Specialty Bass Guitar Strings


Bass-Aholic String Shop

Shopping for bass strings can be complicated. There are so many different types of strings. There’s roundwound, flatwound, halfwound, tapewound and coated strings. There’s short scale, medium scale, long scale, (which is really the “standard” scale) and super-long scale. And, there’s 4-string, 5-string, 6-string and 8-string.  There are also basses that have 1-string, 2-strings, 3-strings, and 12-strings.  Really there seems to be no limit to the variation in basses and their string combinations.

A previous 101 Basses article, The Confusion on Shopping for Bass Guitar Strings,  discusses many of the common types of strings for bass guitars.


D’Addario EXL280 Nickel Wound Piccolo Bass Strings, 20-52, Long Scale

This article goes into more detail about some specialty string sets for specific type of bass guitars.

Three Specialty Bass Guitar String Sets from D’Addario…

Piccolo Bass Strings: According to Wikipedia there are at least two types of piccolo basses.  Typically electric piccolo basses have 4-strings tuned one octave higher than a traditional bass.  These basses are made by Zon, Carl Thompson and probably others.  D’Addario produces one set of their most common XL-Nickel Wound strings in a size specifically for piccolo bass.


D’Addario ESXL170 Nickel Wound Bass Guitar Strings, Light, 45-100, Double Ball End, Long Scale

Ned Steinberger – TransTrem – Double Ballend Strings:  Back in the 1980’s Ned Steinberger developed what is known as a the headless bass (and guitars too).  These instruments became quite iconic in their day.  Steinberger developed a bridge, called the TransTrem bridge that was a tailpiece, bridge, tuner and vibrato all in one.  The bass requires a special string that has ball ends on both ends of the string.  (Most strings have a ballend only on the bridge end of the string).  D’Addario produces two sets of strings for this bridge.


D’Addario XL156 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar/Nickel Wound Bass Strings, Fender Nickel Wound Bass VI, 24-84

Fender Bass VI:  The Fender Bass VI is one of the original 6-string basses dating back to 1961.  But is NOT typical of modern day 6-string basses.  The typical 6-string bass has a 34″ scale and is tuned B-E-A-D-G-C.  The Fender Bass VI has a 30″ scale and is tuned E-A-D-G-B-E.  Just like a standard guitar, but one octave lower.  D’Addario produces a set of strings specifically for this bass.

The Bass-Aholic String finder page is designed to help you sort out the over 60 string sets produced by D’Addario.  Check it out here.  D’Addario products are supplied and shipped from Amazon.com, so you assured of satisfaction and great prices.  Bass-Aholic is an affiliate of Amazon.com.  Remember that when you order through the string finder you are helping to support Bass-Aholic.

Notice: It’s easy to order the wrong strings.  Bass-Aholic provides information only and cannot be responsible errors or omissions.  Do your homework before purchasing.


All About Tone Woods In Guitar Building

There has always been a lot of discussion and lots of mystery behind the subject of tonewoods in guitar building.  That is, how does the wood used in building a guitar affect its sound and overall quality.

The Fender Custom Shop has a Youtube channel with a good number of videos.

Fender’s Mike Eldred goes into a lot of detail about the standard woods used in the construction of Fender guitars and basses. He also talks about why you might choose one wood over another and how one cut of wood is not like another.

This series is well worth watching.

Tone Woods Part 1 of 3 – Philosophy

Tone Woods Part 2 of 3 – Bodies

Tone Woods Part 3 of 3 – Necks


Wishing for a Better Wishbass?



I’ve talked a lot about boutique basses in the past.  You can see my definition here.  Even though Wishbass contradicts part of my own definition of a boutique bass, I still like to think of them as boutique.  They don’t really fit the definition because they are NOT high-end by any stretch.  In fact Steve Wishnevsky often sells his basses new for about $100 per string.  Yup $400 or so for a boutique instrument.  But the reason I like to think of them as boutique is because they are all unique, completely original in design and are made from all kinds of unusual woods.  If nothing else they are quirky and fun.  So let’s say Wishbass is boutique.

Recently I came across someone that’s a fan this brand, by the name of Dave.  Dave has a website aptly named “Dave’s Bass Place”.  His website has a sub section that’s all about refinishing Wishbasses.  The section should perhaps be called “Finishing Wishbasses” as Dave likes to take them apart and rebuild them doing a lot of the stuff that maybe should have been done in the original build.  Regardless, what he does is pretty interesting and just another facet of never ending and totally interesting world of bass.

Please check out his page here.

And see more about Wishbass at Bass-Aholic.



Bass Guitar Obsession? Three Ways to Fritter Away Your Day

If you love guitars, bass guitars and other cool musical instruments, Bass-Aholic is here to help fuel your obsession and give you GAS.  If you have ADHD, (or ADOS – Attention Deficit–Oh Shiny) we’re most happy to help get lost in the endless plethora of beautiful and interesting bass guitars.

Buried away in the submenus of Bass-Aholic are three really cool pages that you just have to see…


Surprise Me!

Number One — Surprise Me
Bass-Aholic has close to 1000 bass guitar brand pages. That means 1000 pages and every one has something different or unique. And, how do you just stumble upon some thing cool? Well you click the Surprise Me link. Every time you click, Bass-Aholic will display one random page. So life really is a like box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s fun and a great way to find new stuff.

Number Two — PinBoard  Sometimes it seems like Bass-Aholic just has too much information and you can never find what you are looking for.  If you have a keyword you can search for it using the World’s Best Guitar Search.  It’s by far the easiest way to go.  But if you are looking for visual details, that’s just not going to do it for you.  Instead you can use the PinBoard.  This page is really simple, it shows you a thumbnail (a smaller photo) of every bass brand in the Luthiers DataBASS.  It doesn’t show you every model for every brand, but you get my best sample of the work of each brand.

(BTW Variations of the PinBoard have been offered in hi-res photos, that are sized as screen savers.  So you can show the world your true passion for bass guitar.)


Bass-Aholic PinBoard

 Number Three — SlideShow  The Bass-Aholic DataBASS contains literally thousands of photos.  SlideShow takes random picks of these thousands of pix and shows them for a few seconds each.  Thumbnails are not displayed as the page works to find the the higher-res pix in the DataBASS.  Load this page on your HD TV screen while you’re having a few beers with your bass players friends.  Even guitar players will be impressed.  Way more fun than a zonk poster and no blacklights are required!


Bass-Aholic SlideShow

So there it is.  Three cool ways to fritter away your day on Bass-Aholic.  But I’m guessing that if you are still reading this page, you are NOT a true Bass-Aholic and do not have ADOS or you would have already been off trying out these pages.


Always Stay Tuned - Terri




The Easiest Way to Find Bass Guitars on Ebay From Bass-Aholic

(Story below screen shot)

Search everything bass guitar on eBay (should maybe be eBass?)

If you’re a true Bass-Aholic you know the best places online to search for bass guitars. And the best place to whittle away the hours online is by far eBay.

I love eBay and I have my favorite searches of course.  They almost always include the word “bass” and category 619 – Musical Instruments & Gear.

For some time I’ve been looking for a way to integrate eBay searches directly in to Bass-Aholic, so finally got off my big behind and signed up for eBay’s Partner Network.

The eBay Partner Network is, in essence, eBay’s affiliate program.  Affiliate programs allow web developers to monetize their websites by advertising for almost any product that can be sold online.

eBay – Dingwall bass guitar search

My vision for Bass-Aholic was to provide brand specific eBay searches for each page in Bass-Aholic.  There are over 1000 brand pages, so for each page you’d want to search eBay for basses related to the page you are on.  The implementation of this was actually not difficult and the result is that every brand page now has a related eBay search displayed.

You will notice that if eBay cannot provide direct matches of your exact search, it will try to find items related to your search.  Sometimes this might be a bother, but other times it works pretty well in helping you find something similar to what you want.

So if you can search for one brand name bass guitar, why not search for a whole bunch?  This is where the concept goes a bit crazy.  And, this part is a lot of fun.

There is a new option (a checkbox) on “The World’s Best Bass Guitar Search” page called called eBay.  (see screen shot at the top of this article)   If you search with this checkbox checked, an eBay search for each brand name bass guitar will be displayed.  Once the scrolling kicks in, this display gets rather interesting, but the result are something that will tickle the fancy of any confirmed Bass-Aholic with ADHD.  (Also known in our house as, Attention Deficit…Oh Shinny! — or ADOS)

Some really interesting searches are:

…as just a few examples.
You can create your own eBay searches from the main search page.  Simply click Reset, uncheck Bass-Aholic DataBASS, and check eBay, then pick whatever search you like.  The search will display eBay search blocks for each brands in the search.  Bookmarking the URL will save all of your parameters for next time.
Happy eBay bass shopping!
Always Stay Tuned - Terri








Guitar Registry.net – Register Your Precious Musical Instruments *Before* They Go Missing


Guitar Registry.net

One night, almost a year ago, my band was playing a gig. Late in the evening, our guitar player returned home and dropped off most of the equipment used that evening at his home. The home was also our practice space. He then left again for an hour or two. When he returned the front door was open and a can of bear spray was sitting in the front hallway. Most of the band’s equipment was gone.

Over the next day or two we went through all the normal steps, the police reports and trying to reconcile what was gone.  The biggest problem was just that, trying to reconcile what was gone.   A lot of stuff was rather obvious.  Some things were not.  Even as recent as a few months ago we noticed we couldn’t find something then realized that it was also stolen.

The biggest problem was, besides not taking adequate steps to prevent the robbery in the first place, was that we didn’t have any of the information we needed to sufficiently report the robbery to the police.  The more details you have the easier it is actually recover your lost property.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty and that’s what this new website, GuitarRegistry.net, is all about.

What you need to do, and what we wish we had, was to record all the information you have about your gear before it goes missing.  It doesn’t matter if it is a guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drum kit, PA, amplifier or whatever.  If it has a serial number, get it into this registry.

The search key for this website is Brand, Model, Serial Number and Photos.  If you have all this information at hand it makes life a lot easier when you need to use it.

So what happens if your favourite guitar goes missing after a gig at your local pub?  Your first step is to log into your Guitar Registry account and flag the item as missing.  Then you can report it to the authorities complete with photographs and serial numbers.  This will help you get a lot more credibility with the police.  Instead of reporting to the police, “Somebody stole my guitar”.  Police, “Can you give me some information?”.  You, “It was red.”  That’s not going to help.

One thing that can help is being to being able to relay pertinent information to the right places.  Thieves often steal stuff simply to get some quick cash.  What you need to do is to get your information out quickly to all the places where the thieves will try to sell stuff.

The most obvious one is Craigslist.  After our own robbery, Craiglist was an important part of getting a number of instruments back.  Being able to post photos and serial numbers goes a long way to helping others recognize your gear.

Rod Serling

You can also take this information to local pawnshops and music stores.  Contrary to what you may believe, most pawnshops want nothing to do with stolen items.  And in many places they need to keep items for thirty days before they can sell them and they have to check with police to verify they are not stolen.

So here’s my little Rod Serling moment, “Imagine a world were stolen property is so hot, and so easy to identify, that nobody wants to steal it.  If thieves couldn’t sell what they steal.  Just maybe there would be no theft.”

Well maybe in an alternate universe, but the reality it this:  Register your stuff with GuitarRegistry.net.  Then get everyone you know to register their stuff too.  If enough stuff is registered and websites like this one get enough traffic and notoriety, then maybe the next time someone is looking in the window of your car and sees a guitar case, maybe they’ll just carry on to the next car.


Please check out GuitarRegistry.net.  It’s free.  It’s easy.  And, it’s private.  The website does not require you to leave more information about yourself than your name and email address.  Your member ID is the only information that will ever be shared.  But don’t use “elvispresley”, I’ve already got it.

The website does want to know what country you are in and where geographically you are.  Is, “Utah” too personal?

If you’d like to hear about my own personal story please check out this article on 101 Basses and also this article from last year.

Then go register!

Stay Tuned,



Classic Guitars of the 60’s – Tony Bacon

Classic Guitars of the 60's - Tony Bacon

Classic Guitars of the 60’s – Tony Bacon

While visiting the local library I came across this book.  This book is an awesome resource on everything from Fenders, Gibsons and Rics to the less known brands like Harmony, Mosrite, Burns, Teisco and many of the Matsumoku and Fujigen brands.  Filled with snippets of company history and filled with classic guitars and iconic players from the flower power generation.

This book is an absolute gotta have for anyone interested in the guitars of that era.  Will be ordering my own copy soon.



Bass Guitar Forums

Web Forums are a great way to get information about anything that interest you.  So its not surprising that there are hundreds of them for any subject you can think of.  For certified bass-aholics forums related to bass guitar are great place to hang out, get information, meet others with related interest and to promote your own products and services.

Bass-Aholic Bass Guitar Forums

Forums Menu

Bass-Aholic.com has had a forum page for quite some time, but now there’s something new.  The original web page has been moved to a databass in The Luthier’s DataBASS.

Search Forums Page

What that means is that now there’s something else you can search for.  (I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of being able to find stuff easily).

So now when you pick Resources | Forums from the menu you get a list of all the Forum Links on Bass-Aholic, but now you can search for keywords too.  Try typing Dean and clicking Search and you’ll be directed straight to the Dean Guitars Forum.

The Forum Search Page is currently broken down into three sections.  The first section is for TalkBASS, which is the king of all Bass Guitar Forums.  The second section is for forums that are not related to a specific brand of bass guitars.  The third section is for forums that are directly related to a specific brand of bass guitar.

Advanced Search for Forums

The other cool thing you can do now is, when searching in the main Advanced Search page, you can look for forums associated to the search you are doing.  So if you are searching for say, Alembic, the search can now also search for forum links related to that search.  Just make sure the Forums box is checked.  (It normal is.)

So there’s a bunch more stuff you can do with Bass-Aholic.  Your map to the coolest bass guitars on the planet.


Always Stay Tuned - Terri


Japanese Manufacturers of Electric Guitars from 1960 to 1980 by Torch Harrison

Bass Guitars of Japan

When trying to sort out who made what from anything  coming out of Japan in the 60’s and 70’s it’s really easy to get lost quickly.  Unlike a lot of American companies, a handful of Japanese factories, built dozens of bass guitar brands.

“Japanese Manufacturers of Made In Japan Badged Electric Guitars from 1960 to 1980” by Torch Harrison is a fabulous resource that sorts out a lot of the confusion.  The article list many Japanese factories, with brief histories, and talks about the brands that each company made.

Please check out this article on Hub Pages.

As well, Bass-Aholic list over 30 brands of Japanese bass guitars.  I’m sure there are many more, so check back because this list is always being updated.


Always Stay Tuned - Terri


The Confusion on Shopping For Bass Guitar Strings – We Have a Handy String Finder

Terri's D'Addario Bass Guitar String Shop

Terri’s D’Addario Bass Guitar String Shop

Terri’s D’Addario Bass Guitar String Shop

Shopping for any kind of strings for for a guitar, mandolin or really any string instrument can be a bit tricky.  You wouldn’t think it should be, but for any instrument there are various gauges, (thicknesses) types of material and so on. This gets even more confusing when look for bass guitar strings.  For some reason basses have a lot more options that most other instruments.  Our goal is to make shopping for bass guitar strings easier.

These options include:

  • String Gauge  The thickness of the string is called string gauge.  Typically string gauges are measured in thousands of an inch.  A typical bass guitar E-string might be 105/1000 of an inch.  This is usually written as .105 and our string finder will show these number with out a decimal.  So string set might appear as 045-065-080-100.  This would show four strings in a set running form 40/1000 on an inch to 100/1000 of an inch.
  • String Length  For many instruments the scale length (or distance from the bridge to the nut) is fairly standard.  However, with bass guitars there are several scale lengths.  The common are…
    • Short Scale – 30 inches
    • Medium Scale – 32 inches
    • Long Scale (this is the most common – or standard) – 34 inches
    • Extra (Super) Long Scale – 35 inches
  • String Construction For guitar, most strings are either nickel strings, for electric, bronze, for acoustic and nylon, for classical guitar.  For bass guitar string construction includes…
    • Nickel strings are most common for electric bass guitar
    • Bronze strings are most common for acoustic or acoustic/electric bass guitar
    • Tape Wound string are strings with a nylon coating over a metal string.  These strings have the deadest sound.
  • Windings For guitars, most strings are either a single piece of steel, (no winding), or have a winding wrapped around the core (wound).  The winding is usually round wire.  For bass we have…
    • Round Wound – The windings are made of round wire giving the string a rougher feel, like a metal file.
    • Flat Wound – The windings are made of rectangular wire giving the string a smooth/flat feel.
    • Half Would – Since round wounds have a brighter sound but are harder on your fingers, strings can be wound with a flat surface and a round back.  These strings feel more like flat wound on the hands but have a sound more like round wound strings.
  • String Sets(or Number of Strings)  With guitar, most guitars have 6-strings.  There’s also 12-string and even 7-string guitars.  For bass we have…
    • 4-String Traditionally the most common bass configuration. (E-A-D-G)
    • 5-String This is becoming the most common bass guitar configuration. (B-E-A-D-G)
    • 6-String (B-E-A-D-G-C)
    • 8-String (e-E-a-A-d-D-g-G)
    • There are other variations such as Fender V (E-A-D-G-C), Fender VI (E-A-D-G-B-E), or other like F#-B-E-A-D and other 10-String or 12-String combinations

Terri's Best Bass String Finder
As you can imaging this has to be nightmare for string manufacturers.  And it’s even worse those trying to shop for a new set of strings for their bass guitar. I hope that the string finder will help you sort out all the confusion.

Please check out Terri’s D’Addario Bass Guitar String Shop for links to our “Bass Guitars Strings Shop”.


Always Stay Tuned - Terri