Have heard that Fender short scale strings are really medium scale, any truth in this?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by shoulderpet, Jul 23, 2018.


  1. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Hi

    Have heard that Fender short scale strings are really medium scale, any truth in this?
    Reason I ask is that I have a medium scale bass and have always used light gauge Fender rounds on my other basses so if I can use the 5250xl short scale set that would be awesome, thanks
     
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    "Scale Length" doesn't give you the whole picture; you need "Winding Length." Short scale basses are notorious for having varying needs, due to bridge type (standard or the trapeze bridge), thru-body, etc..

    Scale Length - Distance from bridge saddle to nut
    Winding Length - Distance from ball end to where the taper/silk starts

    So, what you need to do is measure the distance from the outside of the ball end (on the bass) to the nut, and then to the E string tuning post. The "winding length" for the string should ideally fall between those two measurements. From there, compare the measurements you took with the Fender 5250xl Short Scale set and see if it will work.
     
    Pilgrim likes this.
  3. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i've never heard that, but it could be true - that being said, if they came on my bronco, they wouldn't be mediums as the winds would have been longer. i suggest you ask jason at bassstringsonline.com

    btw, i was told by a fender rep that the mustang P/J basses come with their long scale strings. i feel pretty doubtful about that, but when mine finally go dead, my first plan it to take 'em off and measure.
     
  4. ^^^THIS^^^

    One of the most valuable lessons I've learned on TalkBass over the years is to always think in terms of "winding length", not "scale length", when trying to determine what strings best fit a particular bass.

    Bass String Lengths by Manufacturer
     
    Pilgrim likes this.
  5. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    I pulled my Mustang PJ out of the box, and it's windings ended just past the nut. No doubt short scale strings.
     
  6. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I'd measure those to be 100% certain.
     
  7. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ Wow! Unless they sent me a Mustang with the wrong scale length, I certainly don't need to measure them. The windings would end four inches short of the nut on a long scale. Is there alcohol involved?
     
    wmhill likes this.
  8. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i never really paid attention till this morning, but there is definitely winding on my posts, so i guess in my case, the rep was right.
     
  9. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ four inches of windings?
     
  10. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    There are a huge number of short scale basses (anything with a trapeze tailpiece, Chowny SWB-1, etc..) that rely on strings that are not "short scale." This is a pretty common issue.

    The OP is asking if they need "Short" or "Medium" scale strings, as he heard that the Mustang uses the latter. So yes, measuring the strings (and not eyeballing it) to confirm they are, in fact, "short scale" strings would be very helpful to the OP.
     
    michael_t likes this.
  11. The post about scale length and winding length explains it. People getconfused about this because of different types of bridges.
     
  12. Traditional Mustang with body-through bridge: medium scale
    New PJ mustang: Short scale strings
     
  13. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    ^THIS^ is pretty much the answer. There are a couple of "Winding length" stickies in the top of the Strings Forum; useful info that's good to have. Although, some people just seem to need bad experiences to learn stuff....:whistle:
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  14. Learned the hard way. o_O
     
  15. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    So did I....:rollno:
     
  16. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    One of the dirty secrets of short (and medium) scale basses is that you need to be knowledgeable in order to get strings to fit them. I have one medium scale bass - it has top loading and through body stringing as options, and the E string (where the wraps can interfere with the tuning post) has a third option - that string can be run though the body and a bit along the back of the body - I have a part from a single string bridge installed in the back of the instrument that allows this stringing option, and that "uses up" another inch and a fraction of string. Currently, the thing has long scale strings on the G,D and A positions, and the E is s short scale string, but it can take a wide variety of winding lengths.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 23, 2021

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