Who else likes much narrower string spacing with greater number of strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dkelley, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Just measured - my Peavey Grind 6 is 16mm spacing!

    I'm surprised! When I play 4 strings I'm very very happy with 19mm spacing.

    With 5 strings I really like the stingray spec, whatever it is (17? 17.5?)

    It turns out that I really love 16mm spacing on a 6. I owned other 6 (and non-octave 8!) string basses in the past, by the way, such as BTB, with wider spacing.

    16mm, according to everything I've been searching up here on talkbass, is a VERY narrow string spacing.

    I can slap as well as I ever could (which is perfectly functional slap style but without particularly useful double thumbing or other showy stuff), I can play any style just fine on it (at least no worse than on any other basses LoL), I have less trouble with string muting and stretching than on other 6 strings I've played, I don't love the 35" scale length but can live with it (I also hear no advantage at all so far, it's fine but no better than my 34" scale B strings on my ernie ball and carvin basses).

    So yea, 16mm is totally awesome, for me at least, on a 6 string bass.

    Who else likes much narrower width with more strings?

    Edit: oh, and I intentionally put this into the Basses forum, because it really is about basses. It's not a setup thing, it's something in the design of your bass, and the choices there-of.
  2. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    We have the same taste! My ideal bass: 6 strings, 34" scale, 16 mm spacing, and slim neck profile.

    I too own a Grind, and LOVE the way it plays... but hate the way it sounds. Owned it for 4 years now, and I'm over the lack of sustain on the low end. Know of any upgrades that might fit the bill?
  3. BluesWalker

    BluesWalker Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Diego
    16.5 mm on all my Basses, 5-string snd 6-string
    thabassmon likes this.
  4. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I like to keep the string spacing at the bridge the same for all my basses, 18mm - 19mm.

    If that is good for a 4 string I don't know why it wouldn't work on a 5 string.
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I only play 4 strings but I prefer my very narrow Hofner Ignition and old Kay Truetone necks for shortscales and my '85 Fender Performer neck for a longscale.
  6. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    It could have to do something with the Grind. Does it have a wider nut?
    I remember trying the Grind 6 out and liking it quite a lot.

    The thing is, I like wider spacings. I play an Ibanez BTB 6 string. My favorite 5 has 19mm.
  7. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    I used to have a Brice HXB-406 that had 15mm spacing!
    Too narrow for me!

    Now I have two Tune TWB's at 19mm.
  8. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    16.5 is also my favorite, and I consistently fantasize about modding all of my basses to have 16.5mm string spacing at the bridge.

    When I say all basses, I mean all - even the 4-string ones, is that weird? I guess it is, because they're nearly impossible to find.

    I'd love to find a single pickup, passive, Precision style bass with such tight spacing, but it appears that such a thing doesn't exist outside of the custom realm.
  9. 5 string Peavey T-40. String spacing is 16mm.

    No choice in the matter,that was as far as I could spread them :laugh:

    T405.jpg T40_5 bridge 2.jpg
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  10. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I'm happy with standard 19mm on my fours, but definitely prefer narrower spacing on fives. That's one reason I preferred my G&L M-2500 (17.5mm) over a Fender Jazz V (18.5mm I believe). For me, narrower spacing, especially combined with relatively flat fretboards, provides easier access to the E and B strings across much of the neck. (Doesn't matter so much in lower positions, where the neck is narrower anyway.)

    Due to a pre-arthritic condition in my right index finger, I play almost exclusively with a pick, so I could easily go down to 16mm. On the other hand, with a flat fretboard and otherwise comfy neck, I'd be happy with 18mm, which is very close to my G&L. I just don't want the full 19mm.
    Inara likes this.
  11. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Well, it's disingenuous of me to claim I like narrower string spacing as some over-arching generalization. I like some basses that have narrower string spacing, not necessarily because of their narrower string spacing, but just because for whatever reason they inspire me and feel good. Likewise, I like some basses that have wider string spacing, not necessarily because of their wider string spacing, but just because for whatever reason they inspire me and feel good. So I rarely if ever consider the string spacing on an instrument until I've already determined whether or not the bass feels comfortable and elicits engaging music out of me when I play it.

    That being said... I own a Modulus Graphite Quantum-6 SPX that I got new in 1988 and it is quite possibly my most inspiring instrument, as well as certainly one of my most comfortable instruments. It's definitely the instrument through which I'm best able to convey my individual voice on bass.

    It's a six-string with 13.9mm spacing.
    dkelley likes this.
  12. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    I like the standard 19mm spacing on a 4, and prefer 16.5-17 on my 5s. I've owned a few 6s, but never bonded with them, so don't play them any longer. I tried 19mm spacing on 5s, including owning and going back and forth between 16.5 and 19 on similar instruments at the same time. I wanted to like the wider spacing, because it made sense to me ... The whole "keep the string spacing the same between your 4 and 5 strings" TalkBass mantra, but I found the 19 to be less comfortable. I think and play differently on a 5 versus a 4, and the difference in spacing doesn't bother me. The wider neck and greater overall distance between the top and bottom strings did bother me. It's all so personal, and I get why 19mm spacing on 5s works for some. It just doesn't for me (and for others, obviously).
    dkelley likes this.
  13. Same. One of my personal favorite basses of all time that I owned was a carvin BB75 (which is a 5 string). 19mm spacing. amazing instrument. absolutely amazing to play, super responsive, incredible fundamental tone, fretwork was outstanding, neck felt like ibanez but it was more.... erm... expressive in some way. Also gorgous.

    But... that 19mm spacing turned me off after while, and I feel EXACTLY the same way as you, and went through exactly the same phases and came to the same conclusion.

    It disappoints me like crazy because I adored that carvin bass, light, incredible punchy tone, pretty, beautifully made. Had some things about the preamp I didn't love, like it's eq couldn't give me the bass boost I normally look for but the punchiness was out of this world.

    I was just sitting here messing around on my peavey grind 6 thinking dang... this this really is incredible... the only truly comfy 6 string I've played with that narrow spacing, aside from that darned unnecessary 35" scale length that still messes me up all the time. At least I can often avoid scale length mistakes when playing if I concentrate hard, with an occasional fret buzz when I forget to add that little extra stretch...
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
    Inara likes this.
  14. I'm BLOWN AWAY with your bridge mod!

    Did you have to drill those single bridge screw holes through the metal of the existing bridge plate? That must have been a huge challenge..... like, you can't mess that up or spacing is screwed, am I right?
  15. Thanks,glad you like it.

    The existing base doesn't leave you a great deal of movement,it's a case of put the saddles in place and jam with spacers. Get your screws marked and you're good to go.

    The saddle height blocks can be trimmed on the outside edge, almost to the grub screw. That gives you a wee bit more play regarding. Given the small neck pocket on Peaveys you can't really go for wide spacing.

    BTW I had heavy La Bella Jamerson's on it for about 18 months,the 40 year old neck coped with them no problem :)
    dkelley likes this.
  16. ShimSpacer


    Jan 5, 2019
    My 5 is a modified 4 string, a four string p neck etc.
    At first it was weird having the strings so close but not impossible -
    Within a year of off and on playing I had forgotten that it was weird -
    A couple of years on i really actively like the narrow spacing, in particular that the top and bottom strings are nearer the edge of the fretboard -
    Maybe an illusion but I feel I can get clean lower action with them like that. That's actually how I found this thread, wondering if I should push the strings out more on my 32" Jaguar.. Which is the opposite of what this thread is talking about but it's a 4 string.
    I used a schaller-ish adjustable bridge to fit the 5 strings onto the neck.
    So +1 here on narrow spacing for an extended range bass
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021

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