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String spacing issues?!?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GonzoBfiddy, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. I have a question for my fellow TB'ers. How signifiant is the difference in string spacing on 5-string basses. To be specific.....between G&Ls L2500, MusicMans StingRay Classic 5 or SR5, and Fenders Deluxe Jazz 5?
    I started my journey into the world of 5-strings back in '07 with my purchase of an L2500 after decades of playing 4-string axes exclusively. Lately I have begun to realize a difference in my attack. I'm much less aggressive and do so much more thinking and less "feeling" while performing than I did before. Playing slap-style specifically requires more attention and focus to play cleanly and as articulate as I did before I started playing the 5. I chose the G&L because I owned 2 L2000s previously and the neck on the L2500 appeared to be a little less thick than other basses I considered. (important as I don't have the largest hands.) 1 thing I never took into consideration was string spacing. I'm beggining to think that was a huge mistake. I'm curious to hear the opinions of those who are familiar with these basses.
  2. Fenwick


    Dec 9, 2012
    I'm not familiar with those basses in particular, but I've faced spacing issues before. My only 5 string (Cort b5) has a very tight 16mm spacing, as opposed to my 4s which are both 19. I definitely feel 'cramped up' when playing the 5, 16mm is too tight for me.

    I know that 5s range anywhere from 16-20mm (likely wider) string spacing. Some people don't have a problem switching between different spacings, I'm not one of those people. I think 17.5-19 is fairly common, likely the basses you mentioned within that spectrum.

    Personally, if/when I buy another 5 it's going to have to be 19mm spacing so I can maintain some consistency between instruments.
  3. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    I believe the G&L and all the Music Man 5s use 17.5 mm at the bridge and Fender uses 18mm so pretty similar. Try some basses with wider spacing and see what you think.
  4. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Meaning that the string spacing is too wide or too narrow feeling?

    I know that the SR5 is 17.5mm, which a lot of people find too narrow. I happen to really like it. I'm pretty sure the L2500 is the same but I'm not sure what the other basses are that you've listed.
  5. Yes, that's it exactly. The strings seem to "get in the way of each other." Like they're too close together. I pop 1 and others start ringing out. I worked very hard early on as a player to be clean in my attack and to minimize the noise when I slap. I think subconsciously when playing my 5-str I tend to avoid slapping whereas on my 4's I just let it rip.
    What other 5's out there have wider spacing?!?!
  6. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    The significance of that difference can only be determined by you and what you are comfortable with. I know guys who slap on tight spacing and kill. I prefer the wider spacing. It is all about you.. your playing style.. technique and the physical characteristics of your body ie hand size etc..

    I never knew I preferred the wider 19mm spacing till Igot a FenderJV24. Before that I was playing a Schecter SS5 and before that an Ibby SR505.. both with much tighter spacing. After getting rid of most of my tighter spaced basses I now have two basses that I play, both with the wider spacing.
  7. IME a 5 or 6 is far more difficult to slap cleanly for obvious reasons. My first 5 was a Thumb BO-5; my main four at the time (15 yrs ago) was a Thumb BO-4... it didn't pan out for me, they were WAY too different. Long story short, I assumed that a 5-string version of my main player would sound and feel the same, w/more range/positions, etc. Not the case for me, and I tried half a dozen times. My main players now are a parts P (4), 96 MIA Jazz 5 & a Stambaugh 6. The six I had built specifically to sound like a P and have wide spacing to facillitate slapping (not that I'm a huge slapper, I just wanted my 6er to not limit my options). I'm perfectly happy w/all 3, but realize that they are different axes, w/different strengths and weaknesses.

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