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Thread: Bass strings on DHB-5F are too short! Any suggestions for super long scale strings

  1. #1
    Member BigJesusTrashCan's Avatar
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    Bass strings on DHB-5F are too short! Any suggestions for super long scale strings

    So, I finished my DHB-5F build a little while ago, about a month.

    I bought a set of typical Ernie Ball 5 String packet and the strings were about an inch TOO SHORT. By that I mean that the bit where the string gauge starts to narrow, as all bass strings larger than the D string do, was about an inch in front of the nut on the fingerboard side.

    With the help of my local Guitar Shop, I found Ernie ball Super Long Scale strings but these are still slightly too short (hopefully, you can see that in the photo)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So my questions are:
    1. Has anyone built the DHB-5F before?
    2. Did you have the same length problem?
    3. What strings did/do you use?


    I did do a mock build before I fully constructed the guitar. Everything fit into place. The one thing I think that may have been the problem is where the string feed-in holes in the body are placed - they may be too far back. See next photo:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The only other way to mitigate this is to have shortened the neck - of course I could not have done that after having received the kit - truss rod and all.

    Right now, the Bass plays really well. I'm a bit concerned about the bottom B and that it might be a bit too "clangy", but plugged-in it seems fine.

    Also, I set it up for 34" scale length - which it is especially given the movable bridge.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by BigJesusTrashCan; 21-03-2020 at 04:35 PM.
    Current (and first):
    DHB-5F

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  2. #2
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    This is very common with the string through basses. I bought 3 or 4 sets for my steampunker before I found some that fit. I eventually went with D'Addario Chrome Flat Wound Super Long Scale. they aren't cheap, but they are beautiful to play.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster TL-1
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG AG-1
    Build 4 - The Sonicaster TL-1ish
    Build 5 - The Steampunker Bass YB-4
    Build 6 - The Howling Gowing ST-1

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  3. #3
    Member BigJesusTrashCan's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Sonic. The set I got is designed for 35" scale length - but I suppose they don't factor in the length taken up by inserting them through the body. That would've been part of the design of the bass itself, I would've thought.

    Can I ask, with the Steampunker (a great looking bass I must add), what is your scale length and how long is it from the holes in the body to the nut? Also, how long is the fingerboard itself - mine is just under 24". I notice yours is a 24 fret - mine is fretless but fretted would be 22 frets.

    I normally prefer round wounds even on fretless, but I'm willing to try flatwounds. D'Addario may even have the same length in roundwounds - anyway, it's worth a look. Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    BJTC,
    Current (and first):
    DHB-5F

    There are 10 types of people in the world.
    Those whose understand binary and those who don't.

  4. #4
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    It's 34" same as a Fender Jazz. I have approx 880mm from the string thru holes to the nut. Obviously the thickness of the body adds to the length required. I compared against a mates Jazz bass and his ferrules were much deeper and the body thinner than mine. It also had the string through holes on the top coming up much closer to the saddles.

    Fret board is approx 655mm long. I guess you could lop yours off as you can reposition the bridge.. and its fretless. Any side markers wouldn't be accurate any more though.

    I was trying to find round wounds but didn't come across any. Highly recommend Strings and Beyond, its a bit of a wait for shipping but worth it in the money you save.

    I guess the extra string might limit the available sets as well.....
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster TL-1
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG AG-1
    Build 4 - The Sonicaster TL-1ish
    Build 5 - The Steampunker Bass YB-4
    Build 6 - The Howling Gowing ST-1

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  5. #5
    Member BigJesusTrashCan's Avatar
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    Thanks heaps for that.

    Yes the body on mine is quite thick, I'd say that if I was able to make the ferrules deeper, that might make some difference, but not much I'd say.

    Lopping off some of the neck would help, but, you're right, of course, the side dots would be inaccurate. Although, the bridge is floating, so I might be able to compensate.

    The neck came with no side markers, so maybe that is why(?) I actually calculated and measured up the side markers myself, but perhaps I should've added them afterwards.

    In any the string-through-body design for this bass needs some reworking.

    Alternatively, and to be honest, I'm more likely to do this, is to modify the bass so that the strings are not through the body, unless I can find some extra-super long strings.

    Thanks for your advice and I will check out Strings and Beyond (they may be able to help me with string for a saz similar to linked one, that I have lurking around - actually that link has accessories so...).

    Thanks again, Cheers.
    BJTC
    Current (and first):
    DHB-5F

    There are 10 types of people in the world.
    Those whose understand binary and those who don't.

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    If you can get them, I'd try some Peavey Cirrus Bass strings. I have some on a Peavey Cirrus bass with rear string-through, and I have about 22mm of full-width bass string past the nut bottom E, with more length on the other strings. Though the Cirrus is supposed to be 35" scale, mine measures at a 34"scale. It's 35" from the fretboard side of the nut to the string-through hole on mine.

    Your string-through ferrules appear to be only slightly further back than mine, so if the body isn't too deep (which will add to the overall string length required) you should probably be OK with them.

  7. #7
    Member BigJesusTrashCan's Avatar
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    Thanks Simon,

    I'll definitely look into those as well. It'd be nice if string specs included actual length from ball to where the gauge narrows, then we'd be able to check.

    Thanks again.
    BJTC
    Current (and first):
    DHB-5F

    There are 10 types of people in the world.
    Those whose understand binary and those who don't.

  8. #8
    How long is a piece of string?

    cheers, Mark.

    edit: O.K. it's my first day of 'social distancing'

  9. #9
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king casey View Post
    How long is a piece of string?

    cheers, Mark.

    edit: O.K. it's my first day of 'social distancing'
    Pftt, that's an easy one. It's twice the distance from the middle to one end.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster TL-1
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG AG-1
    Build 4 - The Sonicaster TL-1ish
    Build 5 - The Steampunker Bass YB-4
    Build 6 - The Howling Gowing ST-1

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  10. #10
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    But if you fold the string in half to find the middle to measure it, then it's only half as long as it was and you need to measure it again. And then you keep repeating the exercise and it gets smaller and smaller. So really, you're limited by the Planck length as to how small you can fold it. So 1.61610^−35 m.

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