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Trying to resolve medium scale strings problem

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by okieman, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. okieman


    Sep 17, 2010
    When I bought my Fender Mustang bass, I was told it was a short scale. The salesman sold me some generic flatwounds (I don't use roundwounds). The trouble started when it was time to replace the strings. I paid about $45 for some La Bella "Deep Talkin'" strings. Tried to install them and discovered, oops, the Mustang is actually a medium scale (30 inches to the nut). The strings won't fit. I only tried to get three of them on the bass, and never played them, but now I'm faced with the problem of trying to resell "used" strings. The bigger problem is what I buy now for myself. I'm looking for medium to heavy gauge flatwounds that will fit a medium scale bass where the strings feed through the body. Can someone please point me to a product/vendor? Thanks.
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Wrong. The Mustang IS a short-scale and 30" scale. 32" scale is medium. But the string-through means you need longer strings. You might need to special order to get what you want. Look at MANUFACTURER'S websites (GHS, D'Addario, LaBella, and Fender) to see what is available.

  3. okieman


    Sep 17, 2010
    Well, I read some incorrect information somewhere. I'm still learning about this instrument. Speaking of which, is there a structural difference between strings made for short scale vs long scale other than the length?
  4. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Yes, the fatter strings have a taper between nut and tuner since a fat string won't wind around the tuner post in a tight spiral. Different scale basses need that taper to be at different distances from the ball-end. String through body also modifies that distance.

    D'Addario make amazing flatwounds in short and medium scale, one of these should work:



    D'Addario have published this info for choosing string lengths:

    Step 1. Mark the lowest gauge string at the nut with a marker.

    Step 2. Remove the string and measure from the mark to the inner edge of the ball end & refer below.

    Up to 32" D'Addario Short Scale

    32"-34" D'Addario Medium Scale

    34" - 36" D'Addario Long Scale

    36" - 38" D'Addario Extra Long Scale
  5. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Could be that you need medium-scale to get enough length to accommodate the string-through, but the bass is a short scale. The difference in scales affects where the strings start to taper, but not much else. The problem is that flats are prone to more problems to damage if installed incorrectly, so putting long-scale strings on a short or medium scale bass could cause them to break or unravel. This is exacerbated by the angle caused by straining through the body. I know that Lakland recommends against stringing their flats (made by GHS) through- body but I have had no problems with the set I put on my Fender Sting bass about 18 months ago.

  6. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    D'Addario Chromes in Medium Scale are needed for the Mustang due to the string-through... They'll fit just right. On both of my string-through Ps ('51 RI and a '96 MIA) I need to run the super-longs. Been doing it for years with nary a problem. Chromes are fine strung through-body... Others may not be, but it's Chromes for me...


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