Re: Strings for 5 string Ampeg Baby Bass

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Posted by François Blais on September 10, 2001 at 19:46:36:

In Reply to: Strings for 5 string Ampeg Baby Bass posted by Tim on September 10, 2001 at 16:16:21:

: Having just purchased an old 5 string Baby Bass, I'm somewhat confused by the various pieces of information I've gleaned about strings for this thing.

: - The owners manual ( leads one to believe that the factory recommended setup was with a high C (Low to High EADGC).

Usually, jazz players go with a high-C and classical players with a low-C or low-B.
But it's up to you.

: - The manual has recommended guages but I'm not sure what the numbers relate to in English or Metric units ... G-39,D-45,A-47,E-56(C-33,for BB-5) ... are these Gut or Steel?

20 = 1mm (0.039")
So you can convert to get intelligible gauges.
But don't bother with these gauges. Go with modern strings if you like.
I'd recommend lighter gauge strings though.

: - There is a set from LaBella that is marketed specifically for the "Ampeg Baby Bass" but it is a nylon tape wound 4 string set. I found no mention of either lower or higher single strings for this set.

The 7710 (black-nylon) strings are also available in high-C and extended lenght E (mechanical extension).

: - Lemur Music ( suggested a 3/4 Thomastik Spirocore "weich" set but unfortunately it appears that there is not a "weich" High C or Low B.

Seems a good choice to me.

: - On the JustStings site ( there is a 3/4 "weich" Low C listed and a "mittel" Low B.


: - I spoke to a representative of Thomastik and he said that he generally sold 1/2 size sets for the Ampeg Baby Bass!

Ampeg baby basses have a 3/4 bass scale, and the lenght between tailpiece and bridge is about the same as on an acoustic. At least it was that way on the Ampeg Baby Bass I owned for several years. However the Azola version is a little different I think.

: Ummm ... $150.00 is a lot of money for me to spend on "experimenting". I use Thomastik Spirocore "mittel" on my good old Kay and am happy with that. I know the sound of the Ampeg and am not expecting "acoustic" sound quality from it's original pickup (I think the thumpy sound of the thing is part of it's charm). I do want reasonable string-to-string tension and a Low B that speaks if possible. It currently appears to have another Low E tuned to B that really just rattles.

Do you have a spare set from your acoustic, or even an old set?
Just try them on the ABB.
Or buy a used set from a fellow bassist for cheap, in order to experiment.

My $0.02!

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