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Why not 6 string?

Discussion in 'Ask Janek Gwizdala' started by mstott25, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. mstott25


    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
    Hey Janek,
    I was curious, why do you choose to play 5 instead of 6? I apologize if you've discussed this before, I know I've read that you like having the de-tuner on your E string and you really identify with the high C string but I was just wondering why you opted for a 5 tuned E-C rather than a 6.

  2. I'd like to hear the answer to this as well.
  3. Just thought, I'd type this here . Janek has a 6 string Fodera on his way sometime next year .
  4. Pretty sure it's another 5 string, tuned E-C. He's been working with Fodera on the detuner to keep it from being problematic.
  5. janekbass


    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://janeksbassstudio.com
    for me the six string is really about something else besides the bass. I feel like I have a bass in my hands when I play the 5, and even more so when I play a 4. I don't have a six string on the way, it's a 5. Pretty much the same as the one I have now, but with some modifications to the materials, the pre amp, the input, and the pickup covers.

  6. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Janek, cool. I understand.

    Is the new 5er going to be strung B-G?
  7. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I played a six for about 10 years, all the while I also played fives. For the style of music a generally play, and considering my style, I did not find myself using the high C string that often. I saw you were pointing more to EADGC tuning in your question, but I thought perhaps the same reasoning comes into play where the guys who use the high tuning don't need the lower register of the B string. For me, I play only fives tuned BEADG, but I would probably get by fine on a standard four string.

  8. janekbass


    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://janeksbassstudio.com
    my new one will be tuned E-C with a hipshot on the E string that I'll most likely tune to a B.

  9. Janek,

    When you speak of the 6 feeling less like a bass than a 5 or 4, are you speaking of the physical feel of the bass more than the tuning? I'm assuming yes since your 5 still has the high C.
  10. janekbass


    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://janeksbassstudio.com
    I just feel like the neck on any 6 string I've ever played is too wide for my hands, and I feel more comfortable with fewer strings on the bass.
  11. What will you change about the pickup covers?
  12. janekbass


    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://janeksbassstudio.com
    trying to figure out a possible one piece pick up cover.... not sure if it's going to work yet....
  13. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I asked them to do the same for me- they were all ready for it, then they changed their minds at the last minute and wouldn't do it. :/ Oh well, we'll see how it comes out when it shows up in January.

    (They were afraid of "weird resonances", which is scientifically a silly concept.)
  14. Were you looking for something similar to what Pete Skjold does with his basses? Where the pickup covers and ramp are all one piece?
  15. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold Gold Supporting Member

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    If the pickups are just sitting in this oversized case the case itself can add resonance that can be picked up by the pickups. My pickup/ramp assembly is cast in epoxy just like a regular shell. This eleminates the problem.

    I think it would be very good for Fodera to start doing this type of design since they have many dedicated ramp users.

    Hope it works out for you Janek!

    Pete Skjold
  16. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah- a number of luthiers are doing it these days.

    Pete, it wasn't to do with the vibration from the shell- they were afraid of some resonance created by the larger route in the body. It's a pretty silly concern for a solid body instrument, where the concern is more pseudoscientific than based in any dynamic reality- but that's a common complaint from a picky engineer in a field where things are often based on "gut feelings" but couched in scientific terms.

    I think mounting the pickups in the shell with epoxy is how most people do it. I've only seen otherwise is pretty poorly made instruments, actually!

    Anyway, sorry- thread derail! The instrument will still be amazing, which is why I kept the order, so I'm just hoping the ramp system comes out properly!
  17. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY

    Brian suggested this for my next bass as well before he realized Pete had just starting doing it (the basses just keep looking better Pete!). It is a really good idea, but I also like the ability to adjust the height of each pickup independently....of course I'd probably never even notice missing that in the end.

    I heard the new album Janek. It sounds great! I'll be buying it real soon (Tim's playing continues to floor me....)
  18. wawawawa

    wawawawa Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011

    You Sir, are a class act!

    I hope to own one of your fine instruments one day!
  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I tried 6 many years ago... two things pooched it for me:

    1) The width of the neck drove me nuts.
    2) I rarely used the high C string, where I frequently use my low B string. It's really a matter of hand-position & register; To make positional use of that C string, you're had is in a very low register position (5th fret or lower) which would be harmonically odd - - reaching that low means you are usually playing notes below E and yet you still need to hit notes *over* that C on the G string... Not to mention that it would be physically awkward.

    The real use of 6 string is in access to *very* high notes -7th fret and above, and when you see guys who really work these basses (Steve Bailey, John Patitucci) that's where they usually are. If you are *that* kind of player, then a six is right for you. If you're a common bar dance band kind of guy like me, however...

    But like anything else, they are fun even if they aren't directly useful.

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