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Low 6's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SGT. Pepper, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. I DO!

    41 vote(s)
  2. Carrots!

    77 vote(s)
  1. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Inactive

    Nov 20, 2005
    I wonder why no companies have yet put out a low tuned 6 string tuned, F#,B,E,A,D,G. Who would like to see a Low six?
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    The 6-string market is pretty small as it is, from what I understand.

    Maybe I'm missing the point, but is there any particular reason why anyone who wants one of these couldn't just buy a 6 string and string it this way?

  3. I imagine there's not enough demand. If you want one, you could fairly easily restring an already-available('standard' tuned) & tune however you like, or have it done for not too much.
  4. Personally, I don't feel the need to mess with the whole f# and lower thing, not that I'm bashing it. More/less I feel that dropped A is about as low as I need to go. Perhaps with an ERB, I could use it for playing in various positions, but I wouldn't feel I'd use it open. On top of that, I feel that it almost takes a specific rig to be able to do an F# justice. I could see a lot of the metal kiddies using it, but doing it right would seem to be cost prohibitive.
  5. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I agree with some of the above, specifically the "not enough demand" and "restringing" thoughts. It wouldn't take a whole lot to make some minor adjustments to the nut to have it accomodate an F# to G tuning.

    There are some commercial strings available for the F#, the Warwick Dark Lord is a .175, IIRC ..... :cool:
  6. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    For the direction that hard rock and metal are heading now, it would make sense. Warwick has a 4 or 5 string that's tuned to F#...string guage is like .140 or something around there.

    Soon we'll be using bridge cables for bass strings but I say bring it on!
  7. yeah I think it would be an interesting bass (a low 6er) but the demands it would place on a cabinet would be outta the range of anything but a coupla 15s, probly more like an 1*18 setup.
  8. Psychicpet

    Psychicpet Guest

    Mar 13, 2004
    Friend and Endorsee of Larry
    hmmm.... that's actually a really good ideer... oh LM, got any wood kickin' around?? :p :bag: :bassist:
  9. brisonic


    Jan 1, 2006
    san diego
    The nut for a regular 6 would almost certainly need modding, for me, I want to try an 8 string non octave bass.
  10. Daleb


    Aug 23, 2005
    My main bass is a Peavey Grind NTB6 that I have set-up F#-G. It actually works pretty well. I'm GAS-ing for a 7 or an 8 tuned from F# on up. Not sure how much I would use the high F, so maybe I could stick with a 7...that or go to a low C#..... :bassist:
  11. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    I love the idea of an F# (or E even) string, but I have to wonder about how many people would never hear it because their speakers weren't up to the task.
  12. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    the harmonics would be good enough.

    to the OP, i think a nut change is really all you need.
  13. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Biggest problem to this point - I am soooo gonna be bashed for this - is that a commercially available/physics-friendly F# string is not out there in quantity.

    Warwick put out the best solution to this point, and are threatening to make it available through their Black Label line in the form of their .175, shown off at Winter NAMM '07. It hasn't hit the streets yet, and is expected to cost $50 retail, or $99 retail in sets.

    ERB solutions exist, but the tension on them is very low and a very light touch is called for. What is commonly available as a C# string is awfully close to what would be appropriate for F#/E - you would have to build a set to sit above it and is the best alternative at present.

    ....unless you want a really long scale length.

  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    If I ever got a six I'd get a low six because IMO C strings sound terrible even on the best basses. But five is just right for me.
  15. ElectroStompbox


    May 20, 2007
    personally i think 5-strings are a little to much! FOUR_STRING ALL THE WAY!:bassist:
  16. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    haha i was wondering why so much of what you said sounded familiar and yet went against what i knew... ITS YOU, KNUCKLEHEAD!!!
  17. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    FWIW - the only bass I own right now is a 4 tuned an octave down. No more than 4 is necessary, but it can be fun. ;)

    [​IMG] :D

    My way is awesome for me and a few others, but scary for most. S'okay, really....
  18. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    Nahh. Its a whole 'nother world down in the area below 30 Hz. The fundamental becomes something you begin to feel, not so much hear; an almost visceral experience. Not many people have really experienced strong fundamental down there. Pipe organs are about the only musical instrument that can produce notes of adequate strength near that area (and you need to hear it live, not from a recording). If you're going to be satisfied with just the harmonics, why bother?

    The remark by andrewd is very germaine to the problem of properly producing an F#0 (23.12 Hz) fundamental. In the seventies, Cerwin Vega created the Sensurround system for Paramount (I think) for the movies "Earthquake" and "Midway". I think there was a third, but I never saw it nor recall the title. The horns they desiged used 2-18" "Earthquake" (the fore-runner of the "stroker") drivers that were capable of over 1.5" excursion in the folded-horn to produce max SPLs of over 130 dB for a bandwidth of 16 to 63 Hz. In comparison, direct-radiator bass cabs can be designed to produce strong fundamental in that area, but not at very high SPL and to do so would be a cabinet I would not be interested in moving.

    The other side of the coin is that below 30 Hz I'm not sure I would really call content musical. Most of the real-world info in that area would be impulse, non-musical events - explosions, earthquakes and the like.

    In the mid-seventies, I designed and built a set of speakers for home stereo use that measured -3 dB output at 18 Hz. I used some the highest quality 15" woofers that existed then, but believe me, they weren't capable of very high output at that frequency. Direct-radiating drivers just can't move the volume of air, even an 18" considering excursion/power limitations, necessary for even moderate SPLs. Direct-cut records that contained pipe organ were about the only source material that had adequate amplitude that wasn't eq'd down as they were on regular commercial records. But even a properly designed bass horn with a cutoff at F#0 with smooth response would be of almost unmangeable proportions for general gig use. I decided that building such a system just didn't represent a useful tool for musical sound. I'd say the same for a bass with an F#0 string. Its hard enough to find basses that can do justice to a B0 note at 30.87 Hz, let alone a practical cab that can produce the note. Very few commercial cabs, bass or PA, have cutoffs below 50 Hz.

    Enter the subject of psychoacoustics - very interesting stuff. check out this link if interested and want to wet your whistle (Pun intended, but I still like real fundamental. Once experienced, harmonics just don't cut it for me.):



    Lloyd Howard
  19. Ah - tech talk...

    And very correct...

    So many people complain about "floppy B's" - the guitar design would have to be modified to eliminate the floppiness of the F#.

    Then we can get into Mike Adler basses, Jaquo and the low C# Theory, etc.

    But hey - 18" speakers, 38" or 40" scale basses. If someone's got the $$$ for it, more power to them.

    I'll stick to my normal 6 - maybe a 7 if I really get solo chops up to where they should be.
  20. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    If I ever got a bass that went down so low, it would be for similar effects. Really creep people out if it were appropriate to the song. ;) Maybe I'd be better off with a DBX 120 or an actual synth.
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