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5 string short scale??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by unclebass, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. unclebass


    Dec 17, 2012
    I am thinking about going short scale with my next bass, but would like to keep with a 5 string if possible. I find that I prefer the feel of a Fender jazz neck. I am not comfortable with thick chunky necks at all. I know nothing about how a B string would sound on a short scale. I am looking for possible recommendations, preferably in the $500ish range. I have only seen an Ibanez Mikro 5, but I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER BLACK BASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Unusual, but they exist. Rondomusic.com makes them, as does Warwick, I believe. Probably a few others.
  3. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    If you have $$, Birdsong makes a lovely SS 5 strg.

    If not, Rondo sells them - Brice/Agile manufacture them. I know, I have one. They are pretty nice for the money!

    They are available in a walnut or natural finish. Mine is walnut. I had some neck/setup fine-tuning done, and found a pair of EMG 40CS for cheap on CL, added an EMG BTS tone setup, and now it's pretty much my favorite bass to play.

    SS B strings are few and far between, and you're gonna want a .135 or bigger B for it to not flop like a fish... I did a Birdsong-style 'double string-thru' mod to mine, so I could use a long scale B. I currently have Dad XL's on it, with a .135 B. This makes the B usable. Not like my 34" Ray5, but not too bad.

    It's a fun bass, and sounds great live. Even with all the mods, I have less than $500 in it.
  4. Yep on Brice mine is Bubinga, the orig pups aren't bad but the tone controls are suspect the treble is real hissy. I am installing Emg BQC Control and trying out Lace Alumitone 4's. But bass plays real well. Also note through body strings. Are medium scale! 33" fron ball to nut and 36" to low b tuner
  5. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    Yeah, mine is Bubinga too (walnut? bubinga?...it's brown....oops!)

    Re: the string thru bridge - you need Med scale strings in most cases - the short scale 5 strg DR Hi-Beam set you can still find on ebay will string thru gracefully, as will a D'ad long scale XL set (the E juuussst fits), with the exception of the B. That's why I did the double string-thru mod, to be able to use a long scale B.

    The bridge on the bass will top load, as well, for regular SS string sets. The extreme break angle of the bridge using thru-body string routing seems to me to shorten string life. I plan on using top load from now on, except for the B. YMMV....

    I like the bass enough to be considering getting another one for a project: hacking a Basslines or Nordy MM5 pickup w/ the unclefluffy MM clone preamp into it. ...but nobody ever accused me of having good sense....
  6. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    Yeah I was going to suggest the Agile/Brice 3/4 scale bass myself. I may one day pick one up too, as I really want a short scale 5 string. I'd love a Birdsong/Hy5 but there's no way in hell I can afford one any time soon. Heck, I had to settle for a 150 dollar Hadaen normal scale on Rondo because the 300 bucks they want for the Brice is a little too much for me atm too :p I used to have the full scale version of that particular shortscale and it was a nice, decent bass.
  7. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    Callowhill makes a short scale 5 string, check their facebook page. MPB series, and the OBS Model but that doesn't look like a fender.
  8. I am trying out a set of Lace Alumitone 4 Bassbars, but if you don't mind a little space around pup you can look at Nordstrand dual blade the one for 4 string will work. the width of string area on Brice is 2.500"

    Nordstrand info

    4 String - (Similar to Bartolini (tm) BC Shape ) - 3.99" X 1.27"
    5 String - (Similar to Bartolini (tm) P2 Shape) - 4.27" X 1.27"
    6 String - (Similar to Bartolini (tm) P4 Shape) - 4.675" X 1.27"

    Sensing Area for Pickups:
    4-string: 2.903"(73.7mm)
    5-string: 3.125"(79.4mm)
    6-string: 3.709"(94.2mm)
  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    If you want to know what a short scale bass will sound like, get a capo. Capo the 1st fret of a standard 34-inch scale 5-string bass, tune the strings down to conventional tuning, effectively tuning the strings down a half-step, and you effectively have a 32 inch scale bass. Capo the 2nd fret, do the same thing, effectively tuning the strings down a whole step, and you effectively have a 30.3 inch scale 5-string bass.

    Personally, I could live with the 32 inch scale if I had to, but the 30.3 inch scale was way too floppy and indistinct on the B string for me.
  10. My 32" scale Cliff Bordwell has an amazing low B. I don't know if he has tried shorter. Chris Stambaugh didn't seem to want to go below 33" scale.
  11. Tharos


    Sep 16, 2013
    Yamaha A2 series had a 5 string model called 5A2 and a short scale version of that model called 5A2M... those are hard to find, though. I own a 4 string short scale version in black and I'm quite happy with it.
  12. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    Chris built me 33" 5-string, great B-string, plays like butter.
  13. My 4 string is 33" scale. I initially thought I should have gone with 34" scale, but it plays great and my left hand is starting to notice it feeling a little easier than a 34" scale bass after a few hours, especially compared to my 6 and 7 string basses.
  14. Blackaddr

    Blackaddr Commercial User

    Sep 2, 2013
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Blackaddr Audio
    What are the details of this mod? I've got a Brice HXB-405 3/4 scale and finding strings is becoming a PITA.


    Jan 29, 2019
    I have a MLD 5 string and I found that when I string it with D Addario's with a 135 on the B string it was tight but some what muddy sounding so I tried some DR High Beams with a 125 on the B string and it made nigh n day difference in clarity on the B on my 34 inch scale bass. Yes it is a loose feel to the string but you just have to have a softer touch to that string. You will love the sound you get. As for a Short scale 5 string for 500 with a jazz neck I would question the electronics being used in the bass you choose in 34 inch short scale to have a great sounding Low B. Just my opinion with my own 34 inch scale bass. Nothing more with no intent to insult anyone on this thread. Last but not least if you are willing to spend somewhere in the 1000 to 1200 range, check out the Melvin Lee Davis MLD 5, Bass Mods Basses. Fender Jazz Deluxe obviously.

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