Short scale choice to make - please advise - Dean, vs Ibanez

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Keir Hailstone, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Hello all

    I currently own a short scale (30") Squier Jaguar. I find the lower frets a bit hard because of small hands. Even though it's a short scale, and because it only has 20 frets. My last bass which regretably I sold was a Dean EVO XM. To sum up, 30" neck but with 24 frets made things proportionately somewhat easier. However, like other reports I've read, they're not exactly "set up" and ready to go. My local guitar shop couldn't fix the loose jack socket that others have also mentioned. Then the other day I spotted the Ibanez Mikro bass with the even shorter neck. But the one thing swaying me towards another Dean is the curved cornered humbucker to rest my thumb on. Please don't tell me I'm doing it all wrong - each player is different! On the Ibanez, however, there is only one pickup to be rested on and it has "sharp" edges, and would be even worse than the Jag. So before you start to wonder if I'm just answering my own questions, I do have some specific questions for anyone who might be able to advise:

    1. Am I better off with 24 frets on 30" (Dean EVO bass), or am I better off with 22 frets (on the Ibanez) 28.6"? This might sound obvious but is the difference measured by the smallest fret, or the "average" size fret on the bass? The two highest frets are only a little different in width, to the difference of having two more frets on the Dean (four more than my jag) so the difference of 1.4 inches could just be the two topmost frets added on and that I would be better off with the smaller neck of the Ibanez, OR is the sizing difference proportionate overall, that is to say, the Ibanez lower frets will ALSO be somewhat smaller as well as the higher frets? I'm just confused because I do not have any way to try before I buy but I think I could throw away the comfort of the Dean's pickup if the Ibanez neck length means it would be even smaller on the lowest frets too. I also notice that the Ibanez string spacing is less than the Dean AND the width at nut on the Deanis a good 3mm even more than my Jaguar.

    2. So assuming the Ibanez's size is the dictating factor could I easily fit a thumb rest? I would be exceedingly worried about doing that to a new guitar. Also I've seen a few people rest their thumb on the top Ibanez pup but I still think the Humbuckers of the Dean are shaped more kindly... Although the sound is debatable and the Ibanez Mikro has a more similar pup array to my Jaguar which beats the Dean hands down, although at the time I had no proper amp and was just using computer EQ etc. Does anyone on here play the Ibanez and rest their thumb on the pup with no discomfort? Am I worrying about nothing? Does anyone favour the Dean instead and why?

    3. Does anyone have first hand experience of either of these basses (Or both) and can help me decide which one to go for?

    Many thanks for any opinions you can offer.
  2. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I have both the Mikro and the EVO (although the EVO is currently strung piccolo).

    I do find the Mikro to be noticeably smaller, which I don't mind, and the neck is also a lot thinner.

    I play the Mikro more as it is usually the one that is within quick reach (even when they are both strung equally), it is very comfortable but that is also a very personal thing.

    As for the frets, it depends on whether you need the extra 2 notes or not. I do like having the 24 on it while it is strung piccolo but for use of the high notes, I prefer to play a 6 string when doing solo stuff (which is where I use the high notes) so the highest frets really don't get much use.

    Edit to add: I don't rest my thumb on pickups so I can't help you there.
  3. Thanks for the info
  4. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    I’m very much into Dean basses but I’ve never played an EVO. Almost bought a modified one that was very well done.

    I do however have a few SS Ibanez Hollow Semi-hollow basses that I enjoy playing as well as a walnut Mikro. If you’re interested in hollow semi/hollow might want to check out the AGB200 AFB200 and ASB180
  5. Go play both of them and buy the one you like better. That's the only answer.
  6. Unfortunately I live on an Island where there are no shops selling even one of these basses, let alone somewhere I can compare both. So that's why I've come to this forum and I am very grateful for all the replies so far. I know roughly what I want so the technical bits and specs are filling in the gaps of my knowledge andhelping me decide, and I can always return it if it proved to be utterly inadequate. Thanks again
  7. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    As owner of an Ibanez Mikro bass myself, which became my main bass after I swapped the stock pickups out, even if the stock pickups actually are quite decent too, my vote goes for the Ibanez Mikro.

    My favorite bass of all the basses I ever owned, even if some of those costed over 1000$ from new.

    Generally really well build basses for the price.

    And judging for the demos I have watched and listened to of the Dean Evo bass it sounded right out terrible, unarticulated, boomy, cheap and dead sounding to me, which of course could be on account to the gear recorded with and played through and the people playing them, but, to me, it just seemed to be consistently bad sounding, on all the demos I have watched featuring it.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  8. Interesting.. Looks like I'm swaying towards the Ibanez then! Yes I seem to remember the Dean I owned having rather lack-luster sound compared to the basses I have played on since then.
  9. Gare Boo

    Gare Boo

    Jun 16, 2019
    The Ibanez is uncomfortable. Sharp edges all over the bass, fretboard edges, pickup edges, etc. The bass is way too small, and I'm only 5'8". Also, you're right, you can't really rest your thumb on a small scale length like that. The E string would be very floppy if you went for the 28" scale length. The Dean, I have never played one but its upper horn doesn't reach the 12th fret, which means you wouldn't be able to get the neck close to you, and that's a very important factor of playability. Fender Mustang is a very comfortable short scale bass but it only has 19 frets. I've tried the new Sterling Stingray short scale too which has 22 frets but it felt super hard to play at the high register. I'm also struggling finding a good short scale bass, let me know if you found anything good. BTW you can wait till April and maybe try out the new Schecter Banshee.
  10. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    You seem to misunderstand how frets are spaced on a bass. Whether there are 19, 20 , 22 or 24 frets makes no difference in how the rest of the frets are spaced. A 30" scaie bass has to have the frets at the precise distances they always are. More frets is just added fretboard real estate at the body end of the neck.

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