30" scale pros and cons; Rob Allen Mouse

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lefty007, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I'm interested in getting a Rob Allen Mouse 30 but I have never played a 30" scale bass.

    I was wondering if some of you guys could point out the pros and cons. I know short-scales are easy to play but I also hear that the notes would have more overtones (as in less fundamentals, not good).

    What is so special sound-wise about short-scales?

    I just don't know whether to get a regular 34" scale MB-2 or the Mouse 30.

  2. Hi,
    I can't speak to the "Mouse" or other acoustic/electric 30" scale basses but, solidbody electrics have a different feel as well as sound.

    Due to the shorter scale length, the string gauges you are used to will feel more flexible, generally allowing guitaristic string bending technique if you would like to at least occasionally use it. If you are a light gauge string user on a 34"er, you'll feel right at home and maybe even "freer" to do your thing!

    Chording is much more comfortable if you do a lot of that. If you double on guitar, this can be an enormous advantage in my opinion.

    Older 30" scale basses from the '60s often had pretty inadequate pickups.
    The Gibson EBOs were very muddy, the Fender Mustangs could be thumpy, etc. I believe that modern or custom pickups can make short scale instruments sound much like their 34" scale brethren. Those older basses often used guitaristic pickups similar to a Strat pickup so it's really no wonder...

    I own and play out several high quality custom basses and when I play my funky (crappy) Squier Bronco 30" I have to say that the general public doesn't mind one bit or (sadly) hear a difference!

    I do though! and miss the quality and easy play of a high level instrument when I play my "hunk a junk" but there IS a kind of perverse lesson here...we TBers care but the public doesn't usually notice or care that you're playing a short scale.

    I've heard good things about "The Mouse" bass and it's sound but it would probably be a good idea to try one out before purchase if you can. If your'e concerned about hearing a strong fundamental after trying one, try playing through a pedal or rack EQ. I think with that or a couple of amp adjustments, you'll be happy.

    Hope this was somewhat helpful to you... oh yeah, carrying a short scale around and in and out of taxis, subways, placing in overhead bins can be sheer joy compared to longer scales!
  3. I had a '72 Gibson SB-350. 30" scale. It was super-easy to play, looked great, was sturdy, excellent tuners, but the mini-humbucking pickups made the E string rubber.

    I believe the major problem folks have with short-scale electric basses are with the pickups... :meh:
  4. Offbase


    Mar 9, 2000
    It varies from bass to bass. I've had shortscales that had all the tightness and "nearly" the full sound of a full scale, and others that have floppy E's and sounded terrible. I would think that one made by a custom maker would fit into the first category.
  5. MyDogBo


    Aug 25, 2002
  6. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Ditto all of the above. I have a number of short and medium scale basses and love them, but imo/ime construction and implementation are a much bigger factor on shorties than on a 34", with pickup type/design and placement needing adjusting to get the best out of them. Stainless strings also help.
    Neither of my 30.75 Alembics are lacking in any way compared to a 34 scale bass.

    However, no one except another muso is ever going to notice that even my really cheap Samick 30" P is not full scale, and I doubt any non muso in the audience will ever pick a tone difference.

    Defintely try both of the Rob Allen's before you buy if you can and decide on which one feels better in your hands, and sounds better to your ears, rather than on the scale length alone.