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Old 04-04-2013, 06:38 AM   #1
Rawshik
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Light Strings for a 5?

I've always been a heavy string kinda guy but one of my basses has had dead strings for like a year now and I usually don't even bother picking it up. Partially because the dead strings but also partially because I think I'm tired of heavies. My concern however, is how a 5 string does with lights. The bass already doesn't handle the B very well with heavies and I imagine with lights it'd just be atrocious.

Does anyone use lights on their 5 string? Maybe post a video or talk about it? I couldn't find anything on youtube or otherwise.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:20 AM   #2
roast
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What's the bass? 34" or 35"? What guage were the "heavy" strings you were using?

When you say it doesn't handle the B, is it possible your pickups are just too naff? Does it sound well acoustically?

My two main basses have two different purposes.
First one is a (cheap) J&D 5-string, set up with a .125 for the low B. It's 34" scale btw.
Previously it was setup A-D-A-D-G, but couldn't really handle the low tuning so well, .125 for a low A on a 34" was silly. With it tuned to B-E-A-D-G, it sounds fine, although still feels a little loose. Personally I'd prefer .130 (minimum) for the low B at that scale.

My other bass, an Ibanez BTB 405QM is 35" scale, tuned A-D-A-D-G, with a .140 for the low A. There's a significant difference in the feel due to the thicker string combined with the longer scale length - I haven't experimented with anything thicker, but I'm pretty happy with the setup thus far.

Hope this helps a little. Also, tip for dead strings - boil 'em in water. It'll get them crisper, albeit for a short time. When you eventually replace strings, try clean them after every use, it really will prolong that snappy & metallic new string sound.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:50 AM   #3
Rawshik
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It's an Ibanez EDB405. It's a 34" and I currently have on it DR Drop Downs (.135). I don't think it's the pickups but it might be. The main problem is that it's constantly wavering in pitch. Each fret is different and even while holding just a single note it might change from say, I played D it would be slightly sharpened and then move down to a slightly flattened D. Because of this I almost never use it.

I put some Extra Slinky's on a 4 string of mine and really liked it so I'm curious as to how a 5 string would work with lights like that.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #4
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It'l take them just fine. I used to play my five string tune E-A-D-G-C using a pack of six string bass strings and disregarding the low B. If memory serves my thickest string was .105 and my thinnest was maybe .30. The very worst case scenario is that the bass would need to be set up again.

And don't waste your time boiling your strings, it's time that could be spent getting new strings instead.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:01 PM   #5
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The other option would be to mix string gauges (ala Les Claypool) and keep the lower two heavy and the upper 3 lighter gauge. Again as Dan has stated above, it would require a setup but I know of at least two bass players who do this on their 5 and 6 string basses.
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