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Super Mini Basses (16" scale or thereabouts)

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Alright folks

You know that I like gadgets, and some of you know that I bought a mini bass a few years ago and filled it with bells and whistles. For playing synths or noodling away with caked in reverb and delay this little thing absolutely rocks. Kick in an octave pedal and some distortion and it's the heaviest fattest sounding piece of wood on the planet.

Mine is made by Wingbass (made by Stanbaugh). I know there are other owners here too.

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I'm tempted to get a fretless version and I've been looking around at other manufacturers who make basses like this, and was wondering if I had missed anyone. A few years ago I don't think they exited at all, but it seems like lots of companies are doing them now, at least to use up offcuts of wood!!

So far I have found:

 

Mayones

https://mayones.com/basses/cali4/

I quite like the look of these but Mayones never answer emails so that's put me off a bit. Also not sure if they do fretless and don't REALLY want to go custom, I'd rather buy one already made!

 

Stradi

http://stradi.pl/

Came to my attention after one sold on here. Very ornate, some look amazingly well crafted but I rather like the simpler designs. I like how they are in a section called 'Little Things'

 

Kala

https://kalabrand.com/collections/california-ubass

Not quite the same, but these solid bodied ones can take strings with a metal wrap but I've never heard one and think they are a bit expensive, plus the bridge is naff

 

Grossman

https://www.bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/Grosmann_Travel_Walnut.html

Despite the builder spamming the piss out of every website on the planet and pretending not to own the company, these little basses look 'similar' to the Mayones effort

 

Marleaux

https://www.marleaux-bass.com/marleaux-bass_consat_sopran.html

OK a little bit big at 22" but fairly close. Trouble is unless you go half scale you need custom strings - half scale you just chop your usual ones in half!

 

Mub

https://www.mauriziouberbasses.com/miezo

Don't know much about these but they look well crafted - necks similar to Leduc

 

Mihado

https://mihado.com/product/fingybass/

These look a bit low end and crude but still good for them I say

 

VB Custom Basses

https://vbcustomtravelbass.com/gallery

Saw these on FB. Some cool looking original designs.

 

 

BTW if you think these basses are JUST for TRAVEL and PLAYING THROUGH AN OCTAVE PEDAL then they are not at all - they are inspiring, fun and like playing a proper bass. they are NOT GUITARS! NNNOOooooo000ooooooooooo...

Please let me know if you have seen any brands I've missed and can add to my list?

ta

ped

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1 minute ago, Grantd said:

I have a MUB Miezo on order, due in a couple of weeks. I will let you know my thoughts.

Great! I meant to tag a bunch of people I know who have a mini bass - thanks for chiming in! What specs have you gone for, or was it a finished bass?

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Just now, Frank Blank said:

Paging @Jabba_the_gut.

I think we need a pic or two of Jabbas beautiful mini basses.

I think they’re a bit longer than the half scale type I’m referring to (with the exception of the Marleaux) unless he’s made another... I’ve seen a few good home builds actually and Andy at Wingbass is always helpful with advice and happy for people to make their own which is cool. 

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4 minutes ago, ped said:

I think they’re a bit longer than the half scale type I’m referring to (with the exception of the Marleaux) unless he’s made another... I’ve seen a few good home builds actually and Andy at Wingbass is always helpful with advice and happy for people to make their own which is cool. 

I did wonder if they were too long!

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Yeah I can’t be bothered to reach that far any more 

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I must say id never even considered one of these until I saw this video - sounds very authentic (playing and bass sound) to me 👍

https://youtu.be/FexkbCCsvDs

She also plays normal bass - extremely well - I now really like the original of this when it comes on the radio but then miss the tasty bass parts on this cover!!

https://youtu.be/f40HDIwho_E

I know I shouldn't really comment on people's avatars but @ped is that a shell pink accordion in yours? 😯

Edited by drTStingray

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2 hours ago, ped said:

I think they’re a bit longer than the half scale type I’m referring to (with the exception of the Marleaux) unless he’s made another... I’ve seen a few good home builds actually and Andy at Wingbass is always helpful with advice and happy for people to make their own which is cool. 

Yep, the two I built were 23" scale so a little longer. I'm going to make another couple of necks to try; one will be 27" the other 17". You're quite right about headed versions in particular as they require custom strings but headless ones with strings clamps allow a wider choice of strings.

0SLNTgm.jpg

As Ped says, these super short scale basses are really great fun but also sound the business. And you don;t have to stretch so far.....

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4 hours ago, ped said:

Great! I meant to tag a bunch of people I know who have a mini bass - thanks for chiming in! What specs have you gone for, or was it a finished bass?

Maurizio posted this on instagram, mine is the one on the right.

Ash body, going to be stained black. Birdseye fretboard (I considered fretless and discussed it with him, but fretted is more usable - maybe I wasn't brave enough), 4 string, Bartolini pickup and we're discussing Kemp strings that play in the usual 34" octave - no need for a octaver.

 

IMG_0749.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, Grantd said:

Is it weird that I have had a Wingbass, Stradi, Marleaux and I’m about to get a MUB…

Yes I think it’s pretty clear that we’re weird and logically you must be four times weirder! But weird is good. The MUB looks great, did you try one somewhere or are you just going for it? So Mayones next?! 

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I was too impatient to wait for a Mayones, so opted for the Miezo.

But wait 6 months and it will be for sale here while I wait for a Mayones...stranger things have happened.

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I started making a 19.75” scale mini bass. It has built in headphone amp similar to Mayones. Biggest difference mine is 5 string

35F389F8-BAE7-42FA-8949-E2033BE35E6A.jpeg

CEE8F712-368B-4C45-B9C2-B1A31B9323D1.jpeg

265F0146-FE41-4BDF-AE99-C500BE0639E7.jpeg

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That looks great - apt username too!

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3 hours ago, BassApprentice said:

Looking forward to hearing about your bass @Grantd

I've been following them for a while, will yours have a headphone amp built in? 

In the current setup it won't but I can still add it. I have been considering adding one, it will add to the versitility when travelling. 

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Yes, I know, Guild Ashbory fits the bill only partially, but I would add it to the list. Fun to play, complicated body shape.

Edited by itu
learning to write

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Add KAM and Kala to the list.

I looked at the Mayones Cali - certainly look the part but I can't justify £1500 on an impulse buy.

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23 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Add KAM and Kala to the list.

I looked at the Mayones Cali - certainly look the part but I can't justify £1500 on an impulse buy.

I’ve got Kala down although they only partly fit the brief... who are KAM? Any links?

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On 12/09/2020 at 18:40, Chopthebass said:

I started making a 19.75” scale mini bass. It has built in headphone amp similar to Mayones. Biggest difference mine is 5 string

35F389F8-BAE7-42FA-8949-E2033BE35E6A.jpeg

CEE8F712-368B-4C45-B9C2-B1A31B9323D1.jpeg

265F0146-FE41-4BDF-AE99-C500BE0639E7.jpeg

Oh my wooly word that's gorgeous.

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18 minutes ago, Tubster said:

Ah yes I did see that - sliding pickup, cool! IIRC the scale was about 20"? Love the look of your bass by the way, assuming it was the one advertised here.

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On 11/09/2020 at 17:30, drTStingray said:

I must say id never even considered one of these until I saw this video - sounds very authentic (playing and bass sound) to me 👍

https://youtu.be/FexkbCCsvDs

 

Easy to see why Kala sent her a free uke bass!

I've had a number of uke basses over the years, but I've never made one sound as good as that.

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On 11/09/2020 at 16:01, ped said:

Trouble is unless you go half scale you need custom strings - half scale you just chop your usual ones in half!

 

Is it really as simple as that? Just buy long-scale strings and chop off 18" including the silks?

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