Best scale length

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MaxSBM, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. MaxSBM


    Oct 10, 2011
    Hello all!

    I am not quite certain if this would go here or in the luthier's corner, but I decided to place it about here, because it is not about a build.

    I currently own a Ibanez GSR, and it is a 34" scale bass. I tune to drop D alot, and I was wondering, would a longer scale bass (e.g 35") improve the clarity of the low D dramatically? I mean it is fairly good now, but would it be incentive enough for getting a larger scale bass?

  2. benthughes

    benthughes Inactive

    Jun 26, 2005
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    It makes a little difference in regards to string tension, given the same strings you can feel a bit more string tension on a 35" scale. I personally feel that good construction is more important than scale in regards to how a B string or detuned strings sound. My 34" scale Spector, G&L and Skjold sound just as goos down low as my 35" scale Lull.

    If I had a bass where it sounded "meh" down tuned or in the low B I'd try new strings. You'll get more tension out of a set or stainless strings as opposed to nickel wounds. Stainless strings also tend to be a bit brighter which may help add definition to flabby sounding bass. Try some DR Low Riders, way cheaper than a new bass.
  3. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    I have never heard a difference. Sometimes the tension feels better on the longer scales, but I can change brands of strings and get just about the same feel on the 34 scales. Honestly it comes down to ergonomics for me. 34 and 33 fits me 35 (especially f less is right out!)
  4. MaxSBM


    Oct 10, 2011
    ok thanks for the help guys.
  5. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I personally use 36" and I like the tone much better than on shorter neck basses,especially in the lower registers.
    Most basses are reasonably well made but built quality will influence the behaviour of the instrument and B string-quality also as do the strings.
  6. If you want a clearer dropped D, why don;t you just buy a thicker string? Works for me.
  7. FBS1996


    Feb 14, 2011

    Save your self A LOT of cash, and just buy some heavier gauge strings. My P bass is 34 inch scale, and with some heavy strings on there, I can get a clear C.
  8. IMO low B (or D) sound quality has more to do with the quality/construction of the bass and string type than it has with scale length!

    35" will feel tighter though...

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