Bootlegger Ace Short Scale Headless Bass

4.5/5, 4.5 from 1 review
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Recent Reviews

  1. Lesfunk
    4.5/5, 4.5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 8, 2022
    Build Quality:
    • + High quality
    • + Fun to play
    • + Good sound
    • + Great value
    • - Neck may be too slim for some tastes
    Ace short scale bass review
    Street price $599

    I was already familiar with Bootlegger guitars, having previously owned a long scale ACE headless bass, praising it for its original design, high quality, and amazing low price .
    When I got a message from Chuck, the owner of bootlegger, notifying me that the ACE was being released in a short scale version, I was eager to get one in my hands.
    After several months of waiting due to supply chain issues, COVID shutdowns, etc. I finally got the call I was waiting for. The new shorties were arriving, so I immediately got one ordered . Six days later, the big brown truck arrived with my new bass .
    The ACE short scale differs from its big brother in a few ways besides the short 30” scale length .
    While The new models feature tummy cut contour on the upper body that was missing on the earlier versions , the biggest changes relate to the neck.
    The short scale neck is bolt on vs. neck thru on the long scale models .
    The shorty neck finish is a smooth satin semi gloss vs. the high gloss on the long scale. It feels great under your thumb and is very fast.
    The 5 piece maple neck has a new “slim taper” with a volute block at the head that allows the player to “feel” the end of the neck with his/her thumb.
    The nut width on mine is a hair under 1.5” and is one of the slimmest, slinkiest I’ve ever played. This, combined with the short scale and close fret spacing will be very comfortable for young players or anyone with small hands. If you like a tiny neck you will love it. If you prefer a chunky neck, this may be too small for your taste, but I had great fun flying all over the fretboard.
    The neck features a dual action truss rod that works really well at making accurate relief adjustments.
    The fret work was very good with no sprout or sharp edges. I was able to achieve low action with no fret buzz across the full two octave jatoba fingerboard.

    The body retains the same asymmetric shape used on previous ACE models and the Spade guitar, inspired by Johnny Winters “Lazer “ headless axe.
    When sitting down in a chair , the bottom cutaway places the bass on your leg in a near perfect playing position .
    While standing using a strap, One of the issues I had with the long scale bass was the extremely long reach to the low notes due to the lack of an upper horn strap button. This was remedied by the addition of the optional strap extender bar which relocates the strap button to hang at the 12th fret rather that the back of the body.
    This was not an issue with the short scale, however . The shorter scale length makes the reach to the lower positions feel very natural and comfortable without the extender bar being necessary.

    The black finished hardware is the same high quality monorail bridges found on the previous models. The tuning is smooth and accurate.
    The head piece is a simple string through clamp system where the std. single ball strings are fed through the slot, then clamped down by hex key set screws. Once clamped down, the excess string is trimmed with wire cutters.
    Three Hex wrenches are supplied for head piece , truss rod, and bridge adjustments.
    Pickups are passive dual hum canceling 3.5” soap bar with volume/blend/ tone controls , and they sound good !
    The tone is solid and hum free .
    The pickups appear to be standard EMG size should you ever decide to go active, but there’s plenty of tones available as it is.

    The weight is a very manageable 7lbs , about a pound lighter than the long scale model.
    The bass also comes with a very nice fitted hard shell case . This is a nice touch .
    I don’t know of any other companies that include a case at this price point.

    The short scale ACE should appeal to players looking for a well built, extremely portable, good sounding travel bass as well as kids or those who simply prefer a small instrument.
    The bass is built solid and doesn’t need any modifications or upgrades.
    You’ve got to hand it to Bootlegger for taking chances on creating an unusual axe.
    This is a great little bass that is lots of fun to play and offers a lot of quality at a very reasonable price.

    When you consider that it’s closest competitor, the Ibanez EHB short scale , costs almost twice as much, the bootlegger is most definitely worth checking out!
    Price Paid:
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Bass Details

  1. No. of Frets:
    Active or Passive:
    Scale Length:
    No. of Strings:
    Body Material:
    Neck Material:
    Body Finish:
    Gloss poly
    Nut Width:
    Fingerboard Material:
    Ceramic hum bucker
    Other Hardware:
    EQ / Controls:
    Vol/blend /tone
    Manufacturer info:
    Ace Short Scale Bass
    Introducing our new Ace Short Scale Ace (30 inch scale) bass. Our short scale provides the punch, fatter-sounding low notes you expect from a short scale while being both lighter and more compact than other short scale basses. Because it does not have a head..

    Our new headless bolt on bass neck, is tapered D shape. We were asked to develop a slimmer tapered style neck for today’s progressive musicians, and we nailed it. With fully assessable 24 frets designed for the player wanting a full two octave range.

    We use only the highest quality woods, three-piece maple neck through body, ash body wings and beautiful high polished Brazilian cherry Jatoba fretboard. All South Korean hardware and it uses standard single ball strings. Comes with a high-quality custom hard case ready for the road or overhead plane compartment.

    All guitars are Bootlegger Guitar designs.

    All-new ergonomic, balanced design suited for sitting or standing playing. 44 mm body, hard maple with swamp ash body wings. Belly cut for comfort. Bootlegger Whiskey Tattoo.

    Neck & Fretboard
    3 piece maple neck with 4 bolt on to body construction. Material Brazilian cherry jatoba roasted fretboard. 350R, 24 Jumbo fret full access, 2 octaves. Nut material, graphite.

    Neck thickness 24 at nut, 30mm at 12th fret.

    Neck width nut 42mm at 12th fret, 55mm at 12 fret, 65mm at 24th fret.

    Pickup middle BB651-4(CERAMIC8)-BOOHEUNG / 4.96KΩ Pickup rear BB651-4(CERAMIC8)-BOOHEUNG S. / 4.96KΩ

    Controls 3 way, volume, tone, pickup blend

    Finish black bridge & tuners. Taesung HL S. Korea (patented) head Taesung HL. Controls Volume & tone knobs black aluminum. String tuning is at the butt of the body.

    Strings / Controls
    Strings & Set Up Strings single ball 045″~0.105 Standard Single Ball Strings String Setup 2mm

    String Spacing
    At monorail bridge 18.56 mm

    Bass weight 6.5 pounds. Measurements 36 Inches long, 11 inches wide, 1 3/4 thick.

    Bass and case weigh about 15 pounds, case dimensions 39 x 31 1/2 x 4.

    Bootlegger tattoo hard shell stiletto case Including keys and tools

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