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Weird Idea 8 String guitar to 6 String Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Aigre-Doux, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Aigre-Doux


    Nov 1, 2018
    Hello, im not sure where to post this.
    I was searching for a budget 6 string 30'', the normal models are more baritone guitars than traditional 6 string bass and have very tight string spacing.

    Rondo used to have the 6 HXB 406 3/4 but it's not in production anymore.
    So i was considering a cheap custom build, but warmoth can't provide me with such a specific neck and i dont have the money to pay for handmade one.

    So the idea was taking a used 8 string or 9 string guitar with a 30inch scale and going for a Single Bridge Thru Body build. The nut has to be remade and the tuning pegs changed for bass strings.

    I know the B string is going to be a bit floppy, but i dont really mind low tension if it's still playable.

    Is there any other reasons for not trying this ? What could be a challenge in this project ?
  2. The string spacing will be tight I think, I say that not knowing the neck dimensions on the donor guitar. Sounds like an interesting project, if you do it, make a build thread!
  3. Aigre-Doux


    Nov 1, 2018
    Well actually i was considering the Agile Septor Elite 930 if i can grab one used it would be perfect.
    It has the 30'' scale length, and a pretty wide fretboard and headstock.
    Actually wider than some other 6 string bass.
    Plus the pickups size seems good for a replacement with bass pickups.

    The specs from Rondo site

    • Double cutaway, light weight, mahogany, arch top body with gloss finish
    • 30" scale 5 piece neck-through body design with 24 jumbo frets
    • Ebony fretboard with position markers located on the side of the neck
    • EMG 909 active pickups
    • Cepheus 9 extended range bridge
    • Grover die cast sealed tuners with 18-1 ratio

    • Scale length: 30"
    • Width of the neck at the nut: 2 1/2ā€
    • Width of the neck at the 12th fret: 3 1/8"
    • Width of the neck at the 24th fret: 3 3/8"
    • String space at the bridge is 3/8" (3 1/4" overall)
    • Thickness of the neck at the 1st fret: 13/16"
    • Thickness of the neck at the 12th fret: 15/16"
    • Radius: 15ā€
    • Labella String gauges: .009, .012, .015, .022, .030, .040, .054, .074 .090
    • Guitar is set up to be tuned to C# and B for the lower 2 strings, followed by the standard 6 string guitar tuning on the upper strings (E, A, D, G, B, E) - however a variety of tunings is possible

    Matt Liebenau and Jisch like this.
  4. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I think it's a great idea to get yourself an inexpensive 30" scale 6 string. The spacing will work out to 16.5mm at the bridge and that's a pretty wide nut for 6 strings - you can even do compensated spacing (wider on bass than treble strings).

    Presumably the neck is reinforced already to deal with the extra strings, but you can always be careful setting the relief to make sure the truss rod isn't doing all the work setting it up.

    With 9 strings, you might even be able to use 6 of the existing tuners, but if not, you can always fill and redrill. I'd recommend getting a plug cutter and cutting small plugs to fit the holes (rather than dowels) and then maybe veneer the front and back of the headstock before redrilling.

    If you do this, please post up the project! :)
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  5. Iā€™m quite interested in seeing what you come up with. It seems like a reasonable idea. There has been a few short scale 5ā€™s built on here. Maybe look those up to get some ideas for strings.
  6. Aigre-Doux


    Nov 1, 2018
    Well now i just have to find a 8-9 string guitar with a 30 inch scale.
    Their's very few models filling those requirements.
    It's less rare than a 6 string 30 inch bass, but still very rare on the European market.

    The drilling/filling part is mostly the hardest part for me.

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