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Ajoten

5th string gauge, B-G vs E-C?

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Truss rods scare me. Were I to change from low B to high C (given stock Ibz SR strings currently, which I don't know so might be difficult to er gauge hoho), is there a high C gauge whose tension is close enough to a standard B to enable a mere saddle tweak to set up properly? 

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I just changed a 30" scale messinger from E-C to B-G and didn't adjust any truss rods.

In fact, thinking about it, the only basses I ever had to adjust truss rods on after changing string gauge were fenders, so I wouldn't worry too much

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I had an Ibanez SR600 and changed from B-G to E-C and didn’t need to do any work to the nut. I switched the strings to Dunlop Superbrights 30-130 (donating the low B to a friend). Gauges were 30, 45, 65, 85, 105 and works no problem. 

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Guest ixlramp

Ajoten try to find out the stock string set for your bass, contact Ibanez if you need to. However my guess is nickelwounds with a .130 B, in which case a matching tension C would be a D'Addario .030.

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AKAIK most Ibby's ship with D'Addario EXL 170's. Pop into your local store and compare a low B set with a high C set or consult a pack of 6. They print all that on the back of the sleeves. 

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In general the low B is by far the lowest tension string on a Bass.

If you look at the tension values for the suggested D'Addario EXL 170s, looking at the 6 string set, the highest tension string is the D, and then the string tensions reduce for the higher or lower strings, with the higher tuned strings decreasing less in tension than the lower ones. Therefore unless you go for something very light (compared to the rest of the set) you can see that the high C is around the same tension (at standard tuning) as the A string and considerably higher tension (39lbs as opposed to 31.5lbs) than the low B. 

Whether or not this will actually matter will depend on the stiffness of the neck of your chosen bass, but you may need to tighten your truss rod slightly to compensate.

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Thanks everyone. From my investigations it seems to get closest to the B tension you need a 27-28 gauge C string, which is presumably v light indeed. Sounds like best plan is to get regular gauge (I'm guessing 30-32) and if I have to faff with truss rod so be it.

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I string my 6 string with 25 - 130's so they are out there. Warwick Red Label are dirt cheap if you fancy a shot with something in that gauge.

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8 minutes ago, Ajoten said:

Thanks everyone. From my investigations it seems to get closest to the B tension you need a 27-28 gauge C string, which is presumably v light indeed. Sounds like best plan is to get regular gauge (I'm guessing 30-32) and if I have to faff with truss rod so be it.

Remember that although string tension (along with neck stiffness) will affect whether or not you have to adjust the truss rod, the actual feel of the string is determined by tension and compliance. Compliance is how stiff (or not) a string feels and is not wholly dependant on tension, but also on string construction, break angles over the bridge and nut and any other items in the path of the non-speaking part of the string such as string retainers. 

So a lighter string might still feel "right" is it is sufficiently un-compliant when attached to your bass.

Edited by BigRedX

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Also, in addition to truss rod adjustment, another consideration, particularly when going from E-C to B-G is the nut slot width. Going down a fourth requires a wider slot but going up a forth may result in some undesirable travel/positioning of a narrow string in too wider slot. The former is more risky as it has the potential to break the nut but I guess dedicated E-C nuts are much more uncommon. [Got a feeling that Ibanez' Volo E-C 5 came with two nuts? May be wrong could be another model.]

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Guest ixlramp

The D'Addario String Tension Pro shows a .028 C is closest and is within 1 lb pull tension of a .130 B, so yes that is probably best.

However a .028 C is not particularly light don't worry, try it first you might like it, it helps with how Cs are played to avoid a high tension.

Moving to lower gauges almost never causes issues with the nut. As long as there is downforce at the nut and the nut slot floor is curved, the downforce firmly centres the string at the base of the curve. This is the case for most basses anyway as contact with both slot walls does not happen and is a bad thing. Also consider that a bass with an extra light 30-85 set is no different to what you are doing.

I have strung up basses with guitar-gauge strings (down to .007) many times with no issues.

Edited by ixlramp

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