Need to tune waaay down.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by vectormane, Jul 28, 2001.

  1. vectormane


    Jul 10, 2000
    I have a cheapo Squier P-Bass, and wish to cause minor earthquakes with it. I regularly tune down to CGCF, but I am not happy with the sound on my current .45-.100 set. There is nasty nasty nasty rattle. What guage should I use to improve my results, and where can I obtain heavy guage strings without breaking my bank (keeping in mind that I could only afford a Squier).
    On a related note, I am willing, if slightly reluctant, to sacrifice my G-string. Is it possible to use the lower 4 strings of a 5 string set on my bass? If so, what if any modifications are necessary?
  2. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    you can buy a 5 string set and chuck the thin string and use those 4 maybe? Try to get one with a 130 gauge... ohh yeah...

    its either that or buy strings in bulk. I dont usually see them selling 4 string sets in anything heavier than 50-105. So get a 5 string set and use the thickest 4 strings, or you can buy the strings in bulk (where they give you a bunch of one gauge of a string for a low price) and you can customize which gauges you use and save a few bucks.
  3. berserk


    Aug 24, 2000
    Parma, Ohio
    Ernie Ball makes a heavy gauge set with a 110 E string, GHS (bass boomers) makes a heavy set with a 115 E string. I tried the heavy string route and it still wasnt good enough, I went with buying five string sets. If you are tuning only to C then a 125 B string will be plenty good. Thats my experience, good luck :)
  4. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    how low are you tuning anyway? if youre tuning down to C or B you should use a 5 string set. They will give you that 128 or 130 gauge string that you need to tune that low and play comfortably.

    try BEAD with a 5 string set like Ernie Ball 5 string Slinky. they give you a 130 string.

    if you really want to go low, tune to A. I wouldnt recommend you go much lower than that. When tuned to A you'll definately need the 130 string for a note that low


    in case you arent familiar with the notes they go like this:
    when it says "or" that means its just another name for the same note. "b" means flat "#" means sharp

    E (standard low note on a 4 string)
    Eb or D#
    Db or C#
    B (standard low note on a 5 string)
    Bb or A#
    Ab or G#
    Gb or F#(John Turner's low note on his 7 string)

    notice that there is no note in between C and B. Look at a piano and you'll see why...
  5. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    oh and one more thing... you asked if modifications are necessary...

    you will probably need to have the nut filed by a luthier to accomidate higher gauge strings. The bridge should be ok unless youre using a Badass2 bridge like mine where the saddles have to be filed like the nut... otherwise the bridge is fine.
  6. what kind of amplification are you using?
  7. vectormane


    Jul 10, 2000
    I'm using a 12 watt 8-inch Crate BX-15.
  8. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    ouch. that amp is clipsville.
  9. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    vector, if I may ask, why do you tune the way you do? There is nothing wrong with experimenting with alternate tunings, however it seems you are fairly new to the bass and I would recommend mastering things in standard tuning first. The other thing is that an underpowered amp with a single 8" speaker is going to have a tuff time reproducing low frequencies.

  10. Hey vector detune all you want but by doing the math it is easy to so that you will never shake the earth with this combo. Unless you drop both off a tall building and even then the earth will not shake much, and if it does it will be for a second. Save some cash and buy a better amp. Then maybe a 5 string.

  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    That amp barely produces the open E of a 4 string.

    I know, because I have one too. It is on loan to someone right now.

    If you want to go that low, you need a bigger, more powerful amp and a 5 string.
  12. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I have one too it definately cant produce an E. Especially a dead one, because my strings are dead as of this moment. Actually, I think that theyre something worse than dead, because I took them off and they were fine and put them back on a week later and the E sounded like a rubber noodle.

    Get yourself an Ampeg stack. :D
  13. Well, keep in mind that vectormane could only afford a Squier, so an Ampeg Stack could be out of his price range!
  14. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    who's to say he could only afford a squier? squiers are starter basses. most newbies dont start with mia basses...