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35" Scale-The New Standard?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Nov 28, 2003.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I've noticed that a lot of higher-end bass companies are now using 35" scale as their standard length-companies including Roscoe, Elrick, Modulus, MTD, Zon, Hill, and others, and companies like Yamaha are changing the standard to 35" on their lower-end models as well. I was curious if anyone else had thoughts on this trend, particularly dealers who deal with these companies directly.
     
  2. For fivers, or four-strings as well? I know MTD and Modulus use the 35" scale on four-bangers, but how about the others?
     
  3. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Hi Pete
    I know many fender type basses are still 34 scale.
     
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    For the companies I've mentioned, yeah, for four-string as well. There are exceptions to these of course, but the standard is 35".
     
  5. Well, they're certainly going to reduce their sales to beginners, but not many beginners are buying MTDs and Zons anyway (Yamaha's another story).

    In any case, some people prefer the sound and feel of 34"-scale basses, particularly on the high strings; I count myself among them. I think you'll eventually see 34" vs. 35" become akin to the 24.75" vs. 25.5" debate in guitars. I doubt 35" will ever become The Standard.
     
  6. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    My Peavey Cirrus 4 has a 35" scale. I probably won't buy another bass with a 34" scale again.
     
  7. Malcom

    Malcom

    Oct 21, 2002
    The Midwest
    And yet nobody seems to try the 33" scale of Ricks. . . odd.
     
  8. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Actually, Fodera makes a 33in scale bass, the Matt Garrison artist custom bass, which is even a five string, but, the real issue is this... George Fullerton says that Leo Fender tried every scale imaginable, even 41in scale, but came to the conclusion that 34in scale was the most precise, and that has since been the standard for over 50 years. Now personally, I prefer 4 strings to have 34 in and 5 strings to have 35 in scale, unless you are Roger Sadowsky and know how to make an awesome B string on a 34 in scale bass. By the way, the harmonic content on a 35 in scale bass is different, and the string tension appears to be more taut, though it is actually the same tension as a 34in. Hmm.....
     
  9. adlerguitars

    adlerguitars

    Nov 15, 2003
    Beaumont, CA
    By the way, the harmonic content on a 35 in scale bass is different, and the string tension appears to be more taut, though it is actually the same tension as a 34in. Hmm.....

    ** 35" scale basses do actually have more tension on the strings although they are the same pitch, just like a strat has more snap than a les paul. neither is really better, just different.
     
  10. darkspec

    darkspec

    Jan 2, 2003
    Cleveland Ohio
    I noticed this also. My essex is a 34.5" scale. I kinda noticed a diffrence in it....but didnt know till I read it on rondo's webpage. I guess the new 35" standard is a good thing....
     
  11. Armchair Thief

    Armchair Thief Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    It's "a" standard, like with the guitar scale length thing, but I doubt it will become "the" standard. (Ricks are 33 1/4" by the way, this is what I would call "non-standard". Carvin's longer-scale basses are 35 1/4", what I would also think of as "non-standard.")

    And not to get off the subject too much, I think a good B-string is more the result of a good, stiff neck than scale length, though I imagine scale length helps a bit. But the stiffness of the neck is more important.
     
  12. What basses have a "good, stiff neck" and therefore a good B-string, in your opinion?
     
  13. Deep

    Deep

    May 8, 2002
    NY
    You can't get any stiffer than Zon, Modulus, and Status. They all have great B strings. Even the 34" scale Zons vs the 35" scale Zons have great B strings.
     
  14. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'd put my 34" scale Curbow Int'l Petite with Rockwood neck up against any 35" scale bass for the low B. I've never played a 35"+ scale bass that sounds better, or has a more usable B string.
     
  15. Bassmonkee...That is TOO FUNNY for a avatar....
     
  16. Tsal

    Tsal

    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I wonder what's the theory behind the stiff necks granting better B.. I mean, it's not like your normal neck wobbles when played causing looseness, or bends shorter because of the tension :confused:
     
  17. Sure they bend - otherwise the B string would be pretty stiff :)

    The difference in length between a 34" neck and a 35" neck is less than 3%. Roger and others make 34" basses that don't flex and therefore have a stiffer B than most. If the headstock, neck, neck joint and bridge don't move around the B string will feel considerably tighter.

    I had an Ibanez SR406 that had a great B string and it was a 34" bass. My low-end Fodera is a 35" bass with a good B string but the Lakland 55-94 I used to own was slightly better.
     
  18. adlerguitars

    adlerguitars

    Nov 15, 2003
    Beaumont, CA
    slight vibrations in necks cause the strings to vibrate unevenly (as a string vibrates it causes the neck to mover forward and back, thus continuously changing the scale length). the more stable the neck the better the sound of the B string. if you pluck a B and then push and pull slightly on the headstock it will cause a more exagerated uneven vibration. I've experimented with Zon, Modulus, and my own basses. in my experience it always happens the same, regardless the builder.
     
  19. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    BTW, welcome to TalkBass Mr. Adler! For those who don't remember, Mr. Adler is the creator of that infamous 11-string :) As well as many other beautiful basses.
     
  20. adlerguitars

    adlerguitars

    Nov 15, 2003
    Beaumont, CA
    thanks Mr Tyler! i would like to say that the 11 string was an idea that wasn't supposed to be posted! that was prototype no 1 and i must say it is NOT representative of my other stuff:) Version 2.0 will be around soon and i'll show the pics when i have some, it is very similar to the singlecuts i have on the site (except that is has SO MANY strings!)