Long scale strings in short scale bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dalek, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. dalek


    Apr 20, 2009
    I was wondering if it's ok to put long scale strings in short scale basses. The thing is that I need a high tension set to straighten the neck of my bass and I'm after GHS pressurewounds... BUT they only come in 40-96 sets!

    I feel it'll be ok, the only problem being that tuning the strings won't be as neat since i won't be able to use the thin end of strings... and maybe this cause a greater deterioration of strings at the tuners. Thanks
  2. What you can do, in order to keep the fat part of the strings off the tuners, is add ball ends from old strings to the new ones, like this:
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Only problem you might have is the E and A might not fit through the tuners. If I remember correctly I ran into that problem with a Mustang.
  4. dalek


    Apr 20, 2009
    dmusic, that's a cool idea! Only thing is it's a string thru body bass and by the time I reach the thin ends the string may surface too much through the back.

    Joe, regarding the strings not fitting through the tuners i can always grind them a bit, I've done it before. I think I'll go for the (high tension) long scale set, this bass needs it badly :meh: thanks
  5. If you put long scale strings on a short scale bass & tune them "normally" you will be lowering their tension.
  6. Chipsonfire


    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    It seems like you are trying to treat the symptom, and not the cause. Why does your neck need straightening?
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Just string it and clip the ends as needed. BTDT.
  8. dalek


    Apr 20, 2009
    Do you mean that using a 45-105 long scale set would be similar to using a 40-95 short scale set?
  9. dalek


    Apr 20, 2009
    The truss rod is loosened all the way but the neck is still bowed, not dramatically but enough to prevent a proper set up. I have it in a tensioning mould and it seems to be working. However I would still like to put a higher tension set to stiffen the E string...
  10. yeah, I just changed from GHS 45-95 to 50-107 on my Musicmaster and the tension reallly changed.
  11. To keep it clear I'm not going to talk about gauges or scales of string sets.

    If I take a 34" scale D'Addario Chromes E string off my (34" scale) SR485 and put it onto my Epi Viola (30.5" scale) it will only have the same tension if I tune it to F# on the Epi.
  12. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    I do this. I use a 5-string set with my short scales. I just use the heaviest gauges and put the extra string aside. I string through the body and have never had any problem with tension, number of windings on the tuner post, or fit of the fatter windings into the tuner. I do have Hipshot UL Tuners, if that makes a difference and my neck has never had problems.

  13. Well, that was my point when I said I went from 45-95 to 50-107. The idea was to go close to the long scale tension.

    I think (correct me if Im wrong) that a 34" scale bass its two frets longer than a short scale bass (30"). With the same string gauge you have to tight the long scale bass two frets to get the same note.

    So, my idea to go from 45-95 to 50-107 was to get more tension on the string.

    I just have short scale basses because Im very small and Im not confortable with a long scale bass (I used to own a Rick 4001) but Im not a lover of the short scale sound.
  14. We are quite on the same page. But we don't know what tension difference 95 to 107 will give. D'Addario publishes an extremely comprehensive tension chart of all their strings at various tensions, which should inform to a degree on how much tension difference a "gauge step" will give.

    30" is pretty close to the 2nd fret. I (quickly) measured 30.5".

    I must admit to a bias against people quickly going to short scale. I think it quite possible that when starting bass EVERYONE's hands are too small to work the deepest position. There are technique methods & fingering exercises to help this. And yeah, sometimes short scale is the solution. I just think it's too often the "quick fix".