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anzoid

Shortscale Bass Comparison in Pictures

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Posted (edited)

As I've switched exclusively to shortscale this year I've done a fair amount of locking up specs and trying to find the right one (or four) shortscale bass for me... Main criteria was reach out to the first fret because of an ongoing shoulder problem. To help given that most of these weren't available to try anywhere near me I made the picture below. First one lines up bridge and nut (with two 34" [Warwick Rockbass Streamer LX and Ibanez SR300] and one 32" [Ibanez Mezzo] for comparison. Red lines up top are 34", 32", 30.5" and 30") The second one is everything lined up by the strap button, with the Warwick Streamer being the reference point as that was what I was playing. The shortscales are probably all well known, but just in case: left to right after the Mezzo: Squire Jaguar, Cort Action Jr, Chowny SWB-1, SBMM Stingray, Warwick Rockbass Corvette Shortscale and Gretsch G2220. Apart from the Jaguar I have played all the others (and now own a modded Cort Action Jr, two Chowny SWB-1s, the Stingray and a 2nd hand Warwick in natural that arrived this week... ahem...). Hopefully of use to anyone who might be on a similar journey. Happy to add other shortscales if there are any I missed that someone else is interested in.

[Updated to reflect the suggestions made in thread... and I've definitely not played all of these, but have GAS for a few more now... Edited again to add back in the Mezzo, and realised the Chowny strap position would be a bit lower because the strap goes round the top horn.]

[Updated again to add a third image that might be useful - everything lined up by where the bass would likely be if you were playing sitting down - so lined up by waist...]

1385199086_basscomparison_bridge_to_nut.thumb.jpg.b4697b9fdd8f7bf2c1b97619d9333726.jpg

94285012_basscomparison_strap_button.thumb.jpg.f94386eba02c9c95c480f822cc137cf5.jpg

668410012_basscomparison_waist.thumb.jpg.2f44dc2aa2d5887ba8a8f44a074f3752.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by anzoid
Another picture
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Wot... no Mustang?

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40 minutes ago, Trueno said:

Wot... no Mustang?

This. The foundation for short scales.

Also the Squier Bronco. There are a few Danelectros as well. Gibson/Epiphone EB0.

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Yup... should probably add all those - going to make for a wide image :D The original set is the ones I was interested in acquiring (though never managed to find a Jaguar for sale).

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Posted (edited)

I have both a Mustang and Hofner Violin, both 30" or 30.5"

The Mustang does feel the shorter of the 2 because of the bridge position which affects the 'feel' of the instrument.

Edited by grandad
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Posted (edited)

Pictures updated. Will tweak things to add an Ibanez Mikro as well... plus Danelectro etc.

Edited by anzoid

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Posted (edited)

Edited again. 32" Mezzo has gone (who plays those anyway :P) and I've added a pile more basses - with a Precision next to the Warwick Streamer LX for scale...
Complete list as it stands:

Warwick Rockbass Streamer LX - 34"
Fender Precision - 34"
Everything else is 30" or thereabouts, apart from the Squier Mini Precision and Ibanez Mikro at the end which are both 28.6"
Squier Jaguar
Cort Action Jr
Chowny SWB-1
SBMM Stingray
Warwick Corvette
Gretsch G2220
Fender Mustang
Hofner Violin
Spector Bantam
Squier Bronco
Gibson EB-O (I think... bit of a guess on the strap button location)
Danelectro Longhorn (ditto on the strap button...)
Ibanez Talman TMB30
G&L USA Fallout
Sire Shortscale
Squier Mini Precision
Ibanez Mikro
Ibanez Mezzo (32")

Edited by anzoid
Got the Squier Mini Precision name and scale wrong...

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Posted (edited)

The thing that has been most interesting for me is seeing how far out to the left some of these would hang on a strap once you start lining up by strap button location. A handful are pushing out into 34" territory - or beyond.

Edited by anzoid

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30 minutes ago, anzoid said:

Edited again. 32" Mezzo has gone (who plays those anyway :P)

I’ve actually been thinking of getting one to try out 32” five string...

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11 hours ago, therealting said:

I’ve actually been thinking of getting one to try out 32” five string...

I've put the Mezzo back in! Would be interested to hear about the five string Mezzo if you get one :) From the "lined up by strap button" image it looks like the Mezzos possibly feel shorter than 32"

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1 hour ago, anzoid said:

I've put the Mezzo back in! Would be interested to hear about the five string Mezzo if you get one :) From the "lined up by strap button" image it looks like the Mezzos possibly feel shorter than 32"

Haha, please don’t feel obliged to do so just on my account! I’ll post a review if I go ahead with it. Just received an expensive bass yesterday so we’ll see.

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I can think of a couple - Danelectro '56 single cut.  Kramer Duke/Hondo Alien.  Gibson LP Jnr DC.  Only because they are the three shorties I own :) 

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On 02/05/2020 at 21:35, anzoid said:

Edited again. 32" Mezzo has gone (who plays those anyway :P) and I've added a pile more basses - with a Precision next to the Warwick Streamer LX for scale...
Complete list as it stands:

Warwick Rockbass Streamer LX - 34"
Fender Precision - 34"
Everything else is 30" or thereabouts, apart from the Squier Mini Precision and Ibanez Mikro at the end which are both 28.6"
Squier Jaguar
Cort Action Jr
Chowny SWB-1
SBMM Stingray
Warwick Corvette
Gretsch G2220
Fender Mustang
Hofner Violin
Spector Bantam
Squier Bronco
Gibson EB-O (I think... bit of a guess on the strap button location)
Danelectro Longhorn (ditto on the strap button...)
Ibanez Talman TMB30
G&L USA Fallout
Sire Shortscale
Squier Mini Precision
Ibanez Mikro
Ibanez Mezzo (32")

 

Thanks for compiling this for us. Worth a stickie, maybe? A good look at the pictures, plus a chat with BC's Scrumpymike (encylopedic knowledge of short scales), has really helped me to narrow-down the basses that would most probably work for me.

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Posted (edited)

As others have said, this is an amazingly worthwhile piece of work - top marks and sincere thanks!  I had already got my head round much of this but your images do the job comprehensively.  They also emphasise which s-s basses that require extended reach to F1 AND don't balance well on the strap - e.g. Gibson SG and Chowny SWB-1 in my experience.  The basic question for anyone considering a move to s-s is whether you want to a) maximise the s-s benefit in the form of a bass that's significantly more compact and manageable or b) go for one that feels and looks as much like a 'standard' bass as possible.  The physical limitations of the individual player are usually the deciding factor.

Also thanks to solo4652 for pointing out this topic, which I had missed.  The PM dialogue we've been having on short-scales illustrates the point I made above: I'm definitely in group 'a' while he belongs in group 'b'.

Edited by scrumpymike
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Another group 'a' short-scaler here.

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Posted (edited)

Any other Group B short scalers out there? What bass do you play?

I seem to like the inter-fret spacing of short scale, but not the short distance from the nut to my body. The reason I seem to get on with my Lakland Hollowbody 30 so well appears to be because the neck is positioned quite a way outboard, the neck is fairly chunky front-to-back, and the front strap pin is positioned at F 13. All this means that the bass - even though the neck is 38mm at the nut and 30" scale - doesn't feel anywhere near as cramped as other shorties I've tried.

Edited by solo4652

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1 hour ago, solo4652 said:

Any other Group B short scalers out there? What bass do you play?

I seem to like the inter-fret spacing of short scale, but not the short distance from the nut to my body. The reason I seem to get on with my Lakland Hollowbody 30 so well appears to be because the neck is positioned quite a way outboard, the neck is fairly chunky front-to-back, and the front strap pin is positioned at F 13. All this means that the bass - even though the neck is 38mm at the nut and 30" scale - doesn't feel anywhere near as cramped as other sorties I've tried.

Best 30"-scale neck I've played is the Fender Rascal.  41mm at nut and a bit more substantial front to back.  Nice and fast without feeling at all skinny and fretboard not as flat as other wider-necked s-s basses - e.g. Warwick, Spector, ACG - which don't suit me.  Must say the Sire PJ looks good and quite reasonably priced though they don't seem to have arrived in the UK yet.

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I’m 6’6” and don’t want a small bass; but I like s.s. because of the “plummy” sound and that they also seem to have good G strings, ie not thin sounding. I also appreciate that with less stretch between frets they are great to play and the notes fall to hand more easily. With shorter length there should be less neck dive (which I dislike) however due to poor design, that’s not always the case. The other bonus is that they often fit across the width of a British cars boot!

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11 minutes ago, Storky said:

I’m 6’6” and don’t want a small bass; but I like s.s. because of the “plummy” sound and that they also seem to have good G strings, ie not thin sounding. I also appreciate that with less stretch between frets they are great to play and the notes fall to hand more easily. With shorter length there should be less neck dive (which I dislike) however due to poor design, that’s not always the case. The other bonus is that they often fit across the width of a British cars boot!

So you're a Group B player then! Ha! What basses do you have at the moment, please?

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