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What's the easiest way to switch a 5 string from B-G to E-C?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phishaholik, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. I have a 5 string on the way and I plan on switching it from B-G to E-C. I know that I need to have a new nut made, especially because I'm going to be using light gauge strings, but I don't want to put it in the shop right away and not be able to play my bass for a week or two.

    Does anyone have any ideas for making the nut grooves smaller temporarily? I was thinking about putting sever layers of thin super glue in the nut slots. I've also head people using aluminum foil to prevent buzz. I don't really care if I ruin the stock nut, as I plan to have a brass nut with the correct slots cut made asap.

    Any good ideas?

  2. ReiPsaeg


    Dec 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    I don't think it would be a problem to just keep the old nut as it is for the new strings. Reshaping the nut is really only an issue when using bigger strings, for example if you were stringing a standard four string to BEAD.
  3. tkonbass

    tkonbass I'm just one of the out-of-focus guys. Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    I would probably just re-string it with the strings I plan on using and see if it's playable. It very well may be. If you find you absolutely must take to modifying the existing nut I would just take it to the shop and have the new nut, you're planning on anyway, installed. You risking a hard to fix mess if you try the super glue mod with the nut still on the bass.
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    +1. Maintain adequate break angle over the nut and you should be okay. Set your witness points. No need to modify or change the nut...yet.

  5. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I just changed one of my 5-string basses from BEADG to EADGC. All I did was put a different set of strings on and tweak the trussrod accordingly; no new nut required.
  6. StephenR


    May 21, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    No idea why you want to risk destroying the old nut if you are going to have a new one made anyway. Take it off and keep it in case you don't like the bass strung E-C or want to sell it later to someone who wants to go back to B-G.

    But the short answer is that you don't really need to do anything to the nut or get a new one made unless there is a issue with the way it plays once you put the new strings on...
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Yep. I switched my Carvin AC50 to E-C just to try it and just used the old nut figuring one day I"d have to get a new one. But it never buzzed and played it for years that way. Now it's back B-G so I'm glad I didn't bother.
  8. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I'm not a five string player, but I've owned two five string basses. One Squier p and one fender j. I switched them both back and forth between b-g and e-c and only had to do minor action adjustments.
  9. I fully agree on both points.
  10. Sweet! Thanks guys, I assumed going from a slot filed for a .130 would cause a .100 string to move around and rattle. Sounds like I was a wrong.


  11. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    You will also have to reset the intonation. The bridge saddles will move about 1/8" toward the neck. You may also have to tweak the truss rod to reset the relief but that will depend on any difference in tension between the strings you have now and the new set. May or may not be necessary to get the action you like.

  12. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

    Jun 26, 2012
    Hey i'm going to change my 5 string from B-G to E-C soon and the bass is an Mtd Kingston Z5 and it uses the zero fret so it doesn't really have a nut, so what do you think how's the change is going to affect it?