18mm vs 19mm

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by woody357, Jul 28, 2021 at 11:44 PM.

  1. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Is there really that much difference between 18mm string spacing and 19mm. I ask because I’ve been thinking about a MTD AG5. I’m using a Fender Jazz elite 5. I know the MTD has 19mm string spacing. I have small hand but I can do what I want on the fender.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021 at 12:10 AM
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    A little bit for me, yes, but it's more about the overall width of the neck for me rather than the actual bridge string spacing. 1mm is enough to make it feel a bit wider overall, but if you're not stretching too bad right now, then you'll probably adapt pretty quickly. :thumbsup:
  3. stringtheory6


    Nov 20, 2008
    I am much happier with 18mm spacing as the largest spacing I will consider. One deal I could not resist however, was my Sadowsky MV5 with 19mm spacing. So I purchased their retrofit replacement bridge to achieve 18mm spacing as well as having a new nut cut to 1 ¾" narrow spacing on the other end. Perfect!
    Look into it first of course, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't buy a narrower spaced hipshot bridge. But who knows, you may like the 19mm spacing on this particular instrument.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021 at 12:08 AM
    Ggaa and woody357 like this.
  4. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    My main 5er has adjustable string spacing. It can go from like almost 20mm to almost 17.5mm. I have it set at a like 18.25-ish. To me it’s fairly noticeable. 19 on a five is just too wide for my right hand. Too much stretching.
  5. stringtheory6


    Nov 20, 2008
    Or this one from Tonetech Ltd
    The Tone Up 3D Bass Bridge adjusts from 16mm to 22mm
    Screen Shot 2021-07-28 at 11.04.59 PM.png Screen Shot 2021-07-28 at 11.12.01 PM.png
    postalflunkie, JRA, mindwell and 5 others like this.
  6. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    StevieMac likes this.
  7. stringtheory6


    Nov 20, 2008
    I really like the quick release string ball mounts.
  8. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    Yes, it's that much of difference for me.
    Tried both on 6 strings basses and 19mm is the best option for me because i play many styles.

    18mm is harder again for me to slap.
  9. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    On a 5 string, it's a huge difference. Wider neck.
    StevieMac likes this.
  10. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    For me, 19mm on 5'er feels "normal". If you are used to narrower spacing or a tighter width at the nut than you might even find it liberating. Or maybe it will take a little getting used to. As always though, best to try for your self before you commit.
    westrock and Element Zero like this.
  11. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    19mm is where it is at. thats all
    gg22, gebass6, westrock and 2 others like this.
  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
  13. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I like 19-20 (have 19 on my single coil P ansd 20 on my 5 string bass)
  14. stringtheory6


    Nov 20, 2008
    Think it could get noisy or something?
  15. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    will it hold tuning, transmit as well as bridges with fewer moving parts etc, would be thoughts I have . :)
    Whilst I won't buy it, it might also be absolutely fine.
  16. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    The difference is exactly .0393701"
    This is highly subjective - most people have a window of what is acceptable. I can do 18, 19 and 20 without thinking. 17 is too narrow.
  17. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I find each extra mm of spacing is quite noticeable, especially on a 5-string.
    18mm is popular for good reason; I must admit it makes some things easier. But for me it is on the narrow side of the spectrum: a bit cramped for slapping and slightly guitar-esque in look & feel. But on the right axe (like my Roscoe) I can totally deal.
    A standard 4-string Fender is more like 20mm, which can be super fun on a 5’er in a hardcore kind of way. But it is ungainly, definitely too much for most people.
    19mm is my favorite compromise. The girth I like is there but not too excessive.
    YMMV; people’s spacing pref’s vary quite dare I say widely.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021 at 9:19 AM
    svlilioukalani likes this.
  18. TheLowDown33

    TheLowDown33 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    I notice a difference, albeit not a huge one. I prefer 18mm (or to really split hairs, 18.5mm). It's most noticeable higher up the neck, which is to be expected since that is where the bridge spacing starts deviating from the nut spacing the most. Chances are when you try a 19mm 5 string, you'll be able to play it just fine, but you may be more comfortable on something that's a hair tighter.
    5StringPocket likes this.
  19. thewildest


    May 25, 2011
    Florida, USA
    There definitively is a measurable difference, and it is 1mm.
  20. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    19mm is pretty much the standard. I'm ok with it but I prefer a tighter spacing. Most production four stringers, however don't come with less so I just make do. Sire basses have a 20mm string spacing and I notice it. Don't like it and I wouldn't get one because of that. Not too keen on dropping close to another 100 for a new bridge before I even unbox it.
    Now five stringers, I flat out refuse to get one with a 19mm spacing. 18mm max, preferably 17 or even less.

    The width of the neck isn't much of a factor, I've played sixers similarly comfortably, I just play faster on a tighter spacing.
    31HZ likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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