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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, martthebass said:

 

I had one briefly in the same colour scheme.  

 

First the positives:  The neck was a great J profile, very fast and easy to play, seemed to be the same profile as my MII Mustang - could have almost been the same neck except for the name on the headstock.  The pups were great, very punchy and powerful, didn't find either of them weak and preferred them to the humbucker on my Mikey Way Mustang.  Very lightweight, sub 8lbs - maybe closer to 7.  

 

The negatives:  The body was so lightweight that it had significant neck dive; I know shorties can suffer this (my JMJ has a mild case) but it was pretty bad on this one.  The wood (Agathis?)was on the soft side so I had to stabilise the strap pins with epoxy.  The tuners were low quality but did the job.

 

I let the bass go to part fund the JMJ eventually.  If you decide to go for one I'd try before buying as the weight/wood quality may vary a bit and the balance may be a factor for you. 


Thanks for the input. When I saw the price, condition & bridge upgrade, I didn’t hesitate. Otherwise I’d have asked about the weight. Its my first SS, so I guess it’s for trying that aspect out more than anything else.
 

The JMJ Mustang seems popular. I’m not crazy about roadworn stuff and I’ve heard the neck is quite chunky. If they had a slimmer neck and a standard gloss finish I bet I’d love to try one. Actually I don’t mind the matt black, just not sure about the fake wear. If I find I like SS, I wouldn’t rule out trying a Mustang, especially if I was to go all in and sell my only long scale bass 
 

 



 

Edited by dmc79
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5 minutes ago, dmc79 said:

If I find I like SS, I wouldn’t rule out trying a Mustang, especially if I was to go all in and sell my only long scale bass 
 

 



 

Be warned, the wee blighters are addictive.

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13 minutes ago, dmc79 said:


Thanks for the input. When I saw the price, condition & bridge upgrade, I didn’t hesitate. Otherwise I’d have asked about the weight. Its my first SS, so I guess it’s for trying that aspect out more than anything else.
 

The JMJ Mustang seems popular. I’m not crazy about roadworn stuff and I’ve heard the neck is quite chunky. If they had a slimmer neck and a standard gloss finish I bet I’d love to try one. Actually I don’t mind the matt black, just not sure about the fake wear. If I find I like SS, I wouldn’t rule out trying a Mustang, especially if I was to go all in and sell my only long scale bass 
 

 



 

 

Like you I'm not a relic fan but the finish isn't so offensive in the flesh.  Also, for 'mass produced' it's pretty well executed with some nice checking details and it doesn't look like it's been dragged behind a car for a couple of miles.  The neck is certainly chunkier than the CIJ or MII Jazz type profile but it's not a real struggle and if you are ok with the standard P (40mm) type you'd be ok I'd have thought.  

 

The main thing to me though is the sound, it really is the nicest sounding Mustang I've had and I've played a few - I guess this is a combination of the bespoke SD pup and the neck construction.

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29 minutes ago, martthebass said:

 

Like you I'm not a relic fan but the finish isn't so offensive in the flesh.  Also, for 'mass produced' it's pretty well executed with some nice checking details and it doesn't look like it's been dragged behind a car for a couple of miles.  The neck is certainly chunkier than the CIJ or MII Jazz type profile but it's not a real struggle and if you are ok with the standard P (40mm) type you'd be ok I'd have thought.  

 

The main thing to me though is the sound, it really is the nicest sounding Mustang I've had and I've played a few - I guess this is a combination of the bespoke SD pup and the neck construction.


Sounds good. What’s the weight of the JMJ ?

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41 minutes ago, dmc79 said:


Thanks for the input. When I saw the price, condition & bridge upgrade, I didn’t hesitate. Otherwise I’d have asked about the weight. Its my first SS, so I guess it’s for trying that aspect out more than anything else.
 

The JMJ Mustang seems popular. I’m not crazy about roadworn stuff and I’ve heard the neck is quite chunky. If they had a slimmer neck and a standard gloss finish I bet I’d love to try one. Actually I don’t mind the matt black, just not sure about the fake wear. If I find I like SS, I wouldn’t rule out trying a Mustang, especially if I was to go all in and sell my only long scale bass 
 

 



 

I had a black Jaguar and it was a great bass but as has already been said, it did neck dive badly. I did change the pickups for the D’Addario matched P/J set and it sounded great with those. Although, like every P/J set I have tried, the Jazz bridge sounded weak in comparison to the P and putting both on full volume was like flicking a pad switch. I put a push/pull pot in the neck volume position and wired it to give me both pickups in series when pulled. Now that had cojones! I also took the opportunity to shield the the cavities with copper tape; not really necessary with the D’Addarios as the Jazz has stacked coils to quieten it and Ps are humbucking by their nature. The shielding came in useful when I put the original pickups back in it to sell it. I remember it being a bit noisy out of the box.
 

I also put a high mass bridge on it, which helped a bit with the neck dive and improved tone/sustain. Yours already has that, which is a big plus IMO.

 

Good call to change from the standard 40-95s, they really didn’t do it justice IMO. They were super easy to play but they sounded boingy: a bit like playing with giant rubber bands.

 

Anyway, enjoy it. I regret selling mine because they seem to have become sought after now they are out of production.

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There's an Ibanez shortie on the market now for £135, can recommend to anyone who wants to peek into the world of SS for a reasonable price.

 

 

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17 hours ago, martthebass said:

 

Not really a slapper me (no comment) but as Fretty says I don't think either of those would fit the brief as a slap machine.  Of the 3 shorties I have I wouldn't consider either of the 2 Mustangs to be great at the job but, with the right strings the G&L Fallout would have a reasonable chance as it has much hotter pups. I would have to put some higher tension strings on though to have the correct string response I feel.

 

Same disclaimer: not a great slapper myself.

My Bronco has a bridge pickup added and it defends itself allright on classic boogie era slap and pop.

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EXTREMELY long time no post. Anyone here tune their short scale bass to standard D (often to dropped C). I am toying with the idea of picking up another short scale in standard D, but feel a 34" might be less hassle with floppy strings.

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12 hours ago, barrycreed said:

EXTREMELY long time no post. Anyone here tune their short scale bass to standard D (often to dropped C). I am toying with the idea of picking up another short scale in standard D, but feel a 34" might be less hassle with floppy strings.

 

Not exaclty what you're asking for, but I've recently tuned my modified Bronco to "fifths" tuning (basically cello tuning one octave down: C-G-D-A low to high). I used a light set from a 5 string bass, using 5th, 4th, 2nd and 1st strings from low to high.

 

I can't yet play it properly but the sound is interesting!

In your case tuning to standard D, I would use four big strings from a 5 string set.

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14 hours ago, barrycreed said:

EXTREMELY long time no post. Anyone here tune their short scale bass to standard D (often to dropped C). I am toying with the idea of picking up another short scale in standard D, but feel a 34" might be less hassle with floppy strings.

As Badscrew suggests, I think you'd need to go for a set of high-tension strings. I gig classic-rock covers dropped to Eon my 30"-scale basses strung with La Bella standard-gauge flats, which sound great. The s-s bass I keep to standard tuning for other stuff has TI Jazz Flats and they'd be too floppy if drop-tuned. I only play flats and they are generally higher tension than rounds of the same gauge. Can't say how a 'stiff' set of s-s rounds would perform but would assume that you'd have to go up a gauge to get the equivalent tension to flats.

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On 07/05/2022 at 04:10, fretmeister said:

Question for the Hive Mind.

 

I'm thinking about either a Mustang PJ (mex) or a Sterling Ray shorty. I cannot decide between them.

 

Which one would you go for and why? 

I have a Mustang PJ and I think it gets two good sounds with the switch in the neck pickup or both pickups.I have a Ray 34 with a great eq that has a lot of range. That passive short scale Ray needs that preamp, I feel. The 'Stang is probably lighter . 

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49 minutes ago, barrycreed said:

I might just go 34”, it doesn’t **have** to be a short scale.

 

I've got two 32 scale basses - One is a 5 string in BEADG and the other in C standard.

 

Both fine. Just needs the right strings.

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Posted (edited)

I really ought to make a standard reply and save it so I can copy paste it every time someone suggest abnormally thick gauge strings for short scale basses relatively to their actual scale length, it'll sound like donkey as soon as you go up the fretboard because of the increased stiffness/inflexibility of the strings in relation to gauge, regardless of the lower actual tension, being a function of the shorter scale as a result of the relatively shorter vibrating length of the strings, an effect that will increase exponentially as you go up the fretboard. 

 

Personally I prefer a set with a gauge .095 low E string for a 30" short scale bass, and I think that is the optimal gauge for a low E string of a 30" scale instrument, certainly you wouldn't want ever to go any higher than a gauge .100 low E string if you want it to sound decent, the thinner gauge strings will also result in more harmonic content, which already is naturally reduced due to the shorter scale length, you wouldn't want to add to that effect by equipping it with abnormally thick strings relatively to the scale length.

 

You can't expect ripping the strings like if you were handling the string of a bow aiming for a long shot and fretting them like you needed to squash a walnut, if you adjust your playing style accordingly to the instrument you actually play you'll find that the natural lower tension of a short scale bass is actually not an issue, but rather makes for a really comfortable playing experience, instead of equipping abnormally thick strings relatively to the scale length, which will result in preventing them from vibrating properly because of the relative increase of stiffness/inflexibility as a result of the shorter vibrating length, just so you can go on handling your short scale bass like as if it was the exact same instrument as your 34" scale bass, but sound like absolute donkey, that is all thud and mud, with no sustain and no harmonic content, as a result.

 

Try equipping a regular 24.75" or 25.5" scale electric guitar with the gauge of strings that'll give them the same tension as the strings on your 34" scale bass and see how that sounds, there's a reason for them being much much lower tension than bass strings, and that is the scale length, which as said results in accordingly stiffer/less flexible strings.

 

For drop D on a 30" short scale bass though you do properly need a gauge .105 low D string.

 

 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

I really ought to make a standard reply and save it so I can copy paste it every time someone suggest abnormally thick gauge strings for short scale basses relatively to their actual scale length, it'll sound like donkey as soon as you go up the fretboard because of the increased stiffness/inflexibility of the strings in relation to gauge, regardless of the lower actual tension, being a function of the shorter scale as a result of the relatively shorter vibrating length of the strings, an effect that will increase exponentially as you go up the fretboard. 

 

Personally I prefer a set with a gauge .095 low E string for a 30" short scale bass, and I think that is the optimal gauge for a low E string of a 30" scale instrument, certainly you wouldn't want ever to go any higher than a gauge .100 low E string if you want it to sound decent, the thinner gauge strings will also result in more harmonic content, which already is naturally reduced due to the shorter scale length, you wouldn't want to add to that effect by equipping it with abnormally thick strings relatively to the scale length.

 

You can't expect ripping the strings like if you were handling the string of a bow aiming for a long shot and fretting them like you needed to squash a walnut, if you adjust your playing style accordingly to the instrument you actually play you'll find that the natural lower tension of a short scale bass is actually not an issue, but rather makes for a really comfortable playing experience, instead of equipping abnormally thick strings relatively to the scale length, which will result in preventing them from vibrating properly because of the relative increase of stiffness/inflexibility as a result of the shorter vibrating length, so you can go on handling like it was the exact same instrument as your 34" scale bass, but sound like absolute donkey, that is all thud and mud, with no sustain and no harmonic content, as a result.

 

Try equipping a regular 24.75" or 25.5" scale electric guitar with the gauge of strings that'll give them the same tension as the strings on your 34" scale bass and see how that sounds, there's a reason for them being much much lower tension than bass strings, and that is the scale length, which as said results in accordingly stiffer/less flexible strings.

 

For drop D on a 30" short scale bass though you do properly need a gauge .105 low D string.

 

 

I have recently changed to short scale a Mex Mustang, I had to change my technique to get a nice tone, at first both with fingers and pic I was playing it the same as the 34 inch Warwick and it didn't sound good but I found by playing more gentle it produced a nice tone and easier on the hands and fingers. I wasn't sure a short scale would be for me at first but I won't go back now, waiting for the custom s/s Maruszczyk to arrive, can't wait. I'm using D'addario EXL170s. 

Edited by gazzatriumph
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3 hours ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

I really ought to make a standard reply and save it so I can copy paste it every time someone suggest abnormally thick gauge strings for short scale basses relatively to their actual scale length, it'll sound like donkey as soon as you go up the fretboard because of the increased stiffness/inflexibility of the strings in relation to gauge, regardless of the lower actual tension, being a function of the shorter scale as a result of the relatively shorter vibrating length of the strings, an effect that will increase exponentially as you go up the fretboard. 

 

Personally I prefer a set with a gauge .095 low E string for a 30" short scale bass, and I think that is the optimal gauge for a low E string of a 30" scale instrument, certainly you wouldn't want ever to go any higher than a gauge .100 low E string if you want it to sound decent, the thinner gauge strings will also result in more harmonic content, which already is naturally reduced due to the shorter scale length, you wouldn't want to add to that effect by equipping it with abnormally thick strings relatively to the scale length.

 

You can't expect ripping the strings like if you were handling the string of a bow aiming for a long shot and fretting them like you needed to squash a walnut, if you adjust your playing style accordingly to the instrument you actually play you'll find that the natural lower tension of a short scale bass is actually not an issue, but rather makes for a really comfortable playing experience, instead of equipping abnormally thick strings relatively to the scale length, which will result in preventing them from vibrating properly because of the relative increase of stiffness/inflexibility as a result of the shorter vibrating length, just so you can go on handling your short scale bass like as if it was the exact same instrument as your 34" scale bass, but sound like absolute donkey, that is all thud and mud, with no sustain and no harmonic content, as a result.

 

Try equipping a regular 24.75" or 25.5" scale electric guitar with the gauge of strings that'll give them the same tension as the strings on your 34" scale bass and see how that sounds, there's a reason for them being much much lower tension than bass strings, and that is the scale length, which as said results in accordingly stiffer/less flexible strings.

 

For drop D on a 30" short scale bass though you do properly need a gauge .105 low D string.

 

 

 

 

And yet there are 25.5 scale 8 string guitars with a low F# with no difficulty.

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On 09/05/2022 at 15:11, dmc79 said:

Following up on my short scale curiosity from a couple of months ago, I couldn't hold off any longer. Well, actually I've not been looking actively every day, but happened to do an eBay search on Sat and there was a Squier VM Jaguar SS in silver. It looks to be in excellent condition and has an upgraded Babicz black bridge. A quick search reveals the bridge alone sells for around 120, so I think 240 was a fair asking price. I am really excited about trying this out. There is a big fan club for these on Talkbass, and I read 100 pages of the current one since buying this!

 

Interesting findings going through that topic. It seems that the weight of these massively varies, as does the neck dive, with some players saying it didn't dive at all, and some saying it was nothing that lightweight tuners didn't sort out. Nobody seemed to get bad neck dive with them. Perhaps I should have asked the seller about the weight, but at that price I'm not losing any sleep over it. Other common thoughts are that the P pickup is generally decent, but the J (bridge) one is a bit weak, with some leaving it as stock, some just replacing the J one, and others replacing the whole lot. All manner of opinions on strings, I've only ever used rounds so will stick to those. Most said that going to a heavier gauge than stock (40-95)  improved the string tension and took any floppiness out of especially the E string. There's also something called a 'magnet mod' on there which is said to improve the J output.

 

Anyone a fan of the VM Jaguars? They don't seem to get much love in this topic. I'd be interested in gig bag (and maybe hard case) options for these that I can get easily in the UK. I've seen that PMT to a 'Tourtech' gig bag for 30 quid. I've ordered some black pickguard screws as this seems a popular and cheap mod, and a set of short scale D'Addario XL Nickel Wounds in Medium (50-105) to start off with. I will see how it goes, for pickup sets (if needed), the EMG Geezer PJ & DiMarzio DP126 blacks look popular, as do Hipshot Ultralite black tuners. Cool that it already has an upgraded bridge.

 

By all accounts it sounds like a really fun and playable bass, with nice mod options. It's killing a few birds with one stone too - I've always fancied trying a Jagaur, recently wanted to try a shorty, haven't played a thinner Jazz style neck for a few years, and hopefully it will be lighter than a P bass. I can't say I've ever particularly wanted to try a P/J combination, but I get the chance to do that now too. I wasn't sure about the silver / black colour at first, but I believe it''s better in person than on pics, and the industrial look will be a change, as I've never had a bass this colour before. I'm trying not to get too excited in case SS doesn't work for me, but I can't help it! The thought of a shorter, lighter bass does appeal to me. Fun times!

 

 

http://www.stubmandrel.co.uk/14-music/170-cure-the-squier-jaguar-short-scale-s-wimpy-j-pickup

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

 

 

And yet there are 25.5 scale 8 string guitars with a low F# with no difficulty.

 

Exactly, at much much lower tension, and usually even gauge as well, than you would normally use for a low F# tuning on a 34" scale bass.

 

Though usually 8 string guitars will have a scale length of around 27", but the point still stands. 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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But so what?

 

Why even try to compare guitars with basses? The approach to string design is different. It's possible to have high or low tension strings of a certain gauge. It all depends on the construction. The core of a bass string is far larger than a guitar string. The wrap wires are different too.

 

So needing a higher tension string for lower tuning does not have to mean an increase in gauge as long as the player is willing to use a different construction.

As an extreme example - the new Hellborg signature set don't even have a metal core and as a result you can actually tie a knot in them like you would with cotton.

 

There are enough custom string makers out there now to get any mix of hex or round core, large or small wrap wire, double wraps or single wraps etc etc.

 

Ultimately it's just a bit of wood with some strings attached to it. It has unavoidable compromises but as long as the player isn't stuck in a "it must be d'addarip prosteels" mindset then there are options to resolve any tension issues, and more and more makers are making balanced tension sets.

 

Shorter scale lengths are not a problem, nor a compromise. They are just different.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, fretmeister said:

But so what?

 

Why even try to compare guitars with basses? The approach to string design is different. It's possible to have high or low tension strings of a certain gauge. It all depends on the construction. The core of a bass string is far larger than a guitar string. The wrap wires are different too.

 

So needing a higher tension string for lower tuning does not have to mean an increase in gauge as long as the player is willing to use a different construction.

As an extreme example - the new Hellborg signature set don't even have a metal core and as a result you can actually tie a knot in them like you would with cotton.

 

There are enough custom string makers out there now to get any mix of hex or round core, large or small wrap wire, double wraps or single wraps etc etc.

 

Ultimately it's just a bit of wood with some strings attached to it. It has unavoidable compromises but as long as the player isn't stuck in a "it must be d'addarip prosteels" mindset then there are options to resolve any tension issues, and more and more makers are making balanced tension sets.

 

Shorter scale lengths are not a problem, nor a compromise. They are just different.

"So what?", about what you thought was being a point really being no point at all, or at least not the point you thought it was?

 

It's either that or I have absolutely no idea why you quoted my post in your initial reply.

 

I guess it is alright though to reply to posts without really having a point with it... :scratch_one-s_head:*shrug*

 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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Until recently 3 of my short scales were strung with 50 - 110 gauge roundwound strings and they sounded spot on. 2 of these are ACG basses which came factory fitted with this gauge.

I have now fitted the 2 pbass short scales with 40 - 90 gauge flats can hear and here a difference in the harmonic content, while the tension is similar to the roundwounds.

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