35" scale mandatory for good B string tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Funkateer, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I got my BTB 515 because it was the only instrument I tried that didn't have a really flappy B string. Perhaps I should have tried more, but all of the 34" scale instruments I tried had poor tone on the B string. Anybody make 34" scale 5 strings that have good sounding B's? Or is 35" scale mandatory for good B string tone?
  2. Great 34" B- String?

    One word, one number: Stingray 5

    As good or better B than most 35's I've played.
  3. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    My r bass has a great b string for a 34", but with the extended headstock and the tilted headstock, I think there was some thought on how to get around it. I hear ya, had a couple of 34" where I didn't even want to hit the B.
  4. I've played very few Stingray 5's but the ones I've played have had quite floppy B strings. They must have been poorly setup. I hope...
  5. Absolutely not. What's vastly more important than scale length is neck stiffness and the tightness of the neck joint.

    Even a 9-foot scale length isn't going to produce a very good low B sound if the neck joints are as shoddy and the lumber is as of low quality as what I've seen on many below-$1000 35" basses.
  6. Probably. If you do a search you'll find that most people regard the SR5 as having a very nice B string.

    Also, the smug guy is absolutely right :D. Quality construction has everything to do with good B tone.
  7. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    scale length doesn't necessarily give you a better b-string. in fact i've played several 35' scale basses with floppy b-strings

    My stingray 5 had a nice tight b-string. still does.. only I don't have it anymore
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Peter McF and myself couldn't agree more.

    Peter notes the importance of neck stiffness and neck joint tightness - extremely important!!!

    I would also add that a tilt-back head stock and a through-body-bridge that gives a more severe break angle over the nut and saddles makes a world of difference.

    I had a 34" Carvin with a maple/koa neck and its B string put more expensive basses to shame for articulation.

    With some basses, using tapered strings makes a helluva lot of difference, too.
  9. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    My Sadowsky Vintage 5 has an AMAZING B string. IMHO much cleaner and deeper speaking than the EB5 I used to have.
  10. mad_world


    Nov 3, 2002
    Doesn't string through body support a stronger B or any lower string on a bass? I dont own a string though but, i would think that it would make a tighter string.
  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's not mandatory, though all things being equal, it helps.

    A stiff neck and a stable neck joint are more important, IMO. And it helps to lighten your touch slightly on the B.
  12. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    the b string on my Smith 6 has very good focus and articulation with a 34" scale.
  13. There are lots of 5-strings with 35'' scales under $1000, and the only two good ones I've played are the Lakland Skyline and the MTD Kingston/Heir.
    (I'm saving slowly for a Kingston now)

    As people have said before, the ~1200 dollar Musicman Sterling 5 has a MUCH BETTER B than possibly all 5-strings under $1000, regardless of scale length.

    There are 32'' scale 4-string basses with E-strings that are clear as if they were 35''.

    There are loads of factors to determing B-string tightness. Mostly it has to do with uality of construction, as Pete McFerrin said.

    I mean, look at a Sadowsky 5. Anyone dare to challenge the quality of a Sadowsky B because it is 34''?? Anyone? Anyone? That's what I thought. :)
  14. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Where have I heard this before???

    "....and a through-body-bridge that gives a more severe break angle over the nut and saddles makes a world of difference."

    ...Oh! my previous post!
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Definitely NOT mandatory. My Fender RB5 and Warwick SSI5 both have very nice B strings.
  16. I've always found tapers to be a bit of a dead end, as they double-beat really severely in the upper register.
  17. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    my 34" scale warwicks have some of the best b's i've ever played, PERIOD. zons, g&l's, modulus flea basses...all yet unmentioned basses with great b's and 34" scale.

    i've played plenty of uprights with floppy, bad sounding E strings, and those are 40+" scale!
  18. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I've found the exact same thing - although they speak a little more clearly to my ears on the low notes.
  19. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    My Stingray fiver had a good B. As good as my Lakland 55-94 35". I now have a Carvin LB76 and 75, both neck-throughs, and the Bs are fine on both. I even had a Cort Curbow 5 at one time, and for an inexpensive bass, the B wasn't too bad, as it had a pretty sharp angle at the headstock.
  20. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Peter - FWIW, I don't worship at the altar of tapers. My Lakland Skyline literature makes it seem like tapers are the only string design worth putting on my 55-02.

    I have DR Lo-Riders on there now, (NOT tapered as you may know), and they blow the Lakland (GHS) tapers into the toilet as far as my ears are concerned.

    But on some basses with some bridges, tapers make a lot of difference, like Carvins.