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Any short scale 6's at NAAM?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jim T., Jan 21, 2003.


  1. Ok, ok, it's me again with my same old crazy quest but...
    has anyone seen any luthiers at NAAM that are trying to defeat the laws of physics via electronics, etc. in developing a workable short scale 6? I know JT was gonna keep an eye out for me if he's stopped laughing yet...

    If not, would the Roland V Bass synth give a short scale a low B that sounded as good as a 34"?

    Thanks. I'm serious! I swear!
     
  2. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Hey, Jim,

    Jack Read has made a short scale 5 string. You should send him an email at jread@readcustom.com. I've had a couple of dealings with him on strings, and such, and he's always very quick to respond, and a great guy to talk to.

    Here's a 32" scale 5 string he did:
    [​IMG]

    Also, I'm a big proponent of the idea that neck rigidity is more important to quality low B tone than scale length or string diameter. That said, if you are looking for a quality 6 with a short scale, give Greg Curbow a call at 706-374-2873, or email him at greg@curbow.com. He's always looking for a challenge, or something different to try, and a short scale six would work great with his Petite body style and a Rockwood neck. I've got two Rockwood necked basses with low Bs, and I use TI strings, and my low B diameter is .118 or .119 depending on the bass, and I'd put the tone of my low Bs up against any 35" or 37" scale bass.

    The VBass can do quite a number on the tone of a low B. I think you could acheive the tone you are looking for very easily with a short scale low B and a VBass. I can get some pretty thick sounds out of my low B--Heck, I can make it sound like a pipe organ if I want. :D

    I think you can acheive a solid low B with either of the luthiers I mentioned without having to resort to modeling, though.

    Some other who have done short scale low B basses are Hoyt, and perhaps Michael Dolan, too. But, I am not entirely sure about that.

    Good luck!
     
  3. natebass

    natebass

    Sep 6, 2001
    Bremerton, WA
    I know that Alembic will make one - they will make anything that you want; if you want a brand name 5, Warwick will make any of their bolt on models a 30 or 32 for $180 upcharge RETAIL, which is pretty cool.
     
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Really? That's pretty cool. I'd love to see a 6 string fretless shortscale like their Jack Bruce model. I don't really like Warwicks very much, but that bass is one of the nicest instruments I've ever played of any brand!
     
  5. natebass

    natebass

    Sep 6, 2001
    Bremerton, WA
    it looks like I'll get either the Corvette Jazzman or the Thumb 5, with the ebony fingerboard and I'll end up paying under 2K....great, cause I will need the tax write off....
     
  6. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    According to Warwick/Dana B. Goods latest US price list, the 30" scale is only available on the 4-string models, and the 32" scale is only available on 4 and 5-string models. Bummer. And the upcharge is now $180.00.

    I, however, am the proud new owner of a Warwick Custom Corvette Proline Fretless 30" scale 4-string in natural flamed maple body, ovangkol neck, and ebony fingerboard, with chrome hardware. As soon as I get a hold of the flatwound strings I want, I'll be able to play it...

    Thanks to Warwick for getting my order to me in less than 6 weeks! Normal quoted time for a custom build is 4-6 months.
     
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Um...you do know that you are required by the Talkbass TOS to post pics, right? Sounds great! What are your preferred flats? I only use TI Jazz Flats on my basses with flatwound strings. YMMV.
     
  8. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Well, as I was saying on TBL, since the subject of cellos came up, the reason I got this bass was to try an approximate cello range with a bass-like instrument, so my idea is to get a set of flats for a 6-string and use the top 4 (ADGC) strings. The only makers of 6-string flats I'm aware of are TI and Rotosound.

    I actually have both 4-string and 5-string sets of TI Jazz Flats, but I haven't used them yet. I've got two other new fretless basses, both StingRays. One has Roto's, the other came with D'Addario Chromes (I think, the ferrules are color coded, so I guess that means D'Addario). I need to give both sets time to cure, then I'll record them for posterity and put on new sets (I also have some EB Group III's to try). The 5-string set of TI Jazz Flats will probably go to my fretted Fender Jazz Plus V to reduce string noise (my fingers seem to be really noisy).

    Anyway, since TI Jazz Flats are known to be on the soft side, I'm going to tune the thing up a bit. According to my calculations, 34" strings should go a little more than a whole step sharp at 30" scale, so I'm going to try BEAD, CFBbEb, and possibly DGCF, if I can go that far with the TI's. The Roto's probably won't work for that, but will probably be great at BEAD.

    These three basses are my first fretless basses (actually, my second, third, and fourth basses ever--I went on a buying spree this past fall), and I've never actually used flats on my Fender (first bass), so I'm not sure yet which flats I like best. With what I paid for the TI's, I hope I like them! :D

    Oh, and later on today, I'll get out the digital camera for a pic of the new Warwick...
     
  9. bassmonkee,
    Thanks so much for the great info! I will email the luthiers you've recommended and discuss with them. I I I keep hoping that i can find someone who's at least built a prototype for themselves that I could try playing before taking an expensive chance on a custom order.

    I'll do a search for Hoyt. (do you have a link by chance?)
    I am looking for a 28 to 30" scale fretless.

    I need to get myself to a Guitar Center and try a V bass unit with a Fender Bronco or something... it's good to know that that might work.

    I was VERY excited when Warwick first announced their short scale necks and was initially told that sixes would be included. Unfortunately, the above info is correct and there is no six planned. Bummer. So near, yet so far. I could've tried one through G.C. so they told me and returned it if it didn't satisfy me...

    Thanks guys for being truly helpful regarding this thread. Usually I just get less than serious answers.

    Anyone know of any already built 30" scale sixes out there that I could try on an approval basis?
     
  10. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Ok, here it is, it's not quite a six (just the top four strings of one), and the picture is not my best work, but...
     
  11. IMHO the whole trick with short-scales is

    1) a very stiff and massive neck ( Alembic is good at this)

    2) getting enough string tension to avoid string flap

    (At concert pitch, tension of a low .105 E on a long scale bass is 40 pounds, but on a short scale bass its only 31 pounds!)

    Heavier, higher tension strings are essential, and the bass should have neck construction to match.

    The highest tension set i have found so far is D'addario half-round EHR73 - 45 pounds for the low E, 228 pounds for the whole set (long scale measurement)...

    Its a shame more string manufacturers dont publish their tension specifications.

    I'm planning on getting a short-scale 5 string underway soon, and I'm sure it will need at LEAST a .135 B string


    My latest short-scale (still waiting to get some decent pics of it)


    [​IMG]
    quilt maple top



    [​IMG]
    flamed ash back (this shows the real color)