35inch scale - Low E0, what gauge?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by lewis, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    asking on behalf of my bands bassist
    He has a 35inch scale 5 string Schecter Stileto with Maple fretboard.
    We want to have a Low E (im an 8 string player) and he wondered what he would need.
    Bare in mind we are in the UK so Kallium is not an option.

    also if its not doable, as a plan B, could be use E1 and me and him have the same octave low E as each other?
    Does that work?
     
  2. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    a 10 second google show me here

    http://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/strings-c1/bass-guitar-single-strings-c536

    Only way is to buy a single string for it. you wont be able to tune to E0 with a standard 5 string set as the lowest you could get is a .135 String, which I would say its good for lowA, on a 35", maybe bit more?

    go to a string tension calculator and imput some values according on what gauge string you can get as a single, and see what tension would be required for lowE0 that matches his current settup. He would have to file the nut (usually with the string) so it can fit on it, so once the nut is filled theres no way back unless you buy a new nut. Also have a look at the type of bridge he has to see if the string would fit (I think there wont be a problem with that model)

    Mind you its not gonna sound super huge as E0 is 20.6Hz pretty much the limit of human hearing, so you wont be hearing that frequency but the harmonics of it, one because human ears, and second because you need a cinema sound system to be able to replicate that frquency lol

    wont be that bad tho, but jsut mind you it wont sound too pleasant and defined, specially for fast stuff, its more of a "rumble" kinda sound. Some people dig it. And a small little bass combo wont cut it.

    Playing the same E as you is still a good alternative (and one that requires less drama), Mesugah plays like that. Both instrumetns have different respective sound that still allows to each have their space, just be sure to both of you (specially you) take that into accont. Meaning, take the "bass" out of your guitar. I know it sounds huge and beautiful at home, but when you are in your band or at a gig/recording were you have a dedicated bass player, leave room for him. Let him fill the low part of the spectrum. Plus your guitar would cut trough the mix better. You take the higher freq range and let him take the low part of it. Add in top of that you having a dirt chanel and him a more clean signal it would both create a beautiful sound as long as the two of you are tight. You dont have to be one octave appart all the time. He could also add an octaver to his sound to add a bit of extra bass to it to simulate a bit the E0

    plus when you go into 7 string territory he can let the lowB to growl
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  3. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Man this is great advice!. I think this would be the best way to go. Both using E1.
    Tuning we are talking about is (for me) Low to high:

    E, B, F#, B, E, B, E, F# - Which is Drop B open tuning with an low E and high F# added.
    so his low E would be the same as mine at E1. Would the rest of his strings be an octave under me or not?
    Is my low B (2nd string) a B1 or B2? (sorry Im not at a tuner or guitar just now :/ haha) Trying to work out basically if the rest of his 4 strings would be an octave under me with only his E the same range as me, or if all his strings would be in the same octave as me haha.

    EDIT:
    I presume the rest of his would be octave under me?. I.e my low B is B2, his would be B1?
     
  4. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    Im not really understanding the crazy tunning hahaha but if it works for you go for it lol

    when you do your dropB riffings then he would play his 5th string low B to go with you. And when you change into your 8th lowE, then he would have to go to his 4th E standard string. The rest I have no idea. whatever works for your crazy tuning lol

    Have a go first with both playing same octave as it doesnt require any change on the instrument. See if you guys like it first before do the mods to the bass, then make the choice of staying like that or go with the E0. Because if you are going to have the bass in Drop B to match the 7 string part of your guitar then he would have to get a lighter set of strings to have the B-F#-B-E-B thing you got going on in there IF your licks are the same and want some easy transition of riffs between the two. As bass doesnt play chords in this scenario he could stay at BEADG if he wants to, as long as hes able to play your riffs when need it, as his fingering might be too complicated to match what could be an easy thing for you with that guitar settup

    maybe it would be easy to just have the bass match the guitar with an E0. Donno, sit down with a guitarpro or powertab software, write your licks, then transpose to the bass and change the bass tunnig and let him play it to see if he would be able or if he would need to match your EBEBEBEB thing
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  5. Winspear

    Winspear EtherealEntity Vendor

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    .200
    Not worth trying anything less in my opinion - an octave lower double the gauge is the same tension, so this 200 E0 is the same tension as a 100 E1. Normal, but not tight. This is the minimum for me as I find absolute pure tone and lack of buzz incredibly important the lower you tune!
    I just heard of a company in the UK called Newtone strings that do all sorts of custom stuff like this. Sounds like they are worth checking out as an alternative to Kalium!
     
  6. Winspear

    Winspear EtherealEntity Vendor

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    E1 is good advice though, I find a good rule of thumb for typical metal bands doubling riffs an octave lower is to use a 5 string in B standard with an 8 string in drop E for example. Play B string riffs an octave lower but 8 string grooves in the same octave. I love my sub-E string and think it's incredibly useful, but certainly not for typical riffing. I use it for independent lines and thickening sustained low string progressions etc. For general riff-copying, unison sounds much better in this instance.
     
  7. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Many people will here recommend unison instead of octave below, but you should try E0 (maybe just try a single string first) and decide for yourself, you may like it. You need a bass with a top-loading slot-loading bridge.
    D'Addario, Rotosound, Warwick and Pyramid all do single .175s (normally meant for F#0) which will be loose (similar to a .090 E) but usable at E0 with a careful technique. Pyramid are happy to make custom s up to .200 and Newtone have made custom strings up to .260.
    All bass strings have only a small amount of energy in the fundametal tone, and much more in the 2nd and up, so this is the case for all bass strings, only the 2nd harmonic is important for low notes, and most amps can reproduce 40Hz with no problem.
    As for sound, listen to this through a hifi or good headphones, this is EBEAD tuning with a .200, sounds good to me:

    You would still have the option of playing in unison if you want to.
    Listening to Meshuggah it seems to me that the guitars are full range and the bass guitar is overdriven and is bass and midrange. They don't avoid each other's frequency ranges at all and it sounds amazing. The bass still has a different tonal character.
    Here you can hear the bass on it's own:

    I don't agree that instruments necessarily have to avoid each other's frequency ranges, after all when 2 guitars riff together they have the same frequency ranges and it sounds amazing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  8. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    yeah your prob have better experience than me in this subject
    to be honest, thats like one of the first times (or first) that I hear a bass with a E0 (or something that low) to sound good. Everything I usually hear is full rumble territory un-defined stuff and funny to watch a guy clip-clap their way into the fretboard and only hear a mashup of un-defined low rumble sound under the fretbuzz hes creating

    this is prob the best approach to it and what would be my personal prefference. Low E0 sounds great like your clip posted, but when played fast riffing then everything gets lost on the rumble of things due to the low nature of the frequency. Better leave the lowE for more ambiental stuff. Same approach as I do with my lowB when playing with a E standard 6string guitar, where I only use the double octave for bigger than life chrods progresions to add extra low end for a better more powerfull sound, without the other guy necessary have a 7 string. Thats one of my main reasons to why have a 5 string bass over a 4 no matter the style and something I do even more ofthen in stuff like Jazz/latin stuff

    fair enough, sounds more like a guitar than a bass. But my reference to Meshuggah was more to point out the fact that the bass player plays same octave, I had no idea on how they mix/EQ things. My recomendation was more as a personal taste from what could work best on a mix. Plus one of the more common mistakes of every guitar player, that is to add too much low end to their sound. Because it does sounds huge and awesome at home when you trying to re-plicate the tone of your favourite artist sond/album, but that tone is on a mix, so part of what you are hearing is guitar+bass, you are jsut ignoring the bass and thinking its the guitar who does it all, hence why tend to overcompensate at home. IF you hear isolated tracks on a recording the guitar usually sounds way thinner than you might think. This is to give it their own space in the mix, plus when you double track(or more), plus add a bass everything can still breathe and have their space.
    Maybe its not that bad when you are on E standard 6 strings. But when you are on 8 strings E, then your sound would already come with extra low end, and it would help a lot to reduce the low end of your tone (you dont have to fully kill it tho), to allow yourself to have better clarity when playing with a bass player and a drummer on a live show. Even having two guitars both can take advantage of this so each can cut trough the mix eassier and have their sound and not have a masshup of bottom end. This way you can hear the guitars better without having to turn up the level that much as you are not fighting for a space in the mix.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  9. Dayn

    Dayn silly person

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    Is Kalium not an option? I'm Australian and I get them myself. They're more expensive due to shipping, but they're some of the best I've had for tuning low.

    For what it's worth I'll echo the sentiment of at least .200 at 35". I use a Kalium .182 for F# at 35", which I occasionally tune down to E, but .200 would be better. The only problem there is when it comes to how many wraps there are on the string. From memory, the .182 is three, while above that has four; to my ear, this is the threshold where I find the .182 works better for E than a .200, purely because it's more flexible with one less wrap, so it sounds better despite the lower tension.
     
  10. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    thanks everyone for the info so far!.
    I really love the Meshuggah video posted above /\
    I think the way to go would be have myself and the bassist both use E1 (means thinner gauge for him which is winner), means the bass is way more audible (my personal preference. I prefer bass being super prominent, almost Korn esque in a tone) and our bassist was primarily a guitarist before now so probably likes the idea of that almost hybrid bass/guitar tone like in the SHuggah jam!

    he is using a darkglass and a floorboard efx processor and the tone is already very good.

    so I imagine he will be tuned:

    E1, B1, F#2, B3, E3 ?

    and I would be

    E1, B2, F#3, B3, E4, B4, E5, F#5 ?

    also Im hoping a 009 will work on the top string for F# at 25.5 scale?
    that open tuning will be massive!. I can play bar chords and use every single string that way. Immensely huge.
     
  11. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    Just leave him in B standard ! There's no point in him tuning like you
     
  12. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    but he is good and follows the riffs I write? Which is far easier to work out if its exactly the same patterns as me etc?
     
  13. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    ok, you said you like the meshuggah way of handling low tunings, here's how it works :
    old stuff was wrote in Bb, so for playing that the bass player use a five string tuned half a step from B standard, so Bb standard and just do his thing 1 octave lower
    recent stuff is 8 string stuff, tuned in F or lower so the bass player use another 5 string in drop Bb (so Bb, F, Bb, Eb, Ab) and play in unisson with the guitars on the F string when they do the chuggy 00000000000000 stuff. Now when the guitars do other stuff he can riff on his low Bb and make it rumble.
    Now if you do a similar thing your dude doesn't have to change his tuning he already got the B0 and the E1 as standard.

    if you really want though he can tune like you, but that implies going with a custom set of strings , probably changing the nut cause the slots would be too wide and cause buzzing, setting the intonation and the action ... it's a lot a trouble for something that's probably not worth it
     
  14. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Ok.
    That would extend the bass range almost up to 7 string bass high F which would be interesting (use a .020 or .022 wound made for high F).
    Or as suggested B0, E1, B1, F#2, B3, then he can do octave-down from anything on your B1 string and the top B3 is almost as high as a 6 string bass high C.
    Yeah fine.
    Custom thinner stirngs will be needed either way, you won't need to change the nut when using thinner strings as nut slot wall contact is not needed, it is downforce that centres a string at the base of the curved floor of the nut slot (i've used .045 in a .165 slot and .007 in a .032 slot no problem).
     
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  15. Insomnia

    Insomnia Needs more strings!

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    Honestly, there's no point in tuning to E.

    It won't sound very good for a number of reasons:
    1) Quite frankly, a bad bass for this sort of tuning down.
    2) It's the limit of human hearing.
    3) The speakers needed to push that kind of low-end are usually custom-made and expensive.

    Animals as Leaders, when they seldom use studio bass, use a BEADG bass, and guess what? It sounds fantastic!

    Meshuggah, one of the heaviest bands in progressive metal, have their bassist tune UP to F for their material, and it still sounds huge, as the bass is really punchy!

    I think your bassist would be wasting his time and money and would ruin his bass having to get it cut for such a large string.
     
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  16. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I agree. We are going to have his low string in the same octave as whatever my low note is.
    like two F1's or something just like Meshuggah.
     
  17. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    lewis, you've decided on a higher tuning and that's fine, but Insomnia's post is the sort of post i warned you about above and has some commonly-expressed ignorance about very low strings (no offence meant, it's understandable to have these views before becoming more involved with ERBs).
    There's no point for you maybe.
    1. There's nothing about the bass that makes it unsuitable for E0, there are many people using 35" scale basses for very low tunings, E0 and below.
    2. and 3. From my post above: "All bass strings have only a small amount of energy in the fundametal tone, and much more in the 2nd and up ... only the 2nd harmonic is important for low notes, and most amps can reproduce 40Hz with no problem."
    E0 has it's 2nd harmonic at around 40Hz, so most bass amplification will be fine, it's not important at all to reproduce 20Hz, it's barely audible and all the good tone comes from the higher harmonics.

    The main reason you may not like the tone is actually due to the stiffness of the string causing a dark rumbling tone (the same stiffness issue that B strings have), some like it some do not, also the large variability of tone quality from strings this big, Kaliums may sound fairly good, others may sound very dull and dead.

    The lower the note, the less you are able to judge the result over the internet, it's very different when you try it yourself through a bass amp, therefore my recommendation to try a single E0 string.
    Widening the nut slots does not 'ruin a bass', it just has wider nut slots, you won't even need a new nut if you go back to thinner strings. The worst that can happen is needing a new nut, cheap and easy to replace DIY.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017 at 1:21 AM
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  18. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    Re: Meshuggah's tone- there's very little bottom end in their guitars so it leaves tons of room for the bass, which is honestly like 60% of their tone. It's not the only way to go about it but it works if that's the sound you're going for.

    Honestly, I've found that the *best* bass to play with 8-strings is a good Precision style single-pickup, tuned to standard, run through some distortion. It sounds counterintuitive but it just *works*. Cut all the frequencies below 100hz on the guitars, boost the lows on the bass, and just double all the low riffs with it.
     

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