KK Baby Junior (1/2 scale) vs. 3/4 Scale Baby Bass Models

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by rcole7273, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. rcole7273

    rcole7273 Inactive

    Apr 7, 2018
    Wondering if anybody knows how much you trade-off in sound quality by going with the shorter neck? It seems to me the "secret sauce" is more in the pick-ups than the strings. I would like to stick with a 34-35" scale if there is no great loss in the sound quality.
  2. And use bass guitar strings? They are differently constructed and sound like a bass guitar.

    The low notes won't sound good with a short scale, the tension goes down a lot (you might need to use a low B string as an E string and an E string for the A etc. to get the tension back, but I need to calculate that for a given string and destination scale length.
    Basically not a good idea, even if you tune from A to high C the stings are rather thick for the scale length and won't sustain well.
    You might be able to use fractional size double bass strings, but need to calculate tension for the destination scale length. (Have a look at the tools in my Dropbox folder. Link below in the signature.)
    VictorW126 likes this.
  3. And these are all bass guitars which are OK to sound like one. I once got strings for a double bass made by a bass guitar string manufacturer and they sounded like a bass guitar on my EUB because they were constructed like a longer bass guitar string. So a bass guitar string is not a good option for a Baby Bass (unless the player want that sound, but this would be rather seldom be the case).
    A Baby Bass is an EUB which is basically a double bass without a resonant body but with double bass strings, a double bass scale and an unfretted fingerboard. So the expected sound is more similar to a double bass than a bass guitar.

    So your former disagreement doesn't mean much to me.

    BTW, I play a 4/4 sized double bass with a longer scale and the low end sounds not only better than on most standard scale double basses (3/4), but the string vibration for the low notes is a lot better on the low notes.

    Longer scale -> thinner string for same string tension -> less stiffness -> better vibration.
    Shorter scale -> thicker string for same string tension -> more stiffness -> less good vibration.

    That makes a difference going from 43" (my 4/4 bass) to 41" (standard double bass scale), but even more so if you go from 41" to 34". Have a look at my dropbox folder linked in my signature and use the tools for string tension recalculation for a different scale.
    VictorW126 likes this.
  4. Ludwig


    Aug 17, 2006
    34 inch vibrating string length: use strings for a 1/8 bass
    36 inch string length: use strings for a 1/4 bass
    I would recommend using Corelli 350B strings, they are pretty thin due to the material used.
    I have used a 1/4 bass for several years that sounded pretty good acoustically. Bigger is not always better, I have heard full size basses with less sound then the small bass and usually a 3/4 bass is a much better choice then a 4/4 outside an big orchestra. The main problem using a small bass is the different spacing between the fingers. With 36inch or less string length I always use 4 finger technique, with longer string length 3 finger Simandl technique.
    Since you are amplifying an EUB, the string length is even less of a problem. There are bass ukuleles that sound very good amplified, even if you hardly can hear them played without amplification.
    Tom Lane likes this.
  5. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    Deleted my posts here since they were totally irrelevant.
  6. I was not referring to the resonant box, but the vibrational qualities of the string.
    Basses differ a lot, but if you compare a lot of 3/4 and 4/4 size instruments, there are more 4/4 size instruments that sound good on the low end than 3/4 size instruments (by percent of the group, not by number, there are a lot more 3/4 size instruments than 4/4 sized ones).

    You might rather find the difference if you play up the fingerboard where the shorter thicker string does not sustain as well a a longer thinner one.

    The question was "no great loss of sound quality on a 34" scale".
    Compared to a 41" scale I think there would be a significant loss of sound quality, even on an EUB.
  7. 7hz


    May 7, 2008
    1/2 scale double basses are about 38 inches scale length. 3/4 are about 41.5. Both would come with double bass strings of your choosing. I'd email Kris and ask him about the sound differences. I'd recommend the full size 'Traditional' model for playing feel and ease of transfer to other uprights. Tone is likely a bit better as well.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've got a 1/4 Kay right now (was my daughter's) and the sound is a lot different than 3/4 Kays I've played, less lows more prominent midrange...no surprise there. String tension is much lower. It's fun to play and I have at time toyed with the idea of converting to a piccolo bass or even tuning it like a cello.