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5 String Short Scale

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stephen Edwards, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. I've been looking into getting a short scale bass. The reason I'm looking into getting a short scale is because of the ergonomic benefits (which are especially important to me since I sustained a overuse injury in my left arm over a year ago).

    For the past few years I've been mainly playing DB as nothing I've been doing has really called for BG. Now that I'm getting back into BG I want something that will have a similar range to the DB. By that I mean I want a short scale five string with a high C.

    The only places I've really seen short scale 5 strings are: Birdsong Guitars and Fodera. A Birdsong Hy5 is at the upper limit of my price range and a Fodera is way out of my price range.

  2. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I've been on the watch for a pre owned Birdsong for a while. They don't come up for sale very often, which tells me that Birdsong owners like them.
  3. With a high C, just about anyone can build you a short scale 5 string. Rob Allen now has a Mouse 5 string. It's adding a low B that makes things much more difficult.
  4. Thanks for the replies, unfortunately I am going to college next year and I need to pay for books etc... Sub $2500 would probably be the best price range for me, obviously the less expensive the better (without diminishing quality of course)
  5. ryano


    Aug 20, 2007
    Boston Area
    It looks like the Birdsong Hy5 starts around 2300 (according to their web page). For that price you could check out many of the smaller luthiers. Two names that jump to my mind are Cliff Bordwell and Chris Stambaugh.

    I've never played a Bordwell but I've admired his work via his web site. I own two short scale (really medium scale, 32 and 33 inch) Stammys and I love them both.

    If you like the Fender vibe, Landing guitars makes some short scale basses that may interest you.

    Enjoy the search and good luck.
  6. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Not short scale but really comfortable, I had a 32 scale 5 string alembic spoiler.
  7. The Cliff Bordwell's really interest me. Does anyone have experience with these?
  8. Just a little. ;)

    Need Gigs likes this.
  9. So you must be pretty happy with them then...
    What is the scale length on all of those?
  10. Yes.

    35", 34", and 32"

  11. ryano


    Aug 20, 2007
    Boston Area

    Speak of the devil. Two of the basses I've admired on the site. Beautiful instruments. Congrats!
  12. Thanks! They're a blast to play. Still kinda adapting to the 7 since I chose to tune BEADGBE. The 32" scale and tuning was to allow for a thicker high B and E string to take out some of the high end sting. It seems to have worked alright.
  13. Did it take any getting used to the 32" scale?
  14. I don't have any problems with the 32" scale. I currently own 30", 32", 33", 34", and 35" scale basses. My Stabaugh is 33" scale and I used to own some Fender Urge basses, which were 32" scale.

    In my previous band, I was constantly switching from my 35" scale Conklin 6 string to a 30" scale Rob Allen. Adapting to 7 strings in 32" scale and different tuning has been a bit of a challenge, but I'd probably attribute that to the extra strings and tuning as opposed to adapting to another scale length.
  15. Thanks for all of the info everybody!
  16. All the suggested builders are great! I would include FBB Bassworks on the list of builders to check. I have a 32" five that I can't put down. It's literally perfect.

    Whatever you decide (from what I've learned anyway) if the bass is made from good materials and the craftsmanship is tight (for lack of a better term) its possible to have a full-sounding, well-playing, yet shorter scale bass.

    Good luck and have fun with your search!

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