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Took the BEAD Plunge

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Squanch72, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Since I have an extra PBass I decided to give it a shot, I havr had 5 and 6 strings in the past but always sold them and stayed with fours. Simple to do I have a tiny file set from Harbor Freight and took my time and filed the nut and the E and A string holes on the bridge. Oh I used an old Yamaha BB300. I probably went a little nuts and went too heavy on the string gauges but I figured it is only a 34 inch scale bass. I used the Daddario heavy gauge 110 set for the bottom three strings and a single 145 guage for the Low B. I was hoping to keep the tension close. Anyway really cool to have a low B in the arsenal, and keep the feel of a four banger. I may experiment with using a capo for C, D, E changes on the fly.
  2. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    I absolutely love using BEAD. It helped me get back that low string without taking a drill to my Rick for a 5 string conversion. I can live much better without the G than I can without the B.
  3. Doodaddy


    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    If I were ever forced by gun to play a four string, this would be the direction I took.
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    For a 4 string I prefer DGCF.

    For a 5 string I prefer BEADG.
  5. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Ric5, what's the advantage you get of DGCF over BEAD? Is there a bit higher tension that gives you better resonance or am I off track with that?

    By the way, I'm not knocking you 4-2-5ers at all. Your work is beautiful. Mine, on the other hand, sucks, so I went BEAD on my last Rick.
  6. 4stringfiend


    Jan 15, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    D standard is lower tension.
  7. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Got it, I think. Just tuning to D with a standard E gauge string?
  8. 4stringfiend


    Jan 15, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    Yeah, it's dropping all strings a whole step.
  9. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    If you buy single strings to build custom sets through Bass Strings Online or Circle K Strings then your choice of tuning is completely decoupled from your string tension. You can get any tension with any tuning keeping in mind that if you want a very low tuning and very high tension you will need to use very large strings! I've been tuning in fifths (CGDA) for about a year and I agree that it is great to get those low notes on a four string. If you go BEAD on a 24 fret four string then you really only lack a half step compared to the highest note available on those millions and millions of 20 fret EADG four string basses....

  10. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    I bought a set of Jamersons, and am thinking about tuning DGCF to reduce tension. They should be perfect for that, still a little heavy and thumpy, but more in line with standard strings (.105 E vs. .110 D).
  11. The Yamaha BB300 is an excellent platform for down tuning. Mine is set up for F#BEA. Had to change the bridge to accomodate the F#.
  12. 4stringfiend


    Jan 15, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    I never thought about that, but its very true! :bassist: I'm sure I could sneak it into a jam and nobody will ever know
  13. I love that 145 guage Daddario for the B string, not sloppy at all.