What maker pioneered doubled and tripled string basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stinsok, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I was going through my old LP's and saw a picture of Greg Lake (ELP) with an 8 string bass. That picture was taken in the early '70s. So I am wondering who came up with the idea, or who made the first one? How about the first recording using one? I know some people will say the guy from Cheap Trick, but they predate him.
  2. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Remember, any thread that starts with a "who" will not go into the basses forum unless you consider basses to be people or if you're trying to ask a question along the lines of "who makes the best basses?", etc.

    My understanding is that 5 String Basses have been around a long, long time. The first electric bass guitar was invented in 1951 so I'm guessing that the first five string bass was invented in the 50's as well. But I like the question as to who pioneered them because I don't know and I would really like to find out.
  3. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    What I meant by multi string is "paired" strings.
  4. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    Hagstrom in the mid 60's had an 8 string... Hendrix used a Hagstrom 8 extensively in the studio...

    as for 5's and 6's they really weren't much in vogue until the 70's Fender made the Bass VI in the 60's as well, Jack Bruce used one with Cream.....

    Anthony Jackson claims the invention of the Contrabass (BEADGC) 6 string..... the builder was Carl Thompson...
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    An 8-string is not really a multistring, since it's basically a 4-string in terms of playing.
  6. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Any bass with more than one string is a mult string. What I am asking about is the first basses with strings in pairs.
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    OK, my understanding is that a multistring bass is a bass with more than the standard four strings (no pairs), mostly 6 or more - e.g. the Conklin seven-strings.

    String instruments with paired strings are probably as old as string instruments themselves, at least they date back to medieval times.
    So there are no real "pioneers" in the last century.
  8. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    OK, let me try again. Does anyone know when the modern(20th century) electric muli string bass (strung in pairs and not a Lute) were made?
  9. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    A fusion Cat named Jimmy Johnson was the first guy I can think of who had a low b five ( alembic I think).

  10. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    You need to add about 15 years to that. Sorry, but not only were they not "in vogue", they were virtually non-existant during the 70's. Based on my experience, fives and sixes didn't become "in vogue" until the 90's.
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    That puts Hagstroem (Hagstrom?) in with 1968 for the first 8 stringed bass (assuming this was an instrument with strings arranged in sets of courses) from a reasonably large manufacturer.

    I don't who played those early basses, but the name Hagstrom might help a bit in digging around.

  12. 1956 : First 6 string Bass UB1 from Danelectro (Tuning: E A D G B E)

    1960 : 6 string Bass EB-6 (Tuning: E A D G B E)

    1962 : Fender VI (Tuning: E A D G B E)

    1964 : Fender V

    1968 : Hagstroem 8 String Bass

    1975 : Carl Thompsons builds Piccolo Bass for Stanley Clarke and Anthony Jackson's 6 string bass (B E A D G C)

    1981 : First 12 string Bass from Modulus

    1983 : Ibanez MC 924 "half and half" (fretted to the 12th fret then fretless)

    1986 : First 6 string bass with low B and High C tuning from Modulus

    1989 : Double neck Basses from from Le Fay and Jerry Jones

  13. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    Didnt ken smith have something to do with the first 5 string?
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Gibson, Danelectro and Gretsch were all making double neck basses (one neck bass, one guitar) by the early 1960s.

    Interestingly enough, while other members of the mandolin family use doubled strings, when Gibson made mandobasses in the 1930s they had only 4 strings.
  15. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Give www.8stringbass.com a try.

    They would seem to be the ones who are hip to the history of the instrument.
  16. Guys, just to let you know (or bring it to your attention), the guy is talking about octave strings. You know, like a 12-string guitar, PAIRED strings. Not a full 5, 6, 7, or 8 string bass like a Conklin or whatever.

    Just, you know, trying to point it out.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I feel you Treena

    wether the Bass string configuration is Doubled,Trippled,or singles extended it's all related in order to give close to origin info as possible.yes most modern instruments are realted to old world multi string instruments.
    Habstrom and burns were first at presenting to us the 8 string Bass(a 4 string doubled.
    Tom Peterson of Cheap Trick had Hamer Make the First 12 string Bass in the late 70's.Stanley Clark in the late 70's had Carl Thomson make the first Picolo Bass(an electric tuned an octave higher than the electric Bass).and Carl also made the first 5 string Bass utilising Anthony Jacksons Low B string concept as well as the first non Baritone 6 string Bass for Anthony in the Late 70's and Anthony later took it to Ken Smith who gave us the first wide string spacing 6 string Electric Bass.and Fodera gave us the 6 string electric a few years before Modulus who did make the first 18 string bass for Tom Peterson,but it later went to Allen Woody. Mike Tobias made the first 7 string electric Bass for my friend Bassist Garry Goodman in the early 80's,a few years before Conklin.Anthony Jackson,and Jimmy Johnson(with his Alembic.who at one time made a 8 string non doubled Bass for Bill Dickens.who later had Conklin make the first 9 string electric Bass.and lets not forgete the 10 string electric Bass that Shack from Germany made and gave to Jonas Hellborg) were the first to incorporate the low B string in modern music as we see it today.and I myself had Warrior make for me(there's a pic at 12stringbass.com) the first 15 string electric Bass(a 5 string trippled)and I have the first Bass I call a Sub Contra Bass(tuned low C#,F#,B,and Standerd E) Made for me by Scott Surine.the 15 string and the Sub Contra Basses are from my own personal concept of where I see Bass Going today.and I am not at all saying that I am in the same catogorie as the Bassist mentioned in this Thread
  18. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I remember 5 string uprights. I think Slam Stewart was one of the first to play (and popularize) one of these. I seem to remember it was a Kay.
  19. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    i went to the Acoustic amp factory and got paid $20 around 1970 to test the 360 or some model amp and give them feed back. I think they had an add for bassists to do an evaluation ,so lots of guys were doing this.

    While I was there , they showed me an Acoustic (brand name) "Black Widow" 8 string. it was the four doubled strings. It was very cool. Does anyone know where it went or if they ever made more ?