Author Topic: Definitely dreaming for now...  (Read 492 times)

sstillwell

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Definitely dreaming for now...
« on: February 07, 2016, 06:21:28 PM »
Okay, so, here's a bunch of random factoids that are going to add up to a question or two...
 
I have a 4-string Epic that is just woooonderful.
 
I have a 6-string Epic that sounds even better, but is nearly painful for me to play because the neck is just too freakin' wide for my smallish hands.
 
I don't play up on the C string to save my life.
 
I have a cheapish Hofner B-Bass HI-Series that I always have sitting beside my desk when I'm wanting to learn new material...I just grab and play.
 
The Hofner is a pain in the hind end to play live...intonation is NOT its strong point.  HOWEVER...
 
It is probably the most comfortable bass I've ever played, from a left-hand perspective (I'm a right-handed player).
 
The Hofner is a 30 scale bass (or something approximating that), and has a very straight taper to the neck...1.5 at the nut and about 1.8-something at the 12th fret.
 
I do play stuff that requires low B.
 
I would someday like to add East-Meets-West to my Epics to get the benefit of the filter-based EQ.  I mostly get what I need out of the bass/treble EQ of the Epics, but additional options are good.
 
I play pretty heavy, with a 2.0 mm heavy pick.  Trying to break myself of that habit, but I've been doing it for a LONG time.
 
So...
 
What would work for a short-scale 5-string BEADG?  Can that be done on a SC standard body style?  Should I consider a 4-string tuned BEAD instead?
 
I know this just opens up a can of worms, and I'm not married to that particular body style (considering I already have the Epics), but just wondering if I can get EVERYTHING I want in a single bass.

5a_quilt_top

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Definitely dreaming for now...
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 10:50:52 AM »
You do not mention if weight is an issue for you.
 
If not, I highly recommend a 5-string Europa. Not a short scale instrument, but mine is very comfortable and nicely balanced. If you avoid using dense woods like purple heart for the body, you could shave off some extra weight.
 
I opted for the comfort taper neck, which is a little wider for slap, but you could easily go narrower without issue.
 
IMO, the stock electronics are very performance-friendly and they allow you to make quick, effective adjustments on the fly.
 
That having been said, I believe a 5-string version of the SC model is available - at least I recall seeing pix of one that was made for the man himself.

edwardofhuncote

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Definitely dreaming for now...
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 10:55:43 AM »
You could experiment with the Epics by capo-ing two frets and retuning... that should get you closer to the 30.75 scale. (assuming your Epics are 34) I know of at least one Alembican who plays B-E-A-D all the time.  
 
I don't recall seeing a short-scale Epic before, but I bet it could be done. Might be an interesting build actually. A wise fella once told me if I could find 90% of what I wanted already made, go for it. If not, then a custom build is the ticket. And FWIW, when I finally did order that custom, we spec'd E-M-W electronics.

sstillwell

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Definitely dreaming for now...
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2016, 11:39:00 AM »
In no particular order...
 
My Epics are both standard mahogany bodies, and yes, I feel it by the end of the night compared to other basses like my Ray34 or fretless Jazz.  Lighter would be nice, but not a first priority.  If I were still gigging multiple nights/week I'd probably be more picky about it.  While it isn't about the weight, it IS about the scale length.  I dunno...maybe I should just suck  it up and stay with 34 scale...but I feel I should at least investigate possibilities.
 
Capo+retune...now THERE is an outside-the-box suggestion!  It's worth trying to see how it feels, I guess.  My 4-string Epic has what I feel is a really comfortable string spacing, top-to-bottom...very similar to the Hofner I spoke of, although a bit wider overall.  The part that makes me more uncomfortable is the stretch between frets down near the nut, thus the shorter scale push.
 
I think Stanley's five-string was built for EADGC if I remember right.  My worry is getting a proper B out of a shorter scale instrument without flab.  I have a cheap S.U.B. Ray5 that isn't the world's greatest player, but the B string is just SOLID - better than almost any other instrument I've ever played...it's even close to the Epic 6, although the rest of the instrument isn't anywhere close to being at the same standard.

pas

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Definitely dreaming for now...
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 12:43:11 AM »
Ever consider medium scale?

sstillwell

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Re: Definitely dreaming for now...
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 11:20:41 AM »
Can't say that I have...I've never had one in my hands to try.

David Houck

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Re: Definitely dreaming for now...
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2016, 06:58:27 PM »
What would work for a short-scale 5-string BEADG?  Can that be done on a SC standard body style? ... just wondering if I can get EVERYTHING I want in a single bass.

I think the answer to your question is yes, you can get everything you want.  Alembic has made some 5 string short scale SC body basses, BEADG; so there is precedent.  And while your 6 string probably has the Comfort taper (wide), you can get the Classic taper, or you can have Alembic make the neck to your custom specifications.  And my guess is that East Meets West should fit in an SC body.