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Scale length, windings for fretless

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Wademeister63, Sep 4, 2004.


  1. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Heya, great forums here. I've been reading a ton!

    After searching through the strings section and reading through all the links I could find, I still can not figure this one out.
    I am building a 5 string fretless bass and had been planning a 35" scale and flats. I have a set of Bartolini XX M55C pickups and plan on getting the Bartolini 3 band preamp, so if you know what that all sounds like then factor that in. I honestly don't know what it sounds like yet. Probably not really a recipie for success, but I hope I'm at least heading for a workable instrument. I am still at a point where I can change the scale length and am considering going to 34" from what i have read and found on my own so far. I would like to avoid the floppy B and have at least a little growl but really don't know which way to turn. I know I don't want rounds on my fretless just because of the wear on the fingerboard, but that's about where my certainty ends. I thought LaBellas were going to be good, so I picked up a set. That was probably the worst choice I could have made since it seems the (very cool looking) black nylon tape wound strings might be among the deadest of the dead sounding strings I could buy. Is that correct? Also, laying these up against my Ibanez 34" fretted bass it looks like these strings will barely work for 34" and no way for a 35" scale! Oh crap, I can't remember what strings I have on the Ibanez now, but the B (roundwounds) is pretty marginal. It works but I tend to prefer moving down the E string most of the time which sort of defeats the purpose of having a 5er :meh:

    So help if you can please! How much difference does the 35" scale make vs the 34"? It appears as though 34" strings are quite a bit more common, so it must not be critical to have 35" for a tight B... Oh yeah, I think I prefer some tension too. I don't really care for a floppy feel on my bass, but I'll get used to that if it all works out for a nice sound overall. I think I would like to have a sound sort of like Pink Floyd from The Wall. Some definition but not biting I would say. The long slides on Hey You are what plays in my head when I think of where I want to go. As a baseline of course. Maybe I really need to get what bite I can from the strings and then EQ it down to suit? Ah, also I have a SWR Workingman 2004 amp and with a Workingman 210T and an Avatar 115 cab. I don't know where those compare on the brightness or definition spectrum...I'm such a noob. No really!

    Building my own bass so far has been very interesting and it is turning out great, but not knowing 100% what I want is making the whole project very confusing!! What would you do? Maybe I need to just go 34" and put frets on to be nice and safe!!! Er, nah.