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Help Quick! Short Scale Advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by toz22, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. toz22


    Mar 4, 2013
    Ok, so I'm in a bit of a dilemma here and I could use some honest advice. I am in the market for a cheap (under $200) short scale bass. I need to buy it ASAP, going into the studio and would love to have it available. I have narrowed it down to 3 basses.

    SX Ursa 4 JR RN VWH

    SX Ursa 3 JR MN VWH

    Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special SS

    Out of these three, which one do you think would be my best bang for your buck deal? I've heard complaints about the pickups in the Squier, but I honestly haven't heard much about the SX pickups so I'm curious. Let's assume that I don't want to have to do any upgrades, which one would be the best, out of the box deal?
    Thanks, I appreciate the help!
  2. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    why would you want to take an untried bass into the studio? Any of those basses you buy would probably require a professional setup before you record with them. If you have a bass that's working, set-up well, and you're familiar with it, I'd use that instead.
    I bought a nice acoustic from guitar center for my first band recording and returned it when we were done. I was just out of college and dirt poor or I would have kept it.
  3. toz22


    Mar 4, 2013
    For one, I am a guitar tech, so It will be professionally set up (by me). Two, I'm looking for some new tones in the studio, and in particular tones that are associated with short scale basses. Please, more advice on the basses themselves.
  4. I would get the Squier. Can't touch it for the money.

    If you really want some different tones - try an acoustic short scale.

    I just picked up this 30 inch acoustic electric:


    $85 shipped

    $20 for GHS Phosphor Bronze strings

    $5 for some Danish oil to make the fretboard look nice

    It is pretty damn good for the the money! And it sounds great - especially through an amp.

    I've spent all morning inventing new tones.
  5. ajpaul59


    Apr 22, 2011
    South Jersey
    I've owned the squier. Very playable with some truss adjustment. P pickup was good, j pickup was pretty much useless...
    Also, much easier to sell the squier...
  6. hhenry


    Feb 17, 2011
    NFLD, Canada
    Jaguar SS is excellent value. As mentioned, jazz PU is a bit weak compared to the P out of the box. Raise it up a bit and all is good. You won't be disappointed.
  7. grvthang


    Feb 6, 2012
    I bought the Squier SS Jaguar about 6 months ago based on great things I read about it here. It was my first short scale in 30+ years of playing bass. I'm very happy with it, stock, although I agree with ajpaul that the j pickup is just about useless. Check out the threads on it here on TB.
  8. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    +1 on the Squier, nice bass.
  9. grisezd


    Oct 14, 2009
    I've got an SX shortscale Jazz. I sounds like a Jazz. In fact none of my short basses sound short. No special shortie magic. If you want something short because it sounds short you'll need something more iconically (sp?), er, short. Like an EB, or an old Japanese vintage thing, hoffner, etc.

    Me, I I'd probably pick up a used low line Hoffner. Not in your price range, but I don't think anything new is going to be that will sound good and short.
  10. Wagz


    May 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    If you want a really different set of SS tones, I'd take a peek at a Danelectro too. They're cheap, funky and the single-coil lipstick pickup along with the semi-hollow masonite body can give a really thumpy SS sound, especially with a set of flats.
    Otherwise +1 on the Jag over the SX's
  11. There's some magic in my SX shortscale. I'm not sure if I got lucky or what, but the neck is great and the tone has a nice amount of spank to go with the plunk. that said, I put a butt ton of work into it (a little fret work, refinished neck, new tuners/bridge, etc.). If I wanted a mod free short scale, I'd go with the jaguar. I only played one once at a music store, but the p pup sounded pretty gosh darn good and the hardware seemed solid enough. It needed a serious set up, though.
  12. ajpaul59


    Apr 22, 2011
    South Jersey
    Don't go for a hofner unless your looking for that very specific sound. I own all three variants (obviously I need them for my band) but they are indeed one trick ponies... If you are after that Hofner sound, You could get near enough using flatwound strings and the P P/U only on the ss Jag IMHO...
  13. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    And now for something completely different:

    Harmony reissue. It has the one pickup that has both regular and the "baritone" switch, which is a switchable inline capacitor kind of like RIC does. BONUS: the tailpiece anchor is at the heel of the body, so it uses regular scale strings instead of short scale strings.

    As much as I like the SS Jaguar, it is still essentially a jazz bass. In the initial post, you indicated you want different tones instead of just scaled down regular tones. This bass will do it. Since the pickup is up next to the neck, it will do the Hofner tones as well. The switch will give you something completely different, eminently suitable for signal processing. http://www.samash.com/p/Harmony_H22...&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CM-krIma_7UCFQKoPAodoGgAZQ

    Unless you purchase a Bronco, you're not going to find a new instrument in the under $200 price range. But if you do get a Bronco, swap out the stock pickup for a Seymour Duncan Cool Rails neck pickup for clean, quiet tone. http://www.guitarcenter.com/Search/Default.aspx?internal=1&browser=&fsrc=bronco+bass&src=bronco+bass
  14. toz22


    Mar 4, 2013
    Thanks for all the help! I think I'm going to go with the Jag. I'm torn between the candy apple and the black. Either way I'm planning on putting a tortoise shell pickguard on it. Will I need a special size pickguard since its a short scale, or is it just the neck thats scaled down?
    Just a little photoshop job to see what it would look like.
    new bass red.

    New Bass.
  15. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    still confused over "short scale tone"....... i simply dont think there is such a thing.
  16. No experience with the SX basses, but I own and like the Jag. The j pickup is a little weak its true, but it works just fine for adding a bit of flavor to the p-bass sound.

    I don't know if you're going to get the difference in sound that you want. From my own experience, the sound you're talking about comes from the humbucker in the neck position. Don't know what's out there in your price range.
  17. toz22


    Mar 4, 2013
    Just ordered the black Jag. Thanks for all the help, I'll make sure to post about it when it comes in on Tuesday!
  18. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I like the black
  19. Formula144


    Sep 27, 2011
    I asked Jeannie's recently and got this back:

    Here you go just ask for red tort when you pay.

    Right now I have GHS Precisions(short-scale set) on my Jag SS and like them a lot. My other short scale is an Ibanez Mikro with GHS Pressurewounds, which also seems like a good combination. I had the D'Addario nylon tapewounds on the Jag but didn't like them.
  20. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Just as a side note, i bought a Squier Mustang SS and gigged it same day. Didn't touch it between leaving the shop and soundcheck, it was perfectly set, played and sounded great. Good QC!

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