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Short Scale 5's and alternate (low) tuning (Mikros, etc)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sijjvra, Mar 28, 2013.


  1. Sijjvra

    Sijjvra

    Mar 31, 2009
    I'm still on a quest to find a 5 string bass that is lighter and somewhat shorter scale than my Brice Defiant 5 due to my back being mangled and the fact I'm short, have small hands and coupled with the back problems, that bass is almost unplayable for me now. Which is sad, it's a great bass, but there's no way I can handle hoisting it up for hours at a time any more (it weighs 10+ lbs despite the Rondo page claiming 9lbs - I got a heavy one :smug: )

    I've been wondering about short scale 5's, which would be incredibly comfortable for me, but I'm not sure how feasible they are. My band tunes A♯/B♭ tuning standard, so I don't know if a short scale 5'er could handle that. Heck, I'm not sure most standard 34" 5'ers can handle that, honestly. The Brice has a 35" scale plus it's string through (I have to order special strings for it actually, even the extra longs of most brands are too short) so the B is pretty solid.

    I have a few options available to me at this point.

    1) Ask if some of the less pricey short scales can handle that tuning and pick one up for cheap

    2) Buy a budget 34" 5'er that doesn't weigh 10+ lbs and slowly save up for a Birdsong (just had a kid, broke, yanking 2000 bucks out of the air for a bass isn't possible right now and would take a year or more to save for at this point)

    3) Somehow get my bang-around 4 string down to that tuning and use that for now - it's an older, passive Ibanez SR300 from 1997. It's actually a pretty solid bass for how cheap it was and how much abuse I've put it through, and I've always liked the older SR's a lot more than the new ones (which I've never had any luck with quality or sound wise). Problem is, I've never had any 4 strings able to really handle tuning B standard or lower, even with professional set ups.

    Input? Insight? Suggestions?
     
  2. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    Ibanez makes a fairly lightweight 5 string. I think it's an sr505? It's a 34 inch scale though. It's in the 7 lb range.... You could also string a lightweight 4 string BEAD. I strung my mikro up BEAD one time. That was fun.
     
  3. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    There is the new Warwick Rockbass 32" 5er. I played one at NAMM and it is really nice. The bummer is the $1500 list price. I don't know what the street price is yet.
     
  4. Sijjvra

    Sijjvra

    Mar 31, 2009
    Hm the warwick sounds interesting, I may keep an eye out for that and see what the final price will be, though I'll probably have to save up for that if I decide to pick one up.

    Also - a Mikro in BEAD and it didn't sound floppy? Makes me wonder if the 5'er version could handle it then. I wonder why none of my 4 strings could ever handle BEAD tuning :/ I've tried multiple strings and set ups and they just always sounded like mud. Huh.
     
  5. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    The mikro was playable tuned BEAD. You'd have to decide yourself if it was muddy. Everyone's expectations are different. For a $100 shortscale I thought was fine and fun.... If you can get the money get the Birdsong.
     
  6. Sijjvra

    Sijjvra

    Mar 31, 2009
    My goal was to eventually get a Birdsong, it just might take a while with a tight budget and a new kiddo to take care of. Priorities and all. I just wish there were more places in my area to -try- some of these other basses I'm considering. We have one music store in town and they really don't carry anything but very standard stuff, which is fine, but short scale 5'ers are just not something they'll ever have in stock, unfortunately... and reviews seem so scanty on these models.
     
  7. Where ya live? If it's anywhere near Atlanta, you're welcome to try out my Birdsongs.
     
  8. johnp352

    johnp352

    Aug 19, 2005
    Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Rick Turner, GK
    another alternative is a renaissance short scale or a rob allen..neither would be inexpensive, but both of them would be a huge step up. I have a Turner 30" scale 5 string, strung as a tenor bass, a-d-g-c-f..super lightweight and resonant.
     

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