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Low end of short scale and Fender Bass VI vs. Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fitz, Jul 1, 2012.


  1. Fitz

    Fitz

    Oct 20, 2009
    I want a different look on stage, and am curious about working in a Bass VI or a short scale for live use on a couple of songs. What I want is something more proportionate to a guitar so I can sling it low and play with a pick (because it will look cool, and that's what its all about).

    My main concerns:
    In a live setting, does a short scale bass or a Bass VI-style guitar lose quite a bit of noticeable low end compared to a normal bass (especially when played with a pick)?
    Can you recommend any good short scale basses/Bass VI guitars that look cool, but are good quality and can withstand years of use, and are affordable ($500 or less)?
     
  2. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Feb 24, 2012
    Well, i don't know where to get one and i have never played one, but John Entwistle used to say he stop using a Fender Bass VI because he couldn't get a decent low-end out of the thing.
    About short scales... there are some short-scale basses that can deliver an awsome bottom end. An Epiphone EB might be the deal.
     
  3. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Feb 24, 2012
    Eastwood basses also get some nice low end
     
  4. Fitz

    Fitz

    Oct 20, 2009
    bump
     
  5. pjmuck

    pjmuck

    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    There's plenty of low end to be found in short scale basses, especially hollow bodied ones. In fact, the knock against many short scales is they don't offer enough clarity, note definition, or mid range thump, so basses like the Gibson EB0/EB3 or Hofner Violin have the reputation for sounding muddy or boomy. As for the Fender VI, might I recommend a Schecter Hellcat VI instead? For a little more than your $500 budget, it's a very versatile instrument that can get you thumpy bass or spaghetti western baritones.

    In either case I've found that with some adjustments in my amp EQ settings I can get me everything I need to compensate for anything lacking in the instruments, be it muddy short scale boominess or thin six string low end.
     
  6. if you want look and sound + shortscale, go Danelectro. I'd also say maybe a Fender Mustang. I own one, and it's almost as heavy as my P Bass, but I don't think you lose much on the low end there.
     
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    Actually Short scale basses have plenty of bass ... My first 2 basses were a Hofner and a Gibson EB bass. Both had a ton of low end. Where short scale basses come up short is the overtones on the notes played on the first 5 frets. Try this ... play a C on the A string by fretting the 3rd fret. Then play the same C on the E string at the 8th fret. The difference in tone replicated what a short scale bass sounds like. Another way to make you bass sound like a short scale bass is to tune DGCF and put a capo on the 2nd fret. What is left on your fertboard is a short scale bass.

    Also the Bass VI is pretty much a pick only bass. Playing one of those fingerstyle is pretty difficult.
     
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    Entwistle also quit playing p-bass because they didn't have enough low end. That's when he went to T-birds and Fenderbirds and eventually ended up playing active basses with a bass boost.
     
  9. Bass:
    (both the same pickupsettings, just the amp is different)

    Back in the day when I still had a VI. As you can hear: plenty of lowend. The biggest difference/secret lays in what amp you use. If you run a VI through a Fender Twin Reverb/Dual Showman/Vox AC30,... It sounds like a guitar, tuned lower. Run it through a proper bassrig, and it sounds like a bass.

    But beware, you have a really crammed stringspacing, so picking with the fingers IS hard.
     
  10. Fitz

    Fitz

    Oct 20, 2009
    Interesting, thanks for the info. I couldn't find a thread that just stated whether there was a loss of low end with short scale basses or not. Any other recommendations? I'm not really into Danelectro guitars, but I do like the Mustang.
     
  11. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Banned Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    Short scales lose no low end. I don't know who even started that. Listen to Springsteen's Born to Run. Sound bass-ey? Also, play any YouTube video of The current Springsteen tour. Yep, Garry plays a short scale Spector and has played short scales most of the past 40 years.

    Listen to my YouTube song "From This Day On" and tell me if you can pick out the Danelectro recorded lines. I doubled the Vaccaro with my Danelectro and in two spots in the song it is actually just the Dano.
     
  12. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Let's see, there's a little known bassist named Macca who plays an obscure German bass....
     
  13. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Do you want to play Tic/Tac style? I thought the Frender VI was originally designed to compete with Danelectro's dominance in cowboy style music.
     
  14. pjmuck

    pjmuck

    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    +1. I actually split the signal of my Schecter Hellcat VI out to my Fender Deluxe Reverb and my Eden Bass head simultaneously using a Boss LS-2. Instant wall of sound. :D
     

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