Looking for an extra-long-scale bass...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by moroza, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. moroza


    Dec 15, 2012
    But I can't afford a Quake or a custom-made instrument. Do I have any options?

    I have an Ibanez BTB575, tuned to F# with a custom string set. I'm not happy with the clarity of the lowest string (though the B feels great); it feels like another 2-5" of scale length would help bring out the fundamental.
  2. If you ain't got the cash, then it looks like your're hit. Carvin's XB Series is the only bass longer than 35" that I know of. Also, you may wanna lighten your attack up, and pluck over the bridge pup.
  3. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Inactive Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    What string are you using for an F#?

    Minimum should be a 175
  4. moroza


    Dec 15, 2012
    I believe it's a 175.
  5. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    You aren't really ever going to reproduce the fundamental of a low F#, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.
  6. maguire

    maguire Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    New Hope PA
    Dingwall a have 37" on the bass side.

    Used combustion if you're on a budget.
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I agree that Dingwall is the answer to extra long scale on the bass side!

    All the TBers that own one always seem to rave about them.

    I considered one but backed off due to not much of a choice in string sets. I really should have pulled the trigger though.
  8. moroza


    Dec 15, 2012
    Thanks for this. I knew about Dingwalls, but the normal ones are out of my range. A Combustion could be it. I see a couple on FleaBay, but having never touched a fanned fretboard, I really want to have some good hands-time with one first. Their dealers are rather scattered, unfortunatley.

    I can't find specs for the Combustion. Is it the same 37" on the long side?

    It also just occurred to me that if it can be a fretless, then it's enough to merely find a normal-scale (34/35") bass with some more wood behind the bridge, and move the bridge back.
  9. Scale size on the Combustion is 34" - 37". There are quite a few string options available although truthfully not usually stocked in a lot of stores.

    Here is a link to the string section on Dingwall's forum: https://www.dingwallguitars.com/communi/viewforum.php?f=4.

    Since I bought my Combustion I've tried out numerous basses (GAS is a b***h) and none of them have lasted 5 minutes before they got put back. Nothing comes close to the sound of that B string for clarity & feel as well as overall playability . If the other manufacturers can't get close on a B tuned string I can't see them getting there on a F# tuned.

    Don't let the fanned frets fool you, unless you chord a lot above the 12" fret there is virtually no adjustment to them.

    Give the Combustion a try, you'll be impressed.
  10. moroza


    Dec 15, 2012
    I hardly chord at all. But where do I find one to play first?

    (I'm increasingly liking my fretless hack idea...)
  11. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Would it be rude to ask a question here?

    If so sorry, stop reading.

    If not, here's my question.

    What is the need for longer or shorter scale? I believe I understand the obvious, but, what benefits do you get on long scale over really short scale?

    Or what could a guy with 37" 4 string do that a guy with a Fender Mustang couldn't do?

    End of serious ?'s
    Does size really matter?

    If I only had a Fender Mustang bass, would I then need to buy a fast car or big truck to compensate? :D
  12. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    If you want defined punch from low to high, I third the notion of a used Combustion and up the ante - tune it down a step (or put a drop-tuner on the B) and bring on the thunder. My strongest caution - Dingwalls are proven to be highly addictive!

    If the stock strings don't suit you, Circle K and Payson strings are excellent on Dingwalls. :cool:

    If you want to swap pickups, Nordstrand has some nice ones that will drop in.

    Sorry, I'm being a GAS enabler - I'll stop now... ;)
  13. The only time I ever tried a Dingwall was 12 years ago when I found one (I believe a Prima Series) hanging on a wall in a local music store. I never plugged it in (was well out of my price range at the time) but was intrigued by the fanned frets and wanted to see what they were like play with. I loved everything about it (except the price). I bought my Combustion 2 years ago off TB after checking out Dingwall's site and doing a lot of Youtube research for sound clips & reviews. First bass I've ever bought I didn't spend a lot of time trying out first and I've never been disappointed with my decision to buy it. It has relegated a really nice 35" 5 string (TRBII) to my music room.

    Mine is an early Combustion model and did not come with the B string booster kit which became standard later on. Cost 10.00 + shipping from Dingwall and less than 10 minutes to install. The B string was really good before but now blows everything else out of the water.

    Take a chance & pick a used one up off TB classified's. These hold their value pretty well (better than most basses). If it doesn't do it for you you can always flip it & get your money back.

    I'm pretty sure though you'll be hanging onto it.
  14. Mehve


    Jun 2, 2012
    Kitchener, ON
    @OP: Unless you've put some significant effort into choosing your gear, you're not going to be reproducing the F# fundamental anyway. The vast majority of cabs simply aren't tuned to go that low with any useful volume, and many amps have built-in high-pass filters which remove most of those frequencies to avoid wasting energy.

    A longer scale can certainly help bring out the lower harmonics, but as many players with excellent 34" B strings can likely vouch, it's definitely not the only factor at play.

    If you do go with the ghetto-fretless mod, be aware that if it has lines on the board, they'll become useless if you move the bridge and change the scale length.
  15. moroza


    Dec 15, 2012
    Yes, I'm well aware. It should be one with no lines to confuse me at all. That's what a permanent marker is for!

    My "rig" involves a couple of good headphones and a lot of signal processing. I'm aware that there are very few amp/speaker combos out there that can faithfully go below 40Hz with any meaningful volume. My setup is very much a work in progress, but so far in the progress, I'm finding that a clean tone with more lower harmonics makes my life easier for the processing part. A longer scale length just sounds cleaner for lower notes. On a normal 5-string, compare playing an open D string to the 15th fret on the B-string; the former is much "clearer" sounding.

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