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grayn

NBD: Short Scale delight

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I've been wanting to go short scale for a while but up until now, every time I've gone out to look at getting one, I've
come home with another long scale.  I've dabbled in the past, with a couple of cheap violin basses and a couple of 
Mustangs , one US, one Jap.  Anyway, I did all my research and lusted after all sorts of obscure makes and models but 
all these basses were very long distances away and I do like to try an instrument before I buy, where possible.
So I decided to try out one more Mustang.  An American Perfomer series from Fender, in a lovely aubergine.  This one had
an added Jazz Bass pickup, by the bridge.  The only other shorties in the shop, were an Italia Torino bass in blue, 
which looked nice but wasn't much fun too play and had rather dire pickups in my view and a Hofner Ignition Violin bass.
The cheapest in Hofner's range, it was actually not that bad, although it was crying out for some flatwound strings.
But the baby bass that I went to see was all I hoped for.  Quite a looker, although I think Fender could reduce the size
of the headstock a tad.  Very playable, with a nice neck and good overall balance and feel.  And those PJ pickups really,
work together well, with a lot of super useable tones.  It didn't sound like a compromise to my ears, it just sounded
like a really cool Fender bass, that really benefits from the added Jazz pickup.  And the finishing is really of a good
standard.  The metallic augergine paint job is super handsome.
My only 2, minor gripes are the sad little gig bag you get with it.  Fortunately the shop threw in a very nice MarkBass
gigbag, which was a vast improvement.  And for some reason, Fender put a protective plastic sheet over the bridge plate,
held down by the bridge saddle mechanisms.  That's just bloody annoying, as it's a hassle to remove and it buzzes against
the strings until you do.
Had a couple of good sessions at home with it now and I'm loving how easy and comfy it is to play and the strong tones
it produces.

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Looks great and very interested to read your comments. Have fun.

From a tall guy that only plays short scale basses - you've given me GAS!

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14 hours ago, grayn said:

So I decided to try out one more Mustang.  An American Perfomer series from Fender, in a lovely aubergine. 

Back in the day when most were lusting after Fenders it was always the short-scale basses that floated my boat thanks to the influence of Macca, Bruce and Fraser.  Over the years I've had other stuff but always come back to the 30" scale that I'm more comfortable with.  Pleased to say there's never been a better choice of s-s basses than you can find nowadays including many at very affordable prices.  The Mustang is the best s-s bass I've NEVER owned - yours is a beauty.

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1 hour ago, scrumpymike said:

Back in the day when most were lusting after Fenders it was always the short-scale basses that floated my boat thanks to the influence of Macca, Bruce and Fraser.  Over the years I've had other stuff but always come back to the 30" scale that I'm more comfortable with.  Pleased to say there's never been a better choice of s-s basses than you can find nowadays including many at very affordable prices.  The Mustang is the best s-s bass I've NEVER owned - yours is a beauty.

Totally agree, you only have to look at Bass Direct's website, under short scale, to see just some of the multitude of interesting short scales around these days.  For those used to the long scale, the short scale may seemed cramped but within a very short time, you see and feel the benefits.  I'm loving the ease of play and slightly lesser string tension.  It really lets you get expressive.

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Got a brother for my Mustang today.

A Vintera, that I'm going to string with flatwounds, for some sixties thump and click.

E.jpg

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2 hours ago, scrumpymike said:

I see the AP has thru-body stringing.  Does that need medium-scale strings?

My MIJ Mustang has thru body stringing and takes medium scale strings. Tho La Bella also do their own Mustang-scale flatwounds too to all for the extra length needed. 

Gotta love a Mustang. 

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On the string length subject, both of these basses come with short scale strings as stock and I've just put some short scale flatwounds on the Vintera and they fit perfectly.

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I used to use Thomastic JF-324  32" medium scale flats on my CIJ mustang & they fitted fine. I initially thought it odd that Fender's stock strings on the JMJ are 9050L which are long scale stainless steel flats, but the aditional length doesn't seem to have any adverse effects & liked them so much on the JMJ that I also use them on the CIJ now.

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Posted (edited)
On 30/12/2019 at 17:10, grayn said:

Got a brother for my Mustang today.

A Vintera, that I'm going to string with flatwounds, for some sixties thump and click.

I've got post xmas GAS for a Mustang and wonder if you could compare the your two tonally please? I already have a couple of PJ and favouring the Vintera because of its faithfulness to the original Fender design but wondered how the single pup sounds compared to the AP version? Also, a lot of owners complain how crap the supplied Vintera gig bags are; just how thin is the padding please?

Cheers, 

Mark

Edited by Sparky Mark

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Posted (edited)

Do any of the currently available Mustangs have both bridge and/or through body loading options for the strings? 

Edited by Mister RLP

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Sparky Mark said:

I've got post xmas GAS for a Mustang and wonder if you could compare the your two tonally please? I already have a couple of PJ and favouring the Vintera because of its faithfulness to the original Fender design but wondered how the single pup sounds compared to the AP version? Also, a lot of owners complain how crap the supplied Vintera gig bags are; just how thin is the padding please?

Cheers, 

Mark

Tonally the difference is pretty much as you'd expect.

Th A.P. has a lot more variety and blending the 2 pickups is producing some lovely results.

I usually leave the tone on passive basses full on but just taking the edge off, with minimal tone reduction, again produces some very useable tones.

The Vintera has a more traditional Mustang tone, which is again, as you'd expect, like a short scale Precision.

Not quite as much thump as a P but nice and round, with a good middle presence.

The bag with the A.P. is no better than the Vintera, IMO.

Fortunately the shop gave me a great MarkBass gigbag, gratis.  And I already had a decent gigbag at home for the Vintera.

I would have gone for the JMJ over the Vintera but I hate relicing and TBH I'm very chuffed with the Vintera, although the A.P. is a definite step up in quality.

I slightly prefer the A.P's Yosemite Split Single-Coil, over the Vintera's Vintage-Style '60s Split Single-Coil but that's my taste.  They both sound great to my ears.

Edited by grayn
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2 hours ago, Mister RLP said:

Do any of the currently available Mustangs have both bridge and/or through body loading options for the strings? 

No.  The Vintera, American Performer and JMJ have through the body stringing and the PJ has through the bridge stringing.

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1 hour ago, grayn said:

Tonally the difference is pretty much as you'd expect.

Th A.P. has a lot more variety and blending the 2 pickups is producing some lovely results.

I usually leave the tone on passive basses full on but just taking the edge off, with minimal tone reduction, again produces some very useable tones.

The Vintera has a more traditional Mustang tone, which is again, as you'd expect, like a short scale Precision.

Not quite as much thump as a P but nice and round, with a good middle presence.

The bag with the A.P. is no better than the Vintera, IMO.

Fortunately the shop gave me a great MarkBass gigbag, gratis.  And I already had a decent gigbag at home for the Vintera.

I would have gone for the JMJ over the Vintera but I hate relicing and TBH I'm very chuffed with the Vintera, although the A.P. is a definite step up in quality.

I slightly prefer the A.P's Yosemite Split Single-Coil, over the Vintera's Vintage-Style '60s Split Single-Coil but that's my taste.  They both sound great to my ears.

Thank you, that's very helpful. I'm keen on 3TSB and not sure the extra £280 for the AP is worth it for me.  Does the Fender bag offer any level of protection? I.e., how thick would you estimate the  padding to be or is it canvas only? Is the Markbass bag for short scale or is it 4" or so too long for the mustang? Thanks again. 

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1 hour ago, Sparky Mark said:

Thank you, that's very helpful. I'm keen on 3TSB and not sure the extra £280 for the AP is worth it for me.  Does the Fender bag offer any level of protection? I.e., how thick would you estimate the  padding to be or is it canvas only? Is the Markbass bag for short scale or is it 4" or so too long for the mustang? Thanks again. 

If you want the more traditional Mustang sound, the Vintera should be fine.

The bag has a little padding, it's not just material but it's all very minimal.

If you want to take it to band practice or gigs, you might want to invest in a reasonable quality bag.

The Markbass gigbag isn't specifically for short scale but is very stiff and holds the bass very snugly, so I am more than happy with it.  And it matches my cab.☺️

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On 05/01/2020 at 16:33, Mister RLP said:

Thanks. PJ might be the way to go. 

I'm a bit late on this, but I've just been trawling through Mustang posts.

I have a MIM PJ Mustang and recently added a KiOgon loom, also converting it to a VVT control arrangement via a dual concentric knob. I've also slotted in a Gotoh bridge (through bridge stringing and a straight swap).

The sound is fantastic... for me, at least. I didn't actually want a Mustang tone, I wanted a PJ bass with a short scale. I originally thought I might put new pickups in, but really I don't think it's worth it.

I'll be posting pics sometime, but I'm waiting for a new scratchplate to arrive. John (KiOgon) provided a grommet to fill the hole left by the pickup selector, it looks fine, but I decided to go for a white pearloid vibe.

Useful thread, this, if you're into the latest Mustangs. I'm still lusting after an AP.

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The American Performer has now been to band rehearsals and gigs.

It's funny how I thought I'd got used to the short scale, playing at home but when you play through a couple of hours, doing songs you been playing for years on a long scale, it does feel slightly odd.

But I have loved the A.P. and it is definitely my main bass now.

The weird thing is, on long scale, I always used 45 to 100s.  But the A,P. came with 40 to 95s and I like the sound and feel of them so much, I am sticking with them.  I'm even sticking to Fender Super 5250s, although they need a week or twos playing to get just how I like.

I didn't like the flatwounds on my Vintera and so have put the same strings I use on the A.P.  May try flats again some time though.

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6 hours ago, grayn said:

I'm even sticking to Fender Super 5250s

Do these strings have silks at both ends? I've just got me a short scale P and looking for some new strings for it. 😀

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5 hours ago, hooky_lowdown said:

Do these strings have silks at both ends? I've just got me a short scale P and looking for some new strings for it. 😀

No silk ends I'm afraid.

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