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34 or 35 scale wide 5 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tjclem, Sep 18, 2008.


  1. 34 scale

    50.7%
  2. 35 scale

    49.3%
  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I am building a wide 5 and was wondering what scale most people prefer them to be?
     
  2. If I were building, probably 35" scale to ensure a good B. An experienced pro can get a killer B out of 34" scale, though.
     
  3. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Racine,Wi
    34 would be cool.
     
  4. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    35" is cool but I can never get used to that extra inch. Some people tell me they sound better but I haven't had it proven to me.

    So my vote goes to 34"
     
  5. chris.gotfunk

    chris.gotfunk

    Mar 21, 2007
    Ashburn, Va
    Go 35" and put a little neck angle to help with the extra arm reach. Of course, that does not help with fret spacing but at least your left arm will not feel like it is detached from your body. My Elrick 5 has 19mm spacing and is 35" scale with some neck angle. I noticed it right away.

    Enjoy....and you better post pics in the Luthiers Corner!!!!!

    Peace,
    Chris
     
  6. funkboy5

    funkboy5 19mm + 35" = :-) Bass'd on a true story Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    I prefer 35" scale.....
     
  7. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    *Wide* 5 = 34"
    Normal or narrow 5 = 35"

    Unless you have huge hands, wide neck 5-string + 35" scale = too difficult to play, at least in my opinion.

    Edit: Are you talking about a wide nut-width, wide string spacing @ the saddle, or both?
     
  8. I dunno, I have a wide 5 in 35" scale and it's no biggie. Definitely need something with a thinner back profile. My 6 is wider overall and isn't too bad either.
     
  9. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I guess it depends on how wide we're talking here. My custom neck's nut width is 2.125" (54mm) with 0.75" (19mm) spacing and 34". It's very thin in profile, but I don't think I could play it if it were a 35" scale.
     
  10. Blake Bass

    Blake Bass Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Montgomery, Texas
    I don't have any measurements for you but I can say that I definitely prefer the feel of may Sadowsky 34" over my Roscoe 35" both 5 strings. Tone , well that's another story!
     
  11. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    I say 35". I tune down all my basses a full step and it kinda makes the low B (A in my case) a little extra floppy on my SX jazz 5.
     
  12. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Pretty close poll so far, interesting.....t
     
  13. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    For a fretless, 34" is great. For a fretted, I sometimes prefer 35" though. I split the difference...my two customs are 34.5". ;) Either scale works for me, but forced to choose, I'd go for 34"

    Marshall
     
  14. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Lineā„¢ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    having built a few short scale basses, a few 34", and also a few 35" ... I see no significant difference sonically between a 34" and 35" when using the same construction methods and materials.

    if you're looking to sell to the current market trend, then you should consider a 35" scaled instrument. if you're looking for a solid B that plays well, either scale will do just fine if you build it right

    I guess it really comes down to fulfilling what your customers are asking you for, and being capable of turning a comparable sounding instrument in either scale

    all the best,

    R
     
  15. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    It is a bass for e-bay I was just trying to see what would be more sellable. I have had some people that just can't get used to the 35 scale so I wanted to go with what the majority thought....t
     
  16. mccartneyman

    mccartneyman

    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    It depends on the neck whether a 35" feels harder to play than a 34". My Lakland 55-94 neck is superior to any 34" neck I've played, and the string spacing is ideal.
     
  17. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    The poll really is close I am suprised.
     
  18. I think that's a reflection of two things:

    1) Most 5 string basses come in one or the other scale length. So, if your 'favorite' bass is a particular scale length, and it sounds and feels good to you, that's probably the one you prefer.

    2) More importantly, I've never found a meaningful correlation between the slight increase in scale length and the performance of the B string. There are so many things that impact B string performance (neck stiffness, inherent string tension, body mass, electronics, set-up, etc., etc.) that my experience is if you randomly pick a bunch of 34 and 35" scale instruments, there will be no systematic difference in performance based on scale length.

    Given this experience, I greatly prefer the standard 34" scale. If the instrument is designed correctly, there seems to be no downside, and the upside is a slightly more comfortable 'feel' for many players.

    IMO. I guess the larger point is, it doesn't matter. From a marketing perspective, since those without a lot of experience associate 35" scale with a 'better B string', that would in some ways be a safer 'marketing' bet.
     
  19. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Having played a sadowsky 5 string and several lakland 5 strings, i saw no benefits other than tension when playing the 35" scale laklands. the sadowsky B string was just as great to play and to hear as the laklands.

    So I don't really think it will matter either way as long as the bass is constructed well. But that's just my opinion.
     
  20. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    It is a 1 piece 1/4 sawn Hard Maple neck so stiffness is not an issue. You may have a point with marketability though.......t
     

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