Budget short scale bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by foq1978, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. Squier by Fender Affinity Series Bronco Bass Guitar

    7 vote(s)
  2. Gretsch Guitars G2202 Electromatic Junior Jet Bass Guitar

    27 vote(s)
  3. Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass Guitar

    17 vote(s)
  4. SX SJB-57 3/4 BK Short Scale

    39 vote(s)
  1. foq1978


    Aug 7, 2009
    Rio de Janeiro
    Taking in consideration

    1 - quality
    2 - versatility
    3 - looks

    In that order, which budget short scale bass do you think would be the best acquisition?

    a) Gretsch 2202 Junior Jet Bass

    b) Ibanez Mikro

    c) SX SJB

    d) Fender Bronco Affinity

    Thanks a lot!

  2. I own the Squier and have played the Gretsch. The Squier Bronco is not that great stock. I have upgraded the tuners and bridge on mine, which has made a huge difference. The Gretsch sounds great, but felt very "guitarish" to me. My favorite shortie is my Epiphone
    EB-0. It's sound isn't for everyone, but it's got a cool old-school vibe.
  3. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    It would help to know what your intended use is.

    If the intended recipient is very small, especially if they are a girl with tiny hands, then the Mikro is definitely the way to go. It's the smallest scale (28", the rest are 30"), and probably the best built of the batch.

    I always thought the Bronco was a fairly well built instruement, though the tuners are functional, but cheezy. Stock, it's definitely a thumpy one trick pony.

    The Gretch has a good look, but I've played several, and it always seems like your paying more, but not getting more.

    The SX is the cheapest of the batch, and based on my experiences with SX full scale instruments, it's likely to be built as well as the Gretch or Bronco. It might be nearly as good as the Mikro, but the fretwork probably isn't nearly as nice. It also wins the "look" in my book.

    Sum up, if you're buying for a young child or very small female hands, I'd go with the Mikro. If you're just looking for a short scale to rock on, I'd go with the SX. They're both good instruments, and more tonally versatile than the others.

    Other budget Short scales under $300 to consider:

    Epiphone SG basses: The Eb0 is very cheap (rediculously cheap used), and gets a fairly good mudbucker sound. Looks simply awesome! The Eb3 gets you another pickup for 100 bucks more

    The Douglas, Rogue, and Jay Turser Beatle basses. They are all very affordable quite lightweight and comfortable to play, and even if you move to better instruments later, it's always good to have a beatle bass in the stable. The Rogue surprisingly seems to get very good marks, not for amazing quality, but for really nailing the hofner vibe.
  4. ilpo


    Jan 6, 2008
    Short scale Slammer SB4 from Hamer. These are usually considered to be decent ones. I have one, no complaints.
  5. foq1978


    Aug 7, 2009
    Rio de Janeiro
    Thank you all!

    @ ShavedHippie:

    My problem with the Epiphones is that their pickups make it impossible to slap and pop. (don't you think?)

    @ Eilif: The bass is for me, a 5'9" man who've been playing on a regular scale bass for over 10 years. The SX looks like a decent instrument. My only restriction to it is that it looks a bit too much like my current bass (a jazz bass replica from washburn).

    I love the Beatles, and Paul McCartney is the one who made me get a bass, but I think playing a viola bass looks is a bit like wearing a costume. I cannot dissociate it from Paul! It's my fault, not the bass', though.

    How did you feel about the Gretsch you've played? Could you slap?

    Thanks a lot, again!
  6. Yeah, the EB-0 is not an acceptable bass for slapping. I play mine fingerstyle or with a pick. If being able to slap is important to you, the Ibby or the SX with their fenderish pickups would probably be your best bet.
  7. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    I love my Mikro, though I use it primarily for ordinary, fingerstyle classic rock and haven't yet tried anything fancy with it. Even though I'm not a small person, it fits my hands better than any long-scale and even the few other short-scales I've played.
  8. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    You could slap on the Gretch, but it didn't strike me as a particularly appropriate bass for slapping. One problem for short scalers is that the shorter scale, and "slackness" that characterizes short scale basses makes them less than ideal for slapping regardless of the pickup configuration. Also, the closer string spacing of most basses, makes slapping more difficult.

    IIRC, the SX or the Squire have slightly wider string spacing than the others and might be a bit better for slapping. There's also SX p-basses out there if you don't want another jazz.
  9. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    I'm 5' 8" and I have two of the SX short scales, the P and the J. I recommend them stock, but I suggest a pro setup by a good shop (if you don't DIY) with the strings of your choice. They're the best bet for production short scales IMO, because they take standard-size Fender replacement pickups and hardware and at 3 feet away they look like standard Fenders. A word of advice, if you ever play with a pick get the SX 3/4 P. I frequently bang my knuckles on the volume knobs of the J if I use a pick. Fingerstyle is no problem. The Gretsch is a close second in my book, because of the stock humcancelling pickup.

    Another thing, get the heaviest gauge short scale strings you can find or if you change the bridge on yours route it for string through. The string through doesn't change the tone, but does allow you to use standard length strings. I use a 5 string set, tuned standard, and just leave off the lightest string. The heavier gauge improves the percieved tension of the strings and cuts down on the "slack" feeling.
  10. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  11. Photoman1969


    Jun 15, 2009
    My son is currently using the SXJ and loves it. Has a great sound. We did have it professionally set up with new strings.
  12. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I have all four of them and have no desire to rank them but I mostly play my modded Mustang RI (featherweight body, P-esque tone, and my favorite neck) so I guess they'd rank second to that.
  13. taygunov

    taygunov Guest

    May 8, 2008
    I'd say either the SX or the Ibanez
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I recently bought an SX short scale Jazz to create a budget piccolo bass....

    I have to say I was not expecting the quality I got. The body paint was perfect; the fretwork isn't quite 100% but for $120 new, what do you want?

    I say SX all the way.
  15. foq1978


    Aug 7, 2009
    Rio de Janeiro
    Wow, so many responses! Thanks a lot to you all, again.

    Ok, a finalquestion left:

    The standard scale Precision has a wider string spacing then the Jazz B, right?

    Does the short scale Precision have a wider spacing then a standard Jazz Bass?

    @ Eilif: Although I am tired of the JB, I like its tone and pickup configuration better then the P-bass one. But maybe I get used to it.

    @ honestjohnny: Thanks for all the tips on the SX. I do not use a pick ever (I am not good at it - it's not an matter of principles or anything), so that wouldn't be a problem for me.

    @ Figjam: it is beautiful. Does it play well?

    @ Photoman1969: Thanks for the comment! It looks like many of you like the SXJ...

    @ GregDunn: I've seen a quite impressive youtube video of someone slapping on the Mikro.

    I do not slap often, though. You must think I play in RHCP cover band, but that's not the case at all!

    @ ShavedHippie: Yes, that's what I though...

    Thank you all again!

  16. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    Just to be clear, I recommend the string through and heavy gauge for all shorties when possible, not just the SXes. The string spacing on both SX shorties is about the same, close enough that a standard bridge fits. The nut width is 1.5" on both also, if that matters. Cheers and let us know what you go with and what you do with it (mods, gigs, etc.)!
  17. foq1978


    Aug 7, 2009
    Rio de Janeiro
    @ mongo2: So you would consider it a tie?

    @ taygunov: Thanks for the input!

    @ BigOldHarry: How is it working as a piccolo? I am not expecting perfect craftmanship either, and frets could be adjuested by a luthier later on...

  18. Sparks55


    Feb 22, 2009
    B'more North, MD
    You may also want to consider the Brice Les Paul Bass copy http://www.rondomusic.com/albassolyleft.html . With flats I get a real 70's style smooth bottom and it takes regular medium strings, not short scale strings. Fret spacing is very comfortable. A little heavy. It sits just like the LP guitar. Bulky shape but balanced well and easy to play. Mine came with almost perfect setup and stays in tune. Factory pots do jump but they are usuable. Pickups are extremely quiet humbuckers.
  19. foq1978


    Aug 7, 2009
    Rio de Janeiro
    @ Sparks 55: Thanks for the tip! I don't think they still sell it though.

    Plus, no slap on this one...
  20. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Pretty much, different but about the same in most departments.
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