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xx-long scale necks

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bthump, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Bthump


    Feb 10, 2005
    FIrst post ya'll. Right, so i down tune my basses half, and whole steps down. I know its not entirely necessary but do you guys think longer neck length would help me get the best sound possible when down tuning. I've seen basses out there with 36, 37, 38 in scale necks. by the way i use currently 5 string basses all with 35 inch scale necks. Thanks!!!
  2. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    No offense, but do a search, this is a critical point, and is discussed a lot on TB. IMO, and a lot of it is JUST THAT, my opinion, I like 35" on 5s and 34" on 4s. Whether it actually helps/hurts, I don't know, just preference. And welcome to TB, the best website, evar.

  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Pitch is a factor of a string's length, tension and mass. If mass stays the same and length increases, you need more tension to create the same pitch, so yes, in theory it would help.

    There is, however, the deflection factor. Often players presume that string tension is different on different basses when, in fact, a particular string at a particular length producing the same pitch is under same tension on any bass. Yet, we all know that they don't all feel the same.

    The difference is deflection. A bass actually bends when you pluck the string just like a bow bends when you draw it to shoot an arrow. Most of this is in the neck and neck joint, but every element of the design impacts this.

    The easier it does this, the flabbier the strings feel and the less sustain and general fundamental you have. This is one of the reasons why Modulus/Zon basses are what they are, the basses are VERY rigid compared to many other designs. It's much of the reason neck-through-body construction makes for excellent basses.

    So, If you go with a longer neck, you have more tension on the string to make the same pitch. Well, we all know that it is easier to bend a 3' stick than it is to bend a 1' stick of the same girth. So, a longer neck would have to be stronger in order to fight deflection. If it isn't, it may not improve the performance at all.

    Personally, I think a 38" scale bass would be ridiculous to play in a horizontal position. That's bordering on DB string length.
  4. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
  5. Deflection is not the only factor. Larger string diameters, which are required to achieve the same tension with a shorter scale, cause problems of their own. The larger a string, the further away it is from an ideal string because due to higher stiffness it can't vibrate as freely ==> less sustain, less harmonics and more...

    The point is you have to find the right relations of neck/body stiffness, scale length and playability
  6. 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.

    Jan 24, 2021

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