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34" scale in a 5? Pros/cons please. Spector NS5CR

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kurt M., Dec 15, 2001.

  1. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA
    OK, I posted a bit ago about possibly buying an Ibanez 885. This is a shorter scale 5. I told people that I'd have to sell my Spector NS4CR and everybody thought I was nutz. Turns out I was.

    But anyway, I thought I'd just bight the bullet and shop for a used Spector NS5CR. I didn't know that the older Spector 5's were 34" scale (the ones with dots) and the newer CR 5's had a 35" scale.

    How does the scale length effect the playability of the bass? How does this equate to tone? I originally thought the 34" scale might be easier (slightly) to play being as I have small hands. What are the differences in tension 34" vs. 35".

    I need a bit of an education here. I'm almost afraid to ask this but people playing the Spector NS5CR could you give me your oppinion. I love the Spector 4 I have. The only complaint is that the body is a bit heavy but it's well centered.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. The B string on the 34" scale on the Czech Spectors is tighter than the vast majority of 35" scale basses out there. The only reason that Spector increased the scale length by an inch is because the 35" scale 5 string bass is generally perceived by the consumer to be standard length.

    I own two 5 string Czech Spectors with the 34" scale. I tune all the strings down one full step (the B is now an A) and there is no loss of string definition.

    In fact, my "B" string is more defined sounding than a friend of mine's 35" scale Yamaha RBX6JM (John Myung signature) bass.

    Lastly, even Bass Player magazine stated that the 34" scale spectors has one of the best B's around.
    So, don't fear a lack for quality in this case!
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    All other things being equal, an extra inch of scale length can make for a tighter B string, but on a good quality constructed bass, a great B on a 343" is possible. My Pedulla, my Zon, and the Musicman Stingray 5 are all 34" scale 5ers with great B's.

    35" can make a bass a little more difficult to play for small handed players IME. I have small hands myself, and I have a Peavey Cirrus 6(35"). It has the one of the best B's that I have ever heard. The only ones that I have heard that are as good are the Modulus Quantum and the Roscoe SKB. But in spite of the wonderful neck profile on the Peavey, it does make my hand hurt a bit, after a long playing session.
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah, but those stretches are killer!
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    :DDarned typos! Yeah, I use the 1 hand per fret method.:p
  6. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    I have a 35" and it's a streach to play it in the lower register.

    My advice is, if you use the lower register much, go for the 34" but if you play mostly in the upper register, go for the 35".
  7. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    im no professional, but I have two five strings, one is a 34" scale, one is a 35" scale. the 34" has a migh tighter B than the 35" and it has lighter strings on it. go figure. Ive heard its in the way the bass is built. The 35 isnt much more difficult to play on, i have big hands. but I can see how a 35 might just be over the edge for someone with smaller mitts. Id just go play em and see what you think man
  8. A wonderfully constructed bass with a 34" scale will will have a tighter B string than a lesser quality bass with a 35" scale. Also, the 35" scale will be more problematic in playbility for those with smaller hands. As I said, the 34" scale Czech Spectors has a very tight B string.
  9. So Kurt,
    What are your thoughts on this???
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The best-sounding B-strings I've played have been on 35" scale basses, but I've also played excellent 34" B's.
  11. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    R-U READY?
    I've played excellent 34" scale sounding "B" basses. Good & bad 35" B's, however,
    my best B sound it comes from a 34.5" scale bass! So, I think the bass construction is more important than scale measure.;)
  12. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA

    My thoughts? Well you guys are confusing the he11 out of me. But, actually nobody trashed the Spector yet -- quite the contrary.

    There was also a post from a guy that I can't find anymore. It was more technical in nature. It had to do with why a heavy gauge string reaches tension at a specific length. I can't find the post any more it was when I was checking out BEAD tuning. I just wanted to know more on scale length, string tension, and tuning and how one effects the other. Really, truthfully I'm not sure I have the trained ear that it's gonna take to really seperate the 34's from the 35's. I feel confident going with the Spector for my needs. So, you guys, once again, have helped me out. Guess I should have you guys work on the rest of my rig now. : )


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