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Scale of Fender 5-String Jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brendan, Aug 10, 2000.


  1. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I've been looking at a nice Black Fender Jazz 5-string, but nowhere I've seen gives me the scale. The low B is kinda floppy, so I'm thinking a 34", but it might be 35".
     
  2. gmstudio99

    gmstudio99

    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    You didn't specify the flavor of bass, (MIM/MIA, year, etc), but it's probably 34".

    Are you sure the bass is set up properly? I have a MIM Deluxe J V string and the B is as tight as a...well, let's just say it's pretty dang tight.

    -GM
     
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yep, Fender's are floppy(except for the Roscoe Beck model!).

    They have a 34" scale, but I honestly believe that there are other factors that weigh more heavily into the tautness of the B string besides scale length.

    I have a Pedulla Rapture 5, 34" scale, and it has as tight a B string as most 35" basses I've played.

    Modulus 35s have SLIGHTLY tighter B than mine, but IMHO this is due to the stiffness of the graphite neck, not the 35" scale.

    The Lakland 55-94 is also tighter than mine(AND tighter than the Modulus' that I've played), I don't know if this is due to the graphite reinforced neck or not.

    But I believe neck stiffness is the number 1 issue, and then next would come tightness of neck joint(if it is a bolt-on) and body material. 3rd would come string gauge. IMHO scale is a distant 4th. Just ask John Turner, his Conklin 7 strings are 34", and he tunes at least one of them to a low F#!

    This issue has been discussed before, unfortunately, I can't find the thread we discussed it in. I'm sure others will chime in with their opinions as well.
     
  4. gmstudio99

    gmstudio99

    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    And mine ;)

    -GM
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Mine, too;)

    All Fender 5 string Jazzes are 34" scale. I have two MIA JD5's, they aren't floppy at all. What's my problem?:D

    My Lakland, Zon and Tobias have three of the best sounding and playing B's I've come across yet they're all different kinds of B vibes.
     
  6. frost13

    frost13

    Apr 12, 2000
    Stiffness of neck probably is more important. My six string is a 34' scale, but the B string is the best I have played....so far.
     
  7. RussP

    RussP

    Jun 15, 2000
    I have a MIM deluxe Jazz5 and the neck is really soft! I've been tweeking on the truss rod ant it straightens out for about a day and then it returns to it's regular set. I don't know if I can deal with it any more. It's not that it's unplayable it reeks havoc on the intonation. Any of you guys experienced anything like this with your MIM 5 strings?


    RussP
     
  8. gmstudio99

    gmstudio99

    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    RussP,

    I'm somewhat ashamed to admit it amongst all you tweakers around here, but I've never adjusted the neck on my MIM Deluxe 5. As a matter of fact, I've never even changed the strings...(Had it about 4 months, should change them soon.)

    Did you happen to change gauges?

    -GM
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have been trying a lot of Fender 5s recently in shops (looking for a "spare" bass). I did notice that the MIM necks are not nearly as good as the MIA Deluxe and that most of the MIM ones I tried were not intonated above the 12th fret. Whereas the USA Deluxe ones are pretty good on this aspect. The difference is presumably the stiffness and graphite in the USA basses?

    I'm still looking though...
     
  10. lowb

    lowb

    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    Well, ya wanna know where to get a tight lowb string. I'll let you in on a little secret. "Overwater" basses can't be beat. I had one custom built, 36" scale length, and believe me it makes a difference. Check out "Overwater.co.uk". I think Chris is making 38" scale lengths now.........that might be taking it just a little too far!!!

    Pedro
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Does he make his own strings, too? ;)
     
  12. lowb

    lowb

    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    He sure does, for 36", I gues if he's making 38" scale then he probably has strings for that as well.

    Pedro
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I do like the look of Overwater basses, but as Carlisle is about as far away from Brighton as it is possible to get and be in the same country, I have never been in to their shop or had the chance to try one of their basses. I have bought amps fom them - I bought an Eden by mail order - they seem to be very nice people and give good custoemr service, but I would never buy a bass without trying it first.

    Also - the custom Overwater basses are a bit expensive for a "spare" bass" - just under £2,000 over here. To anyone in the US that would probably work out at over $4,000 going on comparisons I have made with other basses and allowing for shipping, taxes etc.
     
  14. lowb

    lowb

    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    Bruce, you talk a lot about trying a bass lots before you buy, which i think is spot on. However I made the long trip to Carlisle(to visit relatives), dead set on getting a warwick streamer. When i tried an Overwater i was blown away! Am sure there are lots of basses just as good however mine cost a lot less than £2000!!!!
    I tried one of their basses for a little while but decided on gettin them to build one for me, and obviousley i couldn't try it until it was built. Anyway, I've tried a LOT of basses since gettin mine, some even twice as expensive, and mine is STILL the best I've ever played. This is not suposed to be a plug for Overwater, but it's interesting that i trusted their building skillz. I guess it could be that at my age and stage of playing I'm able to adapt to a new bass, and it's features, or it could be that i've been blessed with my perfect bass!

    I appriciate your comments man, keep it up!

    Pedro
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I got catalogues and price lists from Overwater, when I bought an amp off them and these seemed to indicate that a typical 5-string would cost about £2,000.

    It's not that I wouldn't trust somebody to build a bass - I was thinking about getting a Sei bass custom made by Martin Peterson in Camden, London and this would be more practical, as I could visit frequently to see how it was going - I also had the chance to try out a few Sei basses when I was there.

    No, my main problem, when I thought about it was that I didn't know enough about this subject to know what I actually wanted. When I pick up a bass and try it through an amp for a while, I can tell whether it's a good bass or not and whether it suits me - but after 25 years of doing this, I still don't really know why!

    For example, at one point I was convinced that very wide necks were the only way for me, but I have since found basses with necks that aren't that wide, that still feel really good in my hands - like the Fender RB5 and the Tobias Classic 5. So if a luthier asked me what I wanted, I would find it very difficult to say. Give me a choice of 50 basses, that I can try, however, and I will definitely be able to pick one that I think is best out of all those - in terms of how it plays and sounds.