Help with purchasing a short scale

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrMeyer, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. MrMeyer


    Jul 12, 2017
    Alright, so it might be time for me to ask for some help.

    After not playing for about 10 years, I´m now very eager to get back to playing bass. I played on and off for about three years and I currently own a BC Rich Warlock Bronze that I´m looking to replace. It has served me well, but I don´t really need a bass that screams metal anymore, also the neck dive is horrible, I simply can´t play it standing up.

    So I´m getting a short scale bass, that´s about the only thing I´m sure of. I looked at the Epiphone EB-0 for a long time and actually ordered one, but the delivery time was so long, I had time to change my mind before it arrived.

    I play mostly country and classic rock these days, but I have really started to enjoy harmonics, so that´s why I thought that the single neck pickup on the EB-0 might be a bad choice. I did think about getting a J pup installed near the bridge, but money is tight and I would like something that was clear as glass out of the box. At least decent.

    Two alternatives I´ve found to the EB-0 is the Ibanez Mikro Bass and Squier VM Jaguar SS.

    This won´t be a bass that I´ll keep for a few months and then get another one, I hope to find one that suits me and that I want to keep around for years. Modding opportunities are a big plus, though. I can see myself installing a Xtender quickly. Maybe another bridge later, pups... But that will be later.

    The rock and country thing isn´t a very big deal, I don´t play in a band, and I don´t really see that happening anytime soon, but playing harmonics has been a big deal for me lately. Currently learning some slapping too, if that´s relevant.

    I´m getting a half-decent bell-y tone out of the Warlock with 11-12 year old nasty strings, so I guess anything would be an improvement, but I still feel like I should ask someone with some experience.

    What would you do and why? (Or why not)
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  2. Fender Mustang and Ibanez Talman would be my two recommendations. Do bear in mind that not all Talmans are SS.

    Happy shopping.
    RaggaDruida and Plectrum72 like this.
  3. There are some good ones out there. And, most are not that expensive. The EBO is a solid performer. It does have a lot of low end. The Squier SS Jag is played by many here, and lend themselves to mods very easily with all the Fender replacement things being made now. I haven't tried one yet, but The new Ibanez TMB 30 inch scales are in the same price range as the Jag, and are highly regarded. sells quite a few shorties, including 3/4 size Fender Jazz and P bass clones. Again, with the right mods they can be really good basses, and sound decent with stock pups as long as you get new strings and a setup. The Rumblecat from Epiphone is my favorite hollow body, and I am kicking myself for trading my old one off. Finally, if you can get one of the Fender modern Player Jazz Bass that was made for a short time a couple of years ago, grab it. Not many were made and are considered to be the best short scale Fender ever made. Good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
    RaggaDruida likes this.
  4. fermata

    fermata Guest

    Nov 10, 2015
    RaggaDruida likes this.
  5. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area if money is tight. Their ash and alder models are of the same level as squier and the tmb30, and you have several variations and models. Not just jaguar shape, and vague jaguar shape. There's nothing wrong with the jag or the tmb30, they're fine basses. But it's nice to not have to choose between essentially the same style bass.
  6. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    Another vote for the Mustang. But if money is really tight, get the Squire Bronco. It's a bit heavy for a smaller short scale bass, but sounds and feels decent. I bought one for the neck, and will transplant ghat neck onto a Strat body, making it a "Strat-O-Bass." Haha!! I already bought the better tuners and bridge for it, but could have used what came with...

    If you can make the transition to mini bass, there are a few models of the U-Bass worth looking at. They are TINY! But pack a wallop! I still pull out my DeArmond Ashbory (mini bass) occasionally. Sounds great, and gets a ton of attention!
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Can I ask why you are so set on a short-scale bass? You'd certainly have a lot more options if you didn't limit yourself by insisting on short scale.
  8. GoLeafsGo

    GoLeafsGo Not Quite Right!

    Oct 25, 2013
    Ajax Ontario
    I have two shorties, a Jag SS and a Gretsch 2224 .Both are excellent instruments. I have modded the Jag quite a bit, new pups and pots, but even stock it was fine, but the bridge pup was a bit weak. The Gretsch is just wonderful as is, all I have changed was the strings, put flats on it. And an ashtray because they look cool on it. The two little gretschbuckers give a nice choice of tones, and it is a blast to play too. I would not hesitate to recommend either one.

    The Jag now:
    IMGP0003 (2).JPG

    And the Gretsch now:
    edencab likes this.
  9. MrMeyer


    Jul 12, 2017
    Wow, thank you all so much for the input! Seems like I have a lot more reading ahead of me.

    The reason I´ve decided on a short scale is because I´m not a big guy, and my hands are seriously small. Playing a 34 inch is kinda awkward for me, and after tuning it down and putting a capo on second fret, I had a lot more fun with it.

    I will certainly read up on every suggestion I´ve got, thanks again. Too bad nobody seems to be interested in buying the Warlock..
  10. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Guest

    Feb 12, 2016
    +1 for the Mustang or Jaguar SS.
    staurosjohn likes this.
  11. Member8675309

    Member8675309 Inactive

    Aug 19, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    I've been playing a Gibson SG for over a year now, and I'll admit there are challenges. Be aware. #Strings It's a pita to find the right set.

    But, I love the Gibson, it is versatile and it smells good, but I would consider the Fender Mustang if I could go back. Dan Auerbach used Johnny Cash's most recent bassist on his album 'Waiting on a Song', and he uses a Fender Mustang in some live performances that are on YouTube. Sounds pretty sweet to my ears.

    Alternatively, like someone else said, you could go short-short scale and get a u-bass. I'm telling you, they are sweet and inexpensive when bought used.
    ScottTunes likes this.
  12. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Guest

    Oct 1, 2011
    The Mikros are great. Fun and easy to play, sound great, incredible bang for the buck.
    ScottTunes and staurosjohn like this.
  13. staurosjohn

    staurosjohn My Three Amigos

    Jun 15, 2010
    Nottingham, MD
    I currently have a (new) Mustang P/J... it is nice (I've added Hipshot tuners, Aguilar pu's & a tort pickguard)... have recently had a Squier VM Mustang, a Fender Modern Player SS Jazz (J body with P/J pu's) & had an Ibanez Mikro- when they first came out.

    The P/J I currently own (pic below) is the most versatile of those three but the Squier 'seemed' as well made as the current one. The MP was not so good. The Ibanez was nice- just wasn't for me. Just remembered- I also had a Kala U-Bass (for a day)... was not for me either... just too small & light (felt fragile).

    One of the deciding factors, for me, is that the (new) P/J has a 1.5" nut width... the Squier was 1.625ish... I need narrower necks.

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
    kcolyar likes this.
  14. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Guest

    Feb 12, 2016
    Bought a set of GHS Bass Boomers for my SG. Have not needed to put them on yet. It is hard to find the exact strings.
  15. Odonian


    Feb 16, 2016
    I'm loving the mustang i picked up a couple weeks ago. I don't have a ton of experience with shorties though, so I cant weigh in otherwise.
  16. Member8675309

    Member8675309 Inactive

    Aug 19, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    I bought some GHS Precision Flats yesterday. Haven't gotten them yet, but I've heard good things. Chromes were probably the most versatile because you can easily dial in a modern or/and old school sound, but I had some intonation issues with the E, saddle backed to the wall and still sharp. La Bella's are sweet, but too dark for me. The lighter the gauge, the better.

    You know, honestly, I think I'm too picky and need to just settle and leave it alone. Maybe these GHS strings will be the ones!
    Boristhespyder likes this.
  17. Member8675309

    Member8675309 Inactive

    Aug 19, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    If you start on a string changing journey, let us know how it works out. The short scale and strings are like women, I'm the bass...women the strings. The woman might be the right fit, butttttt I just wanna try a new one every month or so. You get it.
    Odonian likes this.
  18. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    You didn't mention a budget, but based on the alternatives you post, I am guessing sub 250$. In that price range I would definitely check out the Jag.

    Also, for me, the 30" scale is more comfortable than the 28.5", but that could be due to the thinner neck of the Mikro. I still like the Mikro however and it is a permanent member of my collection ;)

    Edit: I haven't tried a Talman yet, but would like to, I am just not a fan of Ibanez necks in general.
    staurosjohn likes this.
  19. Londo Molari

    Londo Molari

    Jan 1, 2014
    2 blocks east of Mars
    Decendant from the Clovis culture. "Emitting that wonderful bass effect since 1970".
  20. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    First thing to do - CHANGE YOUR STRINGS!!!!