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Shortscale to standard scale conversion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Whitenoise17, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Whitenoise17


    Aug 6, 2016
    East Side
    I have a Squier Jaguar SS, which has a 30 inch scale, but I want to convert it to a standard scale length by replacing the neck. What is my best option? I know Warmoth makes replacement necks, but what if I buy a neck and it doesn’t fit? Please help!
  2. Just know that you'll have to move the bridge as well, unless you specifically buy a "conversion" neck, and I don't think those are so cheap.

    As an example, here is a Strat neck that's designed for a 24-3/4" scale.
    Strats are normally 25-1/2" scale.

    Warmoth Custom Guitar Parts - Conversion Strat Neck

    AFAIK, Warmoth doesn't do "conversion" necks for bass, yet...
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  3. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    Sell short scale jaguar. Buy regular scale jaguar. They aren’t expensive or hard to find.
  4. It's not just the neck that is different in short vs long scale.
    Often the body is also smaller.
    Aside from the other issues mentioned here, you may end up with a highly unbalanced instrument.
    I have a Squier Jag VM SS and just as it is, it has some neck dive.
    reddog likes this.
  5. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    First off,
    ^ This. In this case it's the most reasonable course of action.

    Second off,
    We recently had a lengthy discussion about this:
    changing a short scale neck to long scale.
    "Conversion" necks are, in essence, ones with the correct neck heel specs, frets at the appropriate position for the desired scale, but also a number of frets purposefully chosen in order for the bridge to stay where it is, with only a tweak to the saddle positions required. In your Warmoth example, the new neck has 22 frets whereas vintage Strats have 21.

    In our case, note how a long-scale (34") bass capoed at the 2nd fret becomes a 30.291" bass with two less frets; a short-scale (30") bass with the nut replaced with a fret and a weird 2 extra fret ramp added to the headstock side (and all or part of the tuners relocated somewhere else) would become a 33.674" bass with two more frets than before.
    (Since we're at it, a 34" bass capoed at the 1st is near-equivalent to a 32" medium scale bass, as a 36" capoed at the 1st is to a 34"
    https://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator.html?frets=24&scale=36&instrument=Bass )

    The rule of thumb for commonly-used bass guitar scales is then
    36 > 34 > 32 > 30 > 28.5 (> 27 > 25.5 . . .)
    where the reading of the ">" is (besides the usual and obvious "greater than") "1 fret≃".

    In other words:
    if you replace a short-scale (30") neck of x number of frets (the SS Jaguar has 20 I think) with a long-scale (34") one with x+2 frets (22) the bridge saddle travel will take care of the resulting (~.1") discrepancy, with no need to move the bridge plate; if the new neck has any less than x+2 frets (≤21) the bridge will have to be moved back, toward the edge of the body; if instead it has more than x+2 (in this case that means 24 frets in practical terms) the bridge needs a move to the front, toward the neck pocket.
    In other, even more concise words:
    there is no strict need for an explicitly-labelled "conversion" neck if going from a scale to some specific other if the number of frets of the new neck is right.
    (I haven't studied other specific conversions such as going from, say, 34" to 35", which may be trickier, i.e. there might not be an optimal number of frets for the new neck for the bridge to remain in position with a simple reintonation of the saddles; again, I don't know offhand.)

    All the above being said, let me reiterate that, as there are a number of practicalities to such a conversion other than bridge position, I would just get a new instrument in this case.
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  6. I picked up a 2012 long scale Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special (the one with the bass boost circuit) at a pawn shop a couple of weeks ago for CDN$200. A very nice bass already and I am working on some easy mods right now to make it even better. I think picking up one of these is a far better route than converting your SS, which I suspect would turn out to be a very neck heavy, unbalanced instrument.

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