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Will installing picollo strings require a setup?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Niels Keijzer, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    Hi there,
    I'm thinking on getting a relatively affordable 4-string bass guitar and putting on picollo strings (mainly to experiment with more chords oriented playing). I don't know a lot about these strings and the differences with ordinary pitched bass guitar strings (not even their feel), so I was wondering:

    - Do these strings put more tension on the neck (since they are higher in pitch), and will this require a different setup (or, will it lead to a bow in the neck...).
    - Would this be any different if I used higher pitched bass guitar string (for example, if I would string ADGC, or DGCF).

  2. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    Piccolo strings will require a setup but not for the reason you seem to be concerned about. If you tried to tune a standard set of strings to piccolo pitch all the strings would snap. Piccolo strings are higher in pitch because they're thinner, not because they're under more tension. D'Addario's piccolo set is .020 - .052 and the tension measurements are similiar to a more 'standard' set (.045 - .105).

    If you go piccolo, you'll probably need to adjust the saddle height, you'll need to intonate the bridge, and almost certainly need to get a new nut made, but I wouldn't expect any dramatic neck bowing.
  3. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    Thanks a lot for your clear explanation! Judging from it I think I'll have to take into account some 100 dollars or euros extra for the nut and bridge adjustments (I won't be doing those myself).

    I assume that the same setup requirements are necessary for stringing ADGC of DGCF?
  4. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    You might be able to get away with ADGC (tenor tuning) without a new nut because the string gauges (.028 - .085 +/-) aren't dramatically different from the aforementioned 'standard' EADG set. Tuning to DGCF would require all the setup that I mentioned for piccolo.
  5. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    It would be nice to have a new nut made, but I think it is going too far to say that a new nut is "required". The fit will be loose, but it won't be unplayable and you might like it just fine as a way to get the hang of piccolo. Put it on your "to do" list if you like the piccolo setup.

    When you go up in gauges it is more important to have the slots fit because you would get binding and it can cause tuning problems.
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    A new nut isn't a necessity, especially on a cheaper bass. Go to garywillis.com and learn to do the setup yourself, it's really quite worth it.
  7. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    Thanks a lot for your suggestions, I'll revisit Gary Willis site; I do remember a section on doing setups.

    Fretlessrock: When you write 'making sure the slots fit', do you mean that the end of the sting (the 'ball' in the end) doesn't go through the bridge, or do you mean the slot in the tuner?

    I should add that I thought on trying this on an ABG - with stringing through the bridge the possibilities will be limited I think.