String spacing on 5+ string basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by psi, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Currently I own all 4-strings but I've always wanted to get a 5-string. My favorite bass lines happen to be of the technical sort, and sometimes I find an extra string (or two) would help.

    I've tried a few 5-strings and noticed that they have tighter string spacing above the pickups compared to my 4-strings. Particulary the 5-string Ibanez Ergodyne. I really liked the specs for this bass, but when I tried it out the tight spacing totally screwed me up.

    SO, what I'm looking for are some 5-strings (and 6-strings maybe) that have the so-called "Fender standard" (9/16") string spacing above the pickups.


    EDIT: I'm also VERY interested in tacking on a high C instead of the typical low B.
  2. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Off the top of my head: Sadowsky, Lakland, Pedulla (as an option), some Zons, I think MTDs ... there are lots of them. In metric it is 19mm. 17mm is a common "tight" spacing on 5s.

    Actually if you spend some time adjusting and you don't slap a lot 17mm can be very nice, as uncomfortable as it may be at first.
  3. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    I actually don't slap/pop at all. I'm more of a plucker/tapper/arpeggio guy, hehe.
  4. The Ibanez EDA series was 19mm spacing, at the pickup the strings are just the right distance appart i find and then further up the neck they are tighter and its a beaut to play :)
  5. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    19mm? My memory must be failing me. Maybe it was another bass. Hmmm maybe I should try that EDA out again.
  6. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Do you mean "Fender standard" for 4-strings, or 5-strings? The standard spacing for 4-strings is 3/4" (12/16", ~19mm), measured at the bridge--string spacing is not normally measured above the pickups.

    Some Fender 5's have 3/4" spacing, and some are slightly narrower. Besides them, the low-mid priced 5's in the that come to mind right away with that spacing are:

    --Lakland Skylines (55-01, 55-02, JO5, DJ5)
    --MTD imports
    --Ibanez BTB

    The Ibanez Ergodynes seem to have different spacings. I think the (now discontinued) EDA is 3/4" (19mm), but I'm pretty sure the EDB and EDC and most of the Soundgear series are narrower.

  7. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Then my advice is to spend a week or two playing a 17mm spaced 5 every day and see if you warm up to it.
  8. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Lakland, old Yamaha TRB 5II, not the newer TRB1005
  9. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    Lakland's are great 5 stringers!
  10. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I had the same EXACT issue. I switched over to fives less than a year ago and my first two fivers (A Yamaha BB series and a USA G&L L-2500) both had tight spacing. I found myself struggling with them and never got comfortable going back and forth from 4 to 5 string basses. I recently got a LeCompte 5 with wide spacing (like a 4 string) and this has solved my problem. The LeCompte's are much like some of the basses described above being it's made in USA, it's a custom, high quality, etc. They are fairly new to market and are making a name for themselves and are a bit cheaper than some of the big boys. Click my the link in my sig for a review.

    Bottom line is that going to a wide spaced 5 fixed my problem!
  11. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    5 string spacing perspective.
    MTD, Sadowsky, are nice wide comfy roomie easier to slap IMO
    Fender, Lull, etc is more comfy for fingerstyle when you adjust.
    The Fender spacing overall is my favorite.
  12. Yup, your right, the EDA is 19mm, as is the BTB, the other Ergodyne models had normal (one piece) bridges, and the EDA and BTB had the monorails