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Help me Decide on a Short Scale!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dxb, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Ibanez Mikro

    8 vote(s)
  2. Ibanez Talman TMB30

    18 vote(s)
  1. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    I've been looking at short-scale basses lately and I've narrowed it down to either the Ibanez Mikro or the Ibanez TMB30. They're the same price and seem to have similar pickups, so I'm wondering if anyone prefers one over the other and if so, why? Are there any big differences other than the body shape? Thanks!

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  2. felis


    Jul 31, 2013
    Midwest, USA
    The mikro is a little shorter and has more frets - 22 vs. 20. So it'll be a little tighter squeeze if you play way up high on the neck.
    The P pickup is also arranged differently between the two basses.
    I wouldn't be surprised if they used the same pickups.
    I only have the mikro - haven't tried the tmb30 yet.

    Are you able to try them out anywhere to compare them?
    dxb likes this.
  3. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    'Help me decide on a short scale' should be stickied by now.
    alesreaper9 and BurnOut like this.
  4. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    I like the Fender Mustangs.
  5. felis


    Jul 31, 2013
    Midwest, USA
    I do too, but they're priced a bit higher than the two basses the OP asked about.
    alesreaper9 and dxb like this.
  6. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Nope, there aren't any big music stores near me to go try these out. And I didn't notice the different number of frets so thanks for pointing that out. I was aware that the scale is shorter on the Mikro. Does that make it hard to find strings?
  7. felis


    Jul 31, 2013
    Midwest, USA
    pcake and dxb like this.
  8. I like my Mikro for a number of reasons, one being ease of fretting non-spanwise. The stock tone is every bit as good as any other budget bass I've tried.

    That said, it has a 12"' (flatter)radius compared to ,say, a Bronco or a Jag SS which has the 9.5"

    I don't know if the 12" radius makes a big difference on playability but all I can say is this:-

    I've tried a ton of shortscale strings on the Mikro...and while "fit" wasn't a problem in many cases the strings feel "hard" on the ends of the fingers for some reason. Even though the same strings, when put on another bass don't.

    The only strings I'll use now on the Mikro are Labella Low Tension Flats or D'addario EXL 170 roundwounds.

    I liked the Labella White Copper tapes on the Mikro soundwise..lovely tone...but they are so soft they miscue off the edge of the fretboard all the time.

    The Mikro isn't for everybody. You either like them warts 'n' all or you don't.

    I have a Jag SS. You really can't go very far wrong with this bass as long as you get one that doesn't dive.

    I have a Squier Bronco.
    This is by far, to me, the best "playability" shorty bass I've come across so far.
    Which is probably why I've dumped so much cash into modding it.
    I don't like the stock parts (bridge and pups) they put on them.

    Tried an Epi Viola. No thank you. Not "user friendly" for me.

    Newer Mustang P/J:- I liked this bass. Very nice sound. Plays well. Did not experience the switch issues that others complain about.

    Gretsch 2202....wasn't impressed at all on any points. Traded it in.

    Ibanez Talman TMB-30.....have yet to get my hands on one of these.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
    Spidey2112 and dxb like this.
  9. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    my most comfortable bass to play is a mikro. the body is smaller than the talman or my short scale squier jag, and it's also lighter weight. i have d'addario nickel round wounds on one of my mikros and am trying fender short scale nickels (which feel just great, btw) on the other one.
    dxb likes this.
  10. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Yeah, the Jags are cool too. I own quite a few Squiers and they're generally pretty solid, though right now I guess I'm just gassing for an Ibanez. They also come in more interesting colors. I posted pics of the black ones but I'd probably get an orange or white Mikro, or the ivory Talman.
  11. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    I was making the same decision this summer. I decided on the TMB30 (I didn't have a chance to try either before purchase). Here are my reasons: my main bass has a 30" scale, same as the TMB30 (the Mikro is 28.6"); I like the retro looks of the TMB30 (especially the ivory finish); and I read about some issues with intonation adjustment on the Mikro bridge (easy to resolve, but still). The Mikro gets points for the reverse P.
    dxb likes this.
  12. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Kala U-Bass :smug:
  13. n1as


    Mar 29, 2013
    I'd probably grab the Talman because it is a true 30" scale. But the Mikro is crazy cool and has a tilt-back headstock and lighter tuners for less neck dive. But the Talman body is cool looking and I love the tele-style jack plate. Oh, but the Mikro has a reverse P arrangement.

    Ahhhh - Snap, I'll just stick with my Warmoth 32" P bass and call it good.
    dxb likes this.
  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    You shouldn’t run into neck dive with any short-scale bass. Ever.
  15. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    There is indeed other differences than the body shape.

    Here are the main specs of the Ibanez Mikro:

    Scale : 726mm/28.6"
    a : Width 38mm at NUT
    b : Width 58.5mm at 22F
    c : Thickness 21mm at 1F
    d : Thickness 22mm at 12F
    Radius : 305mmR

    Here are the main specs of the Ibanez short scale Talman Bass:

    Scale : 762mm/30"
    a : Width 41mm at NUT
    b : Width 62mm at 20F
    c : Thickness 21.5mm at 1F
    d : Thickness 24.5mm at 12F
    Radius : 240mmR

    Otherwise they use the same types of pickups and same type of wood.

    What all those numbers basically boils down to is that the Ibanez Mikro has a scale length (stretch of the actually part of the strings that vibrates, nut to saddle on bridge) of 28,6" (categorized as a sub short scale bass), meaning that the frets on the neck will be closer together than on the short scale Talman Bass which has a scale length of 30" (standard short scale bass scale length).

    Further more we can read from the numbers that the Talman has a chunkier neck, being both slightly more wide and slightly thicker than that of the Mikro.

    Finally the fretboard radius, that measure how much the fretboard arcs, is considerably flatter on the Mikro than the Talman.

    Which of them is the best bass for you to buy based on those pieces of information is impossible to say though.

    Generally speaking though, for most people, the specs of the Mikro provides the best playing comfort and makes for the fastest neck, however some people will actually prefer more distance between the frets as well as a chunkier neck, and would likely describe the neck on the Mikro as a broomstick neck or something in that line and the close together frets as too cramped together for proper playabillity.

    As I myself actually plays a Mikro as my main bass (though the stock pickup has been swapped with some high quality ones), I can only say that I personally never owned a bass that felt more comfortable to play, and as I don't really seem to be able to find any trade offs of the shorter scale length either, I would naturally recommend you to buy one of those.

    When that is said I know quite a lot of people here on TalkBass are actually quite fond of the Talman Bass, though I guess the Mikro also has quite a good deal of followers by now.

    Further more reading a bit back and forth in following threads might help you decide:

    Here's a link to TalkBass's official Mikro club:
    "Official" Mikro Bass Club Part 3

    And here's a link to the official Talman club (though note it's not exclusively for the short scale version of the bass):
    The Official Ibanez TMB Talman Bass Club
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
    Spidey2112 and dxb like this.
  16. Canadian APII

    Canadian APII Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ottawa Ontario
    I would consider an Aria Pro II CSB B&G like mine.
  17. twelvetrombones

    twelvetrombones Martian Ambassador Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2017
    Portland, OR
    My Mustang has quite a bit of neck dive...
  18. You shouldn't. But it does happen. More than I'd like actually.
    n1as likes this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Hmm…Just goes to show “you never know what you don’t know” I guess. :laugh:

    I never ran into that with a shortie myself. But maybe I’ve just been lucky based on what you guys are saying.
    twelvetrombones and ZenG like this.
  20. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    lol, never played a Kramer Vanguard, I gather? (but there is a workaround, happily)

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