Bass string length

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Steve Sawyer
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Bass string length

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Building a short-scale bass. Research tells me the “wound length”, “from ball end to silk ends” means from the ball to where the silk wrap starts.

In the flat-wound choices I have there are strings with a wound length of 32 1/4” and 34”. Either looks like it could work, but the one looks a bit close to the nut, the other a bit close to the first tuner. Which would you recommend?

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David King
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Re: Bass string length

Post by David King »

As you say either will work but you might want to consider the longer length if you want to be able to string the bass through the back of the body which can change the sound a bit according to some.

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Bass string length

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Thanks, David. I’m using a Hipshot bridge that doesn’t offer a through-body option, but I’m still kinda leaning toward the longer set. Bass strings ain’t cheap, and a scrunch too long is easier to deal with than a scrunch too short! :)
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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Bass string length

Post by Peter Wilcox »

The strings will stretch a few mm when tuned up.
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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Bass string length

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Thanks, Peter. I figured they would, just not sure how much! :)
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David King
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Re: Bass string length

Post by David King »

My rule is to try my best to build an instrument that can handle vanilla flavored string sets from the mom and pop music store. As a result I always try to use the larger, 1/2" diameter string post tuners in case some of the winding arrives past the post so to speak. On a short scale instrument I either string-through the back or use a 2 piece bridge where i can set the string ball end retainer further back to take up the slack.

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Bass string length

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Am I wrong that I’ve seen somewhere that the silk windings can be unwound and the string “shortened”? Can’t seem to find anything on that via a web search. Maybe I hallucinated it. I tend to do that...
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