34" vs 35"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jongor, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. jongor

    jongor Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    Does anyone play both scale basses?

    I've always played 34", and considering a 35".

    Is there a noticeable difference when switching from one to the other?
  2. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    Advantage/Disadantages aside, If fretless bass, I prefer 34" scale.
    35" for my 5st fretted bass.
  3. jongor

    jongor Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    for the b string benefits?
  4. Keech


    Oct 16, 2003
    All in your head
    I play both. There's also 36" scale but I've never played one.

    Yes, there is a noticeable difference but it's still a bass and the difference in length does not bother me.

    Some folks don't like it, though. My younger brother has a guitar mind and prefers shorter necks, even going down to 30" scale. While he plays 35" quite well, he doesn't like all that neck. Others are indifferent to it and others, such as yours truly, specifically like the extra length.

    You should try some out first.
  5. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I didn't even notice the difference, when going from 34 to 35. The thing is,,, 35" 5-stringers sound better than 34".
  6. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    one of my 4 stringers is a 34 and the other is a 35. none of them sound floppy
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Wow that must mean that my Dean Edge 5 sounds better than a Sadowsky!!! Whoopie for me!

    I play both, prefer 34" by the tiniest of margins. My first and only fretless is 35" so maybe I'd have difficulty playing a 34" fretless now. Probably not.
  8. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    If you want a longe scale for a 5 string and notice a difference between the two scale lengths, you could always go with a 34.5". Ask all of the happy Nordstrand owners at the forum how they like their 34.5" 5 strings. :D
  9. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    I think it depends a lot on the way the bass is made (body shape, etc). MTD's have 35" scale, and it doesn't feel like a stretch, but Ibanez BTBs have a little more 'reach' involved in the lower positions (ie, towards the nut), which I guess is attributed to where the bass sits on your knee (or hangs on your strap).

    That having been said, I play mostly 35"-inch scale basses, and now most 34" feel too small or short to me. I've also been playing a lot more upright recently, though, so perhaps that's why...

    Hope this helps.

  10. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    I recently switched to a Modulus Q5 (35") after years (15) of playing nothing but Fender's, mostly jazz basses. I thought the switch from 34" scale to the 35" would be a little tough. To be honest with you, I don't notice much of a difference, physically, in the way I play or the way the bass feels. On the modulus all the extra length seems to be on the body side of the fret board. Other long scale basses might be different but the Modulus feels just about the same as my old fenders. YMMV.
  11. jongor

    jongor Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2003
  12. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    One of my basses is 34" and the other is 35". Switching between them is not a problem at all for me. The bass with the 35" scale does have a bit better B string (Modulus Q5) than the 34" (Warwick Streamer LX Jazzman 5). Other than that, not too much difference for me.
  13. I'm not too sure about the sound, but to me, there's very little difference in how a 35 in. scale bass feels. even 36 in. scale doesn't make a huge difference. Just recently I played a Ritter fretless bass with a 36 in. scale, and if I hadn't been told about the scale length, I probobly wouldn't have noticed.
  14. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    In the low/mid price-range ($500-600), I didn't like the feel of the 35" scale. People say that it makes for a better low-B string, but the strings (as a whole) to me felt "sloppy". I thought the 34" felt a little tighter, when considering the string-set as a whole.

    Consider, though, that I play a 6-stringer with a pick, so I'm not your typical player...

    In either case, watch the fret-spacing. Do you have big hands? Some folks like 32" spacing, like I believe the Rickenbacher has.
  15. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    YMMV - Your mileage may vary
  16. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    When going from my 34" to my 35" scale bass, I don't notice the extra stretch so much (unless I'm practicing scales or finger exercises low on the neck, etc.), but the two do seem to feel different under my fingers. Could be that it's partly qualitative difference between the basses (and setup) other than scale length and the obvious differences in string tension, but I find that it's easier to play super clean and precise on my 35", and easier to dig in for a buzzy, fret slapping sound on the 34." And not just easier to do, but each sounds fundamentally better than the other, doing those respective things. I haven't made enough 34/35 comparos outside of my own arsenal to decide if that's a safe generalization, but logic dictates that it may be, due to higher string tension on the 35. I'd be interested to hear other's take on this...

  17. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I found that it took a while to get used to (longer scale) but after that it was totally comfortable. Now I hate the feel of shorter scale basses. I'm 35"(+) forever....
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    When I first got my Modulus Q5 I thought I could feel a lot of difference between it and my Fender RB5. I do happen to have smallish hands. However my most comfortable bass (even more than my 34" fivers) is now my 35" scale MTD 535. So, I believe the slight difficulty I had with the Modulus was the strings: D'Addario XL's are supposedly stiffer than many other brands. I still keep D'Addarios on my Modulus, and it still feels stiffer than both my DR HiBeam-equipped MTD and Fender RB5 (Labella Hard Rockin' Steels).
  19. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I can't tell much of a difference in scale length between a 55-94 (35") or a Rumblefish (35") and, say, a Stingray 5 (34").

    But then look at the basses I'm comparing. You'd have to compare a 35" Lakland with a 34" Lakland (or any same manufacturer instruments) to get an honest idea whether the difference you notice is in the scale or in other aspects of the bass.

    For what it's worth, the Stingray 5 B string is every bit as good as the Lakland, IMO.
  20. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ok, Ok,, blanket statement proven false. If you throw enough dinero at it, physics can be proven wrong. heh. Back to my original statement, the difference is playability is not noticable, unless you have hobbit hands.