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looking for a new bass : 4 strings, thin neck, lightweight, drop B tuning

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by james_war, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. james_war


    Mar 4, 2014

    I just joined a death metal band. Their silly guitarists decided to tune B-F#-B-E-A-C# which is ok for a guitar but a bit tricky for a bass.

    I tuned my Yamaha RBX270 (my first bass) the same but I can feel that it's enduring a lot of (too much) tension. It's a beginner bass, not made for such evil.

    So I was thinking of getting another one : 4 strings, thin neck, lightweight, drop B tuning

    A friend lent me a Fender Jaguar (Japan). The tone/look is awesome but it's a bit too heavy, or unbalanced should I say (the head goes down let go the neck).

    I found a Fender Precision Active Deluxe on the local eBay-like website for a really nice price. I guess it would have the same issue than the Jaguar. (What's with the HUGE Fender head ?)

    I read good reviews about Ibanez SR300 saying that it's thin and lightweight but I fear that it won't handle the drop B tuning (kinda beginner bass too).

    Also heard about Steinberger but.. yeah.. well.. you know what I mean ! If it's the only one matching my demand, I'll go for it but last resort !!

    I'd rather not spend more than 1'000 swiss francs (1100 USD) but I can go up to 1500 (1700 USD). And of course 2nd hand is welcome.

    I don't know if this is of any use but I bought "special" stings : 065-085-110-135 (Skull B4XT)

    Thanks for you help,
    cheers !
  2. MrTaff


    Jan 20, 2014
    You're using a 110 for F#? :eek: that's about 20lbs more tension that a normal E string. I'd start by getting the right strings to match the tuning, with the right strings Drop B will put no more stress on the neck than standard tuning. Check out the D'addario chart to figure out what strings you need. http://www.daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    There is way, way less tension on the instrument using your tuning than a regular EADG.
    WHatever the issue is, tension isn't a part of it.
  4. james_war


    Mar 4, 2014
    Thanks for the answers. I didn't make myself clear...

    I bought the Skull stings but haven't put them on my Yamaha yet. I have no clue what gauge's on it now since I tent to forget what I buy (yeah I'm not into the tech things). I think it's the 4 thickest string a "standard" 5-string pack.

    Anyway, I got the idea : my strings aren't addapted anyway. I'll go have a look at the chart, choose the good ones, put them on my bass, adjust the neck and onlt then I can tell if it's ok or not.

    got i right ?

  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    He's tuning down to F#, not up...
  6. I used to be in a band with this tuning. There are two easy solutions that I used with a 5 string: keep it in standard tuning then play two semi tones higher on every string except low b, OR convince them to tune to AEADGB, and drop the b down to a.

    I know you want a 4, but check out the Ibanez 5 string basses, particularly the SR series.

    Good luck.
  7. Welcome to TB, james war.

    Jags may dive a little more than a P due to the short top cutaway/horn. I've never had a P or J dive much and I'm built like a skeleton with a little skin over it.

    As far as string changes go, I recommend saving the package (or the part that has the brand and gauges on it) when you change them, write the date on it, and put it in the case or gig bag.
  8. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I would agree here. IME, a lot of those SR necks are nice and slim but may be a little wider, especially if youre going with a 5 string. It may be a little easier to adjust if you had that extra B string. If you go 4 string, then think about raising the string gauge and then dropping your tunings. IME/IMO Ibanez makes some really choice stuff when it comes to different tunings, especially dropped tunings. I have a Squier P and P/J and an Ibanez ATK 300 and of the three, the ATK would take that drop tuning like a total champ compared to the other two any day. Something to think about....
  9. MrTaff


    Jan 20, 2014
    He's tuning to Drop B BF#BE with 065-085-110-135 strings, so that's tuning the 110 up to F#.
  10. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Just to clarify, you are tuning down correct? By this I mean you are loosening the strings and lowerin the pitch from standard E-A-D-G? If this is the case I believe you are confused about what "tension" is. Tension means how tight the strings are. When you lower the pitch (loosen the strings using the tuning keys) you are lowering the tension and it can cause the strings to feel "floppy" this is why you would use the heavier string set, it will compensate for the looser strings by adding more mass. If your unsure, go to a guitar tech/repair shop and have them make the adjustments for you and then explain what they did. A good professional set up can make a big difference when down tuning and switching to a very heavy gauge.

    As for a bass suggestion, I have never played a Fender Jazz or P bass with significant neck dive. They are some of the most popular bass styles for a reason. That being said LTD, Schecter, Warwick, Ibanez, and Ernie Ball would all be great companies to look at for what your after.
  11. inate_hex


    Apr 4, 2010
    Manchester, England
    I occasionally wet the bed.

    That is the same as tuning the 'E'string up to F#! Yowza!
  12. MrTaff


    Jan 20, 2014

    135 B - 110 F# - 85 B - 65 E
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Because his "A" string would be tuned down from A to F#.

    I see your point, it just depends on how you look at it.
  14. MrTaff


    Jan 20, 2014
    Except his A string is now a 110, which ever way you look at it I'm sure we both agree that tuning a 110 up to F# is far from ideal.
  15. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    See how I said "I see your point"
  16. james_war


    Mar 4, 2014
    Wow, you guys are awesome ! thanks a lot for all the input.

    I'll make things right and let you know how it went !
  17. I don't think that string set is going to work for you. When it comes to drop tunings it's generally better to have your lowest string be a bit too light than have all your other strings be too heavy. I wouldn't worry about a new bass, with the right set of strings any bass should be able to handle almost any tuning, within reason.
  18. james_war


    Mar 4, 2014
    I went thru the D'addario chart and almost committed suicide after 10sec !! so I looked a bit on the web and foud this : http://www.jpbourgeois.org/guitar/universalstringing.htm

    It's all in french but at the bottom of the page there's a link to download an Excel spreadsheet that calculates everything for you

  19. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
  20. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    I would get a five string. With tuning that low with that heavy gauge string. I think a thin 4 string neck would have problems. I might be wrong. I used to play in a metal core band and I tuned very low and odd tuning. A-d-a-d-g. And the lows where still pretty "floppy". And it was 35" scale spector. Just my option. Hope it helps some with your decesion.