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Wouldn't anyone play a metric bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gln1955, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Evidently, it wasn't as important as its advocates claimed. Take most of what is taught in "schools" with a grain of salt?
    gebass6 likes this.
  2. rickwrench


    Oct 29, 2016
    Golden State
    "What scale is your bass?"
    PWRL likes this.
  3. This is a peculiar human trait - the need to boost ourselves by decrying others. Football, religion, politics, skin colour, music style and so many other things are used to make us feel superior to others.
    Whatever elite sport you have attained means that you have a combination of natural talent, incredible determination and hard work to get to where you are. I’m not a great fan of soccer but it’s pointless to say it’s not a worthwhile sport. I also don’t care for country music either but there sure are some awesome country pickers out there so let’s just do what we do and let others do what they do too.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    instrumentalist and gln1955 like this.
  4. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Jokes aside, the metric system has been widely accepted in the US for a long time, its just not used for everything. I think a lot of it comes down to convenience whether its used or not.

    For example, its easier to converse in imperial units since they have fewer syllables. Describing your height as "six-foot-two" is less effort than saying "one hundred eighty-eight centimeters". 'Mile marker' rolls off the tongue easier than 'kilometer marker', inch is easier to say than centimeter, etc. But at the same time, metric is always preferred in math, science and engineering since its base-10.
    instrumentalist likes this.
  5. Thing to be careful with is not using metric Allen keys (hex keys) on a non metric bass or vice versa...

    Also what do you Americans call the non metric system? In the UK we call it the imperial system but given you weren’t keen on our empire (well the taxes without an mp) I doubt you call it that
  6. Exactly. In the USA we're very adept at using SAE and metric systems interchangeably. Both systems have merit, knowing both means being more knowledgeable than knowing just one.
  7. From Wiki...

    SAE International, initially established as the Society of Automotive Engineers, is a U.S.-based, globally active professional association and standards developing organization for engineering professionals in various industries. Principal emphasis is placed on transport industries such as automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicles.

    "In the early 1900s there were dozens of automobile manufacturers in the United States, and many more worldwide. Auto manufacturers and parts companies joined trade groups that promoted business. A desire to solve common technical design problems and develop engineering standards was emerging. Engineers in the automobile business expressed a desire to have "free exchange of ideas" to expand their technical knowledge base."
    retslock likes this.
  8. String spacing is in mm.
  9. Good point, especially when working on tiny hex screws, like with guitars. It seems like the smaller allen keys and hex screws require more precise tolerances to obtain a good purchase. I often find myself mixing SAE and metric keys to get a snug fit on what should only require metric keys. Dunno if the keys are imprecise, or the screws, or both. No matter, it's not like we're working for NASA.
    retslock likes this.
  10. Note how the surly bassist in the second example not only used the new, less politically correct answer, but also had the blatant audacity to be referred to as "Eb", undoubtedly for his habit of down tuning one half step.
    mcarp555 and retslock like this.
  11. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    What is the best system of measurement for metal?
  12. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Quite agreed. In fact, the imperial units are all defined in terms of metric units, which in turn are defined in terms of physical constants -- as of last week when the kilogram was finally redefined. There was never a "standard inch" sitting in a vault somewhere. And I think we waited long enough to adopt the metric system, that it has ceased to matter because: a) stuff that matters is mostly in metric units now anyway, and b) machines can switch back and forth between imperial and metric units by pressing a button.

    The problem with imperial units is all of the "weird" units, such as the numbered screw sizes, number drills, letter drills, wire gage, sheet metal gage, and so forth. Also, there are too many kinds of parts. While not caused by the unit system, manufacturers who switched to metric were often able to also reduce the sheer number of different parts that they had to keep in inventory, for instance by agreeing to use specific screw lengths and diameters. This has improved manufacturing.

    Americans are doing just fine with the metric system in many areas. I don't think there are any imperial dimensions on a new bicycle or a new car. There are some hold-overs such as wheel diameters that don't matter because they only pertain to wheels. Likewise for bass necks. There's no reason for anybody to know the length of a bass neck unless they're buying a bass neck, so no reason to adopt metric dimensions.
    instrumentalist, retslock and G-Z like this.
  13. My bass is exactly 2.3 cubits.
  14. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Funny enough, I can't make any sense of the fretboard radius and nut width with the imperial 9 5/8 whatevers, I need these figures translated to metric to make sense of them.
    But when I read about a bass with a 89,7cm scale, I have to translate that to inches to get a feeling for it.
    instrumentalist, HolmeBass and G-Z like this.
  15. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I sold my 80s Toyota van to Metric. It was their first touring vehicle I believe.
    Great band.
    SpazzTheBassist likes this.
  16. That’s a highlight of the game. In fact at the end of the year one of those is usually the recipient of the “Mark Of The Year” award.
  17. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    The ironic thing is that almost all of my basses require metric hex wrenches to just the bridge or neck.
  18. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The development of modern standards of measure has been an international effort for the better part of a century, and the US has served in either a leading role or as an equal collaborator in this work. Today, those standards are shared by everybody. There was nothing to win or lose.
    retslock likes this.
  19. Technically speaking, fretted basses are all chromatic scale instruments. :cool:
  20. AHaze


    Feb 17, 2017
    I explained back in post #93 that it was a joke. Can we come down from DEFCON 5 please?
    Wisebass, fdeck and G-Z like this.

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