Gretsch Junior Jet or Danelectro Hodad
Hi everyone, I currently play long scale basses but I am having some issues with tendonitis on my left hand, so I wanna try a short scale bass. Which do you recommend out of the Gretsch Junior Jet or the Danelectro Hodad?
This is kind of a dangerous question to be asking, without more info. However...
Of the 2, the Gretsch is more of a "normal" bass; short scale, solid body, 1 humbucker pickup. I don't have one (I have a lefty '94 Broadkaster), but from what I read, most people who have a Junior Jet, seem to like them a lot. "Lot of Bass for the money" is a recurring phrase.
The Hodad is...a Dano. I have 2 (1st gen. Korean DC Pros), and IMO, you have to really want the Dano sound, to put up with their quirks. Original Dano strings were extremely light; 32-79s (yes, you can still get them-from LaBella). Some people, with newer Chinese ones, have had problems with the bridge folding up. On mine, you have to take the necks off to adjust the truss rods-don't know if that's still the case. And, while they're really sturdier than they feel at first, the plain truth is that they're copies of early 60's "Beginner" instruments, that sold for less than $100 new. But, I wouldn't get rid of mine for anything. Danos define the '60's Garage Band sound.:)
If you can, the usual mantra "Try before you buy" definitely applies in this case; but IMO, if you want 'normal', get the Gretsch. If you want to try something 'outside the box', get the Dano.
I probably can't be as helpful as GIBrat51, but have you considered any other basses? Squier has a bunch of short scale bass models available right now that are similar in price to the two you mention, and they are getting pretty good reviews around here. I really like those vintage modified mustang basses.
You might try the Squier VM Tele bass also if you like the sound of the single coil P bass. I have the non - special and it is a pleasure to play, only I don't like the sound :( Do dig how it plays, tho! Med scale, $299 new.
I have had and really liked the short scale Gretsch, and IMO ergonomics-wise it's very comparable to the short scale Squier models. The Squier Mikey Way bass is kinda showy with its metalflake finish, and it's a bit heavier, but it and my Bronco are easy to play. My Bronco has a Gretsch 2202 pickup in it (which makes it an outstanding bass) and the Mikey Way has a humbucker which provides its own distinctive sound. The Bronco is lighter...both Squiers have satin finish necks which feel great.
I've had a full scale '63 Dano and it didn't do a lot for me. The bridges are definitely on the wimpy side. I like the looks of the Hodad but prefer the Gretsch. You will not go wrong with the Gretsch Junior Jet, and they're available at good prices used.
I have a Junior Jet II (two pickups instead of one, is the major difference from the Junior Jet) and I'm very fond of it. It has a nice sound, it's comfortable to play, and it has that single cutaway shape.
I know nothing about Danelectro models.
Thanks for your help, I wasnīt considering Squier because there is something about them, and I donīt know what that I just donīt like the brand; but everyone including in other threads talk very high about them for the price.
I wanted to try the Gretsch or the Dano because as I mentioned I play full scale and currently have 3 Fenders (Jazz, P-bass and Cabronita) and a MM Stingray, so I wanted something completely different.
Guess I will leave the Dano out and focus on the Gretsch or try a Squier and see if I can get the preposition out of my head.
Thanks a lot!
I own a Jr Jet and a Squier SS Jag. IMO, the two are comparable in build quality. The Gretsch has a beefier sound.
Re the Hodad - I believe the current models are long scale.
Don't discount the Squiers, they're well made economical instruments.
I have a Junior Jet 2202 (the older model) and love it. Really big sound from the one humbucker and very light and comfortable to play. Solid build, too.
I have the two pup Jet Junior, and it is a flat out, stone cold classic bass. Great sound, fast neck and beautiful to look at. Try to get one of the older MIK models, if you can. I added Gotoh tuners and a Babicz bridge to mine, and I'm never going to sell it!
Put a capo on the second fret of your long scale bass, along with some higher gauge strings, reintonate and wallah: instant short scale bass at your fingertips. If you like how it feels, you're a good candidate for a short scale.
Check out the videos in my sig if you want to hear some samples of the Gretsch Junior Jets or my new favorite short scale, the Gibson SG Special bass (which I heartily recommend).
The cts thing can suck, have same problem. I went to a lighter gauge strings on all my basses, and have been having fewer issues.
I have a VM tele and love it. If squiers are not your thing, maybe an Epi EB0. The one i owned was well constructed and sounded good with chromes, which are low tension in short scale. I found it easy to play and no cts pain
Hodad = Long Scale
I have a Hodad 3-pickup model from the late 90's. Great bass, great tone, nice neck... but it is a 34" scale. Did they make a Hodad in short scale too? Have you considered a Dano Longhorn (short scale)?
Have you considered the Ibanez Mikro? There's a lot of enthusiasm for them here on TB, including a club; you might look at the postings there to get an idea about it. Some players were attracted to it for precisely the issues you have, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, etc. I don't have any of those problems, but I'm completely digging my Mikro anyway.
The Gretsch is a pretty good buy. But, there are lots of options for SS basses.
Fender's new Starcaster and Coronado hollow body.
Hagstrom solid and hollow body.
Ibanez Mikro and Artcore.
Gretsch has quite a few models. From inexpensive to not so much.
Lakland Skyline hollow body.
Squier Jaguar, Mustang, Bronco.
Epiphone EBO, Woody Allen, Viola.
Hofner Club, Beatle, Verythin.
Danelectro Longhorn, 56' Bass.
Guild Starfire and the new M85.
Ones I have:
Daisy Rock Flower and Heart. No longer made. Average basses, I have them more as wall hangers than players.
Danelectro Longhorn. Light, easy to play. Have their own unique sound. Not a lot of thump.
Epiphone Flying V. No longer made but available used. Play well, good neck, not so good electronics.
ESP LTD B5-JR. 28 1/2" scale 5 string. Not great, just average electronics and neck.
Fender Starcaster. Hollowbody, nice neck, humbuckers, good balance, heavy.
Gibson Thunderbird SS. Great neck, lots of thump from stock pickups. Good balance. Hate the finish, matte black.
Gretsch 2224. Good neck, good electronics, good balance, heavy. You can't go wrong with one of these.
Guild JS II. No longer made but can be found used. Good necks, lots of thump from the humbuckers. Price on these is getting to the point where there are better options.
Hagstrom Futurama. No longer made, mine is a 64'. Can be had used. I've played new ones and not bad basses.
Hofner Icon. Light, easy to play. Have their own sound. Sound like nothing else and nothing else sounds like them.
Squier Bronco. Not their best offering. I never play mine, just don't like it very much.
Squier Jaguar SS. Very good bass. Probably the best buy for the money out there. Good neck, easy to play. The "P" pickup is good, the "J" is a little weak. Easily rectified. Gigantic thread on these. Very easy to mod, and lots of them have been.
Squier Telecaster bass. Actually a medium scale at 32". Good bass, heavy. Nice neck.
Have a Guild Starfire on order. I'll give a review on it when it comes in.
Wow! Thank you all for your advise!
@fjadams thatīs quite a list you have!
Definitely will look into the Squier Jaguar SS. Would love a Fender Coronado but out of the price range, maybe for next christmas :)
The Jag SS really is an extraordinary buy. From what I've seen the red ones have the best finish, followed by the black and then the silver. Of course there are always exceptions.
I don't know whether the current Junior Jets have the same TV Jones designed pickup. It looks similar but may not be the same.
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