Jump to content

Changing the scale length


fryer
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi, I have a normal, 34" scale headless bass, which I want to change to a short scale, 30". It looks as though I can cut the top 2 frets off, and the frets will line up with my other basses which are 30" scale. Then for example the 14th fret will become the new 12th fret, and hopefully the intonation will work.

Any thoughts ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1322357238' post='1449979']
[size=4][color=#222222][font=Arial]Not a sensible idea. Every fret will be out of tune. If you change the scale the distance between every fret has to be recalculated. [/font][/color][/size]
[/quote]
The frets won't be out of tune, it's only like putting a capo on, but you're correct it is not a sensible idea at all. The nut would have to be exactly where the second fret was - making the scale length about 30.3" I guess - and then there's the truss rod question and then there's Ou7shined's question of 'why?'.

Edited by EssentialTension
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='EssentialTension' timestamp='1322357579' post='1449983']
....The frets won't be out of tune....
[/quote]

[size=4]Yes they will. Check out this fretboard calculator.[/size]

[size=4][url="http://www.tundraman.com/Guitars/FretCalc/index.php"]http://www.tundraman.com/Guitars/FretCalc/index.php[/url][/size]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1322358769' post='1449988']
[size=4]Yes they will. Check out this fretboard calculator.[/size]

[size=4][url="http://www.tundraman.com/Guitars/FretCalc/index.php"]http://www.tundraman...tCalc/index.php[/url][/size]
[/quote]
If the nut is exactly at what was the second fret then all the frets will be in the right place and the octave will be at what used to be a 14th fret, just like when you put a capo on. It wouldn't be exactly 30" scale but then many 30" scale basses aren't exactly 30". It will be closer to 30.3".

I used this calculator to check it: [url="http://www.manchesterguitartech.co.uk/fret-and-nut-calculators/fret-calculator/"]http://www.manchesterguitartech.co.uk/fret-and-nut-calculators/fret-calculator/[/url]

However, if the OP were foolish enough to measure 30" exactly and then saw it off, he would be in trouble for several reasons, including the frets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Dom in Somerset' timestamp='1322388071' post='1450077']
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
[/quote]

This. Sorry, but my feeling is that it's bound to go horribly wrong and at best you'll end up with a dog's breakfast which will need to go in the bin. Pleeease don't do it!! Pleeease!!

Edit: Unless you're a top luthier of course, in which case I look forward to the pics. :)

Edited by discreet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Johnston' timestamp='1322389415' post='1450097']
In which case the better option of a new neck would probably have been done.

All in all I reckon it's a silly idea fraught with all sort of things that will turn a usable bass into an ornament to be found in an Uncles loft and appear in the Ebay part of the forum.
[/quote]

with all its mods it could even be another one from the Entwhistle loft of eBay basses fame!

I say do it, could be fun?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What sort of bass is it? If it uses the Steinberger system then you won't be able to use double ball end strings on a shorter scale. The only shorter headless I've seen using double ball ends is the Status King Bass, which has the 'Bendwell' system to make up the string length.

The capo is a really good idea to be honest & a non-destructive way to check that shortening the scale is for you. I tried this once on a 34" scale before I bought a shorter scale. I really struggled with all the dots being two frets out though - were you planning a new fingerboard too?

If you really want a headless shortie then it might be better to sell your bass & buy a Kramer Duke - short scale Steinberger copy from the '80s that uses standard strings. I think there was one for sale on here a while back.

Cheers,

B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='fryer' timestamp='1322600923' post='1453463']
I've tried a capo, and the frets and intonation are fine. Re the strings, I am going to fit the adaptor so I can use single ball end strings. Just got to have a look at the truss rod. Not sure about the dot markers.

Where's my saw.
[/quote]

Before and after pics please. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...