1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

id like to hear from 5 string bass players who...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ReldvS, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. ReldvS


    Aug 24, 2009
    tune their basses to the following

    A,E,A,D,G low to high

    please tell me what strings you are using and gauges

    im having trouble keeping my low A stable and ive looked for others who use this tuning but have not found hardly any.
    before anyone says just tune the A to B, i cant becuz i actually use those extra LOW notes in the band im in.

    any help on this would be great.

    bass is 5 string Ibanez SD

    i am leaning towards D'Addario .145 for my low A does this sound right?
  2. hmmn never heard of this tuning...the A and #A doesnt sound too low?...I have just like two songs with my band that the low open B is prominent in. Kinda hard to imagine playing even lower being very useful.
  3. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I jsut use standard 5er sets, never had any trouble.
  4. 2 ideas: 1) A hip-shot de-tuner on your low string. Tune to B and flip the detuner to A which will only give you two songs that will cause concern with a floppy bottom string.
    This concept was commonly used by metal bassists of the 80's and 90's to drop into "dungeon D" at the flip of a switch.
    2) I had tension issues with my Parker Fly 5 when tuned down a half step...I ended up getting special order Ken Smith strings at 150 guage, which helped increase the tension quite a bit.
    Both heavier guage bottom strings and the de-tuner might work the best in your sitch.

    Good luck.
  5. ReldvS


    Aug 24, 2009
    well id direct you to our cds but im afraid of being flagged for spam. All i can say is that our music is a mix of metal and rap.

    ive also heard of strings tuned even lower(F) and even larger in size(.175) so im pretty sure it can be done. How useful it is, i am not really looking to debate. Music like art is subjective. What i am looking for is someone who has tuned that low, or lower and can help me decide on what gauge to get to achieve what i need. I know Warwick makes the above mentioned size but im not really wanting to go quite as low as F

    i have a 5 string ibanez SD i think the scale is 34"

    id like to buy just one larger string the right gauge and remove the one that is not cutting it now. The tension seems ok but the tuning is not stable. It will bounce from slightly sharp to slightly flat depending on how hard i strike the string, and IMO im not changing my dynamic of attack much at all but the TU-2 keeps going sharp and then flat so i compensate with the tuning key and then it will bounce again.

    That was very useful advice and i will look into that. May i ask what you were tuned to (i know you said half a step) so are you saying D# on the lowest or did i misunderstand
    or are you saying your lowest was tuned to A# (i reread carefully to avoid stupid question but i need a little clarifying ) do you think i could use .145? i could not find .150 as easily :)
  6. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Hey it's music so any tuning can "make sense"! Cripes the metal guy I bought a 5 string from showed me his "kewl" tuning: The B string tuned down to E an octave below the E string! "Just listen to this!" he said and strummed frantically! I wasn't impressed and never tuned the bass below B when I had it, but obviously I don't understand these things... ;)
  7. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    I think Korn have there B tuned to A, they do on the 7 string guitars anyway.

    I have not tried it on anything but a standard 130, and it was a bit floppy, I would say a 145 should be a good guess, as you can get away with it with a 130 just about. If you play hard and want to go huge, Rotosound dropzone plus has a 175 of something silly :).
  8. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    I use that exact tuning and, for that matter, have always been in bands tuned down to A. Warwick strings, DR Lo Roders, SIT nickels... never had a problem with any of them, and they've usually only been 0.135. It's worth mentioning that my old Ibanez SR-500 was a lot muddier than my Warwicks down that low - how's your setup? Do you really dig in when you play? Are you guys totally mid-scooped?
  9. I suspect your problem may be simply that the slot for your 'A' string is too narrow and the string is getting stuck in it. The tuning symptoms you describe are almost always caused by this.
    Try this: loosen the string completely and push the string into an out of the slot, checking the fit. When it's in the slot try to slide it back and forth- if the slot is too narrow it'll grab the string.
    If the string you are using is larger than what the bass came with, this is likely to be the problem.
  10. ReldvS


    Aug 24, 2009
    this sounds like great advice. and also makes a lot of sense.Its similar it sounds to a floating system on guitar getting hung up in the nut. I will check this out right away becuz to be honest, if it would stay in tune the tension seems ok and the string size is not too awkward for me. Thank you very much for this advice. I hope this is all that is wrong, that would make my life much easier.

    my setup is ok, i try to really dial back my attack on the lowest so i dont cause it to rattle or sound too muddy. I do scoop my mids but not completely, it may be worth mentioning that i dont use any effects at all. I wish i had to money to afford an Warwick bass but since im not making any real money playing save the bar bill and maybe a lil on top, im kinda stuck with being thrifty for now. do you know what scale your Warwick was, ive read you can get away with a smaller gauge string on low tunings with a longer scale, that may be why it worked for you,

    ...maybe :) thanks again for all the great questions and even greater suggestions everyone

    does anyone know if i can put up my myspace for my band here without spam issues? That way you can go and check out our music and make fun of how bad we are and how we suck and everyone else band is better LMAO
  11. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    My Warwicks are 34" scale, as was the SR505. I've used down to a .125 b-string without issue (and I play pretty hard), but I was also running a BBE preamp with my SR500, so that may have "made it shine" a little more. What Ibanez are you using?
  12. ReldvS


    Aug 24, 2009
    well i went just now and looked at the nut. i did notice what i thought looked to me like it could be catching up inside the nut so i got out my files and did a little widening at the slots on the low A and E, i noticed an improvement on the E but the A is still marginal at best. the bass is an Ibanez SDGR(sound gear) SR305 FM (according to the stamp on rear of headstock) i got this as a gift for joining my new band and it had strings on it already so i dont know what is on there already :( i asked them but they did not seem to know. I thought about getting into a BBE preamp someday but i dont have the extra money right now. so im just using my SWR4004 with a Genz Benz 1x15 w horn and a 4x10 w horn

    if you can give me any advice, im all ears.
    i also am pretty sure the pups in my bass are active too
  13. Ibanez SR plastic nuts B slot are cut for a 130tw. A 135 will fit without filing, but give a very tight fit. Any gauge over a 135 needs to be filed, but I would urge you to use the 135 to avoid filing. Standard stock gauges are 45 / 65 / 85 / 105 / 130tw Elixirs.
  14. ReldvS


    Aug 24, 2009
    too late... lol i had already filed it before you posted. i have a gig tonight and wanted to see if that helped on the tuning issue im having. as i mentioned, the low E seems better but the A is still a lil janky. but not as much so it helped a little.
    thanks for the stock gauge info. im worried the tight fit is what might have been hanging up the string a little bit. becuz imo it was a very tight fit before. Now i can slide both the A and E back and forth in the nut slot easily.

    Is low B the lowest they recommend tuning on this bass with stock gauge strings?
  15. Standard tuning with drop A - have you tried ADGCF like Fieldy from Korn?

    I use 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 rounds for DGCF.
  16. ReldvS


    Aug 24, 2009
    no i have not , but thinking about it logically, wont that be even harder to keep in tune? id be down tuning the E,A,D,G one whole step, and i can barely keep my A in tune now. Id be afraid it would become worse with even less tension on the remaining strings. I could be completely wrong too. :) im just trying to think it thru. I may need to give it a try it and see though.
  17. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    A .145 ought to be a good, tight A.
  18. svp


    Mar 12, 2007
    Have you checked to make sure there's not an issue with the tuning key?
  19. Like you, I've been looking for the perfect strings. The D'Addario EXL170-5 set is on my MTD Artist 5, 45-130. I've never played anything higher than 135 for the B string, 130 is enough for me to tune down. This and my Lakland are 35-inch scale, my Warwick is 34-inch and gets muddy when dropped below A#.
  20. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    It depends if tension is your problem, you mentioned up there ^^ somewhere that the tension was ok on the A. If the tension isnt good then a bigger A as already suggested could fix it.

    If you go down a full step, you are quite right there would be even less tension, it would be recommended to go up a gauge or two if you go to a full step down.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.