Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Michael Currie

Change 4-string from EADG to BEAD?

Recommended Posts

I had an argument with a guy yesterday, who said that there'd be no problem with getting rid of the G, and stringing a 4-string BEAD. I thought that this would completely wreck the neck with the tension, maybe if you had a graphite neck? Is it possible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shouldn't be a problem. Most people find the B string 'floppy' so there's unlikely to be so much extra tension overall.

A set-up will be in order as the B usually needs a touch more clearance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good solid stable neck should handle the change no problem. As has been pointed out it will likely as not, require some fettling (nut, truss rod tweak, bridge saddles) but nothing serious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually bought a Squier VM Precision about a year ago with the sole intention of trying this out. Let's face it, is not the most prestigious of instruments when it comes to construction and certainly doesn't ship with a graphite neck, but it's been absolutely fine to gig with. It's actually tuned up a step to C (to match the guitarists who are tuned down accordingly) so is under even more tension than it would be as a normal BEAD, though I guess it helps that I like 'em fairly light, so it's strung 60, 75, 95, 125 which will help to keep the tension down. The nut was dead easy to sort; just used an old set of the same gauge strings as 'files' to get the slots to the perfect width at the same depth as before. The neck stayed put; all that was needed was to tweak the saddles and intonation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will not wreck the neck at all. I think truss rods and neck adjustments are often painted as some sort of dark art, but what you have to remember is it's really just a bit of wood with some metal in it. Changing the tuning/strings on your bass will be fine but will need a good setup to have it playing nicely. Your bridge/saddles and nut will be the main problem here but you should totally go for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look on the back of a packet of D'Addario strings they give you the tension of each string.

eg on a EXL170-5SL set for 36" scale
G 48.5lbs
D 55.7lbs
A 46.5lbs
E 40.5lbs
B 39.0lbs

I'm no expert but looking at that I would guess that swapping a G for a B means less tension on the neck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Less tension indeed but it doesn't mean the neck will be 'wrecked'. Just a wee setup and it should be right as rain with the new strings on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='el borracho' post='1234446' date='May 17 2011, 08:40 AM']If you look on the back of a packet of D'Addario strings they give you the tension of each string.

eg on a EXL170-5SL set for 36" scale
G 48.5lbs
D 55.7lbs
A 46.5lbs
E 40.5lbs
B 39.0lbs

I'm no expert but looking at that I would guess that swapping a G for a B means less tension on the neck.[/quote]

+1

B strings are, generally speaking, fairly low-tension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use BEAD exclusively at the moment. My P and Sterling have been absolutely fine with the change, all that was required was some minor filing of the nut slots to fit the low B string, a slight truss rod tweak, and saddle adjustment for intonation/action. I use the bottom four strings from a regular 5 string set and discard the G.

So, go for it! I say leave the G string to the guitarists :)

Edited by Wil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...