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Scale Envy


LLroomtempJ

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I don't know if it is a necessity, but I really enjoy the way my 35" Lakland feels and the low B is the best I have ever heard. That having been said, my Lakland doesn't come close to comparing to the tone of my beloved Sadowsky, even with the preamp off. I asked Roger if there was any chance of him building a 35" scale Sadowsky, he just laughed and said "no".

 

Which is a much kinder response than I got from Ken Smith.

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Don't forget, there are consequences for changing scale length: tighter B-string means tighter G-string. Tighter G-string means a thinner sound.

 

Don't forget you were comparing a sub-$1,000 bass to a $2,000+ bass. I'd hope there was a difference, and I doubt it was just scale length.

 

My main 5-string is 34" scale, and while I've heard better B-strings, one thing about my bass is that it has a very even tone from string-to-string. Some basses I've played with better B-strings tend to sound like two different instruments when you go string-to-string.

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hmmm. I just about put my foot in my mouth. My RBX has a 34" scale with 24 frets. Which I do find absolutely neccesary. What does a 35" scale add?

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Which is a much kinder response than I got from Ken Smith.
Ken Smith has a bit of a rep for being a bit rude. I've worked at some stores that carried his stuff. Great stuff though.

 

It's interesting about the string to string tone on the 35" scale. Maybe, if not already done, some string sets should be made to compinsate for this all. String feel is a big factor. But yes, it's hard to find a "B" that isn't nondescript sounding.

Mike Bear

 

Artisan-Vocals/Bass

Instructor

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Originally posted by Mike Bear:

It's interesting about the string to string tone on the 35" scale. Maybe, if not already done, some string sets should be made to compinsate for this all. String feel is a big factor. But yes, it's hard to find a "B" that isn't nondescript sounding.

Novak fanned-fret system takes care of that.

 

In general, the 35" scale axes I have played have less string-to-string balance than the 34" scale axes. Maybe it's just my ear.

 

I also think some folks think the B-string sounds weak because they're not using the proper amplification (cabinets and heads) and EQing for a B-string.

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Originally posted by Tenstrum:

hmmm. I just about put my foot in my mouth. My RBX has a 34" scale with 24 frets. Which I do find absolutely neccesary. What does a 35" scale add?

About an inch.

 

:D

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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To expand on Jeremy's answer, some manufacturers believe that going to 35 makes the B better. Since Dingwall has a 37" B string, you can see where they are headed.

 

Just the same, there are lots of decisionts for the overall bass construction that contribute to a good-sounding B string. Many builders of higher end basses feel that 34 is enough. And you can find "tight" B strings on some of the less expensive instruments (though many of the less expensive basses went to 35" rather than "tighten up" other aspects of their bass). For example, Carvin's 5 has been a 34" scale for years (about 2 years back they started offering longer scales). I've played a few Carvin 5's and thought the B was fine.

 

I took the advice of Mike Kinal and got 34.5. I also have a 35" and am continually surprised how much difference that half inch makes. I feel good on my Kinal, but not good on my Aslin-Dane. There are probably lots of reasons for that, but scale is one of them.

 

35" isn't required. Good construction is.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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This thread exhibits the timestamp error too. Someone better contact the server owner.

 

In the meantime: Most people HERE tend to play at THIS end of the grand piano - other than up THERE where it tinkles. But a well-made spinet or upright still trumps a flakey 8-footer. Honestly, 35" just isn't that big of a diff and construction is more an issue. 35" however DOES seem to impact G string envelope and tonal balance somewhat (that pitch is already a little high for such a scale) and definitely playing a higher C string at 35" is not very satisfying if you are expecting a rich bass response and sustain.

 

So there are tradeoffs besides reach...

.
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Well, after reading this post, IMO, I can say that I don't think a 35" is neccessary. I get a good growl on the B from my RBX. However, i'm still not qualified since I've never played a 35" scale. 24 frets is a must! Even on the B string as I play high positions on all the strings quite often. I know that I can get the same tone/note/whatever on the higher strings, but for some reason, my brain just doesn't operate that way... :)

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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