putting 6 strings on a 5 stringer

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Power Axe, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. ok one of my guitarist friends recently put 7 strings on his fernandes guitar, well his dad did anyway and it sounded fine. i was wondering if i could do the same on my crappy ibanez gsr205, i havnt got the resources at the mo to buy a new 6 stringer, and besides i like very small string spacing anyway i would like to put a high f on there. obviously there would need to be ample work done and new parts bought exct. but would i be able to use my existing neck or would i have to get a new one, i like the idea of the latter cos my neck only has 22 frets and i would like 24. oh yeah also i use piccolo strings anyway so the tension couldnt be that much to begin with, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. I wouldn't mess with it. If you calculate how much a new neck, bridge and nut costs you, for that money you can already get a used 6er.
  3. I think it would be totally possible to do this w/ your existing neck. You would need to buy a tuner, bridge, and nut. Nuts are cheap. And drill another hole in your headstock. But I think the string spacing would be too tight. 6rs are hard to play anyway. The only thing I would be worried about as far as functionality, is if your trussrod is strong enough to withstand the extra pressure. I'm pretty sure all 6s have dual trussrods. I may be wrong though.
  4. There are a few issues you'd have to think about.

    Firstly, the Ibanez necks tend to be somewhat thin, which may mean that the extra tension of the string is too much for the neck to take as already pointed out.

    Secondly, the Ibanez string spacing is already generally tighter than say a Jazz spacing, so you may find that a little tight as well.

    Thirdly, not all headstocks will have a good place to put the tuning machine (I'm not sure about the Ibanez).

    Fourthly, unless you have soapbar pickups, you may find that the polepieces will not line up properly with the strings once converted.

    Fifthly, you may have difficulty finding a 6-string bridge in that spacing and may have to have one custom made ($$$).

    Having said all that, I had my 7-string converted to an 8-string (see http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=137030 for pics), so it can be done. In my case, I could not possibly afford to have an 8-string custom made in the spacing I wanted, and the headstock was perfect for an 8-string configuration, so I decided to go ahead and have the bridge custom made for me.