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Budget bass for turning into a piccolo bass - suggestions?


alexclaber

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I'm leaning towards a Squier Jazz or similar - does anyone out there play piccolo bass and have any suggestions?

 

Also the big question is what gauge strings to get - I want all 4 strings to be wound just for the feel of it and I have 44-110 s/s rounds on my normal bass so I'm perfectly happy with the tension being pretty high, any ideas?

 

And finally, if the tension proves to be higher than in standard tuning, is this likely to cause problems on a low-end bass?

 

Cheers,

 

Alex

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I had good luck with a Yamaha BBG4S II; it was in like-new condition with hard case, & I got it all with shipping for under $300 on eBay. I recently sold that instrument since I turned out not to use it enough, but I enjoy piccolo & if I got another one another Yamaha would be great. This one was active, & that's nice--it's good to have a decent, versatile preamp on board.

 

If I were to go with a piccolo again I might get a 5-string, though, and put a C string on; I found that I really didn't use the E string that much, since it was lower & bassier than the timbre I was going for, but ymmv. It's also possible to use a 4-string, drop the E & add a C.

 

I used a set of Ken Smith piccolo strings (got them at juststrings.com), but as far as I know you could use a set of guitar strings & take the strings you need (maybe someone will correct me on this; I never tried it). I believe the tension is lower with these strings; so you want a stable neck & decent trussrod, to keep the fretboard from getting to convex. You might also find that a nut replacement could help, to accommodate the much narrower gauge & increase sustain, reduce buzzes & rattles, etc.

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I'm not an authority on the piccolo but it would seem that to achieve the higher pitch you have two options: shorter scale or thinner strings & in this case, obviously, it's thinner strings.

To get the higher octave without severely over-tensioning the neck (a more worrisome problem with heavier bass strings), I think you'd need a gauge approaching that of regular guitar strings.

 

Having achieved that massive intellectual breakthrough :rolleyes: & typed it in, I woke up & did a quick searchat dogpile.com (my fave mega-search site) & got several companies, including this one, that may be of help:

 

altguitarbass.com

 

Try this as your search criteria: 'piccolo bass guitar strings".

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I strung a Peavey Foundation 5 string with GHS Bass Boomers at 18, 30, 40, 50, and 70. Came out pretty nice. I only had trouble getting the G string to hook up on the tuning peg, but it sounded pretty good. Actually sounded better as a piccolo than a bass! I got them at Bass Northwest in Seattle. You can contact them at www.bassnw.com. :thu:
Is that a real song or did you make that up?
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