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Teye-bass: 32 vs 34 - your input please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by elteye, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. elteye

    elteye Commercial User

    Jul 12, 2009
    Teye, luthier, owner of Teye-guitars

    my name is Teye, I've been making guitars for awhile, plus two prototype bass guitars. Am about to start fully on the basses. Yes they have bling, but are underneath serious instruments. Both owners of the prototypes were pleasantly surprised.

    A question:
    I designed my bass to be a 32 inch scale (medium scale).
    Many players have urged me to make a 34 scale.

    I think the 32 is preferable since it has more punch, more low end, and looks better. Many bassists insist on a 34.

    I would really like to hear from you what your preference is, and more importantly: why.

    The 34:

    The 32:

    Teye Guitars » Bass

    Thank you in advance!

  2. First, your basses and guitars are beautiful.

    Sadly enough we bass players are very conservative. So most basses still are around 34" But short scales are very popular nowadays and not longer seen as basses for kids, girls and guitar players...

    That said, I have to say I love 34" for a good sounding E-string, but I also love the sound, feel and playability of short scales.
    My 32" medium scale Burns Vista Sonic Bass is a very well playing and sounding bass and I guess it's best of both worlds. So just make a 32" and don't tell a soul!!!! They'll love it!

    Keep up the good work.
  3. Mulebagger


    Dec 12, 2007
    poppin in the corn belt
    Endorsing Artist: Zon Guitars, Tsunami Cables, DR Strings, GK

    Your instruments look spectacular. I've never been a fan of shorter than 34" scale. I don't like the way the upper register feels and sounds. Every instrument is different so I won't say that I'd never play a 32" or 33" (which seems to be the boutique rave). In truth, I prefer 35' scale basses for their clarity. If constructed well, the scale length will never feel problematic. I've played short scaled basses that feel more difficult to play than some 35"ers.

    Bottom line is: If your customers are happy you are happy. If you get requests for 34, 35 " scales and can produce them that's cool. Otherwise, maybe you can only offer 32" and gain a niche market. Either way, your basses look really friggin cool.

    Best of luck.
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Technically, I don't consider 32" to be short scale. That would be 30.5" in my book. When I do play my short scale (30.5") basses, it's almost like playing an entirely different instrument. However, when I play my 32" Gibson Explorer Bass, the difference is not nearly as pronounced. It does take a little getting used to, especially if I haven't played in in a while, but once I adjust to it, I generally find 32" scale basses to feel more like really fast, easy playing "regular basses," as opposed to the much more cramped (for me, at least) feeling I get on 30.5" basses.

    My first thoughts are that as the luthier, you should follow your own muse, and if 32" makes sense to you, then you should make 32" scale basses. That being said, if your customers want 34" scale basses, you may want to offer both. I do think that the majority of players in 2012 are going to prefer 34", but for folks who have not tried 32" scale instruments, I'd say don't knock 'em 'till you've tried 'em!
    BassHappy likes this.
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Also, those are some great looking basses, Teye! :cool:
    BassHappy likes this.
  6. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    Just remember, the supply is useless without the demand. If more people want the 34" scale, then you'll sell more if you make most of your basses at that scale. Of course, if you're a custom builder, you don't really have to worry about that--you just make what people ask for when they order it. You can always make the ones for yourself at whatever scale you like.

    Those basses are insanely cool, by the way. How heavy are they, if I may ask?
  7. wagdog

    wagdog Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Waiting for the bus
    First - wow, just wow! Second - my favorite scale is 32". Make 32" the standard with an up-charge for 34".

    ps - I would love to hear sound clips.
  8. I say follow your instincts. If 32" is where your heart is, make them. Your instruments are beautiful but I have a good idea that I won't be able to afford one (I've seen the reviews of your guitars in Guitar Player). The instruments are really classy, by the way.
  9. M.Mannix3


    Jun 12, 2010
    Most bass players are accustomed to 34" basses, but there are a few people out there that like 32" or even 30.5" scale for the sound or whatever other reason. If you exclusively make 32" I will turn some (dare I say most) bassists off and leave you only with a niche market. Also as you said the shorter scale give you more punch, I wouldn't worry about that with those massive humbuckers (off topic: are those active?) there'll be plenty of punch to go around. Keep in mind Gibson's EB-3 from the '60s and '70s was 30.5" scale, had huge humbuckers and therefore was "muddy" and only popular with people looking for that certain sound. I have the Epiphone EB-3 and it is 34" and has a pretty clean sound compared to the old ones. The pickups aren't exactly the same as the old Gibsons (the Gibsons were hotter) so I'd bet that is making an audible difference too. Also people complain about the Epiphone EB-3's neck dive (I'm pretty tall and have a good strap so it doesn't really bug me) but that should also be taken into consideration when changing your model designed to be 32" to a 34". Your basses have the aluminum full body pickguard though so maybe they are heavy enough to counter-balance the length of the neck.

    Also, they look gorgeous but maybe too fancy (expensive) looking for me to play. I checked out your site and I have no idea how the mood knob works, but it sounds like a really cool idea. Good luck and keep up the good work.
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I love the design of your instrument.
    Very detailled, almost overdone but tasty.
    The influence of Zemaitis appears loud and clear.
    The look of the pickups is a bit of a let down compared to the rest of the instrument though.
    32" typically has more low mids and less lows. It is usually good for rock but not if you're looking for pristine, superclear tones. It's a builder's choice I think.
    Another thing to consider, your instruments lack an upper horn so bringing them to 34" may make them a bit neck heavy.
  11. you should stick with the 32". Looks cool. I definitely want to check one out the Dallas Guitar Show.
  12. elteye

    elteye Commercial User

    Jul 12, 2009
    Teye, luthier, owner of Teye-guitars
    Thank you Gentlemen for your opinions, suggestions, and compliments!

    I've run a poll in another post, and the score is a consistent 60-40 in favor of the 34. I've decided to offer both in the catalog.

    However, much more important it is for me to read what bassists say and think. The pre-conceptions, the view on different aspects, the conservatism or its opposite. As a guitar player, I am of course familiar with the surface, but you've all given me a very valuable insight in the bass-world, and I thank you for participating.

    Here are some of my reactions:
    - Aluminum is not heavy: they make airplanes-that-fly with it! I don't use it to balance out my basses, I use it for sound (and yes, for looks!)
    - As far as I know, there are no famous basses available in both short and long scale, so a real comparison is not possible. To compare a Fender Mustang with a Precision is apples to oranges. Build a 30 or 32 Precision, and build it using the advantages of a 32, and you can compare FOR REAL.
    - I am building two E-series prototypes right now, a 32 and a 34. Will put soundclips on my site as soon as I have them.
    - The 34 I made was not neck-heavy. The 32 was in fact a tad on the neck-light side.
    - You cannot change the laws of physics with guitar/bass design, but you can certainly design to make a good sounding and well-balanced instrument.
    - the pickups are indeed not pretty. Aluminum engraved covers that I made robbed them of all highs, so I'm kinda stuck with them. They do give the exact sound I'm shooting for, so...

    Again, my sincere thanks for your participation,

  13. elteye

    elteye Commercial User

    Jul 12, 2009
    Teye, luthier, owner of Teye-guitars
    Oh and one more thing:

    after the feel of the two La India protos is approved/tweaked, I am geared up (bodies being readied as we speak) to make the following models:

    La Perla (talk about over-the-top luxury: a bass for a Maharadja)
    La India (current prototypes)
    El Torero (metal body plate without the turquoise edge)
    La Gitana (plain wood top)

    I DO listen to your input, you know:hyper:

  14. ebonalley


    May 17, 2010
    Hey Teye, I think that your offering both makes the best business and personal interest decision. I personally am a big medium scale fan (31-33") due to ease of playability while retaining (IMO) full tonal range. I think posting your own tone comparison will be most effective for your business. FYI, there are medium scale Fender P and J basses out there which can be compared to their full size brethren. Warwick is also coming out with a medium scale RB Corvette Basic this year which will probably be identical to its full scale counterpart. I wouldn't be surprised it the medium scale market heats up a bit as there really hasn't been a major distributer in the past 20 years and people do value their benefits including decreased weight. Finally, your basses are beautiful.
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Gibson EB-3 come in both flavors. 34" models indeed have deeper lows and less mids
    You could make a cover with the same material you use for the body.
  16. jbossolo


    Sep 22, 2011
    WOW! Truly amazing job. Makes me proud that they're done right here in the Republic of Texas!
  17. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    I was reading through Premiere Guitar mag tonight and saw Teye's ad. I love the look of the basses! Very steam punk. The silver inside the blue turquoise looks hot.
  18. Hey TBers

    Really intrigued by these Teye basses - anyone here have any direct experience playing or owning one? Any comments? Love the standard medium scale concept! They look like they could be on the heavy side from a weight point of view.

    Or alternatively, does anyone know if there are any dealers in the New York area distributing the basses - where you can go and check one out?

    Thanks, in advance for any details....

  19. huckleberry1


    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    I personally played one of your basses at the Dallas Guitar Show, I believe you have pictures of me doing so. The tonality just blew me away & it played very well however the whole time I played I wanted more neck. I play a Gibson RD Artist normally. I only wish I could afford your product but I tell you this, it was one hell of a pleasure to play that beautiful bass & I will never forget the honor of playing it. I hope this helps.
  20. Those basses look seriously great! Amazing work there! My personal preference is 34, but that is because that is what I learned on and played on.

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