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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / 19mm spacing on 5ers, why and when?



Apr 27th, 2018 04:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Just curious, maybe because I don't pay atention. My 5ers are all 17.5mm and I only recently played a 19mm. Nice. No problem with the wider spacing, at least in my short trial.

But when did the wider spacing come in for 5s? I have the impression that 17.5 was earlier and more common, maybe for comfort on the wider neck. I'm guessing 19mm was to get back the spacing that was familiar for four.

I think Lakland championed it early on and maybe set the trend?


(This message was last edited by BargeOn at 06:42 PM, Apr 27th, 2018)

Jeff Scott

On a spinning rock

Apr 27th, 2018 08:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

My first 5 string bass (Summer 1987) had very narrow string spacing, but back then 5 string basses were still really new/uncommon in the industry. The two I currently own (made in 2010 and 2011) have 3/4" string spacing at the bridge and are quite comfy for me.

(This message was last edited by Jeff Scott at 02:14 AM, Apr 28th, 2018)

Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Apr 27th, 2018 08:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don't know this for sure, but my guess is that some of the 1st 5-strings used an existing 1-3/4 nut width neck, and you can only spread the strings at the bridge so wide or the strings will fall off the sides of the neck.

My Fender P5 is 19mm. My G&L L2500 is narrower, probably around 17-1/2. I switch back and forth with no problem. I also switch between 4 and 5 strings and various neck widths. If I rotate through the variations on a regular basis, I remain comfortable with them all. It only takes a few measures of a song the be dialed in on the new bass.

(This message was last edited by themaestro at 10:26 PM, Apr 27th, 2018)



Do'in the 5 string thing!
Apr 30th, 2018 11:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have played string spacing on 5's from 17mm to 19mm. I can only deal with the 19mm spacing these days, primarily because I have big hands and relatively thick fingers, and my peripheral neuropathy makes the tighter string spacing very difficult. Imagine playing bass finger style with relatively thick cotton gloves on, and you'll get the idea. Laklands are 19mm and are for me the easiest 5's to play.

Contributing Member

North of Philly

Solid state = solid sound+light weight
May 2nd, 2018 03:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

Seems to me that Ibanez basses were always very narrow spacing. My Peavey basses are a bit wider I think, and my Jazz+5 is a hair wider yet.

The first basses I remember seeming to be very wide are the Roscoe Becks. They just seemed massive at the time.

Just pulled out the very near caliper, and the Peaveys clock in at 17.59mm.

When I get a chance to dig out the Jazz+5 I'll let you know where it stands.

Contributing Member

North of Philly

Solid state = solid sound+light weight
May 6th, 2018 08:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Pulled out the Jazz+5 the other day and was very surprised to find it is exactly the same spacing as the Peaveys

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / 19mm spacing on 5ers, why and when?

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