Winding length question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by lucas303, Aug 28, 2019.


  1. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    String options for the Ibanez Mikro bass (particularly the five-string that I have) are extremely limited because it's so small. The scale length is only 28.6 inches. Here are the winding lengths for it according to my measurement:

    Minimum winding length: 30 1/4 inches
    Maximum winding length: 32 1/2 inches

    Given the limited options for strings, I'm considering a modification that would allow me to use longer strings. I think the most options would be for the standard "long scale" strings. These appear to vary in winding length from 36 1/2 to 38 inches depending on manufacturer, though.

    So my questions are...

    How much should I try to lengthen the Mikro's winding length in order to accommodate the widest range of "long scale" strings?

    If I increase it enough to accommodate 38 inches, would that still allow me to use the 36 1/2 inch strings?

    If I added 6 1/4 inches to the winding length, would that allow me to use the full range of "long scale" strings since that would increase the minimum winding length to 36 1/2 and the maximum winding length to 38 3/4?
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  2. Most "long scale" strings are between 36.75" and 37.25" in winding length, although some can be as long as 38" depending on the manufacturer.

    Here's a list to give you a general idea:

    Bass String Lengths by Manufacturer
     
  3. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    Yeah I already covered that. My questions go to how to accommodate those variations in length (at least in terms of "long scale" strings).
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    With those Schaller style posts, I wouldn't chance long scale strings. It's probably OK if a little of the fat part of the E string winds onto the post, but any more than one wind and I'd be paranoid they'll break and/or not stay in tune. I'd get short scale strings.
     
  5. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    Putting aside the mechanics of how it's done, let's assume I am able to increase the winding length. The question is how much to increase the length.
     
  6. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    IMO your choice is between 5-1/2" (may fit, with some silk-shaving, GHS medium-scale or Thomastik-Infeld "short"-scale strings, i.e. 35.5", in case you feel you'd need those mediums for some reasons, but would cut it close for 38"-long longs), and 5-3/4"~6" (no more mediums of any kind, but sure to accommodate the longest longs)*; either way a slice of intermediate lengths (Pyramid 33.5", many mediums at 34"; a recent thread demonstrated Dunlop medium-scale 5-string sets are under 34") would not fit.
    Do you plan to maintain fit-ability of short scale strings, or will that go with the modification?


    * EDIT: as well as the shortest longs, as the OP noted below
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
    lucas303 likes this.
  7. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    If I do go up to 6 though, I'd be able to use all the long scale strings with 36 1/2 to 38 winding length right? An extra 6 inches would extend my minimum winding length to 36 1/4 and maximum to 38 1/2.

    I would still be able to use short scale strings...at least the ones that are currently able to fit the Mikro. My plan is to do something like this, but for all five strings: "Official" Mikro Bass Club Part 2 That doesn't change the bridge at all. I may use an actual tailpiece like the Hipshot D, rather than eyelet screws.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  8. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    That's my conclusion as well.
     
    lucas303 likes this.
  9. Forgive me, but I'm a little confused...

    What kind of modification are you talking about in order to allow your "short scale" bass to be able to take "long scale" strings?
     
  10. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    See a couple posts above.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Long way to go for little return but it's your bass.
     
  12. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    I wouldn't say that having ready access to a wide variety of strings is "little return," especially considering the dearth of options that currently exist for the five-string, but to each their own.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Well it's a noble pursuit, but if you can work it to the point where you can buy medium scale strings and not have the B break at the post, consider yourself lucky. I just don't see where all that extra string length is going to go on such a tiny bass. Can't even put a Warwick style bridge with a stop tailpiece on it.
     
  14. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    I posted a link several posts above.
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Hmmm...missed it before. Looks very comfortable. Careful with your liver and nutsack :D
     
  16. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    You ain't kidding. Once I figure out the length I need I'm going to mock something up on the back of the bass and see how much it pokes me...the results might end up killing this whole idea, but you never know.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  17. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    I use small, set screw shaft collars to shorten strings. Slip the shaft collar down the string to where it's needed, tighten the collar, bend the string behind the collar (ball end side) if you can, and cut the string.

    When I do this to shorten the tapered length of a tapered string, I double over the small part in the shaft collar for better locking.

    I have yet to have a string slip, fail, unravel, etc.

    For example: Dura-Collars, 1/16" (4) | HorizonHobby

    - John

    Disclaimer: I'm not claiming or saying this works on all string types. I've only needed to do this with roundwound strings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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