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30" scale vs. 3/4 scale

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, May 16, 2003.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Why is it that I've seen basses advertised as 3/4 scale when in fact the are a 30" scale? I think of 34" as a full & normal scale length (maybe I'm wrong, is something else standard?) and 30" is clearly not 3/4 of 34" so what gives?
  2. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    I've wondered what 3/4 scale was about myself.

    I think it's not about any size being 3/4 of another size, in actual measurement. I think it has more to do with the general sizes, i.e. violins, cellos and doublebasses. You generally (though I play none of these, so correct me if I'm wrong) see these instruments in full size, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 sizes. This does not mean a 1/4 size cello is 1/4 the size of a full size, obviously! It's just a general way of naming sizes.

    That said, I don't know what the "official" size of a 3/4 size bass is. I think it's best if everybody uses scale size. Also, I think 34" is considered "long scale", 32" is "medium scale", and 30" is short scale. But, again, I'm not totally certain, so feel free to correct me.
  3. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    bump. I want to see what people have to say.
  4. I would tend to agree with you, Conical. I've only seen upright basses described as being 3/4 size, but, I know next to nothing about uprights, so I could be wrong as well. Perhaps some advertising writer trying to be creative called a 30" scale bass a 3/4 size instrument?

    I dunno.

  5. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I agree, it sounds like c. johnson is on to something - if this terminology comes from the violin family maybe we should post about it in the DB forums to find out? Somebody else do it - I'm scared to go over there...
  6. I know what you mean, Creepy.

    I heard a story about one guy that went over to DB, and they never heard from him again! :eek:

    Search planes and everything!

    GONE, JUST GONE! :bawl:

    Mike :D
  7. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I know what you mean. I've had an upright since 1984, and I tread very lightly there. I mostly just skulk around now and then like a rat, trying to pick up little scraps without getting stomped on. ;) :meh:
  8. 3/4, 5/8, 7/8, and so forth refer to the size of an upright bass' body. I would imagine that this is the case with "3/4" bass guitars that have 30" scales.
  9. mw


    Jul 24, 2000
    my understanding was that 3/4 electric basses were 75% of the scale length (length from nut to bridge) of a standard bass (34"), which works out to 25.5" (34 * .75 = 25.5).

    i've actually played a bass like that. it was a 20-year old japanese ultra beginner student bass (it looked a lot like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2529726650&category=4713 ). it was the size of a guitar (which is usually around 24-25.5" scale length). some guy put great pickups in it and consequentially sounded surprisingly good. good enough that i would have played out with it too...

    i have no idea why people are calling basses that are 30" 3/4, like the fender musicmaster/mustang. that always confused me as well.

    feel free to correct me...
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Those dude over there are totally cool. They've helped me a ton in my search for a DB.
  11. Can you give an example? I can't recall *ever* seeing an electric bass advertised as 3/4 scale. But maybe I just lead a sheltered life.;)
  12. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I've seen it a few places, but the only specific example I can think of is Rondo music. My daughter has a short scale Essex I bought for her around Christmas and I have a sale flyer that was in the box the bass came in - it shows her bass and says 3/4 scale. Her bass is 30" scale. Unfortunately, the bass is no longer available so you can't see it on their site.
    I think Peter is exactly right though. Thanks Pete. In looking at her bass, which is a scaled down P style bass, and comparing it to my P style bass from Essex - The body on her bass is clearly scaled down more than the neck - I'm going to measure the bodies tonight, but I'm betting that the body of her "3/4 scale" is in fact 3/4 the size of my P. Since we've got this thread running on the subject I'll measure tonight and post my results tomorrow.

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