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I'm considering buying a 7 string bass which is currently strung in standard tuning (B-F in 4ths). I would like to restring it from F# to C, and drop the F# down a step to E.

I'm aware of the tonal range challenges of such low frequencies, but am curious as to advice on what strings would be recommended (prog rock/metal, jazz, classical mainly) and how long I should leave the bass without touching it after restringing etc (basically, any important considerations before during and after restringing).

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Assuming it's a standard scale bass, then I'd go 45, 65, 85, 105, 130 for the G, D, E, A and low B.The very low F#/E would be 150/155/160. The top C could be around 30, depending whether you need a bendable top or not.All these are +or- .005, to preferences of easier to fret, or fatter bass tone.

Play it straight away, after the intonation has been adjusted, which is pretty well guaranteed to need doing. The truss rod shouldn't need moving, though.There may be the need to open up holes for the low E, in the bridge or the machine head post, depending on the string you get, as to where it's wound. Sounds like fun - but I'd be inclined to leave the low one at F#, unless you have a very good amp/speaker set up that will do justice to the low E.

  • This might be a dozy question, but is that E an octave below 'standard' bottom E for a bass? – Tetsujin Oct 12 '14 at 16:02
  • Yes, it's got to be. Basses are usually tuned in 4ths. Standard G,D,A,E. Then down to B and F#. Which is a tone above the note the OP is considering. – Tim Oct 12 '14 at 16:09
  • Sounds like some serious engineering, I'd love to see something like that - I'm a bit old school, my Rikki 4001 I've had since the 70s has just the 4 strings ;) – Tetsujin Oct 12 '14 at 16:12
  • 8-string basses are rare (F#-F), and unwieldy. 6s are not uncommon, usually B-C. Try a 5-string low B version. That extra string is a boon on the bottom, not particularly for lower notes, but you can stay further up the neck and still find lower ones.I prefer 5-strings all day! – Tim Oct 12 '14 at 16:17
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    I found the one I meant, the Leduc - ubass.free.fr/donnees/imgbas/umm6sf.jpg beautiful machine, so expressive – Tetsujin Oct 12 '14 at 16:39

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