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Custom bass - probs with 35" maple fretboard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by *ToNeS*, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Hey guys,

    I'm having those great guys at Sandberg build me a 5-string VM to spec, but one of the things I wanted on it was a maple fretboard in 35" scale. They can't do this apparently, because they're afraid the maple might crack at that scale.

    Is this a deal-breaker? I tend to tune my B down to A a lot and thought 35" might definitely be the way to go. Or are Sandbergs just so damn good that 34" will be A-OK?
  2. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    There are plenty of off the shelf and other custom basses with 35" scale and maple neck/fingerboards. Lakland, Surine, Elrick...

    Here's a Surine Quest that's doing fine :)

  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I haven't had any problems with the maple boards on my Lakland 55-94 and JO5, both 35-inch scale.
  4. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    FWIW my Korean 55-02's maple board has been stable and has held an incredibly low action for 6 years...

    Soooo... If a factory built neck is doing fine (in dry mountain air at that) but a custom build "might crack"... You have to wonder where that concern is coming from :-/
  5. Sandberg says, a 35" neck instead of 34" could posslbly beak or crack?

    Because of one inch? LOL

    Maybe their CNC isn't large enough - or their chinese supplier can't handle it...;-)
  6. Very strange.. Get a custom Lakland ;)
  7. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    Or a carvin
  8. sneha1965


    Nov 7, 2007
    Maybe you should consider Mike Lull for your 35" scale build. All of his 5 strings are 35 scale.
  9. LHbassist


    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    I'm building a 35" 5- right now, I'm using a highly flamed maple board. WHY are they having problems? Use good, stable, dry wood, and work it properly, and there shouldn't be any problems at all. If you cure the board right, even figured wood will be fine to use, without twisting or warping.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member


    Sandberg's claim is bizarre.
  11. Agreed. Several 35" scale basses with maple fretboards in my collection. Zero problems.
  12. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Well now I'm thinking, "What the?" This is the message, btw:

    we do 35 scale with rosewood and ebony only. The wood “maple” could get unstable and breaks. It doesn’t have to but we don’t want to risk it.

    Best wishes

    I love what these guys do. I've had my heart set on a 5-string Precision Deluxe for years, but Fender don't do them anymore (traditionalist uproar, I think?). So Sandberg are my next stop, but this whole achey-breaky maple thing is making me think twice - especially with some of the comments from you guys. Le sigh.
  13. sneha1965


    Nov 7, 2007
    Ebony is sonically in the same ballpark as maple if you don't have your heart set on it.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    The only thing I can think of is that maple is not as hard as either rosewood or ebony. However if maple is acceptable to Sandberg for 34", why not 35"? It's an increase of only 3%. Sandberg should use maple for both -- or neither, if they're so concerned about fragility. :eyebrow:

    Ultimately it doesn't matter. The bottom line is, you can't get a 35" Sandberg with maple board. So if you must have a maple board on your 35", then you'll have to look elsewhere. Sorry 'bout that. :meh:
  15. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    I was going to either...



    b) Maybe just spring for a 34" maple board? But I was concerned about B-string tension. Thoughts on this? Sandbergs seem to have a really good rep for construction. Seems like I might get away with it.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    Ebony is not as bright as maple and ebony has a compressed brightness to it.

    And rosewood is warmer(darker) sounding than ebony and maple.
  17. BigDaddyO

    BigDaddyO Rockin' Ruben Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    pick up the phone
  18. Lol that's bullcrap. I'd go somewhere else.
  19. sneha1965


    Nov 7, 2007
    I don't know why it would be an issue. Maybe Carl should call up Mike Lull to find out he does it.
  20. sneha1965


    Nov 7, 2007
    I'm not saying they are the same but they are similar as someone who owned and gigged an RD artist and maple neck G&L L-1000.