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34" vs 35" scale

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassman515, Feb 25, 2008.


  1. Hello all,

    I have been considering going the way of a Lakland recently and i was curious of the pros and cons of going to the 35" scale. My two main basses that i currently play are both 34" scale (5-strings). I tried searching but i could not find anything because you can only search items with more that 3 characters. Thanks for your advise!
    Jeremy
     
  2. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    I had been playing my Cirrus 5 a lot lately until my new BBNE2 arrived. It is a 34" and the Cirrus is a 35". I was just thinking to myself last night that for my hands the 34 is more comfortable.
     
  3. mandrlane

    mandrlane

    Dec 22, 2006
    Have to say, I love the feel of 34... but also have to say there is a reason they make longer scales... the B just sounds better. The best 34 B I have heard is my pre-gibson Tobias... But the B on my Dingwall (37-1/2 inch I believe) kills it. So I have to believe in the direct correlation between scale length and string tension... hence tone.
     
  4. mandrlane

    mandrlane

    Dec 22, 2006
    In general the shorter the neck the better the high strings sound... the longer the neck the better the low-end sounds... Now days I guess the consensus is 35 is the best all around for a 5 string... If I did a 4 string I would stick with 34... if 5 sting, 35 to get more from the B
     
  5. bassic_element

    bassic_element

    Sep 20, 2006
    The best B string I have played was on a Yamaha TRB5PII and it was a 35 inch scale, I have played others with 35 scale for not as good, I think it all goes to the construction of the bass like wood used, for example I have had two Warwicks with ash bodies and just hated their B, but also I had a corvette and a thumb bold on's and I loved their low B. I think denser woods do make a difference. But going back to the scale I feel more comfortable with a 34 inch scale bass.
     
  6. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Montreal
    Hence the sonic beauty of fanned frets! Short, sweet G/ long, tight B :) Dingwall will be releasing an Afterburner GT this year-lower grade parts but the same scale length as the Afterburner, to be priced around a grand. I'll wager it'll be da bomb at its' price point.
     
  7. Generally speaking, longer scale will usually yield a stronger low B. There are a few builders who make a great B in 33" and 32" scale, but they're not gonna be cheap. Obviously, fanning is the best for low and high register, but again, not cheap.
     
  8. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    NJ
    I have both, I don't even notice a difference switching back and forth.
     
  9. Wow....so it looks like for the low end it is nice to have the longer scale...i play a lot of rock, but occationally dabble in tapping and slap. Right now my main bass is a Warwick FNA. Do you feel much of a difference from 34-35 i know that it is only an inch but it could make a difference i would think...
    J
     
  10. sublime0bass

    sublime0bass

    Aug 2, 2007
    Boone, NC
    only slightly relevant: I only noticed a slight difference between my 34"s and my epi SG 30.5"
     
    Sithian likes this.
  11. Bass Below

    Bass Below

    Oct 24, 2006
    New York
    I played a 39.5" scale Knuckle Quake and the highs were every bit as incredible as the lows.
     
  12. I've owned as bunch of 34 and 35 inch scale instruments, and to my ear, the impact of that tiny amount of extra length is trivial. The brand and gauge of string will have much more impact than a 3% or so increase in the length of the string.

    I've also found that the stiffness of the neck (i.e., how much the neck 'gives' when you pull on it) has a much greater impact in the tone and feel of the lower strings than the scale length.

    So, find a bass you like and play it! Don't eliminate a bass or decide on one due to scale length IMO.

    I will also state again that the fan fret thing seems to be a unique solution to a problem that, at least in my experience, doesn't exist!
     
    RGK likes this.
  13. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Personally, I really don't notice a difference between 34" and 35" 5 strings. I've owned a few of each and I have brought them to gigs/rehearsals and I didn't feel any difference when switching between the 2 scale lengths.

    IMO. :)
     
  14. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    That's yous opinion, not fact. :) My opinion based on my experience is that I've played a lot of 34" B strings that sounded better than a lot of 35" B's and vise a versa.
     
  15. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I all comes down to a matter of preference. I like my 35" Modulus Genesis 5. I don't much like my EBMMSR5. I like the longer reach for the scale. I much prefer the radius of my Music Man though. The B strings are not much different. I can tell, which is all that matters. I don't buy basses to have my audience like them, I buy them for me.
     
  16. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I definitely notice a difference and at times it can be very unpleasant imo! I try to avoid 35" scale basses, since the best B I've ever heard is on my monocoque Status Stealth bass!
     
  17. lovenotfear

    lovenotfear

    Aug 15, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    i was told by a luthier, that in some casses he has noticed alot of ghosting in the sustain when a string rings when using a 35 neck, slight exrtra vibrations, he said this is why alot of companies life fender, ernieball, etc... stick to a 34 neck, i never have heard of that before, but this guys is one of the best luthiers in vegas, BB king only trust him to work on his guitars, so that to me has to mean something about his reputation,so have any of you heard of this before?
     
  18. I play mostly 35" scale basses, never had that problem.
     
  19. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    I mostly play Dingwalls (34"-37") but all other factors being equal, the 35" yields a better B IMO (physics say the same thing too)
     
  20. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    is it that time of the month again???? I'll have to go watch for the monthly "I don't get Jaco" thread too :)


    Lot more involved in a good B string than an inch of scale length.

    I've found that 35" cramps me up slightly... and switching throws my fretless off.

    I have no reason to not play 34" exclusively at this point, but it's 100% personal preference.
     

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