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Newbie here. Some questions.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ohioan, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Ohioan


    Sep 6, 2008
    Well, not really a newbie. Here's my story:

    I played bass when I was in my late teens/early 20s. Mostly rock. I still have the Ampeg SVT I bought used in 1984. I also have an Ovation electric bass. (Pic.) I never really liked the bass... I have short fingers, and it was just too big for me. Plus some of the strings buzz when I hit certain frets. And while the amp head works, the cabinet is in disrepair.

    Anyway, I'm now 41 and I haven't touched my bass (or any bass) in close to 20 years. :( Perhaps I'm having a midlife crisis, but I'd like to get back into playing bass. I'd also like to purchase new gear.

    For starters, I'd like to get a new bass. As mentioned above, I have short fingers, and trying to play a standard length bass is a bit of a stretch for me (pardon the pun). Does anyone make reasonably-priced basses w/ slightly shorter necks? I'm not looking for anything fancy... just a no-frills, 4-string bass with a slightly shorter neck.
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    There's lots of shorter basses out there - do a search for "short scale" basses and you should come up with a lot. I believe Fender makes a Mustang bass that's short scale, as do SX (Hondo), and Epiphone.

    Your bass that you have has a unique following - I myself have a Ovation Magnum II that I've modded the hell out of, and quite enjoy. Yours is a Magnum III, which isn't as sought after as the Is and IIs, but you should still be able to get around $300-$500 for it. Perhaps you'd have an easier time with it if it received a setup. A properly adjusted bass shouldn't buzz much, if at all.

    Your Ampeg SVT should still be good to go - lots of people still use them, even in this age of small, light, powerful solid state amps.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    There are lots of short scale basses (30" or 32") out there. If you tell how much you're looking to spend, what kinda of music you like, etc. people will be able to help a bit more.

    Also, the short finger thing is NOT an issue unless you make it one in your head. I and lots of other bassists have really short fingers and without going to into lots of detail - it just has never caused me any problems playing bass. Had someone said to me early on, "Dude, you've got short fingers, that's going to mess you up on the bass cuz it's so big!", I'd have probably believed them and it would have messed me up. :) Thankfully nobody ever did. Lots of other accomplished bassists here will probably chime in and agree.
  4. timmbass


    Oct 4, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I realize that this is not what you asked, but their are several basses that are 34 inch in five string, with close string spacing, that you may want to look at, Ibanez SR basses, the SX 5 string basses, and Musicman and OLP. The Musicman Stingray 5 is a really really nice 5 string bass with 34 inch scale and close string spacing (string to string).

    And you need to look at these:


    http://www.landingbass.com/New Main Page.html

    This L32 is the first bass that I thought of when I read your post:


    That bass is 32 inch scale, slightly shorter than "standard" 42 inch, but not a "short scale" bass.

    Oh, and you can have that amp recovered, but you may want to clean it up, sell it on ebay as is, and use the cash to buy a newer amp.

    Welcome to talkbass, but let me warn you, you are going to see some stuff here that will make your heart swoon and your bank balance dwindle.
  5. Ohioan


    Sep 6, 2008
    I would love to send it to someone who can work on it for me. Is there a bass tech who has a good repuatation I can send it to? I'm willing to pay good money for quality work.

  6. Ohioan


    Sep 6, 2008
    I think you have a good point here, Joe Nerve. Now I'm thinking I should get my Ovation worked on instead of buying a new bass (see my previous post).
  7. If you're anywhere near Cleveland, I can recommend a guy you can take it to. That gives you the chance to try it before you pay so he can make more adjustments if needed. Shipping it somewhere, you don't get that benefit. catfishheads
  8. timmbass


    Oct 4, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
  9. Ohioan


    Sep 6, 2008
    I'm about 40 minutes due north of Dayton, in Champaign County. I would certainly be willing to make the drive to Cleveland.
  10. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I'd do it for you, as I'm very familiar with these basses and how to get the most out of them - but I live pretty far away, and I'm sure somebody near you will be able to figure it out. It's not really rocket science.

    One thing I can recommend is to replace the heavy tuners that are on there originally. They cause some serious neck dive, and the balance being so far off can make the instrument difficult to play. Schaller makes replacements that will fit, but you will have to do a bit of drilling to seat them properly.
  11. Neil Bartos
    Space Guitar Repair
    10670 Royalton Road
    N. Royalton Ohio 44017
  12. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    I had a VERY similar story.....I have been "playing again" for about 4 years and went from a single T-40 to 5 Laklands....I have owned (and sold) a Fender, RIC, and at least one other Lakland since then.

    I would say get a decent bass - try alot of them to see what "fits you"....I guess I am assuming that you have more cash than you did when you were 20 (maybe?).....I have found that a decent bass made me want to play more....

    I cannot speak for short scale basses, but a "standard" 34" should do you fine.....check out Laklands and other "boutique" firms that you may not have known existed ( or did not exist) when you were 20....I think you will be PLEASANTLY surprised at the betterment in quality and build......

    IMHO - try Fenders, but....?????? I think there are better basses out there....

    If you want to talk about my "jouney".....PM me etc...

    Have fun!!!


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