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  #1  
Old 2005-08-30, 19:40
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Talking Anyone here own a 4-string bass and downtunes it?

I'm looking for a 4-string bass that can be downtuned to (max.) B without having to buy a 5-string bass, if this is possible. Has anyone ever tried doing this?

What brands of bass guitars do you suggest?

What gauge would I have to use and what adjustments have to be made to the bridge/action, if any.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 2005-08-30, 19:44
McCalister999 McCalister999 is offline
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I won't suggest specific brands, but your best bet would be to go with an longer scale and ideally string through.
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  #3  
Old 2005-08-30, 20:12
tchambliss tchambliss is offline
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They have ESP's that have the range of a 5 string (B E A D)(I know the G is missing). Cort is a badass brand. . . My bassist plays a Cort 5 string and it sounds like a dream. A longer scale would be better and heaver size strings but just make sure you adjust your truss with it. . . don't want to ruin a perfectly good bass.
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  #4  
Old 2005-08-30, 20:32
Meesh Meesh is offline
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Yes, I own a ashton 4-string but it's only downtuned to standard D so I haven't needed to do anything to it since I bought it.
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  #5  
Old 2005-08-30, 22:19
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Subsonic6string Subsonic6string is offline
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There are more and more basses being made that are called "Baritone" basses. These are made to be tuned B-E-A-D. ESP make one, (LTD, so it's the cheaper version) that is amazing. I've seen several other brands, though, so as it becomes more popular to play down-tuned like that, more and more versions will become available.

Cheers.

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  #6  
Old 2005-08-31, 10:53
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Tattered Tattered is offline
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I downtune my thumb bass to C tuning sometimes, because some of my bands songs are in that tuning, look for a thicker gauge like 0.45 - .105, it helps if your going to be at a lower tuning.
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  #7  
Old 2005-08-31, 11:30
Yertle4 Yertle4 is offline
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My EB Sterling bass downtunes to D standard fine with just 45-100 gauge and that's not exactly a metal bass, so I guess you'd be ok with most quality basses.
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  #8  
Old 2005-08-31, 14:11
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Exclamation

Thanks for the replies, guys.

I'm actually a guitarist and you know guitars can be downtuned and the springs at the back loosened. Bass guitars have fixed bridges so there's no springs at the back, right?

In other words, with a bass guitar you just tune down and use thicker gauges, right? And of course you move the saddles back or whatever et cetera.
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  #9  
Old 2005-08-31, 15:45
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The biggest problem with downtuning a normal 4 string is your going to get a lot of flop, and a lot of clank. Raise your action to deal with this, but you might not like the higher action.
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  #10  
Old 2005-08-31, 19:49
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I've tuned my Yamaha and my Ibanez down to Bb for Cannibal Corpse. =P
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  #11  
Old 2005-08-31, 21:14
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Local_Hero Local_Hero is offline
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I hate the effects of downtuning(lower tension), so I'm going to buy heavier gauge strings for my main bass. Hopefully I won't havo to adjust the truss rod.
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  #12  
Old 2005-09-01, 14:06
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Thumbs up

I think I'll just (save and) buy a 5-string bass since I will be sticking to B tuning for a long time and I want the notes to be heard and minimum fretbuzzing and clanking.

Still lots of bands like Carcass, for example used to downtune their 4-string bass guitars to B. Or even Mortician's Will Rahmer tunes his bass even lower than B. The result of course sounds like a coffee machine gone wrong hehe but if he's happy what the hell. I think he still uses a 4-string, not sure. If he does, he could at least get a 5-string bass and downtune that!
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  #13  
Old 2005-09-02, 17:49
iron_bodom iron_bodom is offline
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Try using heavy guaged strings. Like D'aquestrio .050-.110 or GHS .050-.115>particularly if your going for anything in drop A range. If you don't want all the noise of the strings rattling off the fret board.
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  #14  
Old 2005-09-06, 22:35
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How much are the...
D'aquestrio .050-.110's ?
GHS .050-.115's?
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  #15  
Old 2005-09-07, 10:38
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Subsonic6string Subsonic6string is offline
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Currently, my E string is tuned down to low B, and my low B is at G#. (standard C# tuning, and dropped from there.) I found that by adjusting my action, using a heavier guage string, and tweaking my truss rods (yeah, there's 2 truss rods in my neck...) it raised my action to the point of feeling normal.

If you really want to drop that low, either read up on setting the neck/action up, or pay a pro some bucks to set it for you. That should eliminate the "flopping" of the strings that is so prevalent when you tune down that much.

Cheers.

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  #16  
Old 2005-09-08, 16:20
iron_bodom iron_bodom is offline
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D'aquestrio are $15 dollars and there good strings for the money.
GHS .050-.115 Heavy Bass Boomers are $25, and in my opinion are some of the best heavy guaged strings out there.
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  #17  
Old 2005-09-08, 23:01
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I'm in drop C at the moment. (Learning all of Metallica's St. Anger album)
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  #18  
Old 2005-09-10, 09:40
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Subsonic6string Subsonic6string is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulvox
(Learning all of Metallica's St. Anger album)


Hmmm...Bob Rock's basslines are....interesting...I suppose. I wouldn't bother with Metallica's shit after Master of Puppets just on principle alone, though. That, however, it just my opinion.

Cheers.

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  #19  
Old 2005-09-10, 16:36
Rattlehead Rattlehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subsonic6string
Currently, my E string is tuned down to low B, and my low B is at G#. (standard C# tuning, and dropped from there.) I found that by adjusting my action, using a heavier guage string, and tweaking my truss rods (yeah, there's 2 truss rods in my neck...) it raised my action to the point of feeling normal.


You've confused me here. Why tune your E down 5 semitones but your B down only 3 semitones. This would mean fret 3 on your lowest string gives the same note as your open second-lowest string (in this case a "B).

Or you you mean that your low B is tuned down to F#?
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  #20  
Old 2005-09-10, 18:13
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Subsonic6string Subsonic6string is offline
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It's more a matter of in standard tuning (4th's apart) it'd be right for the A. But then we drop tune the E. I still use it alot, but mostly for octaves and shit off my A string. Also, I use it to climb up to my E string (actual note of B) using the 0-1-2 frets to the E string.

Sounds confusing, yeah, but it actually makes it quite easy to play certain stuff where as when I tried tuning my low B a 4th below my E string, I had to re-learn 1/2 the stuff we were doing, so I changed back. (yeah, I know, I'm one fucked-up dood. lol)

Cheers.

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