#1
I recently bought a 5-string fretless bass from Rondo Music, a company which sells their items via eBay. Unfortunately, the pickups are faulty (loose and wobbly, plus the b-string is almost inaudible) and the input jack came loose a few hours ago. I'm seriously contemplating sending it back for a refund. As long as I'm still hunting, I've been considering a 6-string. I find myself frequently playing higher notes that the C-string would just simplify. Anyone have any input on this decision?
#2
Do it if you have big hands... 6 string basses have very wide necks and are a bitch to play (especially for me )
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#3
I play six strings. Small hands are not a problem with six strings, as I have pretty small hands and I manage mine well. The real issue is thumb placement. If you have smaller hands you simply need to hold them in a different position. If you really want the extra notes that the C string provides, then go for it. Even if you don't need them, you might need them sometime, so why not? I'd go ahead and buy it if I were you. However, I do have a question for you. What amp do you have? This has a pretty big impact on whether or not you should be using a six, or even a five string.
#4
Quote by Hergiswi
I recently bought a 5-string fretless bass from Rondo Music, a company which sells their items via eBay. Unfortunately, the pickups are faulty (loose and wobbly, plus the b-string is almost inaudible) and the input jack came loose a few hours ago. I'm seriously contemplating sending it back for a refund. As long as I'm still hunting, I've been considering a 6-string. I find myself frequently playing higher notes that the C-string would just simplify. Anyone have any input on this decision?


You should most definitely send that in for service, if not a refund - Kurt will definitely take care of you in the matter.

The thing with the 5-string fretlesses (if it was an SX - I have no experience with the Brice or Douglas models) is that the B string IME was not that good due to the 34" scale and the neck construction. I had the default .132 gauge D'Addario flatwound B on there (after I replaced the bridge for more sustain to a Schaller rolling saddle bridge) and I had a .130 DR Lo-Rider (stainless steel, which has been said to be tighter than most flatwounds) and the B was still loose. Like I said, this is due to the 34" scale, but mostly because of the neck construction. For some reason, the construction on the SX necks makes the B less tight. On my GSR200, which I strung BEAD, the B string (.130 DR SS Lo-Rider) is very tight (considering it's a low-end Ibanez with a 34" scale.)

If you decide to send it back for repair and NOT a refund (which I'm pretty sure Kurt and Rondo still do), you could possibly string it up EADGC and not buy a 6-string, which would be harder to adjust to than a 5. I have my SJB62-5 strung EADGC and after a year of use (breaking the fingerboard in), it absolutely sings.
Gear:
SX SJB62-5 5-String Fretless Jazz Copy (EADGC)
Ibanez GSR200 4-String Fretted (BEAD)
Ibanez IBZ10B 10 Watt Practice Combo Amp
DR Stainless Steel Lo-Riders
Yamaha Air Cell Straps
#6
Ha^I play an SR506 also. I love six string, and it just takes a little time of doing exercises to get used to string spacing and hand placement. Slap and pop is a little harder also, but like I said you just have to get used to it.
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#7
Quote by vashts80
You should most definitely send that in for service, if not a refund - Kurt will definitely take care of you in the matter.

The thing with the 5-string fretlesses (if it was an SX - I have no experience with the Brice or Douglas models) is that the B string IME was not that good due to the 34" scale and the neck construction. I had the default .132 gauge D'Addario flatwound B on there (after I replaced the bridge for more sustain to a Schaller rolling saddle bridge) and I had a .130 DR Lo-Rider (stainless steel, which has been said to be tighter than most flatwounds) and the B was still loose. Like I said, this is due to the 34" scale, but mostly because of the neck construction. For some reason, the construction on the SX necks makes the B less tight. On my GSR200, which I strung BEAD, the B string (.130 DR SS Lo-Rider) is very tight (considering it's a low-end Ibanez with a 34" scale.)

If you decide to send it back for repair and NOT a refund (which I'm pretty sure Kurt and Rondo still do), you could possibly string it up EADGC and not buy a 6-string, which would be harder to adjust to than a 5. I have my SJB62-5 strung EADGC and after a year of use (breaking the fingerboard in), it absolutely sings.


However, since you're putting the E string in the spot where the B was, wouldn't the E be just as loose? Or am I missing something here?

And to whoever asked: I switch between a Silvertone practice amp and a Peavey stage amp (at school).
#8
I play six strings. The neck is a bit big, and sometimes, it takes a bit of concentration to get your bearings, but I love it.
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#9
yea its something you have to get used too, but I can't see myself going back to 4, maybe 5, maybe, but I can lose my extra string. It gives me more options for new sounds and tone.
#11
I own an Ibanez SR506 and I think the two extra strings are great!

You just have to get used to it.

I say go for it.
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#12
Quote by Hergiswi
However, since you're putting the E string in the spot where the B was, wouldn't the E be just as loose? Or am I missing something here?

And to whoever asked: I switch between a Silvertone practice amp and a Peavey stage amp (at school).


The action of the string has absolutely no bearing on how the string tension actually is, only how it's perceived. The difference is that the string action at the nut only effects the playing and ringing of the open string, and how close the string is to the fingerboard in general at the beginning of the neck.

Even on my Schaller bridge (with the underplate being used), the action on the B had to be insanely high for it not to just flop against the fingerboard when I'd play with my fingers with any kind of force. With my bass strung EADGC, the string is closer to the fingerboard, and if I play hard it will hit the fingerboard - but it won't just completely deaden the note.

You can have your bass setup that way (I know Steve DiGiorgio does on his fretless ESPs), but I don't like the sound it makes when the string is completely dead because it flops against the fingerboard as soon as you play a note. I like the sound of a string just slightly off the board - it gives it a better sound, imho.
Gear:
SX SJB62-5 5-String Fretless Jazz Copy (EADGC)
Ibanez GSR200 4-String Fretted (BEAD)
Ibanez IBZ10B 10 Watt Practice Combo Amp
DR Stainless Steel Lo-Riders
Yamaha Air Cell Straps
#13
Quote by Hergiswi
However, since you're putting the E string in the spot where the B was, wouldn't the E be just as loose? Or am I missing something here?

And to whoever asked: I switch between a Silvertone practice amp and a Peavey stage amp (at school).


1. No, the reason the B string would be more floppy is because of the thicker gauge that requires more tension (a longer neck would supply this tension). Since the E string is not as thick as the B it requires less tension to stay taut.

2. If you're playing through a practice amp (especially a low quality one) then you are going to have serious problems discerning what notes the B string is playing. In some cases the B string simply will seem to not work at all, because of the low quality speakers. If I were you I would consider spending some money on a nice amp, and then getting a six or a five string.
#14
Quote by Bumper
1. No, the reason the B string would be more floppy is because of the thicker gauge that requires more tension (a longer neck would supply this tension). Since the E string is not as thick as the B it requires less tension to stay taut.


That's...wrong. A thicker string means more tension from the string, not withstanding the scale of the bass. Some basses (I know Alembics and Carvins have this, for example) have very high tension with a 34" scale with standard (.125) gauge B strings. It certainly depends on the neck construction more than scale length, though - hence why those basses have very tight Bs even with a 34" scale. For example, a .145 string as a B would be much tighter than a .125 B, even on a 34" scale bass. I have no idea where you got the idea that a thicker gauge requires more tension, but it's wrong - a thicker gauge provides more tension, regardless of scale length.
Gear:
SX SJB62-5 5-String Fretless Jazz Copy (EADGC)
Ibanez GSR200 4-String Fretted (BEAD)
Ibanez IBZ10B 10 Watt Practice Combo Amp
DR Stainless Steel Lo-Riders
Yamaha Air Cell Straps
#15
I say go for the 6 string. There's very little adjusting period between a 4 and a 5, and a 4 and a 6.... you just need to make sure your playing is accurate, and the possibility of needing to mute the strings whilst playing, to prevent ringing out. But yeah, absolutely love 6 strings.
#17
Quote by vashts80
That's...wrong. A thicker string means more tension from the string, not withstanding the scale of the bass. Some basses (I know Alembics and Carvins have this, for example) have very high tension with a 34" scale with standard (.125) gauge B strings. It certainly depends on the neck construction more than scale length, though - hence why those basses have very tight Bs even with a 34" scale. For example, a .145 string as a B would be much tighter than a .125 B, even on a 34" scale bass. I have no idea where you got the idea that a thicker gauge requires more tension, but it's wrong - a thicker gauge provides more tension, regardless of scale length.


No, a thicker gauge REQUIRES more tension to reach a given pitch, assuming that the scale length doesn't change.
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#18
I play an Ibanez SR506, like alot of people here. I love it too. It might take a little while to get used to string spacing/neck width etc. especially if you're used to a 4-string.

The only real difficulty I've had with the 6-string is sight reading, since I play the wrong strings now and then. :P

But if you're looking for a wider pitch/note range with more simplicity I highly recommend getting a 6-string.
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#19
Quote by canadianpunk071
No, a thicker gauge REQUIRES more tension to reach a given pitch, assuming that the scale length doesn't change.


Thank you very much. I probably should have included the "to reach a given pitch" part, but I assumed it would just be a given. Thats what I get for not over-explaining.
#20
I seem to be the only person who plays a Dean Edge 6.

6-strings are awesome for melodic solos and other such applications in music. I consider my technique on a six very different from most, as I'm not afraid to throw things into a different tune just to get that different sound for my melodies. I act somewhat as a second guitarist in my band, so it helps.

It also helps that I'm 6'6 and have looong fingers. Literally, I can play all around the neck and wrap my hand around the neck, so yeah. I highly recommend 6-strings.
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#21
^Nope. I play one. Mine has the quilt maple top, and I kinda ripped the neck pickup out, but it's still an Edge 6. I'm 5'11-5'10ish, but I still manage it well. Like I said earlier, it's not about height, it's about thumb placement.
#22
Quote by Bumper
^Nope. I play one. Mine has the quilt maple top, and I kinda ripped the neck pickup out, but it's still an Edge 6. I'm 5'11-5'10ish, but I still manage it well. Like I said earlier, it's not about height, it's about thumb placement.


Awesome. One more person, and we can start a guild. Haha. I envy the quilted top.

I know height doesn't matter in any instrument, really. Its all hand placement. Probably the only people who can't play 6-strings are people missing fingers, and even so they can be Iommi on bass, which is cool too...even though technically he's not missing fingers, but you get the point.
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#23
^Yeah, we should definently start a club. I mean, theres an SR506 club, why not a Dean Edge 6 club? Time to get one that.....all we need is a club name. I vote for Club E36452343FH5345423RE32435432RT7687.....you know.....it'll just be easier that way.
#24
Quote by Bumper
^Yeah, we should definently start a club. I mean, theres an SR506 club, why not a Dean Edge 6 club? Time to get one that.....all we need is a club name. I vote for Club E36452343FH5345423RE32435432RT7687.....you know.....it'll just be easier that way.


Alright.....lemme copy and paste that.....

We gotta be the ones with a unique name.
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#25
Quote by canadianpunk071
No, a thicker gauge REQUIRES more tension to reach a given pitch, assuming that the scale length doesn't change.


And what does that mean, exactly? Does that mean that I was wrong, in any way shape or form? Is that why a .145 string tuned to B is tighter than a .125? The theory that I stated is certainly wrong, but the mechanics are not. A .145 B would be MUCH tighter than a .125 B, because the tension coming off a string, that's required by the thicker gauge to tune to pitch, is more. I explained it the wrong way, but the mechanics are certainly valid.
Gear:
SX SJB62-5 5-String Fretless Jazz Copy (EADGC)
Ibanez GSR200 4-String Fretted (BEAD)
Ibanez IBZ10B 10 Watt Practice Combo Amp
DR Stainless Steel Lo-Riders
Yamaha Air Cell Straps
#26
^No, it won't be tighter. The thickness of the .145 gauge will counteract the tension and it will be very similar to a .125. It will however require more tension than a 1.25 to reach it's pitch. The extra tension is not felt because it is counteracted by the thickness, so although it is there (and believe me, it is there) it's not percieved.