string gauges and source for short scale 5 string Tenor bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bimple, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. bimple


    Nov 16, 2017
    I am looking to turn an Ibanez 5 string Mikro Bass in to a tenor bass, going from A-F, and am looking for the proper string gauges and the best source for them. I would prefer to get short scale naturally, but cant seem to find them, and would also like to get flatwound, but can live with round or tapewound.

    So far the best solution I can find is on the D'Addario site, but they are long scale:
    D'Addario Single ProSteels .085 Long Scale PSB085 for the A
    D'Addario Single ProSteels .065 Long Scale PSB065 for the D
    D'Addario Single ProSteels .045 Long Scale PSB045 for the G
    D'Addario Single ProSteels .032 Long Scale PSB032 for the C
    D'Addario Single ProSteels .028 Long Scale PSB028W for the F

    I have looked on juststrings but can't seem to find a good set there of matching string types, even with buying single strings.

    I was thinking I could buy a set of strings near the gauge I wanted and then use just the A,D and G strings and then buy comparable guitar strings for the C and F.

    would this set of Bass VI strings work? then just omit the highest string:
    BVI-086 - Bass VI String Sets - Electric Bass Guitar
    or this one:
    Hybrid Bass String Sets

    Any suggestions, ideas, or links would be very helpful and appreciated. Thanks much.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  2. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Strictly speaking, you'd only need a short scale A, and even that would be for peace of mind more than a real need. In my experience, strings up to and including .085" not only fit on a bass tuning post at full thickness: they are flexible enough not to break even on a guitar one.
    I'd just get that specific long scale custom set made of singles. Well, I'd do unless I'd prefer to spare some bucks (singles tend to get expensive).

    Also an option. High C and F bass strings don't have significant differences with guitar strings of similar gauge. (They may or may not have slightly thicker cores, but they have a single wrap and are unlikely to use differently made windings, material-wise.)

    The former's .028" would make a rather high-tension high F. After all, it would be the equivalent of 5 semitones higher than intended, i.e. B2 at 30" scale, which is near exactly the same as C3 at 28.5", vs. F3. The fact that they sized it that way is due to the fact that, on a bass VI, it's tuned to a major third from the adjacent .035" G, not a perfect fourth.
    Conversely, the latter would have a lighter F than the rest, but it would work, and match timbrewise.

    I suspect you're wary of going lighter than .085" for your A on a 5/8 scale bass, but if a notch heavier is an option I'd also consider this 9-string guitar set:
    La Bella Electric Guitar Nickel Plated Steel 9 String Set, .009 - .090
    Labella HRS 90 9 String Guitar Set -
    Now, the lowest string being a 090, according to my personal guidelines a taper before the post would be desirable (again, at least for peace of mind): the Rondo webpage suggests it would work with a 30" guitar at the longest. It's only a matter of the tapering not happening too late.
    (The Mikro bridge seems to have some distance between the ball-end anchor and the saddle, longer than what toploading guitar bridges have; however, many extended-range guitars are string-thru-body. Does 'work with 30"' take that into account? I dunno. Worth taking a shot, or emailing the company for the winding length before buying? Your choice. Assuming you're interested at all.)
    And yes, a 030 F would also be on the tight side.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  3. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    As long as .085 can fit into the hole in the tuner post it will probably be ok wrapped around the post at full gauge, so you could use any long scale bass string and maybe even flatwounds.

    The biggest issue is that you will be cutting the strings at full gauge. The outer wrap wire layers are, as far as i know, secured against loosening through contact with the hex core along the headstock-end tapered section. If you cut at full gauge the outer wrap wire layers could become loose and ruin the string, so bend a sharp 90 degree kink into the string before cutting beyond the kink, this may help to secure the outer wrap wire layers.
  4. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    That F will be much tighter than the C, you could use a D'Addario prosteel guitar string instead for more choice of gauges, cheaper too. Just thread an old bass ball-end onto it the make the ball-end the right size.
    In fact any of the strings that have single wrap wire layers (G, C and F) you could use guitar prosteels instead. I mix D'Addario bass and guitar prosteels on my basses.