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Minimum range for low tunings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by djwackfriz, Aug 25, 2007.


  1. djwackfriz

    djwackfriz

    Jul 31, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Hey all...

    The more I read about ERB's and the experimentation with low tunings, I'd like to try it out for myself. I'm basically a moron when it comes to understanding tension charts and whatnot, so make it easy for me: To play around with tuning in C#0, F# B E etc... will a 35'' range be enough? or do I risk turning the bass into a crossbow? what about 34''? What are the risks? What about various gauge strings and their effects on the neck?

    I have an ESP B-404 34" with a VERY thin neck (but a dual truss-rod), so that is something to keep in mind. I can adjust the nut and bridge, so no big deal there. Unfortunately, I can't afford a custom or that new Warwick Dark Lord... :mad: :bawl:
     
  2. bass_drum

    bass_drum

    Feb 13, 2005
    Alberta,Canada
    I don't know the answer to your question, as the lowest I've ever played is a B string on a fiver :)p ). However, I do know that string guage will make a world of a difference. I would ASSUME that it could be done with thick enough strings.

    I would google the C# theory...you could also search the forums for stuff on this topic, its been talked about quite a bit.
     
  3. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Most basses in these tunings, regardless of string count, are 34" scaled. Crossbowing would be the result of too much tension, and that will not be a concern with the strings currently available for these tunings. Quite the oposite is true of them actually.

    The SIT set for C# has rough tension estimates of .195 - 19 lbs, .165 - 25 lbs, .135 - 34 lbs, .100 - 35 lbs.

    A standard E set would have tensions of .100 - 35 lbs, .080 - 41 lbs, .060 - 44 lbs, .045 - 42 lbs.

    Over all, any bass will handle the tension. What you will need to do is replace the nut (not just modify the existing one), and replace your bridge with a top-loader (unless you already have one) as you won't be able to thread these gauges through anything.

    If you're curious enough to leap you can use what you have to get these notes out of your bass. Getting the range out of your rig is another matter.
     
  4. djwackfriz

    djwackfriz

    Jul 31, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Thank you Mr. Knuckles! who knows, there may be a Quake in my future, once I finish school...

    any opinion on tapered vs. conventional strings?
     
  5. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    The only commercially available C# string is a bare core - at the moment. It's a good thing that the .195 is a low tension scenario as when it is brought to 30 pounds or more inharmonistic things start cropping up, especially if there is a big distance between your saddle and where the full-thickness wind begins.

    With frequencies this low you will want to invite more upper harmonics IMO, and the best likely string would be a taper wound. The best C# I have heard and felt was tapered. As there has been no non-tapered C# made available to my knowledge, I cannot say this with absolute certainty.
     
  6. knuckle_head is the man for this type of subject and bass. Although, I'd caution investing a whole lot in a cheap bass that can handle the tunings if you don't have the type of amp to push those low frequencies.
     

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