Short scale basses that play “big”

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lesfunk, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    Looking for compact bass options that will do the job (not a toy) and not break the bank.
    I’m already a fan of the SBMM stingray shorty and have experience with the traveler p bass but am curious about others that I might be missing
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  2. Check out the Fender JMJ roadworn Mustang Bass.
  3. Jackcrow

    Jackcrow Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    North Dakota
    Never played either but the G&L Fallout Tribute and Fender Mustang P/J seem to be budget friendly options.
  4. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    The Official Short Scale Bass Club -- Part 4
    abarson likes this.
  5. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Musicmasters aren't shy.
    canuckshort, rllefebv, geof_ and 4 others like this.
  6. west al

    west al Road Rex (ROAD KING) Supporting Member

    The Epi EB-0 has a Humbucking that's a kicker! And it won't kill your wallet. I love mine.

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
    TN WOODMAN, PDW30, DJ Bebop and 6 others like this.
  7. billiard


    Apr 20, 2015
    The very best short scale I've ever played is this one. Look for the model that has not name on the headstock, bound neck, this specific pickup, and this specific backplate. These versions are all great. I've never played a bad one. They run a few hundred. Make sure you buy this exact model though. The ones that are similar just dont have the mojo for some reason.

    Attached Files:

    DJ Bebop likes this.
  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Much fuller and much more powerful and punchy than many of my other basses. I love P basses so I’m not saying it’s a substitute. But if you want a short scale that can kick the can, this is it. It sounds fantastic and the build quality is superior. And it’s light, sub 8#.
    Datsgor, Glenn Mac, DavyR and 9 others like this.
  9. billiard


    Apr 20, 2015
    Here is audio of the bass I referenced in post number 8. No eq or compression. Tracked straight into a BLA Digi 002 Signature modded interface using the stock preamp. .

    DJ Bebop likes this.
  10. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Do you have an approximate dollar figure you would like to stay under? "Break the bank" would require hacking your bank account and apparently that's no longer socially acceptable. Heh. The good news is that both build quality and short scale popularity are up so selection has never been better.
  11. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    I’ve been eyeballing that Gibson LP Jr DC tribute for a while now. About a grand new, 7-800 used, so it depends what “break the bank” means.

    Otherwise, on the less expensive side Mustang P/J or Epiphone has many shorties.
    msb, jee820, MCF and 3 others like this.
  12. salmon256


    Jul 10, 2021
    I do not have much experience with them anymore, but when I had an Ibanez Mikro series I thought it packed a pretty nice punch. They are pretty cheap and aimed at beginners but a lot of people I talked to on here really liked them. I liked my, wish I kept it but probably going to buy a new one for practice when I start commuting to school during free time.
    jee820 and spvmhc like this.
  13. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Inactive

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    G&L Fallout Tribute, it’s basically a short scale L1000 and you can’t get any more thumpy then a L1000, The OMG mode just kills!!
    Johnny Em, nFinnyD, jee820 and 6 others like this.
  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I now own and have owned lots and lots short scale basses. Of the ones I've owned, outside of my Ibanez TMB30, they all hold up to my other basses. I'd challenge anyone to blindly pick out the short scales from the long. I am certain people won't know the difference. RE the TMB30, I love mine and plan to keep it - its just the thinnest sounding of them all. Even after swapping the pickups out for Geezers. Not sure what's up with that, and it would probably be fine if I just cranked the low end on my amp, but yeah...

    As for some of the others:
    • SBMM Stingray (and Musicman Stingray) - Both sound pretty much identical, and nail the classic Stingray sound. If someone likes that sound, they'll like either of these basses.
    • MIM Mustang P/J - If someone leans more toward the less aggressive Fender sound, this bass delivers. Bridge pickup is weak in comparison to the neck, and I never used it solo. On the American version, the pickups are balanced out much better and sound more musical. Less oomph though in the P pickup, which I'm fine with. Sold my MIM, hung onto the MIA.
    • Supro Huntington 3 - incredibly versatile, can get much thicker and gooier than the Stingray or Mustang, feels and looks great. Takes a while for me to dial in what I'm looking for though (and not as easy to switch sounds quickly which I often need to do), so it doesn't get as much action as the others.
    • Nordstrand Acinonyx - might be out of your price range (think they're going for $900 now), but this is currently my #2 bass. For some reason its addictive to play, and sounds awesome. Its incredibly unique, too.
    • Warwick Rockbass Corvette - difficult to come by, but Warwick all the way. Versatile, aggressive and just as awesome as any German made Warwick I ever owned. I should use it more.
    • Danelectro Hodad - Also difficult to come by. Can go from total boom to Jaco. Feels toylike and takes some getting used to.
    • Hofner Ignition Club - Possibly one of the coolest looking basses I own (shaped like a Les Paul, not Beatle bass), and definitely the lightest (about 5 lbs). Sounds thick, rich, full... plays awesomely, and works perfectly for most music. Just recently found out its not all that cut out for heavier funkier stuff. Was forced to play some Dua Lipa on mine recently, and it was a big "ouch." Wouldn't think of doing a RHCP tribute with this one, but for everything else it kicks major butt.
    • Gibson SG - Not my thing. If one doesn't like low end and mud it won't be their thing either. I believe it is a bass for those who really love the old school deep dark low end, only. For that, it delivers.
    A few others have crossed my path, but their either impossible to come by now or not worth mentioning. Hope this helps some.
    oddeotek, ejaggers, Morrighan and 7 others like this.
  15. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I thought an Ibanez Talman that I recently had in the shop felt pretty good and substantial, and they aren't that expensive, either.
  16. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Second the JMJ. Mine plays and sounds fantastic.
    ThingsAbove, bassface69 and Holgman like this.
  17. 707GK


    Jun 13, 2013
    Of the short scales I’ve played, they all seem to have a stronger fundamental and less overtones than their comparable regular scale counterparts. I think this has to do with scale length. They do sound plenty big because of this.
  18. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile, ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    They all play "big" in my experience. I.e. they have a lot of low end! A little too boomy and undefined for my preference, which is why I prefer the sound of short scale basses with a J pup at the bridge.
    TN WOODMAN, srayb, jee820 and 5 others like this.
  19. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Fender Starcaster:
    Starcaster & Ric.jpg