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string spacing

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by EGORE, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. EGORE


    Jan 22, 2003
    fort worth,tx
    I am looking to buy a 5 string.I have a 4 string Fernandes bass that I bought brand knew back in 92,but don't know what kind of Fernandes bass it is.
    self taught for a few years then did not pick it up again until about 6 months ago.
    I play with a pick and I would like my string spacing to be as narrow as possible.
    How narrow of string spacing can I get with a 5 string bass?
    Is it 16.5 mm?or can I go closer?
    Also after I get my 5 string,could I get my 4 string
    bass string spacing adjusted to the same spacing
    as my 5 string bass?
    To get a more narrow string spacing on my 4
    string wouldn't I just have to install a new bridge?
    I love to play chords at a very rapid pace and I am sure that a very narrow string spacing would enhance my playing very much so.
    I can play some bass,just don't know to much about
    setting them up.
    I play and learn alone and don't know anyone who plays bass.

    Hope someone can help me out.
  2. I've found string spacing on basses (the ones i've tried in shops etc) to be fairly consistent. Sure some are closer, some are slightly farther apart from each other.

    If you were to go the whole hog to make them closer, you'd need a thinner neck, a different bridge, and a different nut. Seems a lot of work to me.

    You do get used to it in time. After a day or two of playing, it becomes natural. A bass will never have string spacing that of a electric guitar. The strings are too thick and would more than likely cause sympathetic vibrations from the other strings.

    *shrugs* Maybe look around for a bass with string spacings you are comfortable with. Me personally it is nit picking, if i found a bass that sounds good, has a nice fast fret board and good pickups.... i'm sold.

    Someone should invent a bridge with adjustable string spacing.......


  3. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO

    That way i could go from slap to standard lines with no problems on the same bass! :D

    Most 5 string basses have fairly tight spacing EGORE, and 5 strings come in two basic spacings- 1 3/4, and 2 3/8 (I think those numbers are right). The latter is much closer to a 4 string spacing while the first is the more common 5.
  4. brooski


    Jan 22, 2003
    The 5-stringers that I've found to have the closest string spacing are Steinberger, Warwick and an Alvarez Villian. The Alvarez is an older model that's active, has P/J pickup. The body looked like an Ibanez. The neck looked identical to a Gibson/Tobias,with the last 1/2 inch of the fretboard hanging over the body with the larger than usual nut. Granted it was no MTD, but it was solid and the strings were spaced like a Steinberger 5-str.

    The next option may be something with a ABM bridge that has side-to-side adjustments. I once had a bass with one and set it up so the strings were exactly the same spacing as a 4-string Steinberger, which is pretty close together. I think 17mm or slightly closer than that was no problem.

    I agree that once you start using the wider (19mm) spacing, you get used to it. That's what I've done. If I can do it, anyone can. :)
  5. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    The Schaller Roller Bass Bridge has adjustable string spacing from 2 3/32 to 2 1/2.
  6. well there ya go!


  7. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I played a Steinberger 4 string for many years and got used to the 1/2" string spacing. I recently bought an ESP-B305 (neck thru 5 string) which has pretty tight spacing; about 2 1/8" at the bridge.

    I would agree that you can learn to use any spacing. However, I would also suggest that for pick-style, the closer the string spacing the faster you can go (and you can go pretty fast with a pick).
  8. My Rick 4003 has very tight string spacing at the bridge - it's very weird to play other basses now... try and find an old Rick and give it a go, if tight string spacing is your bag, you'll be pleasantly surprised, I think.

    If you want to go even closer, the 4003/S5 five string version is even tighter!

  9. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    Hemel Hempstead, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    you play with a pick, and like to play chords at a fast pace, sure your playing the right instrument? ;)

    just kidding

    yeah, an adjustable bridge would be great for string spacing, although i can't really play anything thinner then 19mm, just feels wrong!


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