35" necks

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Wxp4759cb, Mar 24, 2001.

  1. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    Does a 35 inch neck, add more frets, or does it make the spaces between each fret longer? If its the latter, is the difference in playibility that noticible?
  2. Sofa King

    Sofa King

    Aug 20, 2000
    Rowlett, TX
    The fret spacing is longer.
    It's noticable to me, I notice a little bit more of a stretch on the lower frets, but it isn't that much of a difference, to me at least.
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Something that usually isn't taken into consideration is where everything is situated on a bass. Here are pictures of two 35" scale basses. The first one, a Lakland 55-94 has the bridge positioned closer to the edge of the body, making the reach for the first fret not unlike a 34" scale. The second, a Clover, has the bridge shifted up the body, which makes the first fret a farther reach than the Lakland. It's more noticeable.

    The number of frets just depends on the length of the fretboard. You could have a 30 fret 30" scale if you wanted. The fret spacing is wider as the scale length goes up.

  4. AAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!! Return of the penguin!
  5. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    to make a 35 inch scale, cant you just move the bridge an inch back from the neck? ot is it more complicated than that?!
  6. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    If you did that you would distroy the intonation.
  7. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    It's a bit more complicated... With the increase in scale length comes an increase in the spacing between the frets... Let's take the first fret for instance...

    On a 30" scale bass, the distance from the edge of the nut to the centerline of the first fret is 1.684", on a 34" scale it is 1.908", and on a 35" scale it is 1.964"... as you can see, there isn't a <b>huge</b> difference, but it is there. However, if all three basses are tuned properly to pitch, the note will be the same. The difference in feel is an individual judgement.

    My 30" scale bass, with proper strings feels every bit as taut as my 34". 35" basses that I've played have felt somewhat tauter, (new word?), but to my way of thinking, this was a plus. The length didn't bother me at all...

  8. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Scale length does not affect string tension directly. It is the tension length. Usually longer scale means longer tension length but there are exceptions.

    You could design a 30" scale bass with a 40" tension length.

    As an example, I have a 34" scale bass that has a 38" tension length.

    The lay out of the tuning machines can affect the tension length several inches.
  9. are you sure? what's beyond the nut has no effect on the pitch of the strings, which is what determines how much tension they will have.
  10. I, too, would appreciate a translation!
  11. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Think about it a while. I bet you can figure it out.
  12. TPDE


    Mar 22, 2001
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks Brad for pointing out the bridge position issue. I have found that even on regular 34" basses that the relative location of the bridge is a big factor in how easy/difficult the lowest notes are to fret. To me this is one of the key factors in the success of the Precision: Leo set the bridge back almost to the very edge of the body, allowing for minimum stretching to reach the first fret. I see that now some manufacturers are extending the body to allow a bridge/tailpiece even further back (in fact beyond the body itself).
  13. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Tension is determined by how tight you crank the tuning machine. The string is not anchored at the nut so it does not control the tension. Pitch is a different matter, that is controlled by the nut and frets (i.e., the scale length).

    Given identical strings, the bass with the longer tension length will have the most string tension regardless of scale length..

    got it now?
  14. I don't get the bridge movement thing.. shouldn't a bass with a scale length X have the same fretspacing as any other bass with X scale length, no matter where the bridge is?
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The issue with 'moving the bridge further back on the body' allows the neck itself to be shorter, which can affect the amount of reach you need to fret in the first position.

    For instance, a large bodied 34" scale bass like a Precision with the bridge all the way at the end of the body will have a slightly shorter neck than a small bodied 34" scale bass like a Warwick Thumb or a Pedulla Rapture, or a large bodied bass that has a lot of space behind the bridge.
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    If you're referring to what I posted, two basses with the same scale will have the same fret spacing. Use two 30" scale basses for this example:

    Each bass will have a distance of 30" from nut to bridge.

    If the basses have identical bodies and one has a bridge at the edge of the bass and the other has the bridge 2" from the edge, the second bass' neck will need to have the nut 2" farther up the neck than the first one. If not it would be a 28" scale.

    Here's another pic:


    This is how Tobiases used to be built. Notice that the bridge is about 3" from where the edge of the body would be without the omega cut. Because of this, the first fret seems like it's a long ways away. Now Tobiases are shorter overall.

    OTOH Simply moving a bridge to increase or decrease scale length will cause the problems stated before about fret to fret distance with an exception...

    If you did this on an unlined, unmarked fretless. Then it's up to you to find out where the notes are ;)
  17. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000

    This is a perfect example of how a headstock should not be built.

    If they had made it 2 tuning machines on top & three on the bottom, they could have offset the B string machine to add about an inch to the tension length, which would make it tighter.

    But then again, maybe the picture is inverted.
  18. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Years ago, i played a Riverhead headless (Steinberger-like) bass and it was very uncomfortable to me because the neck seemed TOO LONG. I had to extend my left arm too much for reaching the first frets. The overall fingerboard layout felt and looked very different and due to this, sometimes played wrong notes . But i measured the bass from bridge to nut and it was 34''. What is the reason of this? are all Steinberger style basses that uncomfortable? :)
  19. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I'd say you held your bass too low/too horizontal. Bass guitars are normally built to be held at belt height or higher (18th-20th fret) and at around 30-45 degrees from horizontal.
    But from pictures, it does seem that Riverhead have their strap knobs so that you'd need a pretty steep angle...