32" vs. 34" scale & sustain?

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


  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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

    spiritbass Supporting Member

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

    [​IMG]
  3. spade2you

    spade2you

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    somewhere in middle America
    No differences that I've noticed.
  4. Ross AriaPro

    Ross AriaPro

    Joined:
    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.
  5. bigmoosepi

    bigmoosepi

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
  6. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Location:
    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. spade2you

    spade2you

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    somewhere in middle America
    Easier to mute a bass than to try to get sustain that some basses don't have.
  9. chris_b

    chris_b

    Joined:
    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. Sartori

    Sartori

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    +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

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    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

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:

    No difference for me.
  14. Bocete

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

    Joined:
    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.

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