scale length

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by aphotic69, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. aphotic69

    aphotic69 Guest

    Jun 27, 2002
    victoria, australia
    i was just wondering how the scale length on a bass is measured. what are the two points that it is measured between? is it the length of the neck or what? i'm not sure how it's done. thanx for any replies
  2. IIRC you measure from the nut to the 12th fret (the 12th FRET not the space in between the 11th and 12th) and double that. But I could be wrong.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's gonna be hard on a fretless or DB!! ;)
  4. Well if you can think of a better way, lets here it! :D

    Thats it, I'm going to go fret my DB. And put a few stickers on it too...
  5. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I thought it was the measurment from the bridge to the nut.
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Scale length, or mensure, is the theoretical length of the sounding portion of the string. This is the distance from the nut (or zero fret if present) to the theoretical position of the bridge witness point before intonation adjustments. The distance from nut to 12th fret is half of this, so it is correct, and common practice, to take the nut <--> 12 measurement and double it.

    The intonation adjustments move the bridge further from the nut, so the nut <--> bridge measurement results in a number that is a little high. But it is closest to accurate on the g string. So I would guess that you would measure the g string on a fretless.

    On instruments with BFTS (e.g. MTDs) or other compensated nut, the measurement will be slightly off due to the nut compensation, but will be in the ballpark.

    The scale length has nothing to do with the length of the actual neck, since this can vary with the number of frets available, even when the scale length does not change.