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MrTea

Hohner B2A fretless - regular string conversion

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I've got an old Hohner B2A fretless which I've been meaning to set up properly for ages. Does anyone know the best option to get some decent flats on these? Is it worth upgrading the headstock  to take regular strings and if so which part do I need? I had a look on eBay and couldn't quite work out whether options I'd seen like this would do the trick ...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-String-Electric-Headless-Bass-Guitar-Locking-Nut-with-Mounting-Screws-Wrench-/293146773871?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

Any help much appreciated. 

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You could also consider speaking to Newtone Strings who might be able to make you some custom strings to your own spec. 

https://newtonestrings.com/

 

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Thanks guys. Double ball ends are still an option. I'd just wondered if possible to convert to using regular strings would open up my options (I also have some flats sitting around which aren't being used). I do like those tape wounds though ....

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My Sei has a head(less) end that will take double ball end strings or clamp regular strings. I've always found Status db strings fine in round flat and half rounds flavours 

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I have a set of Picato double ball stainless flats on my B2A. This set has been on the bass for well over over twenty years and still sound great but it looks like Picato have ceased production. I believe Picato also made Status Hotwires and looking at the Status website it seems double ball flats are all sold out. I don’t know whether Status are any closer to finding a new supplier. The only double ball flats listed on strings direct are LaBellas which cost an eye-watering £75!

There used to be a clamp widget that works similar to a terminal block but fashioned from brass that enabled normal strings to be used on the b2a, however I recall hearing it was not recommended for flatwounds as it wasn’t possible to clamp onto them.

Sorry I’ve not been any help - I hope you find something suitable.

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Just before Christmas I bought Status flats and half rounds,  so they still have someone making them! These were short scale. Haven't tried the flats yet as the half rounds went on first and I really like them! 

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11 hours ago, LeftyJ said:

http://stringadapter.com/string-adapter/compare-prices/

This adapter will hold regular single-ball strings without modifications to your bass. It anchors behind the headpiece. I'm not aware of the issue @Jean-Luc Pickguard pointed out about it not being suitable for flatwounds. It might be worth contacting the company to ask though! 

I'm using one of these adaptors with flat-wound strings and have had no problems. The hole that you thread the string through is slightly dished, and the end of the locking screw is slightly convex, so it crimps the string outer against its inner, and so the string does not unravel if you remove it once it has been cut.

David 

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On 08/03/2021 at 23:18, Jean-Luc Pickguard said:

I have a set of Picato double ball stainless flats on my B2A. This set has been on the bass for well over over twenty years and still sound great but it looks like Picato have ceased production. I believe Picato also made Status Hotwires and looking at the Status website it seems double ball flats are all sold out. I don’t know whether Status are any closer to finding a new supplier. The only double ball flats listed on strings direct are LaBellas which cost an eye-watering £75!

There used to be a clamp widget that works similar to a terminal block but fashioned from brass that enabled normal strings to be used on the b2a, however I recall hearing it was not recommended for flatwounds as it wasn’t possible to clamp onto them.

Sorry I’ve not been any help - I hope you find something suitable.

I think the Picato strings are still available on eBay.

Look here

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

I think the Picato strings are still available on eBay.

Look here

No double-ball end flats though, and looks like they're all NOS.

Picato still has a website which isn't very helpful and directs you to Strings and Things.

Edited by LeftyJ

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I've just followed the link in your original post - no, don't go for that one.

 It's a replacement for everything beyond the nut, and may not fit the neck profile, or allow you access to your truss rod. Also, there are a couple of clamp-bars on the fretboard side, which pull the strings down onto the nut or zero fret, but do not clamp them enough to allow you to safely cut them. For that, each string has to be bent through 90 degrees and fed through a hole to be clamped by the screws on the end of the headstock. Roundwounds can bend like that, flatwounds tend to split and unravel. If you look at the clamping screws in the picture, you will se that they are 90 degrees round from where you might expect them to be.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Black-4-String-Electric-Headless-Bass-Guitar-Locking-Nut-With-Screws-Hex-Key/284165012089?_trkparms=aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20201210111314%26meid%3D33b30b56236349f5ab09652353c95d31%26pid%3D101195%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D12%26mehot%3Dco%26sd%3D293146773871%26itm%3D284165012089%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D0%26pg%3D2047675%26algv%3DSimplAMLv9PairwiseUnbiasedWeb%26brand%3DUnbranded&_trksid=p2047675.c101195.m1851 is the same part, but the pictures show it better.

David

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Thanks all. Not sure I like the idea of risking the import tax on ordering the adapter from the US. I did find these though - I wonder if they're still available somewhere and would work?

https://www.musique-shop.fr/uk/steinberger-bass-string-adapter-4-string-bass.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-aGCBhCwARIsAHDl5x9YoCndcLGZ4232o0fuvcrxY05cpaRYf4mCUqja_tthJogr7GkMSecaAv0bEALw_wcB

Otherwise it doesn't look much difference in price on ordering some double ball end flats or the adapter. 

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6 hours ago, LeftyJ said:

No double-ball end flats though, and looks like they're all NOS.

Picato still has a website which isn't very helpful and directs you to Strings and Things.

No idea why these didn't come up in my original post

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Picato-Double-Ball-End-45-105-Standard-Nickel-Wound-Bass-Guitar-Strings-97314/273864531396?epid=2163431869&hash=item3fc3991dc4:g:jLwAAOSwtu9c67U5

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1 hour ago, MrTea said:

Thanks all. Not sure I like the idea of risking the import tax on ordering the adapter from the US. I did find these though - I wonder if they're still available somewhere and would work?

https://www.musique-shop.fr/uk/steinberger-bass-string-adapter-4-string-bass.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-aGCBhCwARIsAHDl5x9YoCndcLGZ4232o0fuvcrxY05cpaRYf4mCUqja_tthJogr7GkMSecaAv0bEALw_wcB

Otherwise it doesn't look much difference in price on ordering some double ball end flats or the adapter. 

That looks very similar to mine, which works on my Hohner B2v, so it should work if you can find one.

Buying the adaptor brings in savings when you next want to change strings - you have more choices.

David

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I think I still have a part used 5er set of Picato flats in the Projects Box, will have a look. I preferred half rounds and rounds. 

Main reason for posting is that I made mine decades back from a couple of slices of brass and with only a hand drill (hence the slightly squiffy holes!)

Works nicely, and I once had a low B string pull apart but cured it with a drop of superglue. 

20210327_122427.jpg

20210327_122442.jpg

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