1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Shortscale to Long scale convertion (?)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jim_dragons, Feb 5, 2016.


  1. jim_dragons

    jim_dragons

    Dec 1, 2015
    I have a squier jazz shortscale bass and i want to convert it to longscale (i dont care if its worth it right now). Will this happen just by changing the neck to a longscale one or do i have to do more things to it?
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    The bridge will probably have to be relocated. Probably means almost certainly. It may not be possible to do so.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  3. 202dy is correct. You can leave the pickups where they are, but you'll have to move the bridge back to match a 34" scale. There's also no guarantee a long scale neck will fit a short-scale neck pocket.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Theoretically possible. Practically ..... not really. Bridge will need to be moved back, perhaps past the end of the body. So you may need to build an extension to the body or design a bridge that will extend past the end. That's what I mean about being impractical.
     
    BeeTL and GKon like this.
  5. jim_dragons

    jim_dragons

    Dec 1, 2015
    why do i have to move the brigde back?
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    The longer scale neck will have wider fret placement. That means that the distance from the nut to the 12th fret will be longer than a short scale. The bridge must be located at a distance from the 12th fret that is equal to the distance from the nut to the twelfth. Since that nut-to-12th distance is longer, so the 12th-to-bridge distance must also be lengthened. Thus the need to move the bridge back. Otherwise everything but open strings will be out of tune, getting worse as you go up the neck.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  7. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    You may be able to split the difference- move the bridge as far back as possible, then add a block in the end of the pocket to give more distance to the nut.
    A 34" scale bass will be 34" from the G saddle to the nut.
    Lay it out first before buying or cutting anything.

    BTW: I have a 35" scale neck on an Ibanez RG body (had to mount the bridge at the end of the body, and the end of the neck is against the neck humbucker route) but it's 35" scale, and was made for a pickup test bass.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Here's an illustration:

    Short-Long Scale.

    The yellow line aligns the heel of the long-scale with the pocket end on the short scale. In order for the instrument to play in tune, the distance from the twelfth fret to the bridge must be equal to the distance from the nut to the 12th. So the red line shows where the bridge would need to be.
     

    Attached Files:

    BeeTL, GKon and Treadstone71 like this.
  9. + you need to allow for compensation so the distance from the 12th fret to the bridge saddle will be a little more than from the 12th fret to the nut.
    The short scale jag body is definitely smaller than the long scale version. Even if you could get a bridge in the right place, the bass would have neck dive issues.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  10. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Turnaround's picture shows why, but if you want numbers; on a long (34") scale bass, the distance from the nut to the 12th fret is 17", so the distance from the 12th fret to the bridge saddles has to be 17", too (17 + 17 = 34). On a typical short (30.5") scale bass, those numbers are 15.25" + 15.25". To turn it into a long scale bass, you would have to move the bridge saddles back 1.75" (half the difference between 30.5 and 34). And, unfortunately for you, there just isn't enough room on most short scale basses to do that. You might be able to do it with a 2-piece bridge, or something, but... probably not. Personally, I could do the conversion with my Gretsch Broadkaster (I've done the math), but it would cost a fortune (custom trapeze tailpiece, custom set neck, plus the labor..:eek:). And, since it's one of only 2 lefty Gretsches I've ever seen, I'm not about to screw with it...:)
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  11. Jim_Dragons, Turnaround has given you an excellent visual representation of the issue: everything on your short-scale instrument is designed to scale. The distance from bridge to nut is built so that the overall length is 32". You can't just slap a long scale neck on without changing the scale of the entire instrument.

    Even if the long scale neck fits, your overall length from bridge to nut WILL NOT be 34"...probably closer to 33.2", which would mean all the fret spacing was off, and no fretted note would be correct. You have to move the bridge to make the overall scale length correct.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  12. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    What you're talking about can be done, but the neck has to be designed specifically for that purpose.
    As far as I know there aren't any currently in production for 30 to 34" conversion.
    With guitars it's easy to find necks that convert 25.5" to longer or shorter scales without moving the bridge:
    ConversionNecksCompared.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  13. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    If those numbers are correct, a .80" spacer in the end of the pocket will move the neck out far enough for scale length.
    The question then, is- will there be enough of the neck heel in the pocket for stability?

    The more frets on the neck, the farther out the nut will be with the heel still bedded in the pocket. A 24 fret neck may be more than you need w/o moving the bridge (it's got nowhere to go, at the end of the body, anyway). Best to lay out the measurements from G saddle to end of pocket, then from G saddle to nut (34") to see how long the neck needs to be.

    Edit: If the body is for 32" scale, actually, a 22 fret neck with a 1/2" spacer should do it, 24 frets will be too long, unless you route the pocket a little.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
    BeeTL likes this.
  14. Come to think of it, I don't know if the OP means short-scale 30" modern Squier, or one of the old Japanese 32" medium-scale Squiers. In context I assume now he means 30".
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  15. shorty4life

    shorty4life

    Dec 22, 2013
    Invest in some steel-toed boots because that neck will be aiming for your feet
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  16. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    This is a really bad idea.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  17. Yeah, the Squier short scale Jaguar is a pretty good instrument as is for the price. It would make more sense to just buy a long scale Jaguar body.
     
    jnsnj, pcake, BeeTL and 1 other person like this.
  18. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    You can make a short scale a long scale by changing the neck IF that neck is designed to do so, it would almost certainly be a custom job and the realitive pickup locations will change to be closer to the bridge so it won't sound the same as a regular jaguar. I think @BeeTL and @Bruce Johnson have experience doing such a conversion, but it will cost you quite a bit.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  19. BeeTL

    BeeTL Commercial User

    Sep 26, 2006
    Oldsmar, FL
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Actually, my necks convert a standard 34" to 32" with no modification.

    It's actually quite simple, and I'm surprised it had never been done before.

    By contrast and as detailed above, converting a 30" to 34" is fraught with difficulties.
     
  20. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    You can do the same thing that you do but in reverse, the same math that makes it easy to convert the longscales to medium and short scales makes it simple to convert a short scale to a long scale, you just have to deal with the extra neck dive and having the pickups in the wrong spots.
    A 22 fret neck should work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
    BeeTL likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.