Best sounding short scale bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MonkeyMan2, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. MonkeyMan2


    Mar 12, 2018
    I am not trying to kick the hornets nest here, and I realize this is subjective. I enjoy playing short scale basses. But I can never get the tone I am looking for. At rehearsal last week I picked up a Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling bass. I plugged it in and I was surprised by how much different it sounded than my Reverend Wattplower short scale. I have tried about six different short scales and the Wattplower blew everything else away.

    I know that short scales and full size basses are structurally different, and I realize there are a ton of other factors like pick-ups and amps etc that can change the sound.

    What I am looking for is the short scale that sounds closest to a full size, or my specifically, closest to the Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling bass that I played or even a P-bass. Or maybe I am looking for a unicorn... who knows.

    Thanks in advance.
    stuntbass77 and mikewalker like this.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The regular non PJ or Mikey Way Mustang.
  3. MonkeyMan2


    Mar 12, 2018
    Hmm - I had a Fender Mustang short scale bass, but the neck was warped in so many places I had to return it. Maybe I need to check those out again.

    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  4. augustinius


    Feb 9, 2019
    I am really happy with the sound I get from my Gibson SG with Labella flats. That said -- it's beyond deep and if you are into treble or slapping, you'll hate it. But for a basic pure deep tone, it's great.
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Yes, definitely subjective. For me it's the Fender Mustang LE P/J available through Guitar Center and Musician's Friend. I tried a couple of the Reverend Wattplower basses but the didn't have the P bass style oomph (technical term) I like from my Mustang LE.
  6. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I've owned a few Japanese ones and never had a problem. There's a high end Mexican one and new American ones and I think there's a Squier now too. To me they sound like ballsier precisions.
  7. SaucyJackBass


    May 6, 2009
  8. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Here is a video made using my Maruszczyk Jake. The playing starts at 1:55.

    Maybe not what you are looking for, but I think it sounds pretty darn good.

  9. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    Chowny SWB-1 would be my choice if I had to buy a bass that wasn’t custom.
  10. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Since the mid '90s I've had 7 Mustang basses. I currently have three (MIJ, PJ/LE and CV) and never had any problem with the necks.
  11. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Fender Mustang Performer with P/J pickups.
  12. MuttThud


    Aug 31, 2017
    I only play short scales now. I have a MIM Mustang PJ (strung with TI flats), a Chowny SWB-1, a Landing (defretted and strung with tapewounds) and my brand new baby (as of last weekend), the MusicMan Stingray Short Scale (just launched by EBMM at NAMM this year).

    FWIW... the Mustang pretty much nails the sound of a P with flats with the P pickup only (I’m not so keen on the middle toggle switch setting with both P and J pups engaged). I upgraded the pups in mine to Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders and I reckon the Mustang PJ (as a P only) could hold its own anywhere.

    The Chowny is an excellent bass (mine is an active model) with a wide range of sounds. It won’t nail a P sound for the purists IME but in a mix or on stage it can do most of anything you’d ask of it. I’m not sure about the Landing, I didn’t warm to it when fretted and I haven’t really bonded it with it fretless either. A bit too clinical and characterless for me.

    The Stingray Short Scale is an absolute killer bass, already by far my favourite ever... huge tone and a joy to play. If you want the sound of a Ray, that’s the one to go for (although it ain’t cheap!).

    Two others to add to the pot: the Gretsch Junior Jet is a lot of bass for the money and may get you close to P territory from the neck pickup, also Sire have just announced a new PJ short scale which (if it’s as good as other Sires I’ve played) is certainly worth a look. Finally... have a look at the Ibanez short scale PJs (Mikro, Talman) - I thought they were pretty good for the money and sounded decent enough.
  13. Hurricane Jimmie

    Hurricane Jimmie Supporting Member

    So Anyway:
    But they're kinda heavy.
    Pauly 4001 and Hammerfield like this.
  14. I have a short scale Danelectro Hodad coming any day. People say very good things here about them and the longhorns. I will report my findings.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  15. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    If you want a Precision sound, Scott Beckwith can supply it. I have a cBass, (31" scale) from the original run of 20. It is just as Scott says: Set the tone where you want, back you volume off from 10 to 9, and there it is. Fat, juicy Precisioness. And it weighs less than 8 lbs.
    Mekana, macmanlou, nick4bass and 2 others like this.
  16. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    If I were going to buy a short scale to cover a wide range of tones, including the classic Precision sound, it would be an Alien Audio Constellation with the P/Reverse-P pickup configuration. Alien Audio basses aren’t cheap, but they are amazing! And the owner, Chopper Anderson, is as nice a guy as you could hope to work with!
  17. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Guest

    Oct 1, 2011
    this here muckelroy 30” sounds glorious to me 03B4802C-E40B-40AA-8987-BA3A877EC54A.jpeg
  18. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Serek basses sure do appear to be sweet.
    rllefebv, Paco Leon, mobeme23 and 4 others like this.
  19. A 70's era Hagstrom Swede is hard to beat for quality and looks. With dual humbuckers that can be set for series or parallel it's also pretty versatile.
    project_c and ajkula66 like this.
  20. Skillet


    Nov 25, 2011
    I put Bartolinis in my mim PJ 'Stang and I love it. Mustangs are great modding platforms...
    Ryno1330 likes this.
  21. Primary

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