Originally Posted by DonovanBankhead
Wow - that is a really unique FBass! It might be hard for any of us to give you an opinion on a bass that is so unique. I can tell you that I would suggest you think twice about the 36" scale - with George's basses, I don't know what the benefit would be, and that long of a scale can be difficult to play, which could seriously hurt it's resale value...
As for the tone of the fretted AC - here's a video I did of one with the metal bridge - the ebony bridge would not have as hard/crip of an attack, and IMO, would not be as versatile for cover tunes. Fretted FBass AC6 - YouTube
I meant to answer this when I first read it then spaced it. Sorry 'bout that.
First, I currently own the bass Donovan plays in this video. (Thank you again, Donovan. You're the best!) Except for the 36" scale length, and the wooden bridge, it is pretty close to the specs you are considering. It is a neck through, has a chambered body, piezos, 6-string, etc.
This bass is pretty flexible tonally, it does a woody acoustic type sound, and a REALLY nice Jaco, and a more generic p-bass like tone that would fit with many cover songs... but it has its own voice as well (think of a Smith blended with a Stingray, with the ability to dial in piezo tone). Here is a slap clip
. This shows the slap tone with both magnetic pickups full on, and the piezo at about 70% I'd guess. You can back off with bridge pickup and roll down the town and get a very generic sounding bass tone that fits with cover songs better... slightly more pbass in character.
Second, I own 3 ACs, and two BNs. In the photo below, my ACs are on the couch and the two BNs are on each end of the basses on the floor.
As you can see, each of my 3 ACs has a different bridge. The AC6 Classic (far right) has a floating bridge that helps it have a VERY upright bass tone. Here's a clip of that bass with nylon coated strings
(so the tone is a bit more Ron Carter than John Patitucci). I got this bass without magnetic pickups on purpose so that it would be 100% focused on doing one thing well: acoustic bass tone.
I love the acoustic tone and organic decay of a wooden bridge, it is a perfect fit for the fretless ebony finger board and acoustic chambers in these basses.
The AC6 in the middle on the couch has an ebony bridge with piezos as well. It does a great acoustic tone as well (if you put Thomastik Infeld Jazz flats on her), but it is still flexible enough to do a very very nice Jaco.
The difference between the two styles of ebony bridge is somewhat subtle. However, the difference between the ebony and metal bridges is quite stark.
The AC6 on the left is the fretted AC6 and it has a metal bridge. Harmonics are livelier, the attack (as Donovan said) is crisper, the sustain is much longer, and the character of the bass is more electric sounding in tone, even though the bass has piezos and acoustic chambers.
I can't tell you which bridge you should put on your bass because I'm unclear what its tonal goals are, so I just provided information that (hopefully) helps you know what the differences are as executed on my basses.
As for the 36" scale length, that's an interesting spec... very Anthony Jackson Presentation.
It is my understanding that the single cut body style is very important to the 36" scale length's neck stability. If you aren't going single cut, you may need graphite reinforcement or something like it (that's George's department though, definitely not mine).
I can see why you would want 36" scale length, but I wonder if it would be worth the down side.
First, your options for strings would be severely limited. It's bad enough being a 6-string bass player trying to get the cool string types the 4- and 5-string bassists get to try, but to get them at that scale? You had better REALLY like the few options available to you, and hope they don't stop making them.
Second, I have a DVD with Anthony playing his 36" scale length bass. It sounds great, but the C string is too tinny sounding for my taste. I don't mind it with AJ because it's AJ and that's his sound, by for my sound I want my C string sounding natural -- like it comes from a bass.
Third, I think of the hand fatigue. In my case, I'm not getting any younger and I would probably play a 36" scale length bass for certain songs only in a set, otherwise I'd be a much less impressive bassist by the end of the night.
On the positive side though, when you are playing above the 24th fret, (chords, solos, etc.), the bass should be easier to play.
Fourth, there is the resale value to consider (as Donovan mentioned). The more unique you make your custom bass, the more you may be constricting the pool of potential buyers. Making your bass a neck through, with piezos, etc. makes the bass pretty distinct. Making it 36 inches in scale length on top of all that makes it one of a kind.
Which, by the way, is absolutely cool. I'm one of those guys who likes one of a kind, but many guys want to sound like the records they are covering, or like the other basses in their genre.
By the way, I should also add that my neck through Fbass is by far the easiest bass I have to play. Once my hands get spoiled to it, they groan at me when I go back to ANY other bass I own, including a 4-string.
As for the BN vs. AC body style, that's a tough call. I'd lean toward AC unless having a more Fender Jazz sounding bass is paramount.
BTW #2, do you slap? There isn't much space between the neck pickup and the 28th fret, so I've had to alter my slap style to not use my middle finger hardly at all. That's not a problem if you don't use it right now I guess, but in case you did I thought I ought to mention that.
I guess if I were you I'd lean toward 34.5" scale length, metal bridge, piezos, chambered AC body -- but that's because I know that combination and it's worked out great for me. You may need something different.