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Making a six string P-bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blazer, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    Okay then, I was watching my DVD of New Order and I saw Peter Hook tearing it up on his Shergold six string and I got the idea of customising one of my Squier Basses to a six string configuration.

    This will take the Bass VI concept to a 34 scale length of which I'm sure that hasn't been done before. My question is will this work?
  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Can't see why it won't work. The spacing will be tight, and you'll need to get a bridge made/modified to suit. You'll also need to modify the headstock to get the extra tuners in. A better option for this might be an aftermarket (eg Warmoth) paddle head replacement neck.

    I like shorties and will go down the OLP MM5 route myself when the time comes.
  3. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Probably save yourself money and time to order something from Warmoth, unfinished/painted. Paint it yourself, get your own electronics and order your pups from bestbassgear.com - excellent guys.

    James Heart has a 6 string p right?
  4. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    You could just buy an OLP MM5 baritone guitar and put the proper strings on it. They come with baritone strings but will work with 6 string bass strings. They are $250 and from what I've heard play and sound great. They are a copy of the Ernie Ball Silhouette bass. I'm planning on replacing my Danelectro 6 string bass with one because it has an adjustable bridge and the Dano doesn't.
  5. Showdown,
    Have you heard and played a MM6 Baritone with bass strings on it?
    How does it sound. What is the string to string spacing?

    thanks, Jim
  6. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    I haven't, but there are a number of reviewers on Harmony Central that have. I have done it with a Danelectro and it works well, except that the Dano doesn't have an adjustable bridge so you can't intonate it. I don't know the string to string spacing, but it is very close, like a guitar. It isn't impossible to play fingerstyle, but it is hard. Basically it plays like a guitar with very heavy strings.
  7. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    As far as I know noone makes a Precision pickup that would cover the span of six strings. What pickups are you gonna use?
  8. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    EMG 45P.
    But it doesn't look like a P.
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    He is going to be using a regular P bass and converting it to a Fender Bass VI type configuration, so the pickup width is not a problem.

    What is a problem is coverage of the strings. I wonder if anybody still makes P type pickups with blade polepieces?
  10. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I think Barts have blades under the covers.
  11. EMG Select. I know they're Selects but they're better than the Squier stocks
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Yup! Fretless even :smug:
  13. unless im missing something, this is not nearly as simple as your making it out to be. if yoru talking about using the old neck, you'll need a new nut, and you'll have to cut a few extra holes wherever they will if on the headstock, and if you were to do this you'll notice the the origional g string tuner is directly in line with the G string nut slot, therefore to make it go in the new G string slot on the new nut it owuld require a bit of a bend in the strings. some say thats ok but i dont like it. looking at my (fender)jazz bass i dont think there would be enough room to mount the new tuners without the strings crossing over each other. note thats on a jazz and im not sure how it would effect a P

    if you were to go with a new 4 string neck whoever said to order a paddle has got the best idea, that would make life easier. if you wnated to use a 6 string neck... lets not get into it. in shot it wouldnt work and would be way to difficult

    now im not sure if they make a bass bridge that had close enough spacing to pull this off... you may be able to use those individual ones.

    in short its probably more trouble than its worth but then again you live and learn
  14. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Good luck, I have two E-E 6-string basses and I love 'em. You'll have to put together a special set of strings I imagine. FWIW, in the 60s Rickenbacker made the 4005/6 6-string bass which had a 34" scale.
    PS: I love Hooky's playing.
  15. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao EspaƱa

    Didnt Man-o-war bassist used/use to play one of those?
  16. Thanks Showdown.

    I looked on Harmony Central and didn't see an MM6 listed. (?)
    Maybe I need to check the original Silhouettes...
    I'll look again unless you happen to have a direct link layin' about... Jim
  17. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    It is called the MM5 Baritone guitar. You have to look under guitars, not basses.

    Oddly, it is a copy of the Ernie Ball Silhouette Bass, which by it's name you can see is tuned as a bass, but they call it a baritone guitar and tune it as a baritone (B to b). I guess they decided there is more of a market for baritone guitars.
  18. Showdown,
    Thanks! Sorry I haven't been home for a few days to respond earlier.

    I'll check it out.

    If anyone else here has played one with standard bass strings I'd be interested to hear more.

  19. Not exactly. He plays a modified 4-string Ric. It's got all the strings pushed over to the bottom half of the fretboard to make the spacing really really tight. Like a guitar


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