Bassier Sounding Version of a Fender VI or Hellcat VI? (32" Bass VI?)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by savinggrace, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. I was wondering if anyone made, or knows of anyone that could make, essentially a 32" Bass IV. I am not even sure the strings would exist for this. I don't want a regular 6 string bass, I like skinny necks- even on a 4 string bass. I play exclusively with a pick so as long as notes can get bent (ha!) properly, I don't need much room between strings, although I would prefer a little wider neck then a Hellcat VI.

    I drop all of my strings down a step (i.e.- E to D, etc)

    Essentially I want a more pronounced, bassier sounding version of a Fender VI or Hellcat VI.
  2. hellboy


    Nov 5, 2002
    My Shergold Marathon has a wider neck than a Hellcat VI or Bass VI, and I have it strung 030-040-050-065-085-105, but they're basically impossible to find and I don't know of any production basses like them. Your best bet is probably a custom build - convert a shortscale 4 (or 5, if they exist) neck to a 6-stringer (tuners, nut, bridge).
  3. Thank you for the information. What type of strings do you use? How do you like the feel and sound of the Marathon compared to the Hellcat VI?
  4. hellboy


    Nov 5, 2002
    I'm using Ken Smith Bass Burners at the moment, and they're okay; I'd prefer DR's, but since it's a vintage instrument I'm uncomfortable using stainless steel strings (I prefer Hi Beams) and Sunbeams don't have an .050". I tried the Ken Smiths because they're supposed to be pretty bright for nickel. I may try Hi Beams at some point, but I don't know how much I trust the "won't eat your frets" promise.

    Soundwise I definitely prefer it to the Hellcat, partially due to the heavier strings and partially due to the stronger pickup - I think the pickups are the weak point on the Hellcat. OTOH, the Hellcat is maybe a bit more versatile and the pickups can always be upgraded.

    In terms of feel I find it somewhat harder to play than the Hellcat; the Hellcat feels just a little bit tighter than I'd like, whereas the Marathon is almost too wide. My hands just aren't that big, and I'm more comfortable on a guitar than a bass. Someone with bigger hands or looking for more of a bass feel might be more comfortable on a Marathon-type neck. The nut is 1 7/8" and the bridge is more than 2 1/2", measured E to e.

    You might try looking for a Burns Barracuda. Lunarpollen has one, and I believe the neck is slightly wider than the Hellcat.
  5. Electrical Guitar Company has a baritone model that can be ordered either with a 30" or 32" scale length. Here's a link:
    (and yes, I want one. Bad.)

    Other than that, the only 32" VI type guitar I can think of is the DeArmond Bajo Jet:


    Those are very rare guitars though, and they haven't been in production for quite a while. It's a pity really, as they look cooler than cool.
  6. schecter have production baritone guitar if this helps
  7. Kraken


    Jun 19, 2001
    Aylesbury, England
    I have a Fender Jaguar Baritone, but again they are no longer in production. although I think it is a 30" scale.

    Fender do manufacture the Strings for the Bass VI (I have a set as spares for the Jag) but you will probably need to get your local music shop to order them special. - not sure if that helps.
  8. I have one of those Jaguar Baritone Custom/Bass VIs too and it might be my favourite instrument. However, they have a 28.5" scale, and I can't imagine that one would be able to detune one with good results. Actually, I don't even find them to be that usable as basses either, as I've never been able to intonate the low E string properly. (and I know that I'm not alone in this, for what that's worth)

    Wonderful sounding, and playing instruments, though. :)
  9. hellboy


    Nov 5, 2002
    Oh, I meant to mention that I use standard bass strings on the Marathon because it has bass tuners, so I can use a wider range of strings than the Hellcat or Bass VI. The Hellcat and Bass VI have guitar tuners, so there's an upper limit on the gauges you can use, unfortunately. Buying strings online is the way to go, I doubt there are very many shops that carry Bass VI sets (or even light singles to make your own set).

    Arpeggiator: I think you mean the Hellcat VI.