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35" scale 4 string, or something good for CGCF.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Droog, Apr 18, 2005.


  1. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    I have been playing my P-bass in CGCF for a while now, I had it set up properly by a trusted luthier, but I am coming to face the reality that my P-bass just does not like it. For one, the pickups are not really digging that low C and its a pain to maintain proper intonation on the low C, its actually a B from a 5 string set, but the tension is just not there.

    It seems that most 5 strings are of the 35" scale, longer neck for the appropriate tension on the B. So then, are there 35" 4 string basses? If not what would be a good recomendation for this low of tuning?

    I know the first recomendation is to just switch to a 5, but honestly I don't think I have the skill to make it work in my current band set up. And besides I like playing on a 4. I have been thinking of switching over to a J or Stingray sometime soon, but I really don't want to have the same issues.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everybody.
     
  2. NoNoise

    NoNoise Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    This is the exact problem I've been trying to overcome. Moses Graphite makes a Jazz-style 35" scale 4-string neck and the company Novax makes a fanned-fret 35" scale 4-string neck, but I have been unable to find any other places that do. I would find a good luthier that is willing to take on the job. They can make you one custom. Check with TB's Hambone :) He may be able to help you out.
     
  3. Dincrest

    Dincrest

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    I don't know what your budget it, but for a 35" 4-string for not much coin, there is the ESP/LTD F-series. Bass Player magazine liked the F254 and tuned it BEAD with good results. The only caveat is the undoubtedly "metal" body shape.
     
  4. Moduluses (Moduli?) have extremely tight B strings and wonderful low end. I imagine that a 4 string with slightly heavier gauge strings would be nice.
     
  5. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    All of the ESP LTDs have 35" scales, so if the F isn't your thing the Viper or B models might be. I have not found a better bass in the $400-500 range and despite the metal style body I've found my F205 quite versitile.

    Also ESP makes a Baritone tuned 4 string called the DF404 which has nicer pickups and fingerboard (though it sports a pretty gaudy inlay), and the 30th aniversary edition B series looks quite sweet as well.

    Oh yeah, don't be intimidated by a 5. If you want to play a 4 because you like 4s that's cool, but don't think you can't handle a 5 because you aren't good enough. I think it took me a grand total of 2 hours to completely move my brain into 5 string mode.
     
  6. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Scale doesn't really affect playability much, at least, not as much as basic craftmanship does in the instrument. I was playing a Zon and a Lakland, both five string, one 35" and one 34" scale, and I could _not_ tell the difference in the B string one bit. If the bass is put together well it should be able to take the tuning fine, to a point. Not to be too critical, but why are you tuning so low? You might be putting yourself into a world of misery in doing so, especially if you want to keep that bass. If not, I'd think you may just want to step up to a better bass, Zon, Spector, Lakland etc. all come to mind as basic starting points, and there's a hundred more you can go to from there. Just my $0.02.

    Ray
     
  7. MTD 4's have a 35" scale length. I play in a billboard cover band for kids parties and stuff and a few of the songs we cover are in drop C or go down to a C so we tune down to drop C and have to play everything else up higher on the neck to keep the key. A lot of the songs are originally in drop D so its not too bad, but it is a PITA sometimes.
     
  8. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    There is a lot of "tuning low is for stupid kids" sentiment on these boards. Ignore it. C tuning is cool. You will need a different setup, but other than that its no big deal. You don't start getting into real headaches until you try getting into the G range, that's when cabinets start running in fear....
     
  9. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Thanks for all the help. Looking around for stock 35" bass's and the pickin's are a bit slim.

    The Modulus stuff is a bit too pricy for me I think, plus I kind of want to stay away from active PUPs. Also I want a simple look, nothing quilted or flame topped, Alder with a nice clear coat would be fine.

    Checked the ESP website and contrary to one post, there are not that many 35" scale basses. Yes the F-series is all 35, but I am sorry I won't play one of those :rollno: No 35" Viper, to bad I kind of dig those. The 30th anniversary model looks like a nice bass, but again active PUP's and style.

    My next stop was to the Moses graphite website to check out the necks. Pricy yes ($506.00) however, they are located in my home town, and its very likely that my luthier has a good connection with those guys. Next stop, Warmoth, where I priced out all the pieces for a J-clone. Its looking like I just may be able to put together a custom bass for pretty decent price. I think I may run the parts list by the luthier and see what he thinks and get a quote.

    Who knows though, may be that I just buy a J and call it good. The drop-C tuning was not all my idea. My guitarist/vocalist prefered the lower tuning for his vocal range. He has been playing his acoustic at this tuning for quite some time as well. Its not like we are going for an ultra low "Korny" sound, hell no, not even close. I don't mind it either, except for the problems I am having. As far as switching to a 5, well someday for sure I will get one, just not now, its not the time yet. Appreciate the vote of confidence though (Tash) thanks :D

    Well thanks again, any more ideas are very much appreciated.
     
  10. Washishimi

    Washishimi Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    New York
    Yamaha made one that got good reviews. RBX-774. Bass Player Mag gave it their Tone and Construction awards. 4-string, 35" scale, EMG's, etc. I'm not sure if they make it anymore, but you could probably find one around somewhere.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I didn't mean to bash ya in saying about tuning so low, why would I? I used to be in bands that tuned to A. I was simply looking at it from a gear standpoint. I'd just really suggest looking into 5 stringers. But if that's not your bag then it's just time to expirement with strings and such to find out what you need. Good luck :)

    Ray
     
  12. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    No offence taken. I should have thought about this earlier though:)
     
  13. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Hindsight's always 20/20. Just out of curiosity, what gague strings are you using? Also, did you try alternate gauges/brands? I think that may be a starting place...

    Ray
     
  14. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Yeah, actually we went through about four different low B strings. What worked best is a Roto Sound .135, I can't recall what the other one were. Another Roto, a Diadarrio and something else to, just can't recall exactly. Also messed with different guages. So nothing was perfect, but the 135 gave the best results. The G,C and F stings are fine, its just that low C.

    Another thing to note, and this may just be common for those low tunings, but that Low C is sure sensitive to how hard I fret. Get a little heavy handed and it goes sharp pretty easily, but it teaches good techniques for me.
     
  15. One thing you might try is La Bella Hard Rockin' Steels "D-tuning" set. They're gauged .54-.76.-.90-.111, and they're designed to be tuned D-G-C-F. I just put a set on one of my basses which had been tuned standard its whole life, and I didn't have to make any adjustments. They are great strings. You could probably get away with tuning that .111 down to C.
     
  16. troll

    troll

    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    The Cirrus 4 is also 35" :)

    Troll