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Difference between 34" and 35" scale?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Disco_Gee, Jan 27, 2002.

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  1. I'm just wondering what the difference bewteen the two is? Apart from 1" of course. Are there any benifits to having either a longer or shorter scale bass?
  2. 35 = tighter strings, somewhat deeper sound

    34 = 2 octaves
  3. Simply put, Scale length is the distance between the nut and the bridge. It has nothing to do with the number of frets.

    It may be easier for a designer to get a better sounding "B" on a 35" scale. That said, all the great luthiers I am aware of are able to get a great sounding bass with a 34" scale. It's also a way to distinguish the instrument for marketing positioning.

    Having shorter fingers, I prefer a 34" scale. The frets will be slightly further apart on a 35" scale. Those stretches in 1st position get me with a 35" scale bass.

    Also, the length of the fretboard (number of frets) determine the number of notes. A 34" or 35" can be 2 octave or more. I've seen 3 octave 34" scale basses.

  4. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    My 35" has 2 octaves. I owned a 34" that did not have 2 full octaves.
  5. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    The octaves just have to do with the number of frets on the neck. 24 frets = 2 octaves.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Which as Jeff said have nothing to do with the scale length. I have a 22 to 25 fret 35"ers and 21 to 24 fret 34"ers.
  7. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    OK, I will spell out what I meant:

    The point of my post was that scale length does not determine how many octaves (number of frets) that the neck has. Plain and simple.

    I do have a slight idea of what the difference between scale length and number of frets on a neck is.;)
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    A 35" scale is 3% longer than a 34" scale. Therefore a 35" scale bass sounds 3% better than 34". That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. :D :D :D
  9. Ben_P


    Oct 2, 2001
    Alberta, Canada
    You get the tighter B with a 35' but with some basses it seems to choke the high C.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Maybe, if you're comparing the same instrument from the same company in two different scale lengths. Otherwise you "might" get the tighter B with...
  11. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I would suggest playing 35's if you are considering a purchase. I lusted after a Lakland 55-94 for a long time, and once I got it, it really gave me some problems. Not only the scale length, but the string spacing was different than my Stingray 5. The Stingray has never given me an ounce of wrist pain, and the Lakland about killed me. Even though the difference is subtle as Fuzzbass says, it can make a difference. Traded the Lakland for a Streamer, and I'm back in business.
  12. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    Dolphin or thumbbass has 26 strings on 34 frets. The scale is nothing to do with number of frets. The way to devide frets distance had been explained by M Tobias in tha Bass Player issue.
    You could have 37 " scale with 20 frets only.
  13. And JT thinks he's cool with 8!

  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    See, I exercise restraint and there you go...
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    j.s., sorry to have a laugh at your expense, but Jeff R and Brad just made me fall out of my chair!:D:D:D I'm sure glad I decided to catch up on Talkbass tonight instead of doing it tomorrow at work.
  16. I heard some time ago a Fodera 33", it had a great B!

    but might have been the extended headstock option..
    wish I could hear the same bass with out the extended option.

    And there might be a reason why Ken S. is sticking with 34's
    (or he might be doing it to piss off people who love 35's :D :D )
  17. Thanx for all the help. The reason I ask is because I am looking to buy a Warwick Corvette 4 and I saw that it comes standard in 34". I wasn't sure what kind of difference that would make. Apparently not much as I understand it?
  18. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    Sorrrrry guys , what I meant was 26 frets on 34" scale. I hope I did not mistype this time.
  19. Amacareyo


    Oct 10, 2013
    I have a 7 strings and that give me 4 full scales.... 24 freets, 35". 35 more tension and not problems with the lower B string. in my 5 strings 24 freets 34" i have some problems to get a good sound in the lower B.
  20. spector_boogie

    spector_boogie No Limit Honky

    Apr 15, 2012
    The Woodlands, TX
    Man, 11+ years necro'd thread. Has to be borderline record setting!!

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