Extending Scale length

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Whitenoise17, Feb 14, 2018.

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  1. Whitenoise17

    Whitenoise17

    Aug 6, 2016
    East Side
    Is it possible to move a bridge further back on a bass if there is enough space available, increasing the scale length by at least an inch? Or are there problems associated with that?
    I’d like to take some kind of 4 string with a 34 inch scale length and move the bridge back an inch to make it a little tighter.
     
  2. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Moving your bridge will cause all of your frets to be misplaced and your bass will not play in tune. Remember that a 34" scale bass is 17" from the nut to the 12th fret, and then doubled to the bridge saddles. If you move the bridge saddles, it's not to scale and won't intonate correctly.
    Installing string through ferrules and a through body bridge might add a bit of tension, but it's debatable whether it will be noticeable.
     
  3. Well..technically you could move the bridge ....as long as the saddles stayed in the same position they were to start with.

    But you still need some real estate on the bridge for intonation, adjustment for different brand/type strings etc.

    Most bridges you've only got so much room like that to play with.

    They make bridges that are individual pieces for each string. Some are fairly long and you have more latitude to work with.

    You can mess around with moving the bridge...but if you move the saddle locations much it will, as said above, throw the existing scale out of whack totally.
     
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  4. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Toronto
    Hammersmith Music
    You have to change the neck as well, to change the scale, otherwise moving the bridge will do nothing more than mess up all the geometry of the 34" scale.
     
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  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Can be done on fretless but still leaves the side markers in the wrong spots. Better to just get one (or have one) made that way. :)
     
  6. Whitenoise17

    Whitenoise17

    Aug 6, 2016
    East Side
    If the intonation changes, can’t I just adjust the intonation at the bridge so that it’s correct?
     
  7. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    No. Because the distance from the nut tothe bridge is longer, the incremental distance from fret to fret has to get wider, too.


    34.000" fret scale

    fret from nut fret to fret
    1 1.908" 1.908" (nut-1)
    2 3.709" 1.801" (1-2)
    3 5.410" 1.700" (2-3)
    4 7.014" 1.605" (3-4)
    5 8.529" 1.515" (4-5)
    6 9.958" 1.430" (5-6)
    7 11.308" 1.349" (6-7)
    8 12.581" 1.274" (7-8)
    9 13.783" 1.202" (8-9)
    10 14.918" 1.135" (9-10)
    11 15.989" 1.071" (10-11)
    12* 17.000" 1.011" (11-12)
    13 17.954" 0.954" (12-13)
    14 18.855" 0.901" (13-14)
    15 19.705" 0.850" (14-15)
    16 20.507" 0.802" (15-16)
    17 21.264" 0.757" (16-17)
    18 21.979" 0.715" (17-18)
    19 22.654" 0.675" (18-19)
    20 23.291" 0.637" (19-20)
    21 23.892" 0.601" (20-21)
    22 24.459" 0.567" (21-22)
    * octave

    35.000" fret scale

    fret from nut fret to fret
    1 1.964" 1.964" (nut-1)
    2 3.819" 1.854" (1-2)
    3 5.569" 1.750" (2-3)
    4 7.220" 1.652" (3-4)
    5 8.780" 1.559" (4-5)
    6 10.251" 1.472" (5-6)
    7 11.640" 1.389" (6-7)
    8 12.951" 1.311" (7-8)
    9 14.189" 1.237" (8-9)
    10 15.357" 1.168" (9-10)
    11 16.459" 1.102" (10-11)
    12* 17.500" 1.041" (11-12)
    13 18.482" 0.982" (12-13)
    14 19.409" 0.927" (13-14)
    15 20.284" 0.875" (14-15)
    16 21.110" 0.826" (15-16)
    17 21.890" 0.780" (16-17)
    18 22.626" 0.736" (17-18)
    19 23.320" 0.695" (18-19)
    20 23.976" 0.656" (19-20)
    21 24.594" 0.619" (20-21)
    22 25.178" 0.584" (21-22)
    * octave
     
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  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    as you can see...there are problems...


    yep: and the side dots can be dealt with. but it's a hassle for the inexperienced.
     
    bholder likes this.
  9. Whitenoise17

    Whitenoise17

    Aug 6, 2016
    East Side
    That sucks. I was really hoping it could be done easily. Maybe someone will figure out an easier way eventually.
     
  10. EpicSoundtracks

    EpicSoundtracks

    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Dunlop Strings
    yes, once we figure out how to apply quantum theory to luthierie. ;)
     
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  11. ahc

    ahc

    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    Sell the bass and buy a 35" scale bass. That's the easiest way. Second easiest way is to buy and install a 35" scale neck and then move the bridge. There's no easy way to alter the laws of physics. Alchemists have been trying for thousands of years. No success so far.
     
  12. You would have to adjust it right back to where it is now.

    If you mean "tighter" as in more string tension, you could change string gauge and/or brand.
     
  13. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    To make it intonate correctly you would be moving it back to 34" scale.
     
  14. Whitenoise17

    Whitenoise17

    Aug 6, 2016
    East Side
    Life will find a way!
     
  15. St_G

    St_G

    Jan 22, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    This. How tight you wanna go? Like heavier gauge tight? Hex-core tight? Or or all the way to Jamerson La Bella tight?

    There are a lot of ready-made conversion necks available for guitar, but you don't see many for bass, so you'd probably have to have one built.

    But don't do that.

    There ARE a few 35" 4s out there, though they're not terribly common. If you're super keen on playing one, that's for sure the smart route.

    Modding a 34" by moving the bridge will NOT make it a 35".

    But if you're just trying to get increased string tension, start with the STRINGS.

     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  16. NaH

    NaH Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Time for a Dingwall. :cool:
     
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  17. Treebeard

    Treebeard

    Jun 5, 2016
    Cary, NC
    Bear Light Symphony, TimepeaceNC Band
    Just buy a new 35" scale neck with one more fret (two more if it has an overhang) than the previous neck. Then intonate with your saddles. Don't move the bridge.
     
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  18. mbelue

    mbelue

    Dec 11, 2010
    The east way is to change the strings. Just but thicker gauges. As these folks recommend.
     
  19. If you do this with an unlined fretless neck without side dots you'll be fine, even if it's just something to practice on. Many other TBers have advised you change to a stiffer string. That's the best place to start.
     
  20. Yep... Fanned frets addresses exactly what your trying to do
     
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