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34" - 35"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrFortuneCookie, Feb 8, 2001.

  1. What do you guys think. Is it that important to have a bass with a 35" scale or will 34" be just fine? We're talking about a 5 stringer just so you know.
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Scale by itself doesn't mean much. I have several 34" fives and the B strings range from pretty good to awesome. The two 35's I have range from awesome to phenomenal.

    Playing low on a 35" may take a little more effort initially. Are you looking at any particular basses?
  3. Spector

    [Edited by MrFortuneCookie on 02-08-2001 at 07:57 PM]
  4. I have had 3x 34" and two were good. I've had 2x 35" and both were bad, so who knows?
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Haven't seen a 35" Spector. I've been more impressed with Stuart's fours than fives.
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I have the 4-string Spector, which is the most comfortable bass I've come across. Shortly after buying mine, I came across a review in Bass Player magazine of a 5-string. This was before he offered the bass with a 35" scale...

    The review said that the 34" scale had "one of the tightest, most focused 'B' strings they'd ever heard", especially for a 34" scale!:cool:

    But, the most important thing for you is to A/B the two. You may find that you like the extra inch, or maybe you'll find that the extra inch does nothing except add to the hype of having extra string tension (purely psychological).

    Only you can decide.
  7. just so you know, stuart's latest are 35"

    Also, thanks everyone
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I know... I just haven't actually seen one yet ;)
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have two 35" fives (both Laklands) and four 34" fives (2 Fenders, a Pedulla and a Stingray). I think it's fair to say that the 35" scales have fuller-sounding B-strings than the others, but that may be attributable to factors other than scale length. Overall, all my 34" basses sound fine and play fine. The difference is not significant, in my opinion.
  10. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I recently bought a 6-string with a 34" scale, after playing a 35"-scale 5-string for the last year or two. A longer scale really does help the B-string, but I think of it as a trade-off between reach. Very well-built basses can still sound good with a 34" scale, but generally speaking, like a grand piano, longer strings = better tone when it comes to bass pitches.
  11. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    My experience has been that it is possible to build a 34" bass with a fantastic B string, but it is much easier to do so with 35" bass. So, while some 34" basses have B strings that kill, there are more 35"'s that do so. Make sense?
  12. The 35" on a 5 stringer gives you more brands of strings you can use that will give you a tight low B.

    There are only a few brands of strings you can use on a 34 that will give you a tight low B. One of them is SIT (Stay in Tune).

    If you're liking the 35, though, you can use the Simandl playing technique of string bass, where everything under 7th position is played with the first, second and fourth fingers, rather than one finger per fret. Once you get past 7th position, you can use the one finger per fret method once again.

  13. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I'm 5'7" with a medium sized hands and my last two 5ers have been Spectors with a 35" scale. Is 1st fret a bit of a reach? Yeah, but its not unmanageable for me and its worth the extra effort to have a B that sounds and feels that tight. I have played some 34" low B strings that were fine, but I think the chances of having a good low B are higher with a 35" scale.

    Obviously, there are some fairly expensive basses with a 34" scale that have incredible low B strings(Sadowsky, etc.) but for those of us who can't go the custom route, you are taking a smaller risk on a 35" scale than a 34" scale. IMO anyways.

    PS - Spectors rule, regardless of how many strings they have.
  14. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    For 5's with a 34" scale I've owned an Alembic Excel-5, Pedulla Rapture-5, and an EB/MM StingRay-5. I can't complain with the B strings on any of them. I first used .128 gauge B-strings, then switched to a .130 gauge for a tighter feel. But as I recall the SR-5 felt good with both the .128 and the .130.

    I own a Mike Lull-5 with a 35" scale and both my Ristola-6 and my Roscoe-6 have 35" scales. I find with a 35" scale I can use a lighter gauge B-string and it still feels nice and taut. IMHO all three basses have really good sounding B-strings.

    My first bass with a 35" scale was my Modulus Q4. It took a few weeks to adjust with my fretting hand. Now that I play basses with a 35" scale the strings on my 34" scale basses feel kind of floppy until I've played them for a few songs.
  15. Here is my 35" scale Rex 5 and I think the scale is fine and as people have been saying that 1st fret is a bit of a reach especially at my size 5'5", but I love it to death, and I like my B string floppy so tension was never an issue for me(although this B string is pretty tight compared to other 5 stringers I have tried)
  16. i had a 35 inch scale Spector 5 string but for me atleast the 35" scale was too hard on my hands and I lost feeling in my left hand after 2 songs. That put up red flags for me. When playing the bass actually hurt that bass has to go.
    And it stayed home for 5 months unplayed.

    The tone from the Spector was awesome and when it was tuned BEADG the low B was nice and tight. Later on I had it tuned EADGC and it still sounded awesome.

    I may go back to 5 strings but only in the 34" scale. It works for most people just not me.
    I guess if I do go back to 5 it will be a Fender or EBMM but right now I am having plenty of fun with 4 strings.

    Try a few compare the Spector to say a Stingray 5 or something and see which feels and sounds good to you..
  17. like others have said.. its possible to get a decent B on a 34" but I don't want to deal with finding and tweaking a 34" that will be acceptable.. 35" just makes it hassle free.
  18. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    If I were taller than 5'5", I'd be happier with 35"-scale basses. Unfortunately, that's not the case, so I stick with 34s ;)
  19. I would assume the reach of the Spector Rex bass is more of an issue due to a complete lack of a top horn than the scale length.
  20. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    That would be my guess, also.

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