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Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 37
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 2:44 pm:   Edit Post

Given that the Spoiler (like mine) has a 32 inch scale length, what was the scale length of a 5 string Spoiler? Many manufacturers sell 5'ers with 35 inch scale lengths so I am guessing the Spoiler 5 had to be more than 32 inches or there would be a serious problem with the low B?
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 1274
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 2:56 pm:   Edit Post

Nope. I have Spoilers in 4,5.6 and 7 strings. All are 32 scale. No problems.
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2477
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 3:17 pm:   Edit Post

Many, and probably the vast majority of, Spoilers were made in 32" scale. I have seen a few at 34" as well, but Alembic has been known to custom build an instrument here and there on occasion.
Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 38
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 4:33 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for your answers - I am surprised as a fair few bass players on the UK web forum I frequent(BassChat) suggest that even a 34 inch scale length produces a B string that is "not tight" or "flabby". I love my Spoiler 4 and was mulling over getting a matching 5'er, hence my question.
Username: mica

Post Number: 6801
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 5:34 pm:   Edit Post

As an experiment, throw a B string on your bass and see how it feels and sounds. Even without a properly slotted nut and saddle, you can have a rough idea of how it might work our for you.

It's not going to have the tension of a 35" scale string of course, but it might surprise you how nice it both feels and sounds.

There are so many variables in how the strings feel - including the strings themselves to how good the setup is and what material and how massive the anchors are, etc. etc. It's more than scale length, on Alembics anyway.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1414
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post

However the B feels is just part of how multiple string basses feel after most of us came to them from fours. 35 or even 36-inch scale axes are an answer some players prefer. For me, the greater overall size and the smaller selection of strings made me decide to stay with a 34-inch scale.

I think this 'floppy-ness' business is overdone: For me, all five strings feel different in tension, just as previously all four strings felt different. I have two 34" fives, a Series-shaped Spoiler and an Elan.
I have lots of other concerns playing-wise that come before me splitting hairs about string tension !

As Mica said, there's lots of things that go into this, and it's very subjective. There's an adjustment period involved that involves way more than just 'gee my B-string sure feels loose'. For me, adding one string changed everything, and I couldn't wait to get away from fours as I wanted to play across the fingerboard more than up and down the fingerboard.

J o e y
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1639
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 4:41 am:   Edit Post

I have a 34" 5-string. I found that going to a .128 or a .130 B string (basically going to a medium gauge set) gave me what I was looking for. Overall the string gauges are not that far from my preferred medium-light and were easy to adjust to.


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