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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through July 16, 2005 » Advice - going from a 34in jazz to a 32in Persuader « Previous Next »

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Username: cosmic

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 9:36 am:   Edit Post

I am considering picking up a 32in Persuader. I currently play a 34in Jazz bass. What can I expect with this move? I have played other medium scale basses, but not a Persuader. What I am mainly concerned with is string tension on the lower strings since I primarly play with a pick. I do not want the strings too floppy. Also, what are playing on the higher frets like -- is it easy or are their issues because the frets are smaller? I've played electric guitars for years as well, so smaller frets are not toooo much of an issue to me as long as I can fret the string!

My hands are not large, but they are not small either. Right now the 34inch is OK, but I can feel myself stretching some as I get closer to the nut. And, I am 34 years old and I know my hands are not going to stay limber forever (yes, I am sooo old) -- at times I can already feel the strains of a misguided youth!

The Persuader has a P/J pickup config -- do people like this?

I mainly play jamband music ala the Dead, Phish, Floyd etc....

Any advice people can give me on this subject would be appreciated. I am dying to get an Alembic, and I thought a used, less expensive model may be the way to go before I move up the ranks and get a more expensive model or have a custom built.

My Eden wt800 head likes the jazz bass -- but is screaming for something a bit more in it's own class and standing...i.e an Alembic. Yes, my Eden can be a snob from time to time. ;-) I'm not mind you -- it's my amp man! It has a mind of its own.

(Message edited by cosmic on June 30, 2005)
Username: 57basstra

Post Number: 9
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 10:33 am:   Edit Post

I do not know the answer to any of your queries, but am looking forward to reading them. I've not seen much on the Persuader model, so that info will be of interest here.
Advanced Member
Username: gare

Post Number: 225
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 11:00 am:   Edit Post

Welcome aboard Cos
I cant say specifically about a Persuader, but I have a 32" scale Excel. I have small-er hands and I find the scale very comfortable all the way to the 24th fret.
Floppiness ? Think that would depend on the strings used/different tensions. I've tried strings that were like rubberbands. But I found no matter,there's still a touch more floppy than a 34" scale. I use pick and fingers and havent found it to be a problem.
Try searching the archives for 32" scale,or Persuader, you'll find a wealth of info on this list. May also want to check the showcase threads.
I'm sure someone will chime in shorty with the reast of the info youre seeking.

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 931
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 11:05 am:   Edit Post

Unless the Persuader was a special custom, you will find that the strings are further apart than you're used to, especially at the nut. For a pick player, this probably will make it seem a bit awkward and slow until you're used to it. As a side note, if you went to a five string version, the string spacing tightens up and it is a pick player's dream.

You may have to experiment with some different sets of strings to find the feel that you like best, but you should have no problem at all with floppiness. Have you ever tried a 34" scale bass with a D-tuner, or tuned down? Tuning your 34" scale bass down a half step will be about the same tension as playing on a 32" scale.
Username: jetbass79

Post Number: 57
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post

Chances are the strings will feel at least similar to each other on the 32" scale Persuader because you're working with a laminated neck, and heavier hardware (bridge and tailpiece). I don't know what kind of Jazz you have since there are so many these days unlike 25 years ago when you just bought a Jazz Bass. But for all intents and purposes, I don't think you will be dissapointed with the Alembic though you may want to turn the treble down since you play with a pick and Alembic basses have great top end response since they are so clear sounding.
Username: cosmic

Post Number: 3
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 12:42 pm:   Edit Post

I usually roundwound 45-105 strings if that helps. What changes in strings would help the tension -- going to a heavier set or is there really that much of a variation if brands? I am kind of stupid about this stuff -- I generally just find something I like and stick with it.
Intermediate Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 111
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 1:16 pm:   Edit Post

I can't speak to the 32" Persuader but I went from a Jazz bass to an Orion 5 string (34") and a short scale Brown Bass. On the BB I have continued to use the Alembic strings that came with it and have been quite happy. Even though the string spacing is wider than on the JB the shorter neck is much easier to play and much faster (IMHO). It did not take me very long to adapt to either bass and I can pretty much play them interchangably.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1974
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 2:05 pm:   Edit Post

You can buy strings that are designed specifically for 32" scale basses; so I don't think that should be a problem.

There are members of our group that own Persuaders with PJ pickups and they love 'em. However, because the P pickup is much louder than the J, it can be difficult to balance the two (or so I've read, I've never owned a Persuader). Go here to read what Mica has posted about having the electronics upgraded.

I have a 32" bass, and while the frets are closer together, the fingering in the upper frets is not difficult, but not as precise as on my 34" bass. The lower frets are appreciably easier to reach.

Used Alembics seem to hold their value; if you purchase a used Persuader, when you are ready to place a custom order you should be able to sell the Persuader for what you purchased it for (assuming you pay a reasonable price).
Username: essencetimestwo

Post Number: 96
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 8:17 am:   Edit Post

I just changed from a 45-105 gauge to 50-110 on my 32" Spoiler and it has made all the difference in the world.
Username: bassplayer2106

Post Number: 31
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 8:45 am:   Edit Post

Hi I've been playing for twenty years or so and recently changed to a short scale Stanley Clarke bass with no problems at all - it was the first short scale bass that I had played.It makes playing so much easier,I'm 6ft tall and have fairly large hands.It really is great with no obvious lack of bottom end that some people told me I would experience.If anything the bass sounds more "full".I have used light gauge 30 - 90 strings for years and found the tension to be tighter on this bass than my previous.I just use normal strings - Status Hotwires and cut the ends off so that they fit.Again people say not to do that but I've not noticed any problems ie loss of brightness or anything.Kevin.
Senior Member
Username: the_mule

Post Number: 504
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post

I've got one 32", one 34" and one 35" bass and my experience is that once you're comfortable with each one individually, changing between them has proven to be no problem at all.

Username: cosmic

Post Number: 4
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 11:10 am:   Edit Post

First, thanks for all the good input.

I was wondering about the upgrade to the Persuader that was mentioned (adding another preamp to level out the volume difference).

1. About how much does that cost? And how long does it take? IS this something tht can be done at home or does it have to be a factory job? i have bassic soldering skills, so easy projects I can and usually do attempt.

2. Are there other electronic upgrades that people make to the persuader? I like the P/J config --that is kind of cool -- but how about adding more of the filters you see on the newer basses. I know this may involve minimal drilling. Is there any info on how much this sort of thing would cost -- and more importantly (this question is aimed at any persuader owners) is it even worth it???
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1979
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 03, 2005 - 7:12 am:   Edit Post

Doug; I don't know how much it would cost, to my knowledge this upgrade is not common. You would need to discuss it with Mica or Val. I believe you would have to send the bass to Alembic and I would imagine it would take a while; again Mica or Val could give you a better idea. Mica has said that at some point some of these type of upgrades will be designed so that they can be do-it-yourself projects. I don't know whether this one can or will be. And yes, if you send the bass to Alembic you can probably upgrade to an additional filter and Q switches, or some other configuration, providing there is room in the control cavity.
Advanced Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 223
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - 4:52 am:   Edit Post

In 1988 I traded my Jazz and a Precision fretless for my first Alembic, an '85 Persuader. I haven't looked back... You'll get used to it almost immediately.

Just DO IT!!!! You won't regret it....

Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 546
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - 8:23 pm:   Edit Post

i just got my 32 in wolf- the transition?
well there was none- i cant notice it up to the 14th fret- val told me i wouldnt notice it and he was right. never overlanded on a fret once in 5 hours right out of the case
so i wouldnt fret- do it
Username: somatic

Post Number: 37
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2005 - 6:14 pm:   Edit Post

I jump between 30, 30.75, 32 and 34" scale instruments all the time. Once you're used to each individually, I find it's only a moment after switching basses to be back in sync with it.

For strings on shorter scales, I like EB Hybrid slinkies (stainless), DR Hi Beams and have some Status Graphite round-core sets on order. The Status' are excellent on my headless basses and I'm hoping for the same on the Alembics.

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