Bass guitar question

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phase ghost
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Bass guitar question

Post by phase ghost » Mon May 16, 2011 1:50 pm

I've always wanted to play bass, so I bought an sx bass two weeks ago. Also, I bought a set of D'Addario Chromes (medium) yesterday to put on. First thing I noticed was the strings were way thicker than what shipped on my bass. Next, I noticed the strings wouldn't fit through the bridge holes. So, I drilled out the holes a little and got the E and A strings through and wound up.

When I went to string up the last two strings, they wouldn't fit through the guide at the top, so I removed it. Is it okay to leave this off or should I buy one that fits the strings better?

Here's an image of the guide at the top of the neck I'm referring to:

Image

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TrashWaveform
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Post by TrashWaveform » Mon May 16, 2011 7:39 pm

The only standard for guitars is having it set up the way you like it. If after all your modifications it tunes and plays to your preference then it is completely okay. Losing this guide will remove the downward pressure on the strings so it will affect the tuning slightly since your guitar head doesn't appear to be angled. But yet again if it tunes great for your preference then I wouldn't sweat it.
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Cat-A-Tonic
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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Mon May 16, 2011 9:28 pm

You have to use a round needle file to enlarge the notches in your nut
to fit the new strings.

Nut = string guide between neck and headstock.

Everyone has different string preferences.
I like steel rope core wound with nylon,
but I play contrabass.
Babaluma put some nylons on his electric bass,
and they seemed nice in that context as well.

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sduck
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Post by sduck » Mon May 16, 2011 9:38 pm

I'd like to see the rest of the bass - more pics? It looks like a 70's vintage logo, but I don't recognize the specific headstock. You should be aware that 70's era Ibanez's are considered collectible by certain people and can fetch some real money if marketed correctly. Drilled out bridges and lost parts can effect the prices substantially - so hold onto that string guide!

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Kent
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Post by Kent » Mon May 16, 2011 9:54 pm

I own the same kind of bass. It is an Ibanez Black Eagle.

http://www.blackeaglebass.com/

a) I'd advise against further adventures with the drill and the files. This is a collectable bass and is worth a decent amount of money.

b) It sounds like you need some decent advice and a proper setup. I'd advise a trip to a reputable guitar tech who can set-up the bass correctly, thereby giving you a known reference point from which to work. Any decent tech will also be happy to instruct you as to how to maintain your new bass.

c) This is the first case I've heard of someone adapting a bass to a string gauge via a drill.

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kindredlost
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Post by kindredlost » Mon May 16, 2011 9:58 pm

The only thing to be concerned about might be the gage of the strings. If you are too heavy and the neck isn't tough enough then there could be some long term damage.

I string a Mexican fretless Fender Jazz all the time with a set of strings made for a 5 string bass. I use the low B string for my E and it takes a plumber's wrench to tighten the machine heads for tuning. But t sounds badass. The neck is about to split but hell it's a $200 bass guitar. Shit.

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sduck
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Post by sduck » Mon May 16, 2011 10:29 pm

Oh yea, a Black Eagle! Excellent bass, and looks fabulous.

What Kent said.

I owned a early 70's Flying V lawsuit model Ibanez for a while. In the late 70's when I had they were considered throwaway basses. But now they sell routinely for fabulous amounts of money. Yes, I wish I'd held onto it.

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TrashWaveform
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Post by TrashWaveform » Mon May 16, 2011 10:43 pm

He bought an SX bass. This picture may just be hot linked for a visual aid. I think a new bass player would be lucky to have a Black Eagle. But I doubt a new bass player would throw that much money down or be lucky to find one in a bargain bin.

http://sxbasses.com/

My advice for cheap guitars. MOD AWAY! Some of my favorite guitars are my cheaper end ones I wasn't afraid to risk destruction with. Frankenstein those babies. :sb:
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phase ghost
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Post by phase ghost » Tue May 17, 2011 10:22 am

Hi Guys, thanks for all advice. I should have clarified that the image was strictly for reference. Kent, I stole it from some images you posted in another thread.

Anyways, I've been playing it and watching the tuner and it seems to be hitting all the notes just fine, so I'm thinking everything should workout.

Apparently, it shipped with the lightest gauge strings that exist. Also, it was the silk wrappings at the end that wouldn't fit through, so it only took a little bit of drilling out to get it to fit through. I was going to buy a replacement bridge, but couldn't wait. Plus, the bass was only $115.

The new strings are a dream to play. Granted, I've only been playing for 2 weeks, but wow what a difference. Super smooth. :bananaguitar:

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oscillateur
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Post by oscillateur » Wed May 18, 2011 6:13 am

The Chromes are flatwound so it's normal that their sound is quite different from the sound of roundwounds which the bass was probably setup with.

Try to do a full setup (truss rod + bridge) if you changed the gauge, it doesn't take long and even I managed to do that recently so it's definitely not difficult :).

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Wed May 18, 2011 9:25 am

yep, teach yourself the skills to do your own guitar and bass setups. all the info is out there, and the more you do it, the quicker you'll get. i do setups on all my electric guitars and basses every six months when the seasons change. it keeps the intonation spot on, which is great for recording. there's nothing like the sound of a badly intonated bass when the player decides to start playing higher up the neck... 8_)

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TrashWaveform
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Post by TrashWaveform » Wed May 18, 2011 5:37 pm

phase ghost wrote:Apparently, it shipped with the lightest gauge strings that exist. Also, it was the silk wrappings at the end that wouldn't fit through, so it only took a little bit of drilling out to get it to fit through. I was going to buy a replacement bridge, but couldn't wait. Plus, the bass was only $115.

The new strings are a dream to play. Granted, I've only been playing for 2 weeks, but wow what a difference. Super smooth. :bananaguitar:
I figured this as much. Cheap guitars have the cheapest/poorest quality possible strings on them. They are almost purely to visually complete it rather than be playable. So swapping them out was a good move. This would of totally ruined your bass experience if you didn't
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sduck
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Post by sduck » Wed May 18, 2011 10:32 pm

Oh! I see. Not an Ibanez. My mistake. Ignore my comments. Drill away. The more holes the merrier!

FWIW, I have a Cort bass, which is a really chintzy steinberger clone, which somehow manages to actually have some pretty good wood in it, but really sucky electronics. Upgrade the electronics, and it sounds almost great! And I put Rotosound strings on it, and it wails. The original bass cost almost nothing - probably about the same as your SX.

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