Bass VI 24" scale?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by pedrodelawasp, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. Hello collective wisdom of Luthier's corner!

    I received in the mail today a Satellite short scale bass neck I purchased from eBay with the intention of converting to a 6 stringer for a Bass VI style instrument. When I unwrapped it and held it in my hands I thought "this feels much more like a guitar neck than I was expecting"... and now discover that's probably because it's 24" scale. I'm now le wondering, should I:

    A) carry on as intended and make a bass VI at this scale length? Will I be able to get strings to make that work? Or;

    B) make a 4-string, 24" scale bass? Or;

    C) just make a guitar?

    The tuners will need replaced whatever path I go as one of the keys is missing (as advertised).

    What to do?

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    return it because it's not what was described.
  3. Scale length was not specified in the ad and if I'd made a quick search online for the bass and model number given i would have seen the scale length was 24". The seller is not at fault.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Hmmm. What bass model number has a 24" scale length? Other than some ultra-short project basses on here, I'm not aware of such. A 24" scale isn't a bass, it's a guitar. If the ad said "bass neck", it was misrepresenting the item, imho.
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  5. 66/w is the model. It was badged as various things, as most Teisco instruments were.

    As you can see in the picture, the neck was made as a 4-string bass. The seller also had the body listed for sale, including pickups, etc. There are other threads on here about people looking for strings for these basses.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    ok, weird...
  7. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I'm still going with return it as it is not as advertised, 24" scale is tenor guitar territory (also sometimes 4 strings) not short-scale bass. If you decide to keep it maybe use it for a U-Bass style instrument, with classical guitar strings you could probably even make it a Uke Bass VI
  8. I've actually had a production model bass that was 24" scale. From my research on them, they were marketed as kids beginner instruments. Mine was made in the early 70's in Japan, likely by Kawai. I found multiple different body styles. I can post pictures later.

    I can say that they work ok as a four string bass, but the strings are fairly floppy. I think too much so to do a bass VI setup. I had thought about keeping mine and setting it up A-C with heavy strings, but didn't.

  9. Jags and Mustangs are 24" scale. Those are pretty cool.

    On the 'not as advertised' point, I don't think that is accurate to say. The seller listed the neck from an old Satellite short scale bass and that is what I bought. I did so without asking for additional details, such as dimensions, scale length, etc.

    Some mulling over to be done...
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Seems perfect for a piccolo bass.
    Throw the bottom end of a set of guitar 11's on there and get your Stanley Clarke on.
    After you build the rest of it, I mean.
  11. That is very much an option
    lz4005 likes this.
  12. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You could also build it up and then experiment with different tunings until you find one that you like and works for that scale.
    I've had several short and sub-short scale instruments that just didn't work as basses but were great once I found what they "wanted" to be tuned to.
    Piccolo, cello, tenor, etc.
    johnp352 and pedrodelawasp like this.
  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I'd return it if possible. You can get a 30.5" scale baritone conversion neck from ebay for just over $100. I got mine from DC Kunkle.

    Other TBers have reported trouble with the seller though for shoddy packaging etc... But mine arrived in great condition, no problems at all.
    Will_White likes this.
  14. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    And Now For Something Completely Different: get a set of bass ukulele strings and a body and turn it into a bass uke.
    Will_White likes this.
  15. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    The very first Carvin bass, from 1959, had a 25-1/8" scale:
    The Carvin Museum - 1959 Basses
    OK, this one is shorter still...
    Would you be down with using very large gauges, such as .125"+ for the E? You could get the correct lengths from Kalium strings, or La Bella.
    Will_White likes this.
  16. Plutonium244


    Mar 29, 2015
    A Mustang bass is not 24" scale, it's 30" scale. Not sure about the Jag bass but I believe it's 32" , could be 30" too, but certainly not 24".

    That said, I do admire a person whose first thought is not to blame the other guy, but to look to his own contribution to a misunderstanding first... so kudos for that, very refreshing.
  17. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Mustang guitars are 24". The whole family of Fenders based on the Duosonic platform were.
  18. Yeah, I was referencing the guitars as opposed to the basses with those model names - I could have been clearer, though!

    As for the other bit, yeah, I wouldn't feel right trying to twist the seller's words and question their honesty. I'll make use of the neck once I've looked at the options and made up my mind. One possible way forward could be to mount it to a basic board and test it with different strings and pups and see what sounds good to me - like that plank bass on here that was used to put the 'tonewood' argument to the test!
  19. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    As a former bass luthier, I would want to know a few things.

    1. What sound do you want? [For the piccolo bass sound, you normally need to pluck it so it sounds different than a guitar]. If you are OK with it being a guitar sound then this is not an issue. But it begs the question, why not just get a guitar?

    2. I find plucking requires wider string spacing than you would get on a guitar neck. So, because the neck you have seems smaller than most guitar necks, I would think it is probably is hard to play plucked/pizzicato than with a pick.

    3. Strings. The only affordable piccolo bass strings I have found are at the link below. They work well on my 28.5" ESP 5 string bass, but I am not sure how they would work on a shorter scale bass neck at 24".

    Perhaps you could try them out on a guitar and see what gives.

    Good luck.
  20. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    My $0.02: I'm building a 22.75-inch bass out of a Squier Mini neck. It won't be tuned quite like a standard bass but it also will not be a guitar. I'm sticking with 4-strings tuned ADGC, so... like a normal bass w/ a capo on the 5th fret. That should keep the string tension usable.
    I don't expect anything great out of it, just a cool toy that will nearly fit in my pocket.
    I plan on going headless, but I wouldn't recommend that for you. Mini's are a dime-a-dozen, but you've got something cool, so I wouldn't destroy it completely.
    Chris_Toot likes this.