#1
I am a guitar player for soon 15 years, I recently bought a 8 string guitar. In my music I also need bass, I know nothing about basses and strings etc, so I really need some advice of what bass to buy.

I understand that an "normal" 5 string bass will not be enough to match the extreme low frequencies on the 8 string guitar. I tune the guitar in F# on the low string, so to match the low F# I need a way more thicker string then an usual "B string".

I can also imagine to keep good sustain on such low tones you also need an extremely long scale. As I said I am a guitarist, and I know absolutely nothing about basses in general, so please help me out here, it would be deeply appreciated.

What I want is the bass to sound extremely good that is first priority, the appearance is not so important, since I will most likely not play with it outside my room. So I do not want to pay extra just for an bass to looks cool!

My budget is very limited, and I do not feel like spending much money, however, I will spend so much that I have to, to get the sound I need for my music.

Please feel free recommend basses and specific models etc
#3
There is a $2,400 solution to your problem: the Dark Lord.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Warwick-Vampyre-BO-Dark-Lord-Bass?sku=513475

However, I'm sure you don't want to spend that much money. So I have two possible alternatives for you.

1) Just play on a 5-string. Sure, that B doesn't even go a full octave below your F#. But you could either a) tune it down, and it wouldn't go too loose, or b) just lean on the fact that a thicker bass string will put out more low frequencies than a thinner guitar string playing the same note.

2) I'm actually decently sure (I'm going to go ahead and ask for a fact crosscheck from other forumers here) that you could buy any 4-string and, with some neck adjustments, slap on the strings you would buy for that Dark Lord. The strings themselves would still be quite pricey, but not $2,400.
Les Claypool
Geddy Lee
Robert DeLeo
Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#4
well they make 6 string basses if your interested. I dont know much about basses in general though.
#5
Most 6-strings, if I'm not mistaken, have an added low and high string, not two lows. So it would be B-E-A-D-G-C.

But hey, I could be wrong, I'm too lazy to go check.
Les Claypool
Geddy Lee
Robert DeLeo
Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#6
Ever thought of an octave pedal?
Gear:
Epiphone G-400 Ebony
Line-6 UberMetal, EchoPark
Boss RC-2 Loop Station
Traynor YCV50Blue, Bass Mate 25, Guitar Mate 15
#7
Quote by black-sabbath
Ever thought of an octave pedal?

Oh, you and your perfectly rational answers. We don't take kindly to them sorts round here.

But seriously, that may be your cheapest solution. Good call.
Les Claypool
Geddy Lee
Robert DeLeo
Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#8
Quote by WhyLater
Most 6-strings, if I'm not mistaken, have an added low and high string, not two lows. So it would be B-E-A-D-G-C.

But hey, I could be wrong, I'm too lazy to go check.


well you could just restring it with a lower string... I am getting a terrible sloppy sound in my head just thinking about this however (don't flame me for not like the br00tal lowz everyone). Are you set on a very natural bass sound TS? Why not try a nice suboctave generator pedal with a regularly tuned bass? It won't sound like a natural bass guitar, but a lot of them still sound very good IMO.

Also, you know what you want best, but why exactly does the bass need to double the same notes an octave below the guitar.... you could get a bit more creative than that

edit*
Quote by black-sabbath
Ever thought of an octave pedal?

darnit, you got it posted first
#9
I'd say go for the dark lord. You can keep it at 4 strings but go a lot lower... (F#-B-E-A).
#10
Quote by nic2991
I'd say go for the dark lord. You can keep it at 4 strings but go a lot lower... (F#-B-E-A).

Ah yes, that would be a good idea... IF-IT-WEREN'T-FOR-THIS!!!
Quote by Ekstasis
My budget is very limited, and I do not feel like spending much money

You should read my first post. It reaches a compromise nicely. Also, it is an enjoyable read.
Les Claypool
Geddy Lee
Robert DeLeo
Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#11
I haven't read the whole thread, but what you don't realize is that the low F# is on the EDGE of human hearing. Some can hear it, some can't. Its just too low to be played effectively in a band IMO. Plus 99% of bass cabs won't reproduce that fundamental clearly, if at all. It'll just be an rumble. And if someone plays it through their computer, chances are the note won't even come through.
#12
Quote by WhyLater
There is a $2,400 solution to your problem: the Dark Lord.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Warwick-Vampyre-BO-Dark-Lord-Bass?sku=513475

However, I'm sure you don't want to spend that much money. So I have two possible alternatives for you.

1) Just play on a 5-string. Sure, that B doesn't even go a full octave below your F#. But you could either a) tune it down, and it wouldn't go too loose, or b) just lean on the fact that a thicker bass string will put out more low frequencies than a thinner guitar string playing the same note.

2) I'm actually decently sure (I'm going to go ahead and ask for a fact crosscheck from other forumers here) that you could buy any 4-string and, with some neck adjustments, slap on the strings you would buy for that Dark Lord. The strings themselves would still be quite pricey, but not $2,400.


Than you very much for your response, the Dark Lord does look awesome, but the price does really hurt, what seems special about the bass is the pickups, which I think is a basic condition for this to work, the same with my 8 string guitar and the active EMG pickups. Yeah, it is little above my price range, but it is still not an astronomical price...but yet I hope there is an cheaper solution, maybe it is possible to buy these pickups separately and put it on a cheaper bass ?
I am also surprised that 35 neck scale was used on this guitar, one would assume 36" would be more suitable for maximum sustain, thanks again...
#13
Quote by black-sabbath
Ever thought of an octave pedal?


Actually not, octave pedals are not my things really..if I use it there is no meaning to use a real bass at all, then I can use electronic sounds or something..
#14
Quote by IndianRockStar
I haven't read the whole thread, but what you don't realize is that the low F# is on the EDGE of human hearing. Some can hear it, some can't. Its just too low to be played effectively in a band IMO. Plus 99% of bass cabs won't reproduce that fundamental clearly, if at all. It'll just be an rumble. And if someone plays it through their computer, chances are the note won't even come through.


Yes, one can remain skeptical, hower a string produce many over-harmonics which is not beyond human hearing. The amplification would need some special setup yes..However you can do miracles with professional digital sound processing with high quality plugin such as "waves" and compressors etc, so in other words, I doubt will get a satisfying sound with tonal clarity in real-time with an amp, it will need a lot of digital sound processing.
#16
I did a review of the Dark Lord on the Warwick group, maybe you can check it out if you're interested in the purchase. It's as solid as a rock and weighs about as much as a bass can weigh. On bass, the whole concept is a bit silly. What does piss me off is when guitar players start futzing about with bass players' frequencies, people just say "cool". When bass players talk about ERBs, people say "get a guitar, asshole." But that's a story for another time.

As far as METAL goes, the Dark Lord is the only game in town, really. Most basses with an F# come with at least 6 other strings, maybe even 7 or 8 (let's not bring up tropicalmoonmusic). If you can handle the "jazz cat" basses, they are a good option at half the price of the Dark Lord. The only ones that seem legit to me at a decent price are Conklin Groove Tools and Galveston made in Korea neckthru basses. I know Galveston's 8-string comes with an F#, and I believe their 7-string does, too.

Strings are going to be a problem. Warwick really put some thought into an F# string (contradiction of terms, no?) and came up with a .175 F# string that's taperwound at the bridge. Typically, other basses that come with F#s have .145s, and those strings, believe it or not, are fairly common.

The thing about the F# string isn't it's tension; it's the inherent 'giggle' of the F# note. What was F#, 23hz? That means the string moves from side to side 23 times per second. The framerate of broadcast television is faster than that, and it's not hard to see a little bit of 'choppiness' when the camera gets fast. The Warwick's F# string is super-taut, however, it still bounces like a rubber band when you play it. That's at no fault of the bass or the string, but the note. .145's shouldn't be the end of the world, though.

The point is, what's stopping you from stringing any wide-nut bass to F#? Nothing. Reshape the nut, get some strings with a .145 for an F#. Boom. Problem solved.

Alas, none of us have mentioned a damn thing about amplification of the said note. To actually get that speaker to hit that fundamental and REALLY be able to feel it (hear it? Good luck) you need a Whappo Grande. That's a 21" cab made by the boutique builder AccuGroove, and it's several thousand. An 18" cab is the bare minimum, period.

And let's not forget, the F# situation is/was a hot topic on UG a while ago. I'll let the search bar answer any questions about it. Literally type in F# into the search bar and look at bass threads. Then do some homework, and you'll understand. Long story short, the general concensus is that the F# string is just a disaster and has pretty much no musical value. It's a sound effect.

What's my two cents? Pick a ****ing instrument. Your 8-string is tuned to the second fret of a traditional bass! That thing is more of a bass than a guitar. In my opinion, and this may sound crazy, either a) realize that there's more to being heavy than tuning low, b) not bother with a bass at all, as the F# on your guitar is low enough not to notice, or c) invest $5k into the heaviest bass setup of all time.

The Warwick/AccuGroove setup is costly,
The Conklin/Galveston and 18" setup is more realistic but still an investment,
Rerouting the nut of any old bass is the most realistic,
An octave pedal is cheap
But just having a guitar and double tracking is free.

"Ditch the bass player" isn't a popular option around here, but hell, you almost are one already.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#17
Quote by thefitz
I did a review of the Dark Lord on the Warwick group, maybe you can check it out if you're interested in the purchase. It's as solid as a rock and weighs about as much as a bass can weigh. On bass, the whole concept is a bit silly. What does piss me off is when guitar players start futzing about with bass players' frequencies, people just say "cool". When bass players talk about ERBs, people say "get a guitar, asshole." But that's a story for another time.

As far as METAL goes, the Dark Lord is the only game in town, really. Most basses with an F# come with at least 6 other strings, maybe even 7 or 8 (let's not bring up tropicalmoonmusic). If you can handle the "jazz cat" basses, they are a good option at half the price of the Dark Lord. The only ones that seem legit to me at a decent price are Conklin Groove Tools and Galveston made in Korea neckthru basses. I know Galveston's 8-string comes with an F#, and I believe their 7-string does, too.

Strings are going to be a problem. Warwick really put some thought into an F# string (contradiction of terms, no?) and came up with a .175 F# string that's taperwound at the bridge. Typically, other basses that come with F#s have .145s, and those strings, believe it or not, are fairly common.

The thing about the F# string isn't it's tension; it's the inherent 'giggle' of the F# note. What was F#, 23hz? That means the string moves from side to side 23 times per second. The framerate of broadcast television is faster than that, and it's not hard to see a little bit of 'choppiness' when the camera gets fast. The Warwick's F# string is super-taut, however, it still bounces like a rubber band when you play it. That's at no fault of the bass or the string, but the note. .145's shouldn't be the end of the world, though.

The point is, what's stopping you from stringing any wide-nut bass to F#? Nothing. Reshape the nut, get some strings with a .145 for an F#. Boom. Problem solved.

Alas, none of us have mentioned a damn thing about amplification of the said note. To actually get that speaker to hit that fundamental and REALLY be able to feel it (hear it? Good luck) you need a Whappo Grande. That's a 21" cab made by the boutique builder AccuGroove, and it's several thousand. An 18" cab is the bare minimum, period.

And let's not forget, the F# situation is/was a hot topic on UG a while ago. I'll let the search bar answer any questions about it. Literally type in F# into the search bar and look at bass threads. Then do some homework, and you'll understand. Long story short, the general concensus is that the F# string is just a disaster and has pretty much no musical value. It's a sound effect.

What's my two cents? Pick a ****ing instrument. Your 8-string is tuned to the second fret of a traditional bass! That thing is more of a bass than a guitar. In my opinion, and this may sound crazy, either a) realize that there's more to being heavy than tuning low, b) not bother with a bass at all, as the F# on your guitar is low enough not to notice, or c) invest $5k into the heaviest bass setup of all time.

The Warwick/AccuGroove setup is costly,
The Conklin/Galveston and 18" setup is more realistic but still an investment,
Rerouting the nut of any old bass is the most realistic,
An octave pedal is cheap
But just having a guitar and double tracking is free.

"Ditch the bass player" isn't a popular option around here, but hell, you almost are one already.


Thanks for your response thefitz, yes I will try to find your review, I will also try to find the other threads regarding the "F#" debate. However, I become more and more convinced especially after watching the videos, that the idea to be in one octave lower then guitar is not a good idea. Meshuggah I know play in the same octave for instance. The sustain in 23 hertz on bass is simply non existent it seems, just as you said "an effect", it works well for slap bass though...

I think I already have gived up this idea, and I will do as Meshuggah lay in the same octave. However, to say that I do not need an bass is not true at all. A bass is definitely needed, they use thicker strings which does vibrate totally differently, and adds weight to the sound. The most important is how the guitar and the bass sounds together, they will both complement each other.

However, now I wonder what would be the second choice, I have pretty much gived up the idea to have an bass tuned in "F#" right now, I realize that is not what I want, in fact, besides Meshuggah, I also play really really slow and heavy psychedelic doom, where I need very good sustain, so if I can lay in one octave lower with the bass, I will at least want to use thicker then "normal" bass string to make up for it, to get both longer sustain in the tone, and also a more fat/wide sound as thicker strings produce.

The tuning is still a question mark, I still want to tune as low as possible where I still can keep a good sustain in the tone, I guess I would need an tension calculator here to know exactly what strings to use..and what tuning. I know Tension calculators for electric guitar, does it exist for bass too ???
#18
Yeah, when I was thinking bass, I was meaning an octave of separation - I'd assumed you wouldn't want it in the same octave. If you want it in the same octave, I think a 5-string tuned a step up would be killer. You can play in the same octave and go a bit lower if the key is right. Personally, I think Ab is about as low as it can get for me and still be useable. Anything below Ab is just too rubbery.

D'Addario has a chart of string tensions, but I can't see why the guitar calculator wouldn't work for bass, all things considered. All you need to do is change the parameters - the scale length is 34" (35" on the Dark Lord), the gauge is the desired gauge, and the pitch can be found anywhere on the net (for example, B is 30Hz). But, they key is, .145 is the thickest I've seen, other than Warwick's .175. When you'll research F#, you'll come across a .220 string, but we'll ignore that

By my calculation, I consider a half step up/down equal to an .005 change in gauge (one 'gauge up'). For example, my half-step tuned to Bb is stuing .130 .105 .080 .065 .045. For me, going to A would be .135 .110 .085 .070 .050, Ab would be .140 .115 .090 .075 .055. That would make the .145 a G and an F# .150, but I guess that .005 difference can start increasing as the tuning gets stupid low, just as it decreases as you get to a high C. Anyway, my 2 cents. A .145 would get you easily to Ab and IMO that's as low as I can get and still have the low note sound like something.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#19
just for your information, octaver pedals will only go down so far before they cut out to protect your gear, so if you did decide to go that route make sure it will play low enough.
#20
Quote by Flea_Is_God
just for your information, octaver pedals will only go down so far before they cut out to protect your gear, so if you did decide to go that route make sure it will play low enough.


Very true and a point well taken.

And for the love of god, Ekstasis, learn to use the edit button.
#21
The bass is meant to fill in the lower part of the sound spectrum, and as fitz said, your guitar is doing that. As also said, human hearing goes from 20hz to 20khz, and an F# is 23hz. You wont be hearing any tone, and it will take alot of speaker to be able to even be able to feel it. When you choose to record it, the average speaker wont be able to produce the sound. May i ask why you are trying so hard to tune so low. To me it produces more problems than it gains, and all you really gain is a low and messy sound. Im not trying to be a douche about it, i just want to understand your motives to tune so low.
#23
There's honestly no purpose for bass in this situation.

And like Mr. Saturn asked, why are you trying to tune so low? The problems of tuning so low far out weigh any benefits.
Quote by TiMaRmStRoNg101
there was once this girl
in my school
and she was like
'greenday is so punk'

and i was all
omgelitist
'fawkofffffffffff'
and punched her in the face.
cause i can do that
cause I know more about punk rock and stuff