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Is it long enough?

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I have a 35" scale Mike Lull P5 (i.e. a 5-string Precision) with a fretted neck. I want to experiment with a fretless neck on this bass, but 35" scale fretless necks seem to be very hard to come by.


[Potential silly question alert] What is to stop me from buying a standard 34" unlined fretless neck from Mighty Mite or Allparts, and fitting it with a 1" spacer at the heel to make it 35"? [/Potential silly question alert]


If I mark the dots where I want them with a black Sharpie or similar, then I'm guessing that so long as 12th fret position is at 17.5" then the intonation will be fine. 


What am I missing?


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If you still want the overall scale length to be 35" you'll need to make some measurements and do some maths to get it right.


Remember that 35" is the total length from the nut to the bridge and the neck (depending on how many frets it is) is slightly less than 3/4 of that. 


If you want to add a spacer in the neck pocket simply measure the difference between to original neck and the replacement one and that will tell you how long the spacer needs to be. Remember though that off-setting the neck by that amount (it's going to be approximately 18mm if both necks have the same number of "frets") may mean that not all of the neck screws will be attached to the new neck. Also it's worth considering that there is no guarantee that the Lull has a standard Fender-sized neck pocket that will fit the typical off-the-shelf replacement neck. And all the "fret" position markers will be out including the 12th and you'll have to cover them over and work out where the correct ones should be.


If you're not bothered about preserving the 35" scale then provided the neck pocket is suitable for the replacement neck you could simply bolt it on. IME a good 5-string is not about the scale length but the neck construction and neck joint. Again you will have to re-calculate the position markers.



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41 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Why don't you get one of the many talented luthiers here to build you a 35" fretless neck?


Good idea, but not sure where to start.


I did start a conversation with a certain well-known and highly-recommended English luthier but it petered out quite quickly ... IME yer average high-quality luthier is not great at communication, and besides I'd rather like this neck to be finished this side of the next Millennium.


I'll happily listen to recommendations though.


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  • 3 weeks later...

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