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Who knows about 5 strings with a High C?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by johnp352, Aug 22, 2005.


  1. johnp352

    johnp352 Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Rick Turner, GK, Malekko, Dredgetone, Pigtronix, Seymour Duncan
    Investigating "medium" scale (32/33") basses with a High C instead of low b..the obvious king of the hill being the Fodera Garrison Elite. I'd like some more options though..

    opinions/knowledge please on other basses that have what I am after..Medium scale, high C 5 string, good access to the upper register, and a strong fundamental as well.
     
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Any 5 string can be strung E to C rather than B to G. Tweak the bridge and maybe the nut.
     
  3. johnp352

    johnp352 Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Rick Turner, GK, Malekko, Dredgetone, Pigtronix, Seymour Duncan
    I realize there's a lot of 5 string basses..but I want something that is designed from the start to accomodate this tuning..the scale length being important here, as the more common 35" and up scale 5's are built for the Low B.
     
  4. Ive seen a lot of Stingray5s strung with a high C instead of the low B??
     
  5. Last I checked, 34" is still pretty standard and, aside from multiscales, many sixes are standard scale lengths. I don't think you'll have a problem with a 34" E-C. As a matter of fact, my next bass (hopefully) will be a fretless tuned this way.
     
  6. Pruitt

    Pruitt

    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Yup, my new Ibanez SR-506 is a 34" scale. Considering the price, I really love that bass! :)

    Best of luck finding yours! :bassist:
     
  7. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    I'm a big fan of the shorter scale basses, but they're very uncommon relative to 34" and 35". My suggestion would be to contact luthiers and see whether someone can build something for you.
    The two places I can think of that can do a very high quality 32" easily are Alembic, and Status with the 32" Kingbass. I'm sure there are others too.
     
  8. bassjigga

    bassjigga

    Aug 6, 2003
    I string my 34" Zon E-C and it works great.
     
  9. johnp352

    johnp352 Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Rick Turner, GK, Malekko, Dredgetone, Pigtronix, Seymour Duncan
    not to start a scale discussion here, but I've found that the scale length has quite a bit to do with a bass. 34" is standard for a lot of reasons, not all of which have to do with functionality. It's entirely possible to put 5 or 6 strings on any scale and call it a bass..what I am looking for is a luthier or company that has done research on this and built them in the real world.

    I've played baritone guitar/bass for a number of years as well..fender VI and jerry Jones..these were 30.5's, tuned e-e, as well as a Jerry tuned a-a, with a 28.5" scale..very different feels/tonalities, yielding different timbres/harmonic colors..so..what I am looking for is that compromise..a 5 on a medium scale that lets the high C speak, and has solid fundamentals as well

    As i said, the garrison elite would be about it..but as I am not currently CEO of Halliburton, it's a major $$ stretch.
     
  10. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    All of my 5 strings have been tuned E-C. My current 5, a LowEnd Jazz bass (34" scale) is tuned that way. There were no modifications done to the nut and a setup is usually all that is required.

    Prior to the LEJ5, I had an F Bass 5 (34.5" scale) that was tuned the same way. Again, no modifications were necessary.

    If you are thinking about having a bass made for you, great! If you are looking to fill this musical need sooner, any good quality 5 can be tuned E-C. I would suggest taking the bass to your local tech and have him set up your bass for you.

    Let us know what you picked once you get there!
     
  11. I see what you're saying and I don't think any of us are giving you a good answer or any new advice. All I can do is reiterate that 34" is standard for a reason and many 34" basses with C's work wonderfully.
     
  12. johnp352

    johnp352 Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Rick Turner, GK, Malekko, Dredgetone, Pigtronix, Seymour Duncan

    thanks matt..i have that awful "time to talk to the mortgage broker" feeling.
     
  13. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    I had a fretless 5 made by Karl Hoyt, and it was specifically designed for E-C tuning. It was a bit of a departure even for Karl, with a chambered body and a compound/progressive radius board, but the result was a sweet playing and sounding bass.

    Pics Here

    But OTOH, I strug my Zon Zonus 5 fretless (34" scale) E-C and it just blew my socks off. I'd put it againt the Garrison sig Fodera with confidence. Obviously the two basses are very different but the idea that you might take from the responses so far is that A) you aren't going to find many purpose-built E-C basses, B) you already know of the one prominent boutique model, and C) a good 5er will sound good strung either way.

    You could also just look for the few examples of 32" 5 string basses, and I think that includes the Fender Stu Hamm Urge.

    Good Luck! :bassist:
     
  14. Aye, or a Dingwall. I would love to have a 7-string Dingwall!
     
  15. bassjigga

    bassjigga

    Aug 6, 2003