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Spinoff of Hanewinckel 8: String Spacing...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dave Metts, Jul 10, 2001.

  1. After taking a quick peek at the thread on the Hanewinckel 8 string, a few questions began to arise regarding string spacing. I am currently putting together some specs for a custom 7 string, and string spacing is currently a major thorn in my side. I played a Conklin GT7 and while I loved it, the spacing was just a tad too close for slap/pop. My fingers could just barely fit b/w the strings so that I could pop.

    So I'm looking to go a bit wider in the spacing department without going too wide. Someone mentioned that Pete Hanewinckel builds his many-stringed (7, 8, etc) basses with either 5/8" or 11/16" spacing at the bridge. Now tell me if I'm correct here... 5/8" is used on the Conklin GT7 and 11/16" is used on the Stingray... I remember hearing those two figures somewhere and was wondering if they're right. If they are right, the 11/16" spacing would probably be perfect. The only problem is finding some pickups and a bridge that would work for this application. Help from anybody that has a 7-string would be greatly appreciated, as this is really one of the last hurdles I have to clear (the other is designing a headstock, hehe). So anybody with experience on a 7 or ideas, feel free to post!

    :: waits for the impending picture post from JT ::
  2. I have the 5/8" spacing on my Hanewinckel 7-string and I can do slap and pop stuff pretty well. Having a wider spacing certainly makes it easier but it is still possible to do with the narrow spacing. It's just a matter of technique. Some techniques work better with the narrow spacings than others. A highly agressive Flea-like approach won't work as well with a narrow spacing. However, it doesn't take much of an adjustment to get the same sound with a more conservative technique. It takes a little more discipline and practice but I don't think that there is currently anything that I could do on a 5-string that I couldn't do on my 7-string. This being the case, I'm sure that you would do just fine with a 7-string with wider spacing.

    (obligitory pic)


    - Dave
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i'm with dave - i slap pretty often on my 7's and 8's, fretted and fretless, and the 5/8" spacing works just fine for me. i actually prefer the tighter spacing because my hands are small.

    that being said, a custom conklin can come with any spacing you like, provided there is a bridge available that supports the spacing you like.

    my pics are on strike. sorry :( ;)
  4. Wow, thanks for the quick replies!

    I knew this day would come..... I always thought I played with a more "Flea-like" approach. I had strongly been thinking about changing my technique and playing a little less aggressively. Maybe this is the kick in the ass I need, eh?

    That being said, I'll probably go with 5/8" spacing as my hands are small as well. So now I just have to make a decision on the bridge. Any suggestions? I've been looking at the hipshot type A 7-string bridge, but I haven't seen any info on the max string spacing it allows. Is the Hipshot A a good choice, or should I look toward something like an ABM? As of right now, I don't plan on putting on piezos or anything.

    BTW Dave, that's a beautiful bass. I think I saw it a few times back in my "7-strings are yucky" days, but now I think it looks fabulous. What kind of electronics setup you got going there (what kind of pickups and do all of those knobs/switches do)?

    Thanks again!

    Edit: I really just had to edit this post to remark about how funny it was that you said you had small hands JT! LOOK AT THOSE HUGE BASSES! I guess there's nothing that solid technique and a lot of practice can't overcome, right?
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    My Surine 7 had 3/4" spacing at the bridge. I like wide spacing, too.
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga

    my technique could always use some improvement, but i'll tell ya what, leaving the 4-string behind and focusing only on 7 and more has forced me to improve my techinque immensely to even be able to play them.
  7. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I'll never be a 7 string player, but you know, regardless of spacing or what it initially feels like to play a narrower spaced instrument...you'll adapt if you play it much.

    If you want to go for ease of the left hand, get a little tighter spacing, like 5/8". Believe me, you'll adapt without a problem.

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