Crazy bass sketch WIP - Super long scale conversion neck for Warmoth Gecko

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Phon, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Phon

    Phon SS.org Regular

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    Hi,

    After a long absence, I present something I've been working on for the past month:

    [​IMG]

    The scale length is 49.5", so a standard string set* would tune F0 Bb0 Eb1 Ab1 Db2, a tritone lower than standard tuning.
    This neck is meant to allow greater expansion into the sub-contra and super sub-contra octaves without needing massive
    gauge strings, unless you want to go lower :).



    *The specific set in mind is Kalium's BH-136-5BS.
     

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    ixlramp likes this.
  2. M3CHK1LLA

    M3CHK1LLA angel sword guardian

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    wow...that will be almost twice as long as a standard guitar neck.

    i can't imagine playing that thing. cool project though.
     
  3. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    How you planning on getting those strings to fit? I asked about getting Kaliums to go to double bass length and they said 40" is the longest scale their strings will fit.
     
  4. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    sorry to be that guy but....... why?

    I know its to get a good tension with thinner strings. But at that scale lenght, it would be almost imposible to play any sort of riff
     
  5. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    Man I love the bass, used to play bass on stage for a few years, really interesting project. The only issue I see you running into would be sourcing strings long enough to anchor to it. I doubt anything off the shelf at a music store would fit that length, maybe seriously look into getting piano strings? I'm just intrigued by this project. So I was curious about it my self and I did a quick google search and I guess some piano string suppliers make them up to 60" in length and 0.194" dia. They'd have to be anchored to the body in some different way though...

    http://www.vandaking.com/s-b-48-piano-bass-strings.html

    Also, what about strap button placement on that upper horn? might have some major neck dive
     
  6. BouhZik

    BouhZik SS.org Regular

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    need a very long arm to be able to play those first frets... or maybe played with the bottom on the ground, double bass style?
     
  7. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    well a double bass scale lenght is 41.3 – 43.3 inches. I dont see any other way in how could you play 49.5" bass in a standard electric bass settup. That IF you can actually manage the weight and neck dive
     
  8. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, the biggest issue at that length is the floppiness of the strings. You'll need substantially higher than regular bass tension. An interesting project for sure, but it will take a lot of trial and error, or some math with constants I don't know, to zero in on the correct tension.
     
  9. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    well I guess is not that hard to shred on a double bass scale lenght :lol::lol:



    Im still waiting for the first Djent band who would rock up an upright electric double bass :shred::lol:
     
  10. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Good project. Indeed playing it like a normal bass will be difficult but i'm sure you'll find a way, like having it upright and on a spike or stand.
    Octave 4 Plus currently sell custom bass strings up to 50".
    Skip at Kalium is as far as i know experimenting with a 60" scale EUB and can make strings that long, but not for public sale (yet), but maybe if you contact him he might be interested enough to make some strings for you specially.
     
  11. xwmucradiox

    xwmucradiox sweep.tap.sweep

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    The excursion of a string at that scale length is going to be dramatically wider than on a 34" scale bass and string spacing will need to be much wider as a result. You would probably want to stick with just 3 strings or maybe 4 on a 5 string width neck. Action will also need to be higher. Intonation will be difficult to manage if this is meant to be a fretted instrument.

    How did you settle on 49.5?" That's almost 50% longer than a 34" scale bass and is a rather extreme leap when a shorter increase in scale length would keep the bass within the realm of playability and still achieve your tuning goals.
     
  12. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    > string spacing will need to be much wider

    The excursion won't be nearly enough to cross the gap between strings. Of course a slightly higher tension will be needed to compensate for the extra excursion and lower perceived tension. With a higher tension action won't be much higher.

    > Intonation will be difficult to manage

    Nah, string instruments scale up with no problem as long as tension is scaled up too. The longer thinner strings will help intonation due to extra flexibility.

    Phon, for playing strapped-on you could possibly try this:
    One button on the back of the tip of the lower horn, another button on the body front near the top and near the body 'waist', then play it near-vertical, more chance of balance that way.
    This is the WarrGuitar / TouchGuitar / Krappy Guitars strap button placement which balances far better than standard.
    Allows rotating the instrument from near-horizontal to near-vertical, when more horizontal helps shift the guitar to the right.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Phon

    Phon SS.org Regular

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    @ixlramp

    Never thought of that strap arrangement! Many thanks for your ideas/suggestions!

    @xwmucradiox

    I wanted the length to stay within the 40"-50" range but still provide a significant improvement to the inharmonicity of the instrument.
    49.5 inches is simply 6 frets added on to the 35" scale, give .003" (49.49747 vs 49.5, well within the range of a saddle adjustment).
     
  14. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Wow, ixlramp, I didn't know O4P made 50" scale strings. Though, my last attempt to get strings from them was a huge exercise in frustration. I went around and around with them for months, and finally determined they're just not interested in selling me strings. But I'm all over it if Skip makes them. Kalium has great customer service and great products, and Skip knows his low notes!!
     
  15. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    also for the OP something to consider, as Im just remembered while playing my bass

    In order to take full advantage of the string tension and have a nice tight string to feel on your fingers (or pick), you have to play pretty much between the pickups. A bit more closer to the bridge would give you more tension, and a bit closer to the neck would feel bit floppier. The string vibrates longer (wider) in the center, so the closer you hit towards the center of the neck, the more the string would be traveling and harder for you to play it accurately

    with this huge scale lenght plus that way mentioned to strp it, chances are you are going to be playing (plucking) the string closer to the end of the fretboard area, in order to be able to reach with your left hand the top of the fretboard. So all that effort in order to have a nice tight tension would be trown away to the bin as you wont be able to "feel it"

    I know you want to keep a .130 in the low, hence why your huge scale lenght. But maybe consider to go up in gauge so you can have a shorter scale lenght. Not only would allow you to keep the same tension, but to be able to physically play some riffs on the lower notes, have better balance, be able to pluck in the right area without massive stretch of your arms, and more importantly, you would be able to get a set of strings that fits
     
  16. Phon

    Phon SS.org Regular

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    I've considered arranging the bass into a more balanced layout similar to this one:

    [​IMG]
    Source: Building the Ergonomic Guitar

    That way, it would be more practical to actually play in the usual orientation, though I'd have to sacrifice about 8 frets in the process.
     

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  17. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Yes if you want to play it sitting, or fairly horizontal standing, you'll need to create the scale length mostly by shifting the bridge to the right.
    To compensate for less frets you could add a string.
     

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