32" vs. 34" scale & sustain?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. lovethegrowl


    Oct 30, 2013
    Landers, Ca
    Does a 32" bass have that much less sustain than 34", all other factors being equal ?
  2. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    My medium-scale bass sustains the same as a full-scale bass:

  3. No differences that I've noticed.
  4. Ross AriaPro

    Ross AriaPro

    Dec 27, 2013
    I think Leo Fender settled on 34" because that was as long as his arm would allow for reaching the tuners.

    He knew from experimentation that higher tension strings yield more sustain and louder overtones.
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  6. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I've never understood the concern over sustain. If every fret was a dead spot that went "plunk", that would be a problem, but it's a bass, not a guitar. How much sustain do we need?
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    ^This. And, all other things being equal, no, there won't be any real difference. My aluminum-necked Kramer Duke (30" scale) out sustains every other bass I own (16 of them) with 1 exception; my Kramer 450B (34"). Which, by an amazing coincidence, also has an aluminum neck. And personally, both of them have way too much sustain; but, Ahh, the tone...:)
  8. Easier to mute a bass than to try to get sustain that some basses don't have.
  9. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    As much as the number needs.

    I don't need a bass where the note dies before I want it to.
  10. +1

    Yeah... I don't need a note to sustain absolutely forever, but I also don't want it decaying too quickly, either.
  11. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    Add a Brass Nut and a Brass Bridge and it will sustain for as long as your heart near about desires.
  12. lovethegrowl


    Oct 30, 2013
    Landers, Ca
    I want to get a Jaco style or Marcus Miller style fretless Jazz that sings. (Using DR Fatbeam strings).Have you ever heard MM play a ballad w/his fretless. In jazz soloing, sustain helps a lot in slurring, not each note has to be plucked.

    I also want a second fretless (using nylon tape strings) that has a lot of the nice qualities an upright bass has. To get that type of hybrid one has to shoot to sound as close to a DB as possible.

    I recently posted that in another thread & got all sorts of interesting advise. The most consistent is that the type of decay of an upright can be approximated by using a short 30" scale (e.g., Hofner, Kala 21-23" scale) & some felt at the bridge.

    Using deductive reasoning the converse should be true: a 30" -32" inch bass should have less sustain.
    I am thinking about getting SX 30" P & J basses. They are supposed to be quite the bang for the buck
  13. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    No difference for me.
  14. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Tune down a half step and put a capo on the 1nd fret of a 34". Loosen the truss rod a little bit to compensate for the decreased string tension and to get the exact same neck curve you're used to. Try to hear the difference.

    My Dingwalls (34-37") sustain the same on all strings.