Originally Posted by TelZilla
As I think about this more, it's a chicken and egg situation, right?
No, it's a physics and engineering situation.
Say I put a neck on my guitar that was the scale of a bass neck (this is a rhetorical question, of course) and had a .052 string that was long enough to fit the neck. If I tuned it correctly, would it sound like a bass, only quieter? Or is there something about the gague of a bass E string (a .110, say) that is integral to acheiving that particular pitch?
The lower the pitch, the thicker the string guage has to be to play the open note with adequate tension
But this doesn't have to be a theoretical discussion -- you can test it yourself with any electric bass.
The G strings on many basses are .45 or .50 thick. Try tuning the G string down to match the pitch of the low E and see what happens. It'll flop around like a loose rubber band -- just as the G string on your guitar would if you tuned it down to match the pitch of your low E string.
Hope it helps, CS