Jump to content
Left leaderboard
LITTLEWING

Does anyone actually use their B string?

Recommended Posts

The Jack Custom V is 42mm so skinnier than the B2V. I would have expected them to be the same hardware.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, tauzero said:

Neck on the B2AV is 45mm but neck size isn't just about width, it's depth too.

Girth :D

 

5 hours ago, BreadBin said:

I had a B2AV - the neck was really deep. I didn't mind that so much but couldn't get on with the spacing.

Yeh, it is a bit wide, but I can live with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There’s never a gig that I wish I wasn’t playing a 5, but there are plenty of gigs with a 4 that I wish I was... 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, josie said:

Fell for it on the spec and reputation and didn't test it out thoroughly enough before buying it. Early days. Lesson learned. 

Yep. Me too....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The four over one is a classic layout in my view and results in a well balanced bass - and fits the logo perfectly 😏 This is my latest. It's light and the notes really jump off that ebony board with roasted maple neck and stainless steel frets. 

image.thumb.jpeg.c81205cd34233e67aa05680b43425164.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.333240d2b92f9e550de3c002a01ecef4.jpeg

I tend to vary how I use my five strings, ranging from using the full two octaves across 5 frets ability (useful for some lines - such as jazzy walking lines) to playing as a four with some lower notes (if you want to use open strings as per a four string and getting the timbre of a four string this is useful), and the occassional use of lower notes than E is as effective as using occassional high notes at times. An example is using a low note for the last note after a coda. In reality I probably use a combination of approaches dependent on the song. 

Back to the headstock/bass balance. One of my favourite basses I own is an early 2000s Musicman 5H in natural with a maple neck and ceramic pick up. It's quite heavy - possibly 2 lbs heavier than the one pictured above, but it balances perfectly on a strap and sounds fantastic. The body is massively resonant. 

I use five strings quite often and really like them - but they are all MM basses (SR5H, SR5HHs, Bongo 5HHp, US Sub 5). 

 

Edited by drTStingray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

In response to the OP - Yes.

I played only 4 string basses for over 30 years before buying my first and only 5-string in 2015 and thought long and hard about it before taking the plunge.

I had a genuine reason as there were numerous songs I wanted to play in my band that went below E - a couple of them even go down to low B, and I couldn't be bothered with down tuning a 4 string bass - especially at gigs.

Although I prefer the wider string spacing on a 4-string, when playing 5-string I do often make use of the ability to move across to the B string if thats closer than moving down to the first 5 frets on the E string.

Edited by Krysbass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Krysbass said:

In response to the OP - Yes.

I played only 4 string basses for over 30 years before buying my first and only 5-string in 2015 and thought long and hard about it before taking the plunge.

I had a genuine reason as there were numerous songs I wanted to play in my band that went below E - a couple of them even go down to low B, and I couldn't be bothered with down tuning a 4 string bass - especially at gigs.

Although I prefer the wider string spacing on a 4-string, when playing 5-string I do often make use of the ability to move across to the B string if thats closer than moving down to the first 5 frets on the E string.

In my first 5 string foray the 17mm string spacing defeated me, I just gave up fighting 40+ years on 4 string 19mm spacing. I had bought a really good value bass on BC, someone else (I forget now) got a good value bass onwards. My current 5er has 18mm string spacing and after about 2 years I am no longer mis-hitting strings or getting on the wrong string. Practice makes perfect I think.  It surprised me how much the change of string spacing affected me on the 5er since I happily change between 4 stringers with very different string spacing.  I find the 5er allows me to play mainly between position 3 to 7 where I get the strongest and most even string tones, this zone is the sweet spot on most basses for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a sixer and have to force myself to use the low B, and a 5 string fretless that now works better for me after losing the low B and changing to E-C. I play jazzier stuff, and the low B on the 6-string works well with a piezo for a near double bass sound, whilst the high C gets a work out for solos. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having two octaves under the hand makes a big difference to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, bootleg said:

I have a sixer and have to force myself to use the low B, and a 5 string fretless that now works better for me after losing the low B and changing to E-C. I play jazzier stuff, and the low B on the 6-string works well with a piezo for a near double bass sound, whilst the high C gets a work out for solos. 

As said above it so much depends on  the genre, and also the rest of the mix...  I'm drawn high by the high C string on my 6, love  using it, but when I do in my band, the others always - rightly - tell me my sound is getting lost and I should stay lower. Otoh my regular duo partner has a superb voice, but plays fairly dull low rhythm guitar, so with him I can put in a lot of high detail - almost  lead guitar - and it works really well. 

(Also - ot, sorry - my 5 is gorgeous to me, but nothing to look at for the average listener. The 6 is seriously eye-catching. I'm happy playing it in my local om, but I feel I'd look pretentious gigging it anywhere my band plays. If/when we want a bass solo in the set that might change 🙂 )   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On ‎09‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 00:25, tauzero said:

Neck on the B2AV is 45mm but neck size isn't just about width, it's depth too.

I get that, which is why I added 'and general profile' to the nut width when referring to what I liked about the XT2 neck. Some may feel the XT2 is quite deep on first glance when compared to some other necks but I think it's partly a false impression given the profile that Steinberger uses, along with the overall width along the entire length which isn't tapered nearly as much as some other basses. It sure feels a lot skinner everywhere than my 41mm nut P bass neck. I mentioned it in relation to this thread because if the XT25 is based on a similar neck profile (and I have no reason to doubt that it isn't) then I think it will feel pretty slim on the 5er.

Edit: @SpondonBassedsorry bud I missed your comment - I am in Billericay, Essex. Some way from where I think you are my friend!

Edited by Planemo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Planemo said:

sorry bud I missed your comment - I am in Billericay, Essex. Some way from where I think you are my friend!

Yeah.  Derby is a bit far to travel just for a go on a cheap Steiny.

If however you fancy the Midlands Bass Bash in May I hope to attend with my B2A anyway and now I'm going to take the Steiny along as well.  If you or anyone else in attendance wants to compare them I am happy to let you have a good old noodle.  Of the two, only the Spirit has a low B.  I suspect that the B2A was a higher spec relative to the Spirit within their respective catalogues.  I certainly think the Hohner is the better instrument all 'round.  It will be interesting to hear what folk think in general.

If you've not been to a Bass Bash before, I can recommend it as a friendly place to put faces to some of the screen names here and to see basses and amps that aren't usually available in the showrooms.  (There's usually cake available and all).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well clearly the cake is the main draw, but even so I think I will struggle to get there although I very much appreciate the offer. I'm not sure Mrs P would wear me travelling to the Midlands and back just to fiddle with a bass, especially when doing so could lead to another bass on the hearth  :angry2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dislike the usual higher E and Eb and having started jazz I'm having lots of call for it.  Using the B string allows me to stay in the same area of the neck more easily. Wouldn't now be without it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/03/2019 at 20:02, josie said:

 Even the Fender Jazz+ 5, which was a well-made top spec bass, has a B string so floppy it's barely playable. (I'm trying, and failing, to sell mine.) 

That's interesting. I also have a Fender Jazz  - the American Deluxe model - and the B string isn't floppy at all. It's tighter than the one on my Steinberger XT-25.

What I have noticed is that the lower notes on the B string lack a bit of depth when playing through a 210 cab. Nothing that's a deal-breaker, but they're not as punchy as they are when playing up above the fifth fret. I've shelled out on a 118 cab which will hopefully fill things out a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, lozkerr said:

That's interesting. I also have a Fender Jazz  - the American Deluxe model - and the B string isn't floppy at all. It's tighter than the one on my Steinberger XT-25.

What I have noticed is that the lower notes on the B string lack a bit of depth when playing through a 210 cab. Nothing that's a deal-breaker, but they're not as punchy as they are when playing up above the fifth fret. I've shelled out on a 118 cab which will hopefully fill things out a bit.

My Steinberger XT25 had roundwounds from new and I kept popping the B string over the edge of the frets until I got used to the feel of it.  I put flats on and it seemed to be a better balance of string gauges across the five of them.  The B was less inclined to pop over the edge.  The flats seemed to suit the humbucker/neck through combination.  I don't look for a lot of treble in my rigs.  I am old but I am not an old slapper!

Like you, I bought an 18 inch Trace cab.  I can't say what it's like at gig volumes but I have it as the extension cab to my Ashdown combo with its 15 inch cone.  It's wonderful at the volumes I practice at.  If you get the chance I'd love to hear what you think of it through the eighteen incher at full blast, as it were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

My Steinberger XT25 had roundwounds from new and I kept popping the B string over the edge of the frets until I got used to the feel of it.  I put flats on and it seemed to be a better balance of string gauges across the five of them.  The B was less inclined to pop over the edge.  The flats seemed to suit the humbucker/neck through combination.  I don't look for a lot of treble in my rigs.  I am old but I am not an old slapper!

Like you, I bought an 18 inch Trace cab.  I can't say what it's like at gig volumes but I have it as the extension cab to my Ashdown combo with its 15 inch cone.  It's wonderful at the volumes I practice at.  If you get the chance I'd love to hear what you think of it through the eighteen incher at full blast, as it were.

I've pushed the B string over the side of the neck a couple of times, but it doesn't seem to happen that often. The flats sound like a good idea - I might go for a set of them when it needs a re-string. 

I've got some leave to use up next week, so the plan is to treat myself to a studio day, setting up my pedal board properly and giving the full rig a decent workout. I'm dead keen to hear what it sounds like, too. I'm hoping to get a really full-on, rattle-the-windows, loosen-your-fillings sound. Like you, I don't look for much in the treble range - full warm mids and a deep dirty low end are where it's at for me. 

If it sounds OK and I can record it at a decent quality, I'll risk the laughter of da BC massif and post a video. Watch this space!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, but as tastefully as possible. Depped with an old band of mine recently & they play "Masterblaster" & "I Wish" - the middle part of the neck is where most of the action in those two numbers takes place. 

Haven't used a 4 on a gig in years, but would be good to have a half decent P or J kicking around in my collection...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, louisthebass said:

"I Wish"

Although that's in E flat I believe Nate originally played that on a four that is tuned to E flat rather than a five as he is sometimes seen with.  He said in an interview that he liked the slackness of the lower tuning.  That and a relatively high action contribute to "his" sound.

I happily play it on my five but I've not yet got it down to my satisfaction.

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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...