a 5 string.
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