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changing a short scale neck to long scale.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by griz, Dec 24, 2017.


  1. Has anyone attempted to put a longscale neck on a short scale bass (like a Gibson SG standard, etc.)?
     
  2. ahc

    ahc

    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    You would probably have to relocate the bridge too.
     
    Acoustic356 likes this.
  3. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    This. You would have to line up the new neck and make sure you could get 17" plus travel for intonation from the 12th fret to the bridge saddles or it won't work.
     
    MEKer and Glazenn like this.
  4. Glazenn

    Glazenn

    May 16, 2011
    France
    THIS ^^^^. Makes sense. Well done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  5. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    If, and only if, the long-scale neck has 2 more frets than the old one, and if the existing bridge has decent saddle adjustment room back-wards (unlike the Gibson/Epiphone 3-point bridge usually has, I hasten to add) the bridge may stay where it is. Otherwise, it will indeed have to be moved towards the edge of the body, if the neck has less than 2 additional frets, or towards the neck itself if it has more.
     
  6. hypercarrots

    hypercarrots

    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    is there a gibson sg with a bolt on neck? isn’t a set neck harder to swap out
     
  7. The 30" scale Epiphone EB0 has a bolt-on neck.
    But where do you find a bolt-on 34" scale Gibson-style neck that fits the same pocket??

    It becomes an expensive conversion, with either a highly modified or custom neck, and/or body mods, so what's the point?
    There are already long scale EB basses that have more pickups and now even better bridges than the Epiphone EB0, and the whole point of that bass is that it's short scale and dirt cheap. A $700 Epi EB0 makes no sense.
     
    ajkula66 likes this.
  8. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    I happen to own both the short-scale and the long-scale version of the same Gibson bass (EB-0/EB-0L) which is for the purposes of this thread comparable with their current SG lineup. A couple of things worth mentioning IMO:

    1) The bridge will have to be moved back towards the end of the body. Period, end of story.

    2) You will be looking at a bass with some serious neck dive.

    Having no clue on what the "base" of your potential project would be, I'd strongly advise purchasing a similar Epi/Gibson bass that's long scale to begin with. All of them will have the neck-diving-issue, though.
     
    reddog and Zooberwerx like this.
  9. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Nope. See my post above. The EB-0L, to my knowledge, had 20 frets, just like most short-scale EB0's, so it quite naturally had a bridge placed further back than its SS counterpart. Had it had 2 more frets, the bridge would have had a similar position in the body; a longer, say 24-fret 34" neck replacing a 20-fret 30" one would call for a bridge relocation in the opposite direction, i.e. towards the front.
     
  10. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    What? Longer scale requires bridge to move away from the nut. Also number of frets is inconsequential. The Scale of the neck remains constant. Basically the 12th fret needs to be close to the middle between the nut and the Saddles. Of course the string gauge will require adjustment one way or the other.
     
  11. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Again, no. It depends on the number of frets or, if you will, on the actual "necked", fretted section of the scale length. The latter is not variable in our case (34), but the part of it that is the neck varies depending on the number of frets, and, consequently, so does the remaining part which is the distance between end of neck and bridge. Think about it.
     
  12. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Or, rather, yes, of course. Longer scale is longer than short. But how much of the move away goes in extra frets, if at all, and how much alternatively goes in moving the neck toward the edge of the instrument? it depends on the number of frets.
     
  13. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Number of frets has nothing to do with scale. More frets will simply make the neck longer. That would require the neck pocket to be longer or an over hang on the fret board. Such as Warmoths necks that maintain the 34" scale while adding frets.
     
  14. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    If you can envision a Warmoth neck with the overhang containing an extra fret, Then think about what is happening. The neck fits in the pocket the same way and the nut is the same distance from the bridge. However you now have an extra fret without having to move the bridge. Only minimal adjustment is needed as in any neck change.
    So if that all makes sense, then consider putting on a longer scale neck. The longer scale has further distance between each fret. The bottom line is how far the Nut ends up being farther away from the bridge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  15. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    How long is, nut to last fret, a 20-fret fretboard, 34" scale, no overhang? Let's call the distance x. How long is a 24-fret fretboard, same 34" scale, no overhang either? Let's call it y. Do you or do you not convene that x<y? Do you agree that 34-x > 34-y, that is to say, that the distance from last fret to (nominal, uncompensated) bridge saddle position in the former case is longer than in the latter; or in other words, that these two necks, on the same body, require a different position of the bridge?
    Finally, do you agree than putting one or the other as a replacement for a short-scale neck would require, again a very different positioning of the bridge?
     
  16. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015
    IMG_0439.JPG IMG_0481.JPG IMG_0441.JPG IMG_0478.JPG

    I've done a similar conversion.

    My fretless started out as an Epi TBird, bolt on.

    The paddle fretless neck came off of EBay for about $50.00.

    The neck pocket was left stock, in case it didn't work out. The neck heel? Not sure what you call it was machined to fit, along with a shim for the angle, and then bolted in.

    Headstock was shaped to match original. Those into detail, will notice it's a Fender-style straight pull, as opposed to the angled back one of the Epi/Gibson design, my preference, most don't notice.

    Rather than retaper the fingerboard as the board and the neck heel were of the same width, I machined the heel but allowed the board to stay the same, it "overflows" above the pocket by about 1/8" plus on each side. Works for me.

    Your biggest issue is resetting the bridge and possibly tailpiece if you come up short.

    My neck came from Eden, they might have something, check EBay.
     
  17. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    I don't need to see your post since I'm looking at both of these basses right now, and I'll be happy to share what I'm seeing below. BTW, 1970-72 EB-0L (aka "slothead") has 19 frets as opposed to 20 on previous and subsequent models. This holds true for all "slotheads" regardless of the scale length.

    None of these basses ever sported more than 20 frets so any discussion on what the situation would be if one were to build a custom 24/36 fret neck and shove it in an Epi EB-0 is purely academic.

    upload_2017-12-25_14-58-54.
     
  18. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    Never knew the one on the left existed. Interesting!
     
    ajkula66 likes this.
  19. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    The "slotheads" were the shortest-lived generation of the EB-0/3 - also known as Series III - but they are really not all that uncommon, generally speaking. A modded (short-scale) EB-0 from this era can be heard on Boston's debut album, played by Tom Scholz. Pete Cetera also favoured a "slothead" EB-3 for some time.

    The later (and final) version of EB-0/3/L went back to the conventional headstock, had the pickup moved towards the middle of the body, and received a 3-point bridge along with a 3-piece maple neck. There was also an EB-4L which sported an entirely different - albeit similar looking - pickup along with some changes to the wiring itself.
     
    Ross W. Lovell likes this.
  20. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Perfect, thanks. Same number of frets (I stand corrected, not 20) between different scales = a bridge placed further back in the long vs. the short. As I said, depending on the number of frets of the replacement LS neck, neither part ("move" and "back") is a given.*
    The OP was generic enough, and by the way didn't mention vintage EB basses (or recent Epiphones for that matter) but only the modern-day SG by way of example, and I was responding to that and an early reply, also generic. I stand by my previous posts.

    *EDIT - OK, I'm clearly excluding cases where there the neck has fretboard overhang. That is a special case.
     

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