1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Your infinite wisdoms please.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by newbold, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    From years of playing and reading and talking, I have come to realize that my ideal bass isn't being made by anybody.

    Longer strings make tighter strings, correct?

    Now...some will tell me it's scale that will fix me but I believe that it is headstock/peghead alignment. long scale basses sound different. I want my hollowbody to be a long scale bass...until I go that route I'm sticking with classic J scale

    I want: a 5 string jazz bass, passive, with more string tension for the E and B, and pushpot controls for series/parallel.

    Well how come nobody's manufacturing tight j basses with flipped headstocks?

    I want a bass with longer B and E strings keeping the same gauge

    I also want to know your lowdowns on bridges...is it mass or is it monobridges that deliver the best tone nowadays? I like massive bridges but also like to have the strings pull on the whole body.

    would a Warwick style 2 piece bridge sound just as good?
    Big Badass with string holes?
    Monosaddles with strings through fittings?

    My present desires demand a costly long term solution.

    I've been thinking of getting a custom neck made before the rest of the custom bass, made to fit my 5 string, and switching out the electronics for a split J pickup scenario, keeping the guts, and updating the controls for now. then when the rest of the bass comes I'd be able to switch em back in.

    the result would look quite a bit like this:


    I also want a passive acoustic mic/pickup to blend into my tone. anybody know any high output contact mics that sound good? I don't need audiophile tone, just enough wood to cut through and make a difference when it comes time to upgrade my bass body.

    which would then look quite a bit like this:


    but would keep the neck pickup cover.

    I use my volume and tone controls as an interactive EQ, and with pushpot series parallel switches on each pickup and between both pickups all I would need that wouldn't fit the bass as it stands is a highpass filter for when I cut volume...which isn't a huge priority...well either is anything else in the grand scheme of my life.

    So much so that I'm wondering if this approach to a headstock makes a difference.


    Half out of interest, does Anybody in Canada have a MIM J5 lefty to trade necks with? I'm near Ottawa and would be willing to meet up with anyone in Southwestern Ontario through to Montreal.

    It's always nice to find easy solutions.
  2. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    "It's always nice to find easy solutions."

    Though I'm having trouble figuring out your problems. Your post is very confusing, to me at least.

    I have seen a few reverse Fender style headstocks out there, though, FWIW.
  3. I think someone will concur (and explain in a more technical manner) that it really depends on scale length as opposed to string length. The theory behind it is that no matter which peg you use for the E and B string, it goes through the same 34' scale nut anyway, so that extra length at the headstock wouldn't matter and would not affect tone.

    If you don't mind fanned frets, you might wanna check out Dingwall basses. They have varying scale lengths string-to-string, and theire owners stand by the B string's sound. I think that rad headstock picture you posted is more of an intonation issue rather than string tautness.
  4. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Bingo, the strings tension between the nut and saddle determin the note, beyond the nut has zero impact(but looks cool:D)

    I would also suggest a Dingwall, seems to be exactly what you need.
  5. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    You need a Dingwall Super J5

  6. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    Get a Dingwall SuperJ.
  7. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Actually, the more string that can pull with spring, the more tension can potentially be pulled from an instrument. This is why long scale basses feel differently, and this is also why the novax fanned fret system works. Because scale AND thickness are matched perfectly to avoid dead spots. Scale has everything to do with the length of the string between the bridge and nut. A longer scale means a longer string, which means more spring. I'm not talking about tone, I'm talking about string tension, which is paramount to string response.

    I would love to have a Dingwall J5. It's my ideal choice for a company-made bass.

    I have a deal set out for a custom neck and body when I'm ready to go forth, and I was merely expressing my desired approach to the Jazz Bass...the tweaks that I haven't seen together in one package, and a desire to see someone other than myself playing it or having it made in the future.

    Nobody said anything about bridges. I dig big fat heavy strings through bridges but don't know what other options hold.

    Is anyone gonna explain the merits of mono saddles or 2 piece bridges (ie warwick)

    Contact mics?

    passive electronics tweaks?
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    +1. I'm using a passive AB I five string and the things absolutely smoke. The ~37" scale on the E and B strings really gives it a lot of bounce.

  9. Yes, increased scale length will add tension to the same gauge of string. If you want a good B, there are also other things that can be done. A bass with killer construction can have a great B in 34" scale, but the luthier has gotta know what he's doing. Offering a more rigid neck and a good tilt back on the headstock can work just as well as increasing the scale lenght.
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Isn't string tension for a given pitch only affected by string
    mass/material and overall string length?

    Isn't string tension essentially uniform from the tuning peg to the point
    where the string is anchored behind the bridge., i.e., the entire length of
    the string?

    While the nut might seem to matter in determining string tension, I
    wonder if this is true?

    Aren't some strings simply stiffer, even for the same guage? I think
    materials and construction affect this, don't they?

    Might such strings behave a bit more like rods than strings, and
    therefore be stiffer--meaning harder to deflect from being straight? :p
  11. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    A string is also like a SPRING.
    It's stretched out, and the more spring there is to pull the more tension can also build. This is one of the factors in string scale that work together with string length to help produce a tone closer to the fundamental frequency of a given note.

    the way a string reacts has a lot to do with how it resonates and produces tone.

    true, Some strings are thicker and stiffer depending on materials and winding process.

    but the amount that the string itself pulls on itself contributes to tension.

    Anybody have anything to say about bridges, acoustic pickups/contact mics, and tricks to work into the wiring of my passive bass?
  12. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Only between the two witness points, not the whole string length, the nut and bridge saddle are the witness points.
  13. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Acoustic pickups, you mean piezo? You'll need an active buffer for that.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Not correct. The pitch of the string is determined by the distance between the nut and the bridge saddles, the mass of the string, and the tension in the string. To a lesser extent, the construction of the string makes a difference, too. Given any two basses with the same scale length and same strings, the tension required to achieve a particular pitch will be identical. The length of the string between the nut and tuning peg is completely irrelevant. The tension in the string will be the same even if that distance is a mile. Some here will say that the angle of the headstock will make a difference. It might, if it increases the pressure between the string and nut, but it has absolutely no effect on the tension in the string. The myth of the "floppy B" has more to do with string construction than anything else.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    uuhhhhhh ... wot?
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Oh, by the way, here's a nice 35-inch scale J-style bass. I can't imagine how any of your other requirements could make this bass play or sound one iota better. Certainly, nothing could make any bass look better.

  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I understand that hex core and round core differ in terms of perceived "stiffness" although I can't explain why. I believe the same holds true for flat wounds. Once again, I have no practical experience.

    Let's ask Mr. Owl....

  18. 82Daion


    Nov 14, 2006
    Your understanding of the physics in play here is questionable.

  19. I never thought I'd say that about anything pink, but wow! That Lakland looks great.

    I agree with what Munji said. There's way too much mysticism about bass construction. I'm sure it has its origins from manufacturers. Music Man basses, for example, have great B-strings with a 34" scale length.

    I'd say get a Dingwall or a Mike Lull, or steal Munji's bass. :ninja:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.