Low B shorter scale than other strings in a set

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FastnBulbous, Aug 5, 2021.

  1. FastnBulbous


    Aug 5, 2021
    I recently bought a set of "ELITES Detroit Flats 5-String 45-130 Stainless Steel Flatwound Bass Strings, Long Scale" from stringsdirect.co.uk. As you can see the 130 is a shorter scale to the other strings in the set.

    I contacted support who are telling me this is normal. They contacted the supplier who is also saying this is how this set comes and that apparently my bass requires extra long scale. I've been playing bass for many years and had this bass for a while too and never came across a set where one string was a different scale to the others.

    Am I missing something here?
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  2. What is the actual length of the B string from the ball end to where the silk starts? And the length of the other four?

    I know of some 5-string sets with the B string slightly shorter than the others, eg 37.25" vs. 38". But the difference I see in your pic is rather drastic.
  3. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    La Bella makes theirs the same way (EDIT - in their case the difference is 1.25", so less than it appears to be in yours):
    Is your bass through-body only, or can you topload the string?
    Failing that, you could remove a little silk until the section of string resting on the nut (hopefully still untapered) is exposed. Silk is non-functional except on nylon tapewounds (it holds the tape in place).
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  4. FastnBulbous


    Aug 5, 2021
    Thanks for your response.

    The B is about 36.5" and the rest are about 38". The supplier actually confirmed that the 130 is a standard scale string and that this is normal for this particular set of long scale strings. It all seems very strange.
  5. 36.5" is actually an older standard for "long scale", while 38" is "extra long". Most companies have moved to 37"-37.25" for their "long scale" in recent years.

    Do they offer a single low B with 38" winding?
  6. FastnBulbous


    Aug 5, 2021
    As far as I can see, Elites Detroits are only available in "long scale".
  7. Here are a few example of different winding lengths by different manufacturers for their flatwound 5-string sets...

    D'Addario Chromes Flats "long scale" = 37.1" for all five.
    La Bella DTF/LTF "long scale" = 36.75" for B & E, 38" for A-G.
    La Bella DTF/LTF "extra long scale" = 38" for all five.
    GHS Precision Flats "long scale plus" = 37.25" for B, 38" for E-G.
    Dunlop Flats "long scale" = 37.25" for all five.
    DR Legend Flats "long scale" = 38" for all five.
    bobcruz and FastnBulbous like this.
  8. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    In the meantime, do what Jack Casady did when he wanted to put Pyramid flats on his Guild Starfire bass, but had the same issue: take a razor blade or utility knife and shave the silk off.
  9. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    I'm getting multiple chopped-liver moments out of this thread...
    Killing Floor likes this.
  10. This is what I would do. There’s plenty of perfectly good string under that silk.
  11. FastnBulbous


    Aug 5, 2021
    Yeah this is what I've done. It's just so strange that one string should be so much shorter.
    iiipopes likes this.
  12. Schecter C5 is a 35" scale bass as far as I know so extra long would be normal - same applies to my Rick Turner 35"... a Thomastik JF low B from a 345 set has silk protruding over the nut.
    Inara likes this.
  13. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I picked up my dog from the vet and now she’s a cat. My vet said it’s normal especially with really nice dogs. Good luck sorting out your seller’s BS response.
  14. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    With the B string being both the fattest string and the tuner usually the closest to the nut, they need to taper down the B string with less overall length than the other strings. With a 35" scale you really need to check the lengths specified. And a lot of times they take a run of 4 string sets and add a B string to make it a 5 string set. That's why you will see different wrap lengths between the B and the other strings. Anyways, lesson learned and you'll know better next time. Agree with the others that a razor blade should fix this one with just a little effort.
  15. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    I had this with elixir when I added a single b string to a 4 string set.
    The bass was long scale g&l l2500 strung through body.
  16. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    As other have already said, razor to the silk and you're set. Still, count your blessings. Once I was so broke I could only afford a set of "Tenson" strings. G string was so short it didn't make it to the tuner.
    Ricky Rioli likes this.
  17. That's the La Bella way even you don't have La Bella. I love their strings but they have many constraints. Shorter E and B string, they advice not to wrap the metal part around the tuner and they do break or unravel if you don't follow that (I learned the hard way using long scale DTF on a short scale). They do not like through body load unless you buy that specific model that is designed for through body and it is very hard to find except from La Bella with a wait and expensive shipping. And they have the most delicate silks. Look at them the wrong way and they turn fuzzy or ratty in no time.
    FastnBulbous, Jon Moody and Gothic like this.
  18. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Regular set on 35 scale bass...... that's the result.

    How about trim the silk a bit ? I been trim the gold silk of DR legend flat B string on Ibanez SRFF805, bass is 35.5 scale on B , the string lay on nut slot still keep the winding thickness.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
    Inara likes this.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    I think the C-5 is a 35" scale bass ... that set of strings seems to be made for 34"