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Low F# on a 6 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sundance, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Sundance


    Jul 24, 2004
    I remember hearing that there are 6 string basses, however uncommon, with the low F# string (F# B E A D G), though all I get when I ask about finding one of these lately are funny looks. I really don't know any hardcore electric bassists like I'm sure lurk around here, though. I guess I'm fishing for confirmation that asking for a bass like that is still more standard than asking for, say, a 10-string bass. If it makes any difference, I'm looking for a fretless 6 with the F#, likely with neck thru; does that mean I'm going to have shop custom, or are there any brands that I can try out which make basses like I've described?
  2. You might be able to buy a set of strings with a low F# string and restring a 6er. As for companys that make 6er's with a low F# i have no clue
  3. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    You can string any 6-string any way you want, you'll just need a new nut and a setup.
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Yup-you just have to make sure the neck is sturdy enough to do the low F# justice. I wouldn't try stringing up a Rogue that way...
  5. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    If you're talking about tone, of course.

    If you're talking about string tension, I guess an F# should have about the same tension as the other strings.
  6. I have thought about doing this too, but what holds me back is amplifying the F# notes properly. Wouldn't you have to have cabs that can support it? Like El Whappo's or something? Where do you get strings designed for this?
  7. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    For strings, typically you buy a BEADG set, and add a single Low F#. There's at least one LaBella low F# single on bassguitarstrings.com.

    Amplification, that's another kettle of fish......
  8. cat_saltnpepper


    Aug 15, 2004
    tyler used to have 6-string that start with low f# with extra pick-up(total 3). I don't know about thesedays though.
  9. bgartist

    bgartist Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    That's what I'm going to get. I don't want to get into guitar range with that high C. I'd make sure it has extended scale (35 or 36 inches). I would only use that F sparingly though. There's a well known shop near me that will make that nut mod.
  10. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004

    there's stuff out there that can handle a low F#, maybe not at accugroove level, but capable, a friend and new owner of my previous bass is using a combination of a hartke pro 4200 and a 1800 18" sub, he tried some stuff before and the finalists were this one and SWR big ben.
  11. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    One word for you:


    Is a 39" (1 m) scale long enough for a low F#?
  12. Perhaps, but I would think a low F# as a lower tension as a B...
    Because a B as a lower tension than a E and so on....
    Would be interested to try that!!

  13. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Take a listen
  14. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    A Dingwall might also be a good candidate for that tuning, with proper setup and nut compensation that is.

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Some major factors to take into account for a proper Low F# string.

    The construction of the Neck
    The proper choice of body wood(some woods respond better to low frequency clarity than others
    Your Pickup(s)will need to have the frequency of the Low F#(open)note dialed in(23Hz)accurately,clarity first from the instrument unplugged will assist in a much better pronunciation of the note overall as it goes thru an Amp,Cab(s)etc.this also applies to how well your onboard preamp of choice works with the Low F# frequency as well

    One does not need a 35"scale to achieve this

    I have come to favor 410 cabs,because they seem to retain(for my ears)a certain clarity and carrying of notes out onto a distance closer to the bounce and punch of a standard 5 string Bass(B E A D G)18 and 21" cabs(for my ears)causes a certain level of frequency tug of war between muddiness and clarity.18's and 21's seem to gently cause to note to come out as if it just dropped off of a short cliff,therefore causing the note Lower that the Low B to just come out with more of a short thud.if you've ever had the chance to be in the audience and the Bassist is using an 18 or 21"(with out at least two 10's)cab the notes seem to evaporate rather quickly(and thats coming from a standard tuned Bass).
    Amplification should at a minimum be 500watts

    I have achieved this with a 4 string 34" scale bass tuned Low C# F# B E as I'm sure some TB Members here have heard.
  16. I have considered trying this on my six string Dingwall. Of course I allready have trouble finding strings as it is.

    Knucklehead, what sizes are the strings in your F# set? Since your basses are 39", the strings would be long enough, but the fanned system requires a little customization to keep the feel even across the board.
  17. Sundance


    Jul 24, 2004
    What say you people with experience with the F# string about harmonics, slap, and other "alternative" methods of playing on the strings lower than B? That's the main reason for my interst in the F# string; the timbre of it in more ordinary ranges. From experience with the B string, I know that playing single harmonics tend to excite the other harmonics of the string and come out with pretty chordal harmonics, which I really dig. How does that relate to the next string down?
  18. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    My F# is a .170. A small caveat - I am experimenting again with gauges so we'll see where I land. It might go as light as a .160.

    A Dingwall would be very well served by using LaBella's... they have a speaking length of 40" which would be perfect for the long low string Sheldon requires.

    For me it came down to tension - the tighter and thinner the string the more tonal content a string has as you go lower IMO. A looser, inordinantly thick string is strong on the fundamental but upper harmonics suffer.

    Jauqo is right - you don't need a longer scale length. But it certainly doesn't hurt.

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    I agree

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