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Best short scale under $1000?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HelpImaRock, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Doubtful some of you remember me, but this forum (and the amp forum) was particularly helpful to me last year when buying my Markbass II & GK NEO cab. I figured I'd come back for the next part of the adventure.

    The story:

    I fell ass backwards into a power pop cover band last year. Got the gig, bought the aforementioned amp, and have been playing my MIM Precision (which I've had for years) pretty happily until last month, when the tendonitis in my left arm came back something fierce. I've been working with the Precision since, but unfortunately it's been painful.

    I brought my Danelectro '63ri short scale bass (which really isn't a reissue of anything) to our last practice and have had no pain since. It sounded pretty great too. And while I love it, there's a substantialness in the feel that it lacks compared to the Precision. So I'm looking for a new short scale to be my main instrument, and for it to be the backup. If I keep the Precision, maybe I'll BEAD it to justify it's existence.

    I'm currently, unsurprisingly, looking at the MIJ Mustang RI. It seems to get a lot more respect here than it's Pawn Shop counterpart.

    The bass I really want is the Reverend Mike Watt sig, but that thing is vaporware with no timeline for production.

    I'm curious about the new Gretsch 5442 but it's reportedly got a nasty neck dive and that's a no-go for me.

    Gibson is also right out. We can argue about it here if you like. :)

    So with that in mind, I'm looking for your suggestions. I do have a $1000 ceiling. But hopefully we can find some new basses I haven't thought of yet, have a laugh, and argue about neck dive. :D
  2. tobo


    Nov 22, 2005
    I havent played one, but I have heard good things about the Lakland hollowbody..

    Antisyzygy and Ken J like this.
  3. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Well, you've already ruled out my favorite short scale that I've been GASing over on and off for many months. That leaves the other shortscale that I finally succumbed to: The Epiphone Rumblekat. It's a sweet little semi-hollowbody, and it's been ending up in my hands quite a bit lately.
  4. what was the first one?
  5. Guitalia


    Jun 7, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    I have a 1976 Precision, but I play my (original) 1965 dolphin-head Sears Silvertone/Danelectro (one lipstick pickup) almost exclusively when I'm working. Flatwounds on both, too (medium/heavy Chromes on the Precision, 40-90 LaBellas on the Silvertone---I play with a light touch).

    The Gretsch Junior Jet (with one or two TV Jones minihumbuckers; I use the one-pickup version with 40-90 flatwound Rotosounds) is a great little bass, too---I'm playing mine this weekend as utility bassist at the Baltimore/DC Gretsch Roundup.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Amongst others, I'm currently using a Squier Jag Short Scale and Gretsch 5442 (modded with lighter tuners and a strap button at the heel of the neck to counter the neck dive). But tonight I'm using my 1963 Silvertone #1444 Dolphin Nose. All sport tapewounds.
  7. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy

    Jan 26, 2014
    Orlando, FL
    I'm not sure if there is a "best" of anything, it will come down to what's best for you.

    My recommendation is the Hofner HCT 500/1. This is the contemporary version of the classic violin bass. It has a sustain block in the inside, effectively making it a semi hollow body. It is assembled in China using German parts.

    The neck is awesome, and it is very light. Some will say it is a one trick pony- don't listen to them. Once you get used to the unique switching arrangement, all sorts of different tones are at your disposal.

    I love mine.
    j5eugene likes this.
  8. How much do the tuners help? Your strap button experience runs counter to what I've found on head heavy instruments, so I'm interested in that too. Usually, it's moving the strap pin from the neck to the horn that helps.
  9. Ok, hive mind. What do we think of the Hagstrom Viking bass?
  10. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    I'm interested in the acquisition of a short scale as well. I've seen some good reviews of the Ibanez Mikro, but am afraid it might be a bit too introductory, I'm more of a mid-range Ibanez bass guy.

  11. Yeah, I'm definitely not looking for a starter instrument. I already have one in the Dano.
  12. ShonenCello


    Sep 21, 2011
    +1 on the Rumblekat.

    I had mine almost 3 years and no other bass I've tried feels better than this one.
  13. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    2014 Gibson SG Special. I played it at GC, and it felt incredible and sounded like a million bucks. I just didn't bond with the visual look.
  14. Yeah, no. :D
  15. mattfong


    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    If you can find a used Squier Vista Musicmaster, give it a whirl. I am waaay happier with this than the MIJ Mustang I had previously.
  16. Quoted $699 on a Mustang RI from Sweetwater. IMO, that's a first offer.
  17. shrigg

    shrigg Beta Tester for AudioKinesis Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Traverse City, MI
    Eko 995! Weighs only 4 1/2 lb… Perfect for those who can't play a heavy bass.

    El Pelusa likes this.
  18. swamp2


    Feb 27, 2008
    I love short scales and currently have 4, all of which were well under $1000. 2007 Gibson SG Supreme, $800 new. 1972 Guild JS-1 (my first guitar, purchased around 1974 for $100 used). Squire Jag Short Scale. And most recently - Hello Music had a good deal on the Epi Allen Woody (Rumblecat) for 309. I couldn't resist, and I REALLY like it. Beautiful instrument, plays great. I've had a ton on compliments on it. I put flats on all of 'em (usually GHS light gauge short scale set 3020 from juststrings) - just got 'em on the Epi the other night, set it up for 'em, and it's fantastic.

    The Jag is a phenomenal deal and plays great once set up - but I think the Epi is the best value...

    I like 'em all, though...
  19. Thanks! I don't play Gibson made instruments, but that's a great post. If Guild put out a new Jet Star, I'd probably buy it on the spot.
  20. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    This one looks great for pop rock.