Basses with short fret-width / short scale basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by psi, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Does anyone know of any PRO quality short scaled basses? Not really looking for custom; I'm only a hobbyist and don't really have money for a custom, lol. I own a few basses already, and I just find myself wishing I had a short scale sometimes, mostly for the smaller fret-width. Particularly difficult for me are the 1st-to-4th, 2nd-to-5th, and 3rd-to-6th fretting stretches. I *can* make these stretches, but my accuracy and finger strength diminished at these extremes. My hands just aren't that big enough.
  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    All 32" or less and good quality. Some of these are really expensive, but if you're patient and hunt around, bargains can be had, especially secondhand

    Alembic (I have 2 in 30.75")
    Landing Bass
    Kubicki X Factor (have one of these too and it would be my suggested buy)
    Michael Dolan
    Status KingBass
    Essex/SX do a couple of 30" for <$US150 that are supposed to be good
    Burns Marquee
    Gibson/Epiphone EB0
    + others I can't think of at this moment.

    I like shorties, and ime, the build quality, design and implementation seem to be much more important in shorter scales.

    Something else worth considering before you spend the $ on a shortscale, is the way you position the bass on your body and the angle it sits at. Try taping your strap to one of your basses so that the neck is up at about 1 o'clock. It's a much more natural angle for your wrist(s) to work at mechanically and can allow an easier reach to first position. It also takes up much less space on a crowded stage. Take a look here for pix of what I mean. I'm not a fan of the aesthetics of his basses, but the ergonomics are good, and if you don't mind a couple of small holes to change the strap pin positions, something like this might work for you (hence the tape experiment). And for much less money than getting a good short/medium scale bass.
  3. Offbase


    Mar 9, 2000
    All those that Dharma suggested are great basses (haven't tried a Burns yet, though). I would STRONGLY suggest you try out a Switch Wild 1 bass. I bought one on a lark on Ebay from thebassplace in Arizona ( They're 29.3" scale, neck through ("Vibracell", a synthetic, but you'd never really tell), sound huge and have a very thin neck from front-to-back. I keep telling myself, "It's a $200 bass, play your 'real' basses", but I just keep coming back to it. You could get one with a gigger from them for about $300, and you'll never look back. Trust me, I've been a 30-32" scale guy for many years (and many years of agonizing 34" scale before that), and I know my basses. This is a pro quality bass for cheap, and nothing else out there plays like one. See one at Good luck.
  4. ShamrayBass

    ShamrayBass The Bass Custom Shop

    Dec 29, 2004
    Moscow. RUSSIA
    dont forget the RICKENBACKER Model 3000 (I played one professionally for ten years!)

    and the GRETSCH TK-300

    Both excellent solidbody basses made of Rock Maple, and both with a 30 inch scale length...
  5. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    When I come to the US soon, I'm going to try out one of these, based on your earlier recommendation.
    This is one of those instruments that I've always wanted to play, but I never seem to be able to get one into my hands to try.
  6. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Jerry Jones - Longhorn & Shorthorn

    Danelectro - Longhorn Pro Reissue

    Hofner - 500/1 62-63 Violin Reissue & 500/2 65 Club Reissue

    Fender - Mustang Reissue

    All are short scale. The J.J. Longhorn would be the best of the bunch IMO. And all are available new except for the Danelectro Longhorn which was discontinued a couple of years ago.

  7. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the input guys. I'll be checking all of these out. I forgot to mention I'm looking for a 5-string short-scale, which will probably make things that much more difficult, lol. Thanks again!
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You know, if you had a 5-string , you could move up five frets and not have this problem. All this, and you'd have a real bass.
  9. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Good point, I'm about to go to the Guitar Center and try out some 5s right now. Previously I've owned all 4s. Thank you!
  10. FUNKonthewall

    FUNKonthewall Nailing The Groove

    Sep 29, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Endorsing: Fodera Guitars, Aguilar Amps, Dunlop/MXR Accessories
  11. Try the 30-inch scale Hamer for right at 200$. I was actually quite impressed at both it's sound and the playability of it's soundboard. It will list at 300+, but it's easily available (by shopping around) for much less than that.
  12. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Lol, seems that we have way-cheap basses and way-expensive basses when it comes to short scales. Interestiiiing.
  13. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
  14. towahead

    towahead Guest

    Dec 29, 2002
    There is only one answer to your question
    Jerry Jones, get a shorthorn or the longhorn, it is light,and sounds great, not a better bass out there
  15. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    Fury's are Pro quality/sound are reasonably priced and have a 31.640" scale length
    PM me for info
  16. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    The sound clips on Kubicki's site are mostly all slap/pop. I'm primarily a plucker/tapper. Is this bass made for Vail Johnson style playing or is it more versatile?
  17. Dave Luhta

    Dave Luhta

    Jan 22, 2005
    I'm hearing really good things about the Fender Mustang Bass. Trying to find one. I have a short scale Gibson EB and it is very nice.
  18. NoNoise

    NoNoise Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    LOL, some like short necks...but I can barely play anything less than 35". What can I say, I like extended necks!!! (just look at my sig :bassist: )
  19. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    I own this bass...

    ...and highly recommend Landing. It's currently my main bass, used in live performance some 150 times a year.

    I recently picked up a Fender Stu Hamm Urge I (Mexican version) as a 32" scale backup bass, which I've been pleased with. You might try one of these if you can find one in good shape (or even the American version, which is a bit more $ but has a really nice Kubicki preamp in it).