String Spacing?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Funkize you, May 27, 2004.

  1. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Hey guys, I have a question for you...

    I have been to Sam Ash today (I know...) because I have a Nice Peavey Cirrus 6 string on Lay-Away there, and I went into the classical section to play some flutes and I saw these DB's in the corner... My first initial reaction "Tim!!! This is sam ash, dont even thing about it" but before I knew what was going on I was already picking one up...

    There were "Lumps" all over the Fretboard (Not sure but you do call it a Fretboard right? It dosent go by another name or something does it?) and it was kinda in the Shape of an "L" from the player's prespective, looking down (Like a 90* angle or something)

    But the thing that got me was, all of them felt worlds apart, as far a the string spacing went... I had played one that was wonderful, and the rest, felt like the strings were a Mile apart. Is that normal? Or is it just something that happens from BG to DB?

    BTW, I really stunk! On the Nice bass I sounded *Almost* like a had a Vague Clue what I was doing :D
  2. We prefer "fingerboard," as there are no actual frets. :)

    The L-shape you are referring to may be the bevel that is commonly included in the fingerboard to compensate for the vibration of the E string (this, evidently, came into practice back when everyone used gut strings, but its carried over into the present day). A lot of guys prefer the more rounded fingerboard.

    Generally, I think, the strings are going to be farther apart than on a bass guitar, especially a 5- or 6-stringer. Plus, as you notice, the string get farther apart as you near the bridge.
  3. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Yes, On all basses DB, or BG it always get bigger toward's the bride.

    And yeah, I wasnt sure if it was called fretboard or not, because I I am pretty sure NO DB bass had Frets, and DB's came LONG before BG's and of course on a BG is Fretted or Fretless, Fretboard.

    Thanks for telling me! Now when I go to a Nice shop that had some good DB's I shouldnt sound like too much of an ass!

    EDIT: I forgot to say though, is there a "Common" string spacing on DB's or can it be just as custom as a BG, very differnt, if thats the Case, I think I may prefer a Smaller String spacing. And if I were unhappy with the string spacing, could I get a Lutier to build a Custom Bridge to My size? And Maybe shave the Neck abit on the Sides?
  4. There is no "standard" string spacing on double bass. I would it depends largely on how wide the neck is and how much of a taper it has. I know that some solo artists prefer to have closer spacing.
  5. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Thanks for the info!!!

    Everytime I come here to find out the answer to something I get 5 more questions!!!

    HOW FUN!
  6. Actually, there have been "standards" since 1952 when the Music Educators National Conference adopted "Minimum Standards for String Instruments in Schools". The current version is available as a PDF on the MENC Web Site. Unfortunately, even their "standards" keep changing. I have a copy of the original MENC standards from 1954. In that version, they show bridge spacing at 1 1/8". In the current version, they show the bridge spacing at 25mm or about 1". While the MENC standards for violin, viola, and cello have been for the most part accepted as a genuine standard, the ones for double bass have been generally ignored. Most players seem to prefer a bridge spacing somewhere in between the old and the new MENC "standard" spacing. We do however have a generally accepted standard spacing for the nut at 3/8" (10.0mm).
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    "it always gets bigger towards the bride"

    Depends on the bride.