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Low B to D on a 4string bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by nonohmic, Feb 28, 2006.


  1. nonohmic

    nonohmic

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Hey all,

    Have a Cort (dont ask me what model/wood) active bass. I'd say mid range quality ($900 NZ , maybe $500 US???)

    Want to turn it into a 5 string at the expense of the G.

    Will this stuff up the intonation/other guff or will it be okay?

    Cant afford another bass, but pretty keen to gain the bottom end.

    Cheers.
     
  2. I am assuming your bass is a standard 34" scale (or longer) - if it is less than that, it is probably not a good idea to do this.

    You will need some setup work - open up the nut for fatter strings - probably some action adjustments. Whether or not you will need to tweak your truss rod depends on the tension of the strings you choose. You will definately have to re-intonate. The only other issues will be if your bridge can adjust long enough to intonate the B string, usually they can but there are exceptions - you have to select your strings with a mind to this issue and to the issue of having a potentially floppy B string .

    Peace,
    S
     
  3. Not all necks can handle the thicker string that you inevitably going to have to put on it. It's probably just a matter of trying. I've seen necks bending way too much to correct with the truss rod due to use of thick strings.
     
  4. The neck may be a problem on some basses but if your neck can handle a set of medium standard strings it should be ok. The B-D medium can actually have less tension than the E-G medium. For example -

    In these two sets the D,A and E strings are the same and the .135" D string has less tension than the G that is being eliminated.

    D'Addario XL EXL160 - Medium 4 string set

    Diameter Tension
    Item# Note inches mm lbs kg
    XLB050 G 0.050 1.27 53.4 24.22
    XLB070 D 0.070 1.78 60.1 27.26
    XLB085 A 0.085 2.16 48.4 21.95
    XLB105 E 0.105 2.67 40.3 18.28


    D'Addario XL EXL160 - Medium 5 string set

    Diameter Tension
    Item# Note inches mm lbs kg
    XLB050 G 0.050 1.27 53.4 24.22
    XLB070 D 0.070 1.78 60.1 27.26
    XLB085 A 0.085 2.16 48.4 21.95
    XLB105 E 0.105 2.67 40.3 18.28
    XLB135 B 0.135 3.43 36.1 16.37

    The question is just how floppy the .135" B will be on a 34" neck.

    Peace,
    S
     
  5. nonohmic

    nonohmic

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Cheers guys,

    I dont know the length of the neck in inches. But it's 24 frets which is a bit longer than most yeah?

    But seems like a bit of a mish, so might just have to save for a 5 string to dodge problems. Dont wanna stuff up my four string.

    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.
     
  6. The number of frets means nothing, you need to measure the distance from the nut to the 12th fret, and that's yer scale length.
     
  7. Minger

    Minger

    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I thought the B string had less tension than say, a G? A good setup should hold it pretty well...
     
  8. It should be fine after a good setup, and maybe a filing of the nut to allow for the fatter strings.
     
  9. ginnboonmiller

    ginnboonmiller

    Mar 4, 2006
    That's HALF yer scale length. Unless I've been playing 17 inch scale basses all this time and no one has told me how short I am.
     
  10. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Yes, that is true. He may not even need a set up.
     
  11. A P-width neck will help a lot, and be more stable under a different tension load.

    Unless you are using a tapered B string, you will most likely have to enlarge the saddle. I'd do this by rearranging the saddles, and shifting them all up toward the G string by one saddle. Rotate the current G-string saddle into the new B-string position and resize it.

    This keeps all the other saddles correctly sized for B-E-A-D stringing. This will also make the saddle unusable for a G-string should you want to go back. I'd check into buying a replacement saddle first, and enlargening that one, while saving the existing G-saddle in a safe place.

    Have your luthier cut a new nut using the strings you want to play. This is an important step, and one most players should send out rather than doing themselves.

    I've been doing all this advance planning, because I want to convert one of my P-basses to BEAD tuning on a permanent basis.