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Taking out a B string, then adding a high C?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mexibass, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    Hey guys, I just started a project where I'm gonna be soloing quite a lot and considering I already have two 5 strings I thought that maybe I could take out the B string on my Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass V and just add a high C string at the bottom so I could have higher tonal options for chords and solos.... my question for you all would be: is it as simple as moving up the strings and adding the high C? I dont wanna mess with my instrument in any way. Also, I already took out the B string and replaced it with the E to see what it felt like and it sounded good, but there was a slightly noticeable rattling noise that might be caused because of a small gap in the nut (as the cavity where the strings rest fits perfectly a B string, but not an E) Is there something I can do to fix this in a simple way? Thank u all for reading :)
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I have two 5 strings, one with the low B and the other high C. They were both tuned with a C at one point, but I converted the Spector back to factory settings. You really need to have a new nut cut when re-tuning your bass, and you will need to make adjustments to the tension rod as well. You can get the nut replaced for $40-$60 by a local guitar tech in most places. Keep the old one just in case you decide to swap the tuning back.
  3. As a stop-gap measure, why not try lodging something in the nut grooves (paper or left-over foil tape perhaps) so the strings would fit into the grooves. The thing though is you might have to do this for all the strings (4) that you moved to the bass side. Yeah, the best way is still to have a new nut cut and a setup made.
  4. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    It may not be the nut slot that is causing the rattling.

    If you only have 4 strings on the bass now after removing the B, the relief is likely
    less and the action has also likely decreased. You could re-setup everything or add
    another E string to get the original tension back (just for testing).

    The nut slot could be a problem, especially if the slot is flat bottomed. The slot should
    be U shaped.

    But I agree, a new nut is best.
  5. You could try putting on the 'chunkiest' E string you can find.
  6. RobbieNuke


    Jan 22, 2008
    Depending on how much height there is on the existing nut, you can take a flat file and scrape-off some of the material from the top of the nut. You only need to have half the string in the nut slot.

    Take these shavings and mix them with super glue and quickly apply this paste to the slots in the nut to reduce there size. Try to keep as much of the paste along the bottom and sides of the slot, do not let it get on the fingerboard or headstock. Let dry for 10-20 minutes.

    If you don't have any fret files, you can use old set of roundwound strings. Just work string back and forth carefully to 'size' the slots for the strings your putting in.

    A correct size nut is the best way to go, but my suggestion is cheaper/faster/easier than an entirely new nut. I have done this with my RIC 4001 over two years ago and the nut still functions perfectly.
  7. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    thanx man, that's what I was afraid of... see, I live on an island, literally, that's why I was hoping to do this by myself, I mean, like having a home made solution, but I'll find out if is there a reliable luthier in dry land and how much will it cost me, I guess it's the right thing to do!
  8. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    exactly my first thoughts on a quick solution! I think I saw someone doing it once... I might actually try to do this bfore looking for a luthier! Thanks dude!
  9. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    wow, this is a nice idea! i don't have any fret files but i do have lots of dead rounds i could use! thanx for the input!
  10. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Lots of good suggestions, but I'd try putting all the strings on at once and see what it does. I did the E-C thing with my Carvin AC50 for soloing and it worked out great. I thought I'd have to do the paper or foil around the strings thing, but once I got it all set up and tuned it played just fine so I left it that way. And that was great because I could put it back to standard tuning without changing any parts.

    Another that might help is filing the bottom of the string grooves in the nut. You don't touch the FRONT of the groove toward the bridge, but file the back side toward the tuners so it tilts down more. That makes a smaller contact point that will buzz less. It won't take much tilt to kill the buzz. And of course this mod still lets you got back to standard strings.