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Is this correct?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by xring, Dec 3, 2005.


  1. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    Would a 22 fret 34" scale have the same (approximate) distance between frets as a 35" 24 fret bass? In particular a 5 string Bongo compared to a Stingray 5. I've played the Ray but never paid tooooo much attention to this. Thanks.
     
  2. You should be able to answer that question in about 2 seconds with 2 seconds of thought...

    nut to 12th fret - 34" scale, 17"
    nut to 12th fret - 35" scale, 17-1/2"

    so the answer is no.
     
  3. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    Well it's obvious you think I must be pretty thick, and I realize one is an inch longer, but...let me re-phrase this. There are 22 frets on the 34", but 24 frets on the 35". More frets on a longer board. Does that equate to the (approximate) same distance between frets? It seems to me that (maybe) the extra 2 frets would make both fingering distance feel the same? Or...just because one is a 35", it does not necessarily mean a 34" board has closer proximities? What I'm getting at is, I am thinking of a 34" as back up to a 35. I want the same approximate feel of the basses - discounting the 1" difference.
    Whew! So it seems to me, in the 1st 12 frets, the 35" has a longer reach, but not on the upper 12 frets, because of the extra 2 frets.
     
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    No, the distance between the frets is fixed for each scale. I wouldn't sweat the extra 1" though. I used to switch between a short scale 32" and long scale "34 and it only takes a couple of minutes to get used to the different scale lengths.

    I might worry a bit about the extra length plus the extra frets. But once you are really comfortable with each bass, the switch shouldn't be bad.
     
  5. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    No, the distance between the frets is calculated from the scale length. Although not that much different, if you put the frets the same distance apart on a short scale as you did a regular scale, you would not be able to play more than the first note on each string in tune, if that. Quite possibly, only the open strings would be in tune.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hammy has that way about him, huh? I think it's his most endearing trait.
     
  7. Regarding the extra frets - let's supose on your 22 fret bass we removed all of the frets above the 12th fret. Or better yet, we just remove the 21st and 22nd frets. Would that affect the spacing of any of the remaining frets? Your bass doesn't know whether the frets are there or not. Adding two more to a 22 fret bass doesn't change anything other than you have two more frets. It's all about string length, gauge and tension. Basic physics and geometry.
     
  8. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    No one's fault, but no one seems to understand what I'm asking. Instead of trying again, just nevermind... :D
     
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    No, I think we understand. But I think you have it the wrong way. One of my short scale basses had more frets and I found it felt *longer* than the long scale basses. I think more frets on a longer scale will actually feel a bit more "different" than two basses with a different scale but the same number of frets.
     
  10. basstruck

    basstruck Guest

    Nov 25, 2005
    Sudbury
    Distance in inches from the nut to each fret for a scale length of 35 in.
    Fret 1: 1.964
    Fret 2: 3.819
    Fret 3: 5.569
    Fret 4: 7.221
    Fret 5: 8.780
    Fret 6: 10.251
    Fret 7: 11.640
    Fret 8: 12.951
    Fret 9: 14.189
    Fret 10: 15.357
    Fret 11: 16.460
    Fret 12: 17.500 "center" of the scale (nut to the saddle)
    Fret 13: 18.482
    Fret 14: 19.409
    Fret 15: 20.284
    Fret 16: 21.110
    Fret 17: 21.890
    Fret 18: 22.626
    Fret 19: 23.320
    Fret 20: 23.976
    Fret 21: 24.595
    Fret 22: 25.179
    Fret 23: 25.730
    Fret 24: 26.250
    The compensated distance in inches from the 12th fret to the center of the saddle is 17.650

    Distance in inches from the nut to each fret for a scale length of 34 in.
    Fret 1: 1.908
    Fret 2: 3.709
    Fret 3: 5.410
    Fret 4: 7.014
    Fret 5: 8.529
    Fret 6: 9.958
    Fret 7: 11.308
    Fret 8: 12.581
    Fret 9: 13.784
    Fret 10: 14.918
    Fret 11: 15.989
    Fret 12: 17.000 center of the scale (nut to the saddle)
    Fret 13: 17.954
    Fret 14: 18.855
    Fret 15: 19.705
    Fret 16: 20.507
    Fret 17: 21.265
    Fret 18: 21.979
    Fret 19: 22.654
    Fret 20: 23.291
    Fret 21: 23.892
    Fret 22: 24.459
    The compensated distance in inches from the 12th fret to the center of the saddle is 17.150
     
  11. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    OMG Dude. Someone does understand! :D These #'s are reeking all sorts of havoc in my head, especially when I start playing with the numbers including the 11th fret (half the 22 board). On that point I thought I'd have an intelligent comment, but it got lost in the decimals!
    Most freaking awsome! Thanks.
     
  12. I think we all get what you're saying. It seems to me as though you're looking to get an answer similar to "The distance between frets 1-2 on the 34" is nearly identical to the distance between the nut and fret 1 on the 35". I could be way off.

    If that's the type of answer you are looking for, it's a moot point as you'd have to transpose up a half step to maintain the feel (or downtune).
     
  13. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    In my mind (which I'm just about out of) I was thinking hmmm... 24 frets on a longer board, as opposed to 22 on a shorter board... the fingering is probably very close. Example: if you grab the 5th fret on G with index finger, then the 8th with your pinkie, it would be very similiar in distance. Muscle memory would not necessarily be incompatable between these two boards.
    Now if both boards had 24 frets, I believe there would be a greater disparity between accuracy due to having the SAME # of frets on different scales. It has to be a fact that if 24 frets are on a 34", they have to be closer together than 22 frets on the same scale in order for them to fit! Simple? :meh:
     
  14. (Bold mine)

    No. All it means is the fingerboard is extended towards the bridge. The 20th fret (or whichever you choose) will be the same distance from the nut no matter how many frets are after it, assuming the scale length is the same.
     
  15. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    OK, going on this, I would disagree and say that the 20th fret would be a different distance to the nut, if one bass had 22, and the other 24 frets. Both same scale. Same distance (34") divided by 22 frets as opposed to 24 has to be very different numbers. I'm tired and probably wacked. I'm going to look at basstrucks cool stats again. Thanks.
     
  16. When was the last time you saw a 24 fret bass where the frets went from nut to bridge? The 12th fret is ALWAYS 1/2 of the scale length (adjust for intonation....). If you look at a 22 fret 34" instrument and a 24 fret 34" instrument, all the frets should (ie will) line up and the fingerboard of the 24 fret bass would be longer.
     
  17. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    No, you're thinking of it wrong. 34 inches means 34 inches from nut to saddles (neglecting intonation distance). The 12th fret on a 22 fret bass and a 24 fret bass (assuming they are both the same scale, whether it be 34 or 35 or any other) will be in the SAME SPOT in relation to the nut and the saddles. The amount of frets does not change where the notes happen on the string, the scale length does. The more frets just mean you have access to more notes than you would with a bass with less. When you add more frets, but keep the scale length the same, the fingerboard gets longer, but the nut and bridge stay the same in relation to each other. Make sense?
     
  18. he said it nicer than i did :)
     
  19. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I thought I ought to be pretty clear, just to be sure.
     
  20. basstruck

    basstruck Guest

    Nov 25, 2005
    Sudbury
    To find the position of the frets on a fingerboard, you take the length of the scale 34 inches and you divide it by 17.820
    34" divided by 17.820= 1.907 which is the position of the 1st fret.
    you take 34"-1.907"= 32.093
    you take 32.093" divided by 17.820"= 1.800 which is the position of the 2nd fret and you just keep going to as many frets as you want. But the distance between the nut and the saddle will always be similar within the same scale and the 12th fret is the beginning of the second octave or the mid point without the compensation of the strings.
    The magic formula some books say is you take the scale and divide it by 18, others say you divide it by 17.848, and again others say that you divide it by 17.820.
    So the best thing to do is to buy a ruler that the scale is already figured on it and accurate.