Pros and Cons of 36" scale

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jim T., Nov 22, 2001.

  1. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Everyone, cool down, eh?

    Tyburn, a little common grammar-courtesy goes along way. If you type intelligently and clearly, which you know you can do, there won't be any problem. People don't want to have to make up for your laziness, so you'll just get ignored otherwise. If you want to preach about the greatness of Overwater and extended scales, then why not try to do it so that people can understand you? No harm man, it's just a suggestion from people who want to hear what you have to say and do it easily.

    :D
     
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    That's the *type*, which is about the only thing I could actually make out from your earlier remarks --I mean the *brand*, since I've had a heck of a time finding strings to fit my 36" scale David King.

    If I thought you had nothing useful to say, I wouldn't have bothered responding in the first place--there would have been no point in making the effort to dig down and figure out what the heck you were talking about.

    OTOH, if _you_ think you have something useful to say, it seems to me that it should be worth your effort to actually say it, rather than leave the rest of us guessing. You're a big boy, made it all the way to University. Surely you don't need to be coddled in pointing out when you're spouting what amounts to gibberish?

    Mike
     
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Mike, FYI, Fodera will make you just about any kind of strings if you call them up and order them, any guage, steel/nickel. I didn't do that because I didn't want to order anything in bulk (which I believe you have to do...3 pack minimum or something).

    Carl Thompson strings, also, are made for 38" scale, so they should fit you also. I had trouble reaching Carl when I tried to get them to try myself, so I don't know how they are. Les Claypool and Jeff Berlin swear by them, though. I believe he'll make you just about anything you want, also.
     
  4. point taken, but if it had been just you and me fighting in the arena of talkbass, then i wouldn't have minded. but when geshel jumped in, well that got me goin.

    from now on, i'll think about it, before i type.

    but be honest, how many of my post after your initial post to me, have you not understood.

    please take into account what i said earlier.

    1 my first 'bad' post was made in the middle of a Photoshop tutorial. 9trying to draw the jackson five and type at the same time isn't easy :) i gest not.

    2 all my other posts we're done very late at night, i was tired and angry.

    i hope we can move on from this, but i have a feeling geshel may by back to twist the grammar knife.

    by the way, i don't know who makes the strings, but there packaged as 'Overwater strings' they can get you any gauge you want, within reason.

    but as there made in the USA i thin it'll be alot easier for yourself to find good supplies, that it wil;l be for me!
    stu
     
  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, I apologize for not replying as considerately as I should have--snappy comebacks are far too easy. I did understand most of what you were saying, but the part I was really interested in, the string brand/availability part, I couldn't make out! It was frustrating!

    And of course, once we get into "smug & superior" mode (or "defensive" mode, for that matter), it's d*mn hard to get back out.

    Alas, I don't think "Overwater" strings are widely available on this side of the pond--there are even fewer Overwater dealers than Wal dealers here. I don't see any mention of them on the Overwater site, either, ooddly enough. Guess I'll have to stick with the DRs or Foderas.

    Mike
     
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    (officer barbrady voice)

    move along kids, nothing to see here.
     
  7. Mike Zimmerman,
    I'm not sure I understand you completely concerning the major and minor third stretches. Did you by any chance reverse them in your post or did you mean that you can reach the minor 3rd with your pinky rather than the index finger? Are you using one finger per fret technique?

    I've played David King's instruments. They sure are nice. His prices for new building have really jumped this year...

    Thanks, if you can clarify for me.
     
  8. nanook

    nanook

    Feb 9, 2000
    Alaska
    "What a bunch of Blatant Speculation. You ever played one? I've NEVER, EVER experienced this to be true"

    Why would I make the comment if I have never played one. I tried a Tune, and two other custom 36" and they all had similar problems being:

    1. The G stings all sounded crummy with absolutely no growl due to the increased tension.

    2. The D strings were acceptable but marginal for the same reason.

    3. In the lower register, where I play most of the time, there was a physical problem reaching the frets. I guess if my knuckles drug the ground this would not be a problem.

    4. There are also design problems, one of which is neck strength. Unless you make the neck a lot chunkier, it will become more flexible as it gets longer. At some point, it is either too flexible or too fat to be useful. The 36" scale is getting into this area.

    My personal experience is that anything over a 34" 4 string and 6 string or a 35" 5 string, you have simply already toped the hill on performance and started to descend the back side. That is to say, the negatives outweigh the positives.

    A 36" scale is going to the extreme but reaping no real benefits in my humble opinion.
     
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I totally disagree with you on the 36"s I've played owned about the D and G string, but as long as you've tried, it's cool. :D

    Interesting opinion on #4, the ones I've played had pretty medium necks. Not small, but they weren't that big, either. They felt pretty damn strong to me. My Tune, for example, had a medium neck profile, which felt bigger because it was a wide-spaced-6 with the huge scale, but it also had one of the stiffest wood necks I've ever felt anywhere.

    I do, however, agree with you somewhat about a 36" scale. The benefits of it are really nothing you can't get out of a very well made 34" bass, and there are lots of playability cons for the average hand.

    The upper register in these basses, however, is great to play in because there's more spaces between the frets. :D
     
  10. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, it was actually referring to two things: 1) Christopher mentioned doing two octave scales in a five-fret area on a 5 without shifts, and the only way you can do that is to be able to span a major third. Since I can't span (from index finger to pinky) a major third comfortably with no shifting even on a 34" scale, and have to do a shift in the middle anyway, going from 34" to 36" had no impact on my ability to do two octave scales in the least. 2) I mentioned that I had only medium hands, and didn't find the need for any major changes in technique. So specifying that I could span a minor third on both scales, and could just barely stretch to a major third on the 34", seemed like a sensible way to illustrate exacly how big or small my hands are.

    Yes, I do usually use pretty much a "1 finger per fret" approach, though I do sometimes swivel with my thumb a bit (not really a "shift") to cover 5 frets.

    One more element in the playability issue is really the design of the bass, though--particularly the upper horn. The David King has a very long upper horn, which (aside from the headless design) is a big contributor to the balance. It also gives the impression of bringing the upper register in closer to you. So, I don't have to stretch my arm way out to get to the first fret, which makes the extra-long scale a lot easier to deal with.

    Mike
     
  11. nanook

    nanook

    Feb 9, 2000
    Alaska
    "The upper register in these basses, however, is great to play in because there's more spaces between the frets."

    I agree with that and maybe bassists who like upper register work, like I have seen Claypool doing, will fare well with a 36" scale. Is that a 36" lined fretless Carl Thomas that he plays?

    Personally I rarely play above the 12th fret.
     
  12. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett Commercial User

    Nov 25, 2001
    Cane Ridge, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Mike nailed it on the head when he stated that 36 inch scale might not be the only factor in what makes for a great B string. Woods play an important roll in the strength structure of the neck-stability.
    But the real monster behind the clearity of a B string is physics! Angels create tension which creates a clean B string. There are so many builders out there that really hated going to the 35 & 36 inch scale becuase of the fact that they took time to creat an incredible B string on the basses and there was no need for extended scale, and some still haven't fallowed to the 35&36 inch scale phenomonon. One thing that I've noticed on alot of the 35 & 36 inch scale basses is that it allows the builder to be relax in actually being precise in the physical atributes on the instrument. All in all the builders that knew how to build a 34 inscale 5 string can build a 35 or 36. And the guys that could do the 34, get by with a 35 and 36 but still fall short of the others
     
  13. Tyburn, just for the record(and it's OT now I know)

    Aesthetics are opinion. Whether I like a bass's looks or not is up to my opinion. You can apply the science of graphics to aesthetics, but you are in no position to act as though whatever you say on an aesthetic is the right comment.

    English and grammar, however, are an absolute. You have to put certain characters in certain places for the language to make sense. It's not a matter of being a genius, or a blowhard; it's a matter of paying attention in kindergarten.
     
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Brian, welcome to Talkbass. Nice to see you here.:)

    What kind of bass is that in the attachment?
     
  15. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett Commercial User

    Nov 25, 2001
    Cane Ridge, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Hey man, thanks.

    That is a Benavente 219-B series 5 string. Chris Benavente is an awesome builder and has really been making some waves over the past year. This year at NAMM he will blow everyone away. Right now his prices aren't bad, but over the next year or so the demand will kick in, and you know what happens then.

    There quite a few others on my site at www.thelowend.net

    Thanks
     
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Cool! I wasn't familiar with Chris' work, but I am checking into it now.

    And I knew who you were when I saw your name, I've been drooling over stuff at your site for a couple of years.:D
     
  17. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Brian--It certainly looks like Chris B. has gotten his hands on some nice buckeye burl!

    Mike
     
  18. Mike Zimmerman,
    OH! Now I get it! Thanks for clarifying. I forgot about THAT major 3rd. (so many major 3rds, so little time;) )

    Good point about the King and reachability. The bass I'm considering is a single cutaway (upper bout at the 12th fret) but I expect I'll be sitting a lot if I go the 36 route. I have grave doubts but still may try it on a trial basis if the current buyer's deal falls through. If I have any sense at all I'll look for a 32" six stringer!

    Thanks again for the info. Jim T.
     
  19. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    A 36" scale single-cutaway--sounds like either a Fodera or an Elrick. I've never had the pleasure of owning a Fodera, but if it's an Elrick, you won't be disappointed. Just watch out for that lower horn when you're sitting down!

    I'd love to hear more about this bass...

    Mike