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Shortscale Bass Comparison in Pictures

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3 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

I'm liking the Gretsch Junior Jet:

image.thumb.jpeg.7d3339385311fd5c3dd15520f2ee3fe1.jpeg

The Gretsch is lovely but I found it quite heavy for a short scale.

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My SS custom headless based on the Jaydee GA

 

bassesinthesnow007.jpg

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6 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

Does anyone have experience of the Maruszczyk short scales?

I'm liking the Gretsch Junior Jet:

If I were you I'd probably try a light-weight standard-scale bass first.  If that doesn't fix things, at least it will take you one step forward in your quest and you won't drop much money (if any) if you buy used.  If you do decide to try short-scale, my strong recommendation would be to choose something that you know will balance properly on the strap, i.e. with the top button at F12 +/- 1.  Re Maru' stuff, I have lots of positive experience with their s-s basses and their extensive range includes light-weight medium- or standard-scale P/J-type stuff as well.  They achieve this by using less-dense woods like swamp ash combined with chambered bodies and alu hardware.

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On 22/05/2020 at 06:44, anzoid said:

Chowny SWB-1 Standard - body is wide but the short horns means it's pretty compact. Horns also mean on a strap ot sits more like a regular long-scale, but sitting down everything feels, well, shortscale. Slightly chunkier neck but 38mm nut. Strings are a bit close to the edge of the fingerboard, I presume because of the spacing at the bridge. It's pretty heavy - 9lbs or so. Tone is more agressive than the Cort, similar to a Warwick Thumb in some ways.

SBMM Stingray Short-scale - has *that* sound, about same weight as the Warwick and the shortest reach of all five on a strap and sitting down. And the sound... did I mention it sounds awesome? Detuned to D it growls. Of the five it feels the most compact overall.

Very useful summary.  Based on my ownership of the two quoted above, I would add:  Both my SWB-1s were pre-Chowny and didn't balance well due to the lighter bodies of the earlier basses (Scott W's supplier was in China but Stephen C moved production to India);  apart from my custom-built gig basses, the 'Ray is the best s-s I've owned as it somehow manages to combine the s-s positives (comfortable to wear and play) with the 'presence' of a standard-scale (looks, sounds and feels substantial) and is huge value for money.

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On 22/05/2020 at 06:44, anzoid said:

Chowny SWB-1 Standard - body is wide but the short horns means it's pretty compact. Horns also mean on a strap ot sits more like a regular long-scale, but sitting down everything feels, well, shortscale. Slightly chunkier neck but 38mm nut. Strings are a bit close to the edge of the fingerboard, I presume because of the spacing at the bridge. It's pretty heavy - 9lbs or so.

 

 

I had a Chowny SWB-1 and was caught out by the weight of it.  They are really nice bass guitars but my old injured back just could not deal with having the SWB-1 hanging around my shoulders for long.  My bass (as featured earlier in this thread) is an Italia Maranello Cavo, which tips the scales at a fraction over 7lb.  I also have an old Tanglewood version of the Hofner violin bass that is lighter still.  To be honest, the Tanglewood would be more than enough for my needs but I do like the Italia model.

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6 hours ago, Frank Blank said:

The Gretsch is lovely but I found it quite heavy for a short scale.

Agree.

55 minutes ago, LeftyP said:

I had a Chowny SWB-1 and was caught out by the weight of it.  They are really nice bass guitars but my old injured back just could not deal with having the SWB-1 hanging around my shoulders for long.  My bass (as featured earlier in this thread) is an Italia Maranello Cavo, which tips the scales at a fraction over 7lb.  I also have an old Tanglewood version of the Hofner violin bass that is lighter still.  To be honest, the Tanglewood would be more than enough for my needs but I do like the Italia model.

Agree.

I use my Squire Mustang mostly at about 8 lbs, would not want anything heavier. My HCT violin is about 6.5 lbs. I do appreciate a lighter weight, - old age!

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16 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

What is the opinion on the Hofner Club bass?

I had a lovely cherry-red one and liked it a lot but tonally it was a bit of a one-trick pony and I really couldn't get on with the deeper body that set my right arm/hand away from me and placed an uncomfortable square edge under my right fore-arm.

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17 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

What is the opinion on the Hofner Club bass?

I had an Ignition Club bass... I thought it was the coolest looking thing and crazy value for money. Very light, the neck was thicker than I'm used to. A lot of neck dive. I loved the tone, but couldn't use it for what I play. In retrospect, I wish I'd tried the HCT, but now I have the two ideal basses for my needs.

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Posted (edited)

I spied a video yesterday for a Godin Dorchester short scale bass. Semi hollow I think. Looks really cool and like it could be good for some punk style attack but the videos seem to be laid back enough :)

I’d love to see more options like the mosrite with the big p90 style pickups in bridge and right at the neck.

Edited by barrycreed

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20 hours ago, scrumpymike said:

If I were you I'd probably try a light-weight standard-scale bass first.  If that doesn't fix things, at least it will take you one step forward in your quest and you won't drop much money (if any) if you buy used.  If you do decide to try short-scale, my strong recommendation would be to choose something that you know will balance properly on the strap, i.e. with the top button at F12 +/- 1.  Re Maru' stuff, I have lots of positive experience with their s-s basses and their extensive range includes light-weight medium- or standard-scale P/J-type stuff as well.  They achieve this by using less-dense woods like swamp ash combined with chambered bodies and alu hardware.

That's the thing. I've tried lighter 34" scale Jazz basses but I still had the same problem of it being 'hard' to play. My back starts to go after an hour and these aren't heavy instruments. One was 8.3 lbs the other was 9 lbs. 

I'm not sure if getting a short scale will rectify my issues of being worn out after practice and having a bad back. 

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2 hours ago, Trueno said:

I had an Ignition Club bass... I thought it was the coolest looking thing and crazy value for money. Very light, the neck was thicker than I'm used to. A lot of neck dive. I loved the tone, but couldn't use it for what I play. In retrospect, I wish I'd tried the HCT, but now I have the two ideal basses for my needs.

Mine was an HCT, don't recall any neck-dive issues.

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1 minute ago, scrumpymike said:

Mine was an HCT, don't recall any neck-dive issues.

The Ignition doesn't have a block in the body... the body is ultra light compared to the neck... another vote for the HCT

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2 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

That's the thing. I've tried lighter 34" scale Jazz basses but I still had the same problem of it being 'hard' to play. My back starts to go after an hour and these aren't heavy instruments. One was 8.3 lbs the other was 9 lbs. 

I'm not sure if getting a short scale will rectify my issues of being worn out after practice and having a bad back. 

I think the only way you'll know for sure is to try one.  Re weight, I know that some of the Maru' chambered s-s basses get close to 7lbs.  These two of mine - Elwood L 4a (now sold) and Cazpar 4p - are around that weight and give you an idea of the opposite ends of their design spectrum.

http://17-03-02-Ellie.jpg

http://Cazpar-fretless-02.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I am tempted ...

Aria Pro ii 1720 model ,Mosrite copy 1970 

On Reverb . Condition “fair”.... around £260 ... seems cheap for one of these?

Edited by barrycreed

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I've been playing my Ibanez Mezzo 5 string - 32 scale - since Wednesday and I'm completely in love with it.

It's very easy to play, it's only 7lb and it sounds excellent.

 

The only slight fly in the ointment is that the medium scale low B that comes with it - a D'addario .130 - does not seem to be available to buy as a spare. I am making enquiries with Ibanez and D'addario.

There are not many medium scale B strings out there. Warwick Black Labels have a set in 2 different gauges,  La Bella do some, including the White Nylons.

 

I'm a big fan of D'addario strings and I've used them for at least 25 years so I hope the unavailability is just because the bass is very new and it just hasn't filtered through to the shops yet.

In the meantime I've ordered some of the Warwick Black Label so I have some spares, but I'm hoping I won't have to change the strings on it for months. I've never used Warwick strings before.

 

For my big band jazz band I tend to use flats - my P is loaded with Rotosounds Monels. They do a medium scale 4 string set, but no B. I've measured the bass properly from ball end anchor to just past the nut and to the tuning post and a regular scale B won't fit - especially on a flatwound it is likely to break. So I've emailed Rotosound just on the off chance they have made some and have any lying about.

 

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33 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I've been playing my Ibanez Mezzo 5 string - 32 scale - since Wednesday and I'm completely in love with it.

It's very easy to play, it's only 7lb and it sounds excellent.

 

The only slight fly in the ointment is that the medium scale low B that comes with it - a D'addario .130 - does not seem to be available to buy as a spare. I am making enquiries with Ibanez and D'addario.

There are not many medium scale B strings out there. Warwick Black Labels have a set in 2 different gauges,  La Bella do some, including the White Nylons.

 

I'm a big fan of D'addario strings and I've used them for at least 25 years so I hope the unavailability is just because the bass is very new and it just hasn't filtered through to the shops yet.

In the meantime I've ordered some of the Warwick Black Label so I have some spares, but I'm hoping I won't have to change the strings on it for months. I've never used Warwick strings before.

 

For my big band jazz band I tend to use flats - my P is loaded with Rotosounds Monels. They do a medium scale 4 string set, but no B. I've measured the bass properly from ball end anchor to just past the nut and to the tuning post and a regular scale B won't fit - especially on a flatwound it is likely to break. So I've emailed Rotosound just on the off chance they have made some and have any lying about.

 

I wonder if Newtone would wind you a set, or individuals. I’ve just moved over to using them and the product and service is superb.

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56 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

I wonder if Newtone would wind you a set, or individuals. I’ve just moved over to using them and the product and service is superb.

It looks like they will do medium scale roundwounds easily enough. I might order some when the D'addario's get old.

They don't do flats alas.

 

Are the Newtone strings smooth / rough etc? 

 

I'd also be quite happy to try the La Bella White Nylons as I've had them before as long scale - but they are £70 in the UK and that's a lot of dosh for an experiment if I don't like them!

 

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10 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

It looks like they will do medium scale roundwounds easily enough. I might order some when the D'addario's get old.

They don't do flats alas.

Are the Newtone strings smooth / rough etc? 

I'd also be quite happy to try the La Bella White Nylons as I've had them before as long scale - but they are £70 in the UK and that's a lot of dosh for an experiment if I don't like them!

I’d email Neil, they might do flatwounds on request. I’m not really sure what you mean by smooth / rough but then my experience of strings is very limited as I’ve always used D’Addarios but just recently converted to Newtone.

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10 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

I’d email Neil, they might do flatwounds on request. I’m not really sure what you mean by smooth / rough but then my experience of strings is very limited as I’ve always used D’Addarios but just recently converted to Newtone.

I'll do that.

D'addario rounds are quite smooth even as rounds - La Bella rounds use a larger diameter outer-wrap wire and feel rougher and have more finger noise. That sort of thing.

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51 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I'll do that.

D'addario rounds are quite smooth even as rounds - La Bella rounds use a larger diameter outer-wrap wire and feel rougher and have more finger noise. That sort of thing.

I've used d'Addario (EXL) nickel rounds for years too - I've also tried Newtone Nickel rounds (platinum) on round cores.  In my view, there's not much in it but I find the Newtones feel a little rougher than d'Addarios.  Newtones seem to last too - I've had a set on a short-scale for much longer than I'd normally leave them and they sound reasonably fresh (well, acceptably so for me).  Newtone used to do custom silking too - this was very attractive to me.  In a recent email conversation, I learned that this was no longer the case - a bit of a disappointment - though not an issue if silking doesn't bother you. 

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1 hour ago, fretmeister said:

I'll do that.

D'addario rounds are quite smooth even as rounds - La Bella rounds use a larger diameter outer-wrap wire and feel rougher and have more finger noise. That sort of thing.

Got you. I have only used D’Addario rounds and flats, Newtone rounds (with a round core) which are, now you mention it, a bit smoother that D’Addarios and LaBella flats on my fretless which are superb.

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Flats probably aren’t very profitable for small makers - it’s a smaller market, and they last forever. 

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