SOLD Medium Scale 32" 5 String with Narrow 15mm String Spacing-Rare Beast!

Discussion in 'For Sale: Bass Guitars' started by slap2much, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. slap2much


    Apr 4, 2004
    Pull up a chair and get comfortable, for this one we're gonna need a build story...

    OK, so here's how this happened...I've been gradually moving to shorter scale basses, have a 30" scale bass with narrow string spacing that I like playing a lot (eventually made it an A-D-G-C tenor bass), and wanted to try a 5 string that was medium scale with very snug spacing. Couldn't find any that weren't custom orders or really, really expensive. I had an Ibanez BTB33 but really wanted 32" and narrower string-to-string. I stumbled upon this First Act 32" with a wider neck and a headstock that could accomodate another tuning machine's how it went:

    -Found an import bridge with 15mm string spacing, decent build quality, & adjustability to intonate at 32"
    -Got a LH tuner that matched the others in color/size.
    -Bought a straight across string retainer wide enough to hold everything from D on up.

    Then it was mod time: installed all of the above, recut the nut (baking soda/superglue filler), adjusted neck & bridge. Success! It's tighter than your usual fiver of course, but not uncomfortably so (for me at least). Really nice for reach, both across and up/down. Having the high C means you can run more than 2 full octaves without having to make a move up the neck. Nice and easy.

    Neck across the nut is about 1 11/16" -- at the 20th fret it's at 2 7/16" -- at the bridge, spacing from E to high C is just about 2 3/8" or a tiny bit wider than your average 4 string. As you can see in the pics, it's a good fit with enough space on the edges.

    The headstock fits a fifth tuner perfectly, and swapping out the round string retainer for a bar solves the issue of string angle. I scraped off part of the logo while drilling and discovered it was just lightly painted on so went ahead and removed it (you can see a faint outline, I didn't go below the finish).

    The nut filled in with no problems and recutting after marking for 5 strings went smoothly. Re-installing the 5 string bridge was straighforward too, filled in the old holes with hardwood & glue, redrilled, no issues. I removed the white pearloid pickguard which will be included, I felt it looked better just in plain black -- it's got a slight metallic glitter treatment going on, subtle but noticeable. Body is in good shape with no visible ugliness. Fretwire is likewise lightly used and not worn. Truss works fine both ways, action is medium low-ish and could go lower with a fret level, new professionally cut nut and setup. It worked fine for me as-is though.

    One thing I struggled with was volume and balance string to string. Going from 4 to 5 over a P pickup initially meant a slight volume drop with the D (middle string) right between the 2 coils. I tried a few different pickups, placements, etc., and finally found my best solution: a vintage 70s/80s Dimarzio PAF E/A coil with the original D/G coil. This lets you adjust both pickup and polepiece height for the lower strings plus gives them more of a 'grindy' sound, which allowed me to get even volume and tone going from low to high (or high to low). I will include the original half P pickup too, but I'm pretty sure you won't want to put it back. I also lengthened the leads so I could try series/parallel (didn't like the parallel mode so they are just connected & soldered together in the cavity but you can put that into play if you like). 1 tone, 1 volume, simple and passive btw.

    I'm going to say $275 plus actual shipping on this one. Budget level bones but some nice adds and something you'll be hard pressed to find for less than boutique instrument prices. Selling because I've decided to go with a single fiver (my Drake Custom). Inquiries and questions welcome via conversation. I'd consider trading for an equally rare bird --33" or 32" scale lined fretless 4 string. Thanks TB. Pics follow:

    EEA565B2-E180-4C96-B613-23B47B812170.jpeg 9C647C40-D2C7-486B-9FAE-14C44BDE1477.jpeg 0C56EAA7-D016-4011-9095-5182EB16EA4B.jpeg 40D6C947-044E-4D29-AAF4-8DC6B01EAC22.jpeg E9CA1D4B-8482-443D-8A86-4CE4E223B581.jpeg EA59FD4A-8D19-4076-8B12-05922F93659F.jpeg C507B7E3-29FE-498E-90F9-CE57181E72CA.jpeg 3EB03221-4C65-42A3-A185-4D67084A5128.jpeg F240483A-012F-4013-BD9D-57D6128DB42B.jpeg F0F7EF35-650F-45F0-AF75-5C882A6EAE5D.jpeg 94E8B935-8312-4C09-80B2-05190DE8A9AB.jpeg
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
    Count Bassie, 4-fingers and saltydude like this.
  2. ghendershot


    Feb 25, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Interested: Sent you a PM!
    slap2much likes this.
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