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Posted (edited)

 

I thought it would make sense to have a more general thread dedicated to lovers of short scale basses, such as my self.

So tell your story of how you got into short scale basses, show off your short scales, and tell their story.

The scene is yours fellow short scale bass enthusiast!

 

Inspired by this thread :

 

I started out playing a regular 34" scale bass, a great old Aria Pro II Laser Electric Classic bass, which I by the way still own, but as I at some point got involved with a noise rock and hardcore influenced math rock band, called Menfolk, with 2 bass players, where I sort of a had a more lead bass oriented role, I began to wish for a bass with a shorter scale, since a lot of fairly fast complex runs and chording was involved in my bass play with this band, not knowing at that point that such basses indeed already existed, and being made fun of by the, by the way incredible skilled, drummer (multi instrumentalist and musician as such for that matter), who was sort of the unofficial band leader, of Menfolk, and by the way still is one of my friends, for voicing my opinion about such, he apparently not being aware of the existence of short scale basses either at that point.

I eventually left that band, something I have regretted many times since, but I just wasn't all that psychologically well off at that time, and I felt like I was not able to give the band the full attention and dedication I felt it deserved, though that's another story, which by the way ended well, by them finding another great bass player, and truly nice guy too by the way, to take over my job, who actually used to be a fan of our band,  and after that, among other things, they released their first full length album on a small independent record company some of our mutual friends owned at that point, where I helped compose a couple of the songs on it, though I didn't actually record anything for it (but while I was still in the band I had previously recorded a 2 track single and a 4 track EP with them, also released on the same label), and after that they got a gig at Scandinavian's biggest rock festival "The Roskilde Festival", which is one of the , but by far not the only, reasons I regret choosing to leave.

Anyway a while after leaving Menfolk I discovered that short scale basses indeed was a thing and bought my first one, a Jerry Jones Longhorn, which is sort of a higher end, high quality, one might even call it boutique, now unfortunately discontinued, version of the original Danelectro one, from a now retired fairly legendary guitar builder/company.

The best bass I have, not only ever owned, but ever had the pleasure to lay my hands on yet, especially with the setting it's stock pickup selector rotary switch offered that put it's 2 lipstick tube pickups in series connection, and going into my Ampeg B15-S, 60W tube amp from 1969, with a 1X 15" flip top cab (same amp I used with my Aria Pro II in Menfolk. And believe it or not, but it was plenty loud to, without any issues whatsoever, compete with a 50W massively distorted Hiwatt guitar tube amp (originally a 100W, modded to work at half power) with a 4x 12" Marshall cab, another bass player with a 100W Carlsbro tube amp and a 2x 15" cab, and a seriously hard hitting drummer, and even to fill up small venues without PA support. Though I am pretty sure it had to do with the kind of really upper mids heavy, overdriven, and very little bass heavy tone of my bass that I used for that band, utilizing the active HPF/LPF circuit of that particular bass's stock preamp, to actually cut some of the lowest bass frequency content out of the signal, before the amp, since as said, I had more of a lead bass role, while the other bass player mainly took care of a bit more traditional supporting bass role. And I did also push that 60W B15-S Ampeg tube amp with the 1X15" cab to it's absolute maximum), me being stupid enough though to later sell both amp and bass (the Jerry Jones one, still own my Aria Pro II), which I still to this day regret.

A combo (my Jerry Jones Longhorn with it's 2 lipstick tube pickups in series + my Ampeg B15-S 60W tube amp with a 1x 15" flip top cab), that  I otherwise also used in another band, that I joined a while after I had left Menfolk, but that I also eventually left, though this time without any regrets whatsoever, due to it taking a musical turn from originally being a quite noise rock influenced and somewhat experimentally minded band to a much more commercial minded direction, I just couldn't see myself in such a band, even if they did get a record deal and they too played at the Roskilde Festival after I had left, I still have or have had absolutely no regrets about that decision, the way their music eventually turned out just wasn't me at all.

A funny story though from that band, after a quite jazzy bass solo I did on one of their tracks (I think one of the only times where I actually utilized the Longhorn's 24th fret), the lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist in jest began referring to me as  Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, though also meant as a genuine compliment to my bass playing skills, and I guess partially as a comment on the kind of sound that semi hollow body Jerry Jones had, even with roundwound strings and it's pickups wired in series, as well,  Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, in case you don't know, being the name of an internationally famous Danish double bass jazz player. 

 

Anyway, that's where my love for short scale basses started, with that Jerry Jones Longhorn, which is also the most expensive bass I've ever owned (they costed 1200$ from new, I think about 20 years ago, when they were still in production, though I got a discount on mine, since it had been used as a display model).

Unfortunately I got no pictures of it.

 

Just love the effortless playability of short scales, and with the right one, to me at least, there is no disadvantages to the shorter scale, only advantages.

 

So a while after having been stupid enough to sell my Jerry Jones Lomghorn bass the cravings eventually came back for owning and playing a short scale bass again, in the meantime mostly having focused on playing guitar, which was actually the original first instrument I started out learning how to play, even if bass then later becoming my main instrument of choice, and really had been for a while at that point too, just all the while continuing to play guitar on the sideline, and in shorter periods of time having guitar take back most of my focus from playing bass.

So the first short scale I bought after that was a cheap Höfner Beatles/violin bass knockoff, forgot the brandname,  West...something, I think, but never really liked it, so that was a relatively short acquaintance, even if it despite being a cheap budget knockoff actually was quite well constructed and pretty much sounded exactly like such a bass is supposed to, just discovered that that type of bass definitely isn't, or ever will be, for me, after that then I bought a used Ampeg Dan Armstrong Plexi Bass, that I actually got cheap, relatively compared to what the used prices usually are, and was at that point too, for those basses, which, even if being a considerable higher end bass than that cheap Höfner knockoff, and generally being a highly regarded instrument, wasn't to my liking either, neither liked how it felt in my hands and played or the tone of it, no matter which of the two slide in interchangeable pickups, that it came with when I bought it, I used, so hat became a fairly short acquaintance as well.

And like with the Jerry Jones Longhorn I don't actually got any pictures of those 2 basses either.

 

Eventually though I then decided to have a 28 5/8" scale bass made out of Warmoth baritone parts, with a Seymour Duncan Rickenbacker Neck replacement pickup placed in the neck position, and a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails guitar Strat humbucker pickup in the bridge. that one I loved, especially how it sounded, a very clear articulate tone, with a quite piano like quality to it.

This one (designed the headstock myself, which admittedly I may have went a little over board with :crazy:), mahogany body, maple neck, and a 24 fret, rosewood, as far as I recall it, fretboard :

Warmoth-28-5-8-bass-small.jpg

Unfortunately I was stupid enough to sell that one too.

 

But currently I am very happy with my two lowly but absolutely lovely Ibanez Mikro basses, one black 4 string GSRM20 Mikro Bass, my main, from the December 2010 production (owned since April 2011, bought new), that I baptized "Dud Bottomfeeder", with various visual mods, and with a just freshly installed all new DiMarzio Model P pickup wired directly to the output jack socket, the J pickup from the P/J EMG Geezer Butler set it had installed previously still sitting there, filling out the bridge pickup cavity, but lowered considerably and not being connected, or planed to be connected at any point, anymore, tuned in regular 4 string bass, E standard, tuning, here equipped with gauge 1.00 to .045 D'Addario nickle roundwound strings, though the plan is to have it strung up with a set of gauge  1.00 to .045 coated stainless steel Elixir strings soon, and then a black 5 string GSRM25 Mikro Bass, from last year's, January 2019, production (owned since September 2019, bought new), with various visual mods, it's two stock J pickups wired in series directly to the jack output socket, and strung up with the 5 thickets strings of an Ernie Ball set meant for Bass VI type instruments, gauge .090 to .030, tuned in F# standard, 2 half steps above E standard tuning, as in F#1 to D3 :

 

28,6" scale, 4 string, 22 medium fret, rosewood fretboard, on a bolt on maple neck, with a mahogany body :

small-4-string-Ibanez-GSRM20-Mikro-Bass-

 

28,6" scale, 5 string, 22 medium fret, jatoba fretboard, on a bolt on maple neck, with a poplar body :

5-String-GSRM25-Mikro-Bass-030620-small-

 

Both those 2 Mikro basses I have been very lucky with, very well made, especially the 4 string has an extremely stable neck that holds tuning remarkably well, and as good as never needs truss rod adjustments (unless of course the string tension changes significantly, by different tunings or string gauges), even seems quite resistant to seasonal changes, despite living in a country where there can be some fairly serious seasonal dependent weather changes, the 5 string neck being a bit more sensitive, but still more stable than most other necks of the instruments I have owned through time, and both got as good as perfect fretwork from factory, being able to get exactly as low string action as I prefer, without any fret buzz whatsoever, with the 5 string Mikro even having truly remarkably, not only for a cheap budget bass, but really for any mass produced instrument at any price class, absolutely perfectly completely leveled fretwork, to a degree where I would be able to get right out ridiculous low string action on it if I really wanted that, both truly great instruments, despite them being cheap budget ones.

Though neither of those 2 basses quite beat the Jerry Jones Longhorn I once owned, but the 4 string Mikro is still one of my absolute favorite basses out of all the ones I've ever owned, in fact a clear, and actually pretty close, 2nd after that fabled Jerry Jones, and I have grown very attached to it and love it dearly, though I kind of would wish I had treated it less carelessly, not exactly a beauty, but damn does it sound great and feels as a true joy and just like home to play on for me.  

Even went as far as to name it, though that is something I otherwise never do with my instruments, to the, I guess little flattering, but quite punk rock-esque, and fitting for how it has turned out looking and it's status as a low end cheap budget bass, name: Dud Bottomfeeder.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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I absolutely love short scale basses but I often used to struggle with getting them to record well, it would always be the E string.

Over the years I've had:

early 1970s Shaftesbury Tele bass copy (beautiful to play, horrible to record with)
1978 cream Fender Musicmaster (recorded okay, but was the heaviest bass I've ever owned)
1978 black Fender Mustang (looked cool but was 'meh' all over)
2003 fiesta red MIJ Fender Mustang reissue (sold one Xmas when I was skint)
1997 surf green Squier Vista Musicmaster (beautiful to look at, but the frets started lifting so I moved it on)
1997 black Squier Vista Musicmaster (was okay but sold it to part finance another Mustang)
2008 oly white MIJ Fender Mustang (was nice but I swapped it for a 1966 Gibson ES-125T) 
2012 silver sparkle Mikey Way sig Squier Mustang (kept the neck for a partscaster Mustang)
2000's black Squier Mustang (kept the body for a partscaster Mustang)

I've still got a little Tanglewood EB-18 kid's bass I found in a charity shop as well. Not sure what the scale length is but I'm guessing 25" or something as it's tiny, really feels like a toy! It's got La Bella strings on it now and was my only bass for a couple of years. Fun to play but really hit or miss to record with. 

I wouldn't rule out another Mustang. If I had the funds I'd buy a JMJ Mustang reissue today. Like, right now. Maybe I'll find one someday when I've got disposable £'s. Anyhow, have a couple of gratuitous pics:

IMG_0902.thumb.jpeg.4e14e560ac7f11e2557e7862305ead91.jpeg2069157463_unnamed2.jpg.83658b5ea49c12f7dc503b6b8b73c5c1.jpg


 

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Posted (edited)

Picked up a Gibson faded SG short scale bass and a hardcase for a song earlier. Pun intended. Will get pics up later. Bought it off a guy in a well known international Irish band funnily enough (used to be very well known anyhow). Will post pics later! It has roundwounds, so think a set of flat wounds might work good here...

344hfmB.jpg

2CozFMM.jpg

Edited by barrycreed
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I like a nice shorty!

104170229_2865630396880214_1457674400411006121_n.thumb.jpg.956e1e826bebd94b0c85638ed1aaded2.jpg

This my cheerful little bunch at present. I still have a kinda-sorta chance of a deal with, or at least artist discount from Gibson, and if so I'll be looking at the LP Jr DC and SG, and if there is a more exclusive deal to be done, I might look at getting the pickup from the LP added to an SG (or vice-versa). Three of those with flats, halves, and rounds would have me very nicely covered! That said, I've been in this business long enough to know that that may all come to nothing, in which case I have a plan for a custom bass which has been floating about for ages. There are a handful of builders on here whose work suits the image I have in my head: Start with an SG or LP Jr bass, then make it headless, neck-through with chambered body wings, three SIMS Super Quad pickups, a brace of mini switches and quite possibly one of @KiOgon's new tone switches, with a nice piece of wood veneer for the top, and you are picturing something very close!

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Thanks Barry- it IS really cool! I'll need to get the pickup looked at at some point as it is a bit sensitive to hum, ironically. It isn't as hot as the original Gibson Sidewinders, but the bass still has has big lows, honking mids, and very little top end. I use it everywhere I can, but that pillowy sound isn't the most versatile! Fortunately I play a lot with an old fashioned blues and swing band, so it's the live go-to for that, although for recording I've deferred to the chambered Rumblekat so far, as the humbuckers more reliably buck the hum!

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Yeah, unfortunately discontinued. It's an Epiphone Rivoli, which were first made during the 60's (well, 1959-'70) alongside the Gibson EB-2. They were then reissued in the '90s and this is one of those, which are obviously much cheaper to buy than the originals, although the quality is not as high.

The design is inherently flawed by modern standards and the sound is not everyone's cup of tea, but I find there is something glorious about the look and tone. Being tall and skinny, I actually find the large body really comfortable to play, too.

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I started playing on a borrowed bass before I bought my own which was an Antoria EB3 copy before being able to afford the real thing. There is something about that small body shape that gets me. I still have an early '60s Gibson EB3 which is the worse for wear but my go to now is an Epiphone Elite EB3.
I have fitted an original mudbucker, a Babicz bridge and swapped the tone caps for parallel inverse diodes.
Using LaBella 40 - 100 roundwounds it plays like a dream.

1824462501_EliteEB-3.thumb.jpg.afd4aec062b87f407ac44567369c22fd.jpg 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, goingdownslow said:

... and swapped the tone caps for parallel inverse diodes. 

@goingdownslow can you explain what this mod does?

Edited by ikay

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2 hours ago, goingdownslow said:

Found this on Youtube...

Thanks and interesting, I've not come across this mod before.

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Posted (edited)

This is the only short scale I’ve owned (apart from a really short scale Satellite bass I started out on in the 80s).

Its a cream white 2015 MIJ Mustang. It had a brown tort plate which I swapped for a white one. 

A shoulder injury four years ago set me off looking for a lighter smaller bass than my regular P bass, and led me to this.

I love it. I’d be interested in other short scales to see how they compare. 

I prefer the tone and feel of my P bass, but it’s a close run thing and I’m very happy with both. 

 

A2EF24B3-C898-433F-B843-1FCB6916B617.jpeg

Edited by bassbiscuits
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Here's my current stable of shorties, 

Two Bass VIs (squier and gretsch) 

32" jag

Fender Mustang 

Gibson DC Les Paul 

IMG_20200423_143227.jpg

IMG_20200423_143153.jpg

IMG_20200118_200059.jpg

IMG_20190529_090120.jpg

IMG_20200613_150507.jpg

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On 26/06/2020 at 16:56, Dosi Y'Anarchy said:

Here's my current stable of shorties, 

Two Bass VIs (squier and gretsch) 

32" jag

Fender Mustang 

Gibson DC Les Paul 

IMG_20200423_143227.jpg

IMG_20200423_143153.jpg

IMG_20200118_200059.jpg

IMG_20190529_090120.jpg

IMG_20200613_150507.jpg

Digging that double cut Gibson one. That’s unusual but very cool.

Love the Mustang with the gold pickguard too - again not the obvious combination but it looks great. Is it a Pawnshop but with original-style pickups added? 

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1 hour ago, bassbiscuits said:

Love the Mustang with the gold pickguard too - again not the obvious combination but it looks great. Is it a Pawnshop but with original-style pickups added? 

Yep, never got on with the mudbucker, so swapped it out, I've got an Aero Mustang pickup in there and I had Nordstrand NM4 in there previously. The pickguard is actually a gold mirror one I sanded down, but I've got an actual anodised gold one coming soon! 

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On 25/06/2020 at 22:13, bassbiscuits said:

Its a cream white 2015 MIJ Mustang. It had a brown tort plate which I swapped for a white one.

I thought about doing the same thing for ages! It's a very cool look.

 

On 26/06/2020 at 16:56, Dosi Y'Anarchy said:

Here's my current stable of shorties

All very nice. I have yet to stray into bass VI (or 8/12 string) territory, but those two are very cool. Couple of questions though, if you don't mind; I'm sure you posted about it already, but in the DC Les Paul, is that just a chrome cover on the TB+, or a Thunderbird pickup? Also, what are we seeing next to the right of the six strings in the photos? Looks like a black DC with banjo style forearm rest?

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6 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

 is that just a chrome cover on the TB+, or a Thunderbird pickup? Also, what are we seeing next to the right of the six strings in the photos? Looks like a black DC with banjo style forearm rest?

It's just a chrome cover, got a shiny chrome one and a tarnished one. 

It's actually the same DC, just some time apart and yes it's a banjo armrest, I've had the red one on there for ages finally got a black one in the mail, which I think will look better on the brown finish.  Its an almost perfect fit and has made a big difference to my comfort, whilst we're on the subject there's a little mod you can't see: the tone pot is a push-push pot that wires the pickup straight to the output and still enables the coil tap functionality. Basically it makes things a little brighter, as much as I love the DC, it's got a very dark tone and the bypass helps a bit with that. 

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Posted (edited)

I never liked the particular tort on the MiJ Mustang. Very dark brown. My first choice of replacement (red tort) seemed to be hugely expensive, as did my second choice (pearl white) so I settled for the white which I actually prefer. Not too bling but different enough to look cool. Looks a bit 70s to me which is cool. Just need a thumb rest now to complete the look. 

Edited by bassbiscuits

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A question some short scalers might be able to answer. I have the Gibson SG bass, which can be seen in above photos, and I notice there's a rattle of the neck pickup when playing. Even if I place a hand on it, it still rattles, so might be something inside. Anyone ever experience this?

Also, should I be going flatwounds to really get the best out of this? Has a real retro vibe and sound. The bridge pickup is nice blended in with the neck which can be a bit too much sometimes!

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My newish Dean EVO-XM Short Scale Bass.

After giving it a bit of setup, it plays great with a dead low action, looks killer, and the Dean pickups sound surprisingly good to my ears. Also note it has 24 frets, though I'm personally scared to go above the 7th, maybe the 12th if I'm feeling particularly adventurous, and the wind is blowing my fingers in the right direction. I prefer this even to the Gibson Les Paul I had, it's much lighter for a start, and cost significantly less.  It's definitely vying for 1st position with the Gretsch Junior Jet as my all time favourite bass. I think it will have a couple of upgrades when money allows, but it's perfectly usable as it is in all honesty.

MyDeanEVO-Strap.jpg

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