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Best Short Scale Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dshenk, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. dshenk


    Dec 27, 2011
    I am a guitar player looking to add the bass to my arsenal. I was looking for a good value short scale bass to begin my education. Can anyone help me with your suggestions?

  2. Avalon


    Feb 28, 2009
    Everyone is raving about the Squier Jaquar Short Scale basses that you can grab for roughly $145.

    Squier also has the Bronco ($150) and the VM Mustang (~$250) on the market right now.

    Many swear by the Gretsch Jr Jet 2202 (~$245) bass. Again, short scale and they have recently started selling versions called the 2210 (~$300) and 2220 (~$400) - single and dual pick up models respectively.

    Ibanez sells the GARTB20 bass (~$200). It's a short scale with a Les Paul Jr body shape. Their ARTB 100 (~$300-$400) is no longer made, but still on some store shelves. That is a short scale Les Paul with the arch top.

    I bought a Dean EVO XM bass that I like a lot. It has a Les Paul Jr shape too. Quality control was questionable (I only paid $89 for mine), but little things that were easily fixed. Last I looked, Amazon has them for about $160 - $200 depending on color.
  3. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    don't consider the bronco;. it has a crap guitar pickup, a terrible bridge
    MCF likes this.
  4. barricwiley


    Jun 5, 2011
    Northern VA
    +1 for the Jaguar Short Scale.
    I have a silver and like it enough to order a sweet red one.
  5. swamp2


    Feb 27, 2008
    +1 for the Jag SS. Got a silver one for Christmas, it's great. I also recommend Elderly Instruments - the bass came perfectly set up by them - $145 delivered (although the $25 Squier instant rebate allegedly goes away 12/31).
  6. Jaguar FTW. If you don't enjoy playing that bass you're insane.
  7. slotrod65


    Dec 29, 2009
    I agree on avoiding the Bronco at this point. I have one that I heavily modded to play well. Sure, it was fun to do, but if I had to do it again, I would just buy the Jag or the Mustang.
  8. I bought a Gretsch 2202 for my young son for Christmas - he's been playing drums for a couple years, but wants to learn bass and wanted one that looked like my Les Paul bass. I have to say that I've been very pleasently surprised. It has a fast neck and a solid tone. We just put some Chromes on it and it sounds really nice with flats. Overall, the quality of the bass seems quite good for the price point.
  9. Ronnietex


    Aug 11, 2011
    Depends on how much you want to spend. If you want a 1700 dollar or so bass I recommend Birdsong in Texas. You can find Scott's website easily. He is passionate about basses and makes some of the finest in the world I think. He is also very friendly and if you call him you will probably be impressed, as I was.
  10. matej4444


    Jul 17, 2010
    fleabass junior
  11. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    Birdsong or a Gibson SG Reissue.

    Both are more pricey than the others mentioned but they're very nice to play. You may want to start with a Jag and see if you like bass before spending more money on the ones I mentioned however.
  12. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Depends on the type of music you intend to play with the bass, but for old school rock and surf I like the SS Mustang, for flexibility (blues, jazz, rock, grunge...) I like the SS Jaguar. I have both along with a Bronco and of the three the Mustang is my favorite out of the box. The Bronco is dirt cheap (like about $75 used) and is a good bass for modding with a better pickup but is really a beginner bass in it's stock form. The Jaguar plays and sounds great but the bridge pickup is on the weak side so I've considered modding that as well.
    A bass that I don't own but I suspect would be great for harder stuff like metal or more grind might be a SS Warwick Corvette or Thumb if you can find one but I suspect they're expensive.
  13. Waldo19


    Jul 9, 2011
    For a budget bass I really like the Ibanez GARTB20 and GAXB150 basses. Tried them side by side at a GC and the necks were very nice on both. The GARTB is 30.5" and the GAXB is 32" if memory serves.

    They don't make the GAXB150 anymore but you can sometimes find them used for dirt cheap. Saw one at a GC for $89.

    Both seemed like really good shorties to learn on.
  14. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Since you’re not used to a four-string, I’d advise starting out on a five-string...

    And to not assume you need a short-scale, especially since utilizing the B string, you can play higher up on the neck where the frets aren’t so widely spaced.
  15. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    +1 to avoid the Bronco - unless you plan on modding the heck out of it.
    +1 re: the Gretsch Junior Jets - pretty decent shorty for the money (hot pickup)

    I'm pretty much alone on my feelings about Squier - I've never found one I liked.
    ...and I've tried, and I've tried, and I've tried...
  16. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    if the jaguar was available when I bought my son his bronco, there's no way I would have spent a dime on it, either buying it, or modding the heck out of it

  17. Yeah right, so did the Fender Musicmaster, IMO a really classic short scale instrument.

    I own six basses, including 2 high end Rics and I bought a Bronco, and it's become my favorite recording bass. The key to getting a great sound out of them is flat wounds, especially the GHS Precision Flats. They also seem to really "stabilize" this bass, eliminating every buzz and rattle I was hearing with rounds. They sound especially great with a pick, a very nice, thumpy, vintage, retro vibe, that sits really well in a recording mix. I believe that playing with a pick probably would appeal to a guitarist.

    I don't understand why people are so down on the pickups on Broncos and Musicmasters. I like them just fine. Yes it's a Strat pickup, and it was used by Fender on the Musicmasters for a reason; they did not have a 4 pole pickup that was adequate for the string spacing. I hear complaints about the noise; yes there will be some, it's a single coil pickup. You can EQ it out by rolling back the tone knob, those things do move. My '80 Ric 4001 also has single coils that are just as noisey, if not noisier than this.

    I would like to try the Jaguar, while the current price lasts. But I like the Bronco just fine.
  18. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    10 years ago the bronco was the best thing available for a budget. Now there are tons of better options, so why buy?

    you want to explain how to intonate a bridge on a bronco?
  19. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004
    Higher up on the money trail are:

    Lakland Decade shorty (US)

    Spector shorty

    But i agree bang for the buck Squier Jag ss
  20. soxhats

    soxhats Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    A unique animal, but I love my Jerry Jones Longhorn. You can get a Danelectro that it copies for a few hundred.
    EduardoK likes this.

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