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Question for those who detune a 5 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jtc_hunter, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    Every bass I have tried, which is only a handful, to tune down by 1/2 step, gave me a very floppy, muddy B string. This of course makes it Bb/A#. What is the bottom line of which bass, or how to get a good sound to these conditions?
  2. I play in drop A sometimes with my esp, which is a 35" and its not too floppy. Try some Slinkys I put a set on after using D'addarios and there is a massive difference.
  3. thirtypoint87


    Feb 9, 2004
    Manager/Repairman: Music-Go-Round
    An extended scale lenght (i.e. 35") will REALLY help here. So will a heavier set of strings, to increase tension; perhaps something like Ernie Ball's Power Slinky 5 set. <.50-.135.>

    good luck!
  4. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    You have to adjust your setup. Heavier strings will help, but make you have strings that have sufficient tension for it. Hex core is more important than which gauge you use IMO. 35" scale can assist, but I've done it on 34" scale 5-strings as well and it was fine. The biggest thing, to me, is to make sure that you raise the B-string saddle high enough to give the string room to vibrate. Might also have to adjust the truss rod since there will be less tension on the neck. Do that and get some hex core strings and it should work on almost any decent 5-string.
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    I find detuning a 5 string to B flat is no problem at all. Except if you have low action then you may have to do a setup on the bass. But I did not fine the B tuned to B flat to be floppy.

    I have also detuned a 5 string to ADGCF. It worked pretty good but I found the low A too be unpleasantly low. I find a low B flat to be to lowest useful note that sounds good.
  6. NateS


    Sep 22, 2009
    Richmond, VA, USA
    shoot, i've done all types of detuning on my bass... eEADG (octave bottoms), F#BEAD, GCFA#D#. all useful for me at different points of my playing. i use eb super slinkies with a b of .135
  7. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    StingRay 5's are great for detuning, and they're 34" scale. I used to tune mine GCFA#D#, and used a .145 gauge string on the low end, and it wasn't floppy at all.
  8. ideitbawx


    Apr 13, 2011

    do you normally make any adjustments to your bass when you detune like that? And if so, how? I've got a 6-string that i tune to ADADGC sometimes, and i can't seem to nail a good low-end sound; i get a lot of clunk, and kind of a thin tone.
  9. My Ibanez BTB handles it really well. My practice amp's a different story, but when I'm with my Acoustic B200, it works fine.
  10. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Yeah, I was able to drop down to A with both my Spectors(35" scale), and can also do it with both the Ibanez 5ers I have now(both 34" scale - an sr3005 Prestige and an sr905)... I never use strings lighter than mediums, and am currently using a .135 B string, which I'm sure helps with this sort of thing...

    - georgestrings
  11. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska

    A lot of my bands have tuned down a half step, and I've done it just fine on both 34" and 35" scale 5-strings. I haven't changed string gauges, but I have adjusted the setup to be a little higher, and loosened the truss rod just a bit so I'd have the same relief with the lower tuning.
  12. FC Bass

    FC Bass Alembic and Mesa/Boogie junkie

    Jun 9, 2006
    I have my '88 Alembic Spoiler (32 inch) detuned to ADGC with 130-110-90-70 R.Cocco strings.

    Works fine for me, might be a bit sloppy for real fast tight riffs
    Here's a track I recorded with this setup: Youtube link Works great for that song :bassist:
  13. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    I would tune my 6 string B down to A... Usually with a Taper Core .130 or .135
  14. flyingfinbar

    flyingfinbar Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Long Island, New York
    Thanks for asking this, I'm dealing with a similar issue.

    What hex-core strings are people using with 35" scale instruments??
  15. Reggiep


    Mar 18, 2004
    Right! I've tuned my Ray 5 down to ADGCF. Had to adjust the action a bit. Still sounds good and no problems.

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