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ichadwick
05-29-2011, 02:43 AM
Looking to get a short scale bass. Any suggestions? I tried a Fender (Squier?) in the local music store - not impressed with the sound. Would prefer dual pickups.

seeso
05-29-2011, 03:10 AM
I played the Gretsch Electromatic (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&q=gretsch+electromatic+bass&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1103&bih=779&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3218041383515247246&sa=X&ei=W0XiTdPBAsb00gHP3MyaBw&ved=0CDAQ8wIwAA) for years. Loved it. One pickup.

allanr
05-29-2011, 04:07 AM
Hi Ian,

Last week Long and McQuade had the Kala U Bass in stock at the Bloor St location in Toronto.

I don't play bass so can't tell you much about it, but if you are in the city next week you could try it out.

bassfiddlesteve
05-29-2011, 04:37 AM
New short scale Vintage Modified Jaguar Ba (http://www.squierguitars.com/products/search.php?partno=0328800591)ss from Squier looks pretty cool.

- Steve

seeso
05-29-2011, 05:02 PM
New short scale Vintage Modified Jaguar Ba (http://www.squierguitars.com/products/search.php?partno=0328800591)ss from Squier looks pretty cool.

- Steve

Hey, that does look cool. :cool:

ichadwick
05-31-2011, 03:59 AM
Most of these are 30.5" scale. I'm really looking for a 25" scale. I already have my eyes on an Epiphone Viola bass, which is 30" - but want something shorter (like the Beaver Creek travel bass but maybe not acoustic). The Epiphone (http://www.epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=115&CollectionID=12) is a Hofner-style bass. Local store has one for $220. not bad...

I had a Kala U-bass but sold it. Good sound, but could never get accustomed to the strings. I found they rolled under my fingers, requiring more precision than I was capable of doing without a lot of focus.

knadles
05-31-2011, 08:44 AM
30" or thereabouts is the standard length of a short scale bass. That doesn't mean there aren't other sizes out there, but whatever you find will be kind of an odd bird. One thing to keep in mind: as you reduce the scale, you either need to use strings with greater mass (i.e. fatter, heavier) or to tune them with less tension in order to maintain standard E-A-D-G tuning. Or be prepared to tune them higher than what is usually considered bass range.

You don't say what your price range is, but if you have money to burn, I'd recommend the Gibson SG bass. It's a 30", but it has a very nice sound. I'd have bought one myself, but I prefer a longer neck. (I know...what am I doing here, right? :)) For less money, I think Epiphone makes a version of the SG. I can't vouch for that one though because I've never played it.

-Pete

ms. dktoller
05-31-2011, 10:40 AM
You may want to search for a Samick corsair mini p-bass (Samick Corsair MCR1), it has a 26 inch scale. (description here:http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f126/fs-samick-corsair-very-short-scale-$100-356406/)
(Amazon links here: http://www.8thstreet.com/product.asp?ProductCode=40394&Category=Basses)
I believe this is the link to the right bass, you may want to call them and double check.

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/bass-young-girl-234574/index2.html
scroll down to see someone's 2-yr-old holding one for scale reference. ;)

Also, the ibanez mikro bass has a 28.5 inch scale.

AnnaUK
05-31-2011, 10:59 AM
I have a Samick MCR1 mini bass. (I got mine used on eBay.)

http://muinstrum.com/electric/samick-wr.jpg

I do like it - it's easy to play, and I enjoy it.

The only problem I have had is the STRINGS! I can't seem to find anywhere that does such short scale strings, and Samick's customer services dept are completely useless.

Might be worth considering, though. Good luck :)

bassfiddlesteve
05-31-2011, 11:58 AM
I'm really looking for a 25" scale....Would prefer dual pickups.

I'm not sure that what you are looking for exists.

- Steve

Bassukuguy
05-31-2011, 11:31 PM
Well... something like that kindof exists. Back in the late 90's i believe Fender came out with the P-Bass Junior. its roughly the size of a strat. as far as i have checked, its nearly impossible to find one.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/Ken/P1010046.jpg
ripped this photo off of a talkbass forum. as i said, they exist. Like the sabertooth tiger, you just dont see them around.

ichadwick
06-01-2011, 01:05 AM
I'm not sure that what you are looking for exists.

- Steve
Yeah, they do. Also called a piccolo bass. Stanley Clark used one. Back in the 60s-70s several companies made them including Harmony, Kent, Danelectro & Supro. I had a Supro. The original Mustang bass was 25" scale. Tanglewood made one. So did Vantage (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lpv1zFFR40), Samick still makes one, I believe. Beaver Creek's travel bass is even shorter. Maybe 21". This one looks like a Fender but it seems to be an SX (Essex): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljwKdwuCniQ&feature=fvwrel. There may be others, but in my small town, there are few sources for anything but the big name brands.

ichadwick
06-01-2011, 01:08 AM
Well... something like that kindof exists. Back in the late 90's i believe Fender came out with the P-Bass Junior. its roughly the size of a strat. as far as i have checked, its nearly impossible to find one.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/Ken/P1010046.jpg
ripped this photo off of a talkbass forum. as i said, they exist. Like the sabertooth tiger, you just dont see them around.

Think you'll find it has a 30" scale. At least the new ones do. I'm looking for 25" - same scale length as a guitar.

bassfiddlesteve
06-01-2011, 04:11 AM
Yeah, they do. Also called a piccolo bass. Stanley Clark used one. Back in the 60s-70s several companies made them including Harmony, Kent, Danelectro & Supro. I had a Supro. The original Mustang bass was 25" scale. Tanglewood made one. So did Vantage (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lpv1zFFR40), Samick still makes one, I believe. Beaver Creek's travel bass is even shorter. Maybe 21". This one looks like a Fender but it seems to be an SX (Essex): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljwKdwuCniQ&feature=fvwrel. There may be others, but in my small town, there are few sources for anything but the big name brands.

A piccolo bass is tuned higher than a normal bass and doesn't refer to the size of the bass. Stanely Clarke's piccolo basses were tuned an octave higher than a normal bass and had a 30" scale. He also used a "tenor" bass tuned a fourth higher. The short scale basses made by Harmony, Kent and Danelectro all had 30" scales, as did the Fender Mustang. The Supro Airline Pocket bass did have an extra short 25" scale and that was quite unusual.

I'm not trying to be contrary, it's just that I work in a music store and I know from 25+ years of playing and collecting electric basses that the majority of the short scale basses out there have a 30" or 30.5" scale. There are a few exeptions, like the Vantage and Beaver Creek basses you mention, but neither of these have two pickups. The Ibanez Mikro (http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-GSRM20-Mikro-ShortScale-Bass-Guitar?sku=516148)has a 28.60" scale and two pickups in a "PJ" configuration. Craig Robertson's daughter Zoe played one of these (in purple sparkle no less!) last year at the Tampa Bay Ukulele Getaway and it sounded great. They are pretty common and I've seen them in several music stores. It might fit the bill if you don't mind the scale length.

- Steve

ichadwick
06-01-2011, 01:00 PM
A piccolo bass is tuned higher than a normal bass...
Yes, but if you Google it, you can find instructions on how to restring it to low E tuning. Like restringing a baritone to C tuning, I suppose.... it's the scale I want, although an octave higher might be amusing...

I know Harmony had a 25" scale because I was playing one at Twelfth Fret in Toronto last month. It was just priced a little more than I wanted to pay. I got the other names from forums like talkbass or websites that specifically mentioned a 25" scale for those makes. I can't vouchsafe the accuracy of those claims, but I owned a 25" Supro (I'm pretty sure it was a different model) for many years. Have a picture of it somewhere I will post.

knadles
06-02-2011, 07:08 AM
Whenever I hear about the piccolo bass, I think of a comment that once appeared in the letters column of Bass Player magazine...something along the lines of, "A bass that's tuned an octave higher than a normal bass? We have those around here. We call them GUITARS."

:)

-Pete

ichadwick
06-03-2011, 01:00 AM
Yeah, basically a tenor guitar that uses the last four instead of the first four strings. Only real difference (I can see) is the strings seem thicker than guitar. I could restring a baritone ukulele and get that effect, I suppose....

Pismo Lynn
06-08-2011, 02:45 PM
The Fender P Bass Junior was 29.5" scale, sometimes they pop up for sale on ebay. I'd recommend going with a 30" scale, the string tension is enough to still create a good tone. If you want to spend less, Rondo Music sells SX basses that are a real value and that new Squier Jaguar someone mentioned looks pretty good. If you want a great short scale and have the budget, a used Gibson SG, Fender Mustang or Musicmaster can't be beat. If you get a Musicmaster I'd recommend changing out the stock pick up with a DiMarzio Fast Track. The stock pick ups were just a 6 pole strat pick ups, so the strings do not line up and the volume can vary for each string. The dual blade design on the Fast Track eliminates alignment issues and are hum free. Good luck in your search!

ichadwick
06-10-2011, 08:17 AM
Just missed a guy on eBay selling micro-bass projects he builds, with 25" scale. Damn. Went for under $100.

I did get the Epiphone Viola, but still want a shorter scale. Might restring a baritone into a piccolo bass this weekend.

ichadwick
06-11-2011, 11:15 AM
Two questions:

Does anyone make a reasonably-priced six-string short scale bass?

Are roundwound or flatwound strings better for the Viola bass (semi-acoustic Hofner style)?

bassfiddlesteve
06-11-2011, 12:08 PM
Two questions:

Does anyone make a reasonably-priced six-string short scale bass?

Are roundwound or flatwound strings better for the Viola bass (semi-acoustic Hofner style)?

1) The only short scale six string basses I know of are actually "baritone guitars" like the Fender Bass VI or the Danelectro that are tuned EADGBE like a guitar but one octave lower. They are not reasonably priced though. I've never heard of a short scale six string bass with the modern BEADGC tuning. Many actually have extra long scale for the low B string.

2) I prefer flatwounds on my Hofner and my daughters Epiphone Viola, but I also play upright bass and I like a deep, traditional bass sound with a firm fundemental and no metallic overtones or finger noise. If you like the bass sound on records from the 60's (i.e. Motown, Stax, Bealtes) then you will like the flatwounds. If you prefer a more modern, brighter tone with a clear attack then stick with the roundwounds. Personally, I think that flatwound strings bring out the best qualities with short scale hollowbody basses like the Epiphone Viola. I actually run flats on all of my basses except the five-string which I rarely gig with.

- Steve

ichadwick
06-12-2011, 01:05 AM
There a pretty good explanation of bass string types here, with a good video about flatowunds:
www.bass-strings.com/bass-string-guide (http://www.bass-strings.com/bass-string-guide)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE5R3rUoU58

Little Plink
06-24-2011, 08:19 AM
If you've got the cash, and you're okay with semi-hollow, the Gretsch BroadKaster is a fantastic sounding instument!

There is a much cheaper "Electromatic" version of this instrument that will get about the same sound. It's called a G5123B I believe, their sticker price is at about $700, but you'd be hard pressed to find one. 250 of them were made, and each were distributed to 250 separate Guitar Centers (It was one of Gretsch's store exclusive projects.) Most employees don't even know if they exist, and have no way to check, because they aren't logged in any kind of online database or catalog. Really the only way to get at one is if they make a mistake and think it's a BroadKaster then put it out on the shopping floor, or if you can get someone to go through every bass they have to see if they even got one of these things. Gretsch was VERY secretive about these instruments, and really, nobody knows anything about them. They were never marketed. I was lucky enough to play one a while back, but I didn't buy it. I think the one at my store's already been purchased, though.

They occasionally sell on eBay for $500 - $600. Good luck!

ichadwick
06-25-2011, 01:13 AM
I picked up an inexpensive, used Ibanez six-string bass yesterday, a Kijiji sale. Man, that neck is massive. Coming from a uke to the 6-string is like going from a canoe to an aircraft carrier. My meager skills in bass playing seem overwhelmed by the sheer size. Makes my Epiphone bass feel small and comfy in comparison.

Am I a victim of BAS?

cj409
09-28-2011, 04:48 AM
P Bass Junior is actually 28 5/8 scale. It's a wee little guy. Smaller body and headstock than a mustang. Slimmer neck too - 1 1/2" at the nut. I have a black one and just sold a red one this week.

farmerboy
12-03-2011, 09:29 PM
Don't know about 6-strings, but my Danelectro longhorn is a short scale - the re-issues sound good (very woody) and play very well too. They're also reasonably priced and available on e-bay for under 200. Danelectros are a bit like marmite in terms of looks, but I really like the look of mine and the longhorn means a really deep cutaway top and bottom. I've never seen anyone who can slap on one, though.

bassfiddlesteve
12-04-2011, 04:26 AM
Danelectros are a bit like marmite in terms of looks...

I had to do a Google search on "Marmite". I guess you are referring to the "love it or hate it" aspect. Very interesting.

- Steve

strumsilly
12-04-2011, 04:40 AM
You could put Guadalupe strings on a baritone and be down one octave[ really low G]I have an xtra set around somewhere if someone wants to try them. I think they were around $10.

kissing
12-04-2011, 01:36 PM
The Guadalupe octave-GCEA is still not as low as a regular guitar though..

Quite low for a uke though.

OldePhart
12-07-2011, 05:03 PM
Well... something like that kindof exists. Back in the late 90's i believe Fender came out with the P-Bass Junior. its roughly the size of a strat. as far as i have checked, its nearly impossible to find one.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/Ken/P1010046.jpg
ripped this photo off of a talkbass forum. as i said, they exist. Like the sabertooth tiger, you just dont see them around.

Actually, if you look at that photo closely you'll see the bass has a scale length somewhere around 30 inches. The overall length of the guitar and bass are almost the same - but the bass is a tad longer and the bridge is mounted much closer to the heel so I'd say the scale looks to be roughly 5 inches longer than the guitar...

oldrookie
01-08-2012, 11:00 AM
Take any four-string, normal scale bass, and string it BEAD.

The fifth fret on the B-string is the low E. Play only fifth fret and above. Just about the scale length you want and much easier to find strings.

I have two strung that way love playing them.

PhilUSAFRet
08-16-2013, 06:05 AM
Best strings for Samick Corsair MCR-1 Mini Bass according to D/Addario

I just got one, queried D'Addario who recommended:

EXL 106S Bright Round, nickel wound, Medium Gauge short scale string set.

.050 .070 .085 .105