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short scale for tone?????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hapibeli, Mar 10, 2013.


  1. The following comes from sweetwater.com and along with an accomplished bassist I talked with last night, it seems that the short scale is what I'm looking for. Phil Lesh's tone is my ideal and that full, fat, ( might I say, bulbous, billowing, deep bell like tone) seems to come from such a bass.
    I have a luthier friend who will be looking for a used short scale bass with quality neck and body that I can add the pickups to.

    I need advice on strings and I'm leaning towards EMG's as I had them in a P-Bass I had years ago before I got serious about learning the bass, as I have become today. I may as well open that active vs passive can of worms for discussion as well? Passive more rounded, warm, natural??

    Copied from sweetwater site;
    "However, many studios pros have long known a secret about the sound of short scale basses. The shorter strings demand lower string tension to be properly tuned. This gives the strings a kind of soft and floppy feeling but it also creates fatter, “blooming” low notes and what musicians perceive as sweet upper notes.

    In the 1960s, short scale basses were more popular, but many were generally cheap student models with narrow string spacing and poor tone. As a result, many bassists got a bad impression of them. Although many bassists find the closer spacing of the frets more comfortable to play, for various reasons (sound not the least of them), long scale basses have remained more popular since the introduction of the first Fender Precision Bass in 1951. With the exceptions of the Ampeg/Dan Armstrong “See-Thru” basses and a few special order Alembics, there aren’t many professional-quality short scale basses on the market today."
     
  2. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I put some D'addario ProSteels on my Mustang last week and the tone is exactly what I've been looking for. I know a lot of people like flats on their shorties, tho.
     
  3. IronLung1986

    IronLung1986

    May 19, 2010
    Exeter, NH
    there are WAY more short scales on the market currently than just ampeg and alembic. gibson is the obvious one, they make a ton of them. I commonly find several decent quality short scales in most music stores. you could also just look at the type of bass used by phil lesh on your favorite dead recordings and then attempt to recreate it.
     
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Pyramid Golds are the strings for me.
     
  5. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    Though I'm not a big fan of TI flats for most uses, they do work great on my short-scale Gibsons.
     
  6. mystic38

    mystic38

    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    I put a set of D'addario ground wounds on a friends Mikro and was simply stunned at the solid tone...
     
  7. rskxqjjw

    rskxqjjw

    Mar 10, 2013
    I've been looking for. I know a lot of people like flats on their shorties[​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    TI Jazz Flats on a Mustang gets the tone you seek. Roll back the tone control about halfway to all the way to taste.
     
  9. mtsens1

    mtsens1 Merle Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    Kennesaw, Georgia
    I use GHS Pressurewound Flats Bass Strings on my shorties (Gibson T-Bird, Gretsch Jupiter and Fender Mustang basses). They make a nice RR sound with a lot less noise.
     
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Short scale basses have different overtones ... less treble and less high mids.
     
  11. fjadams

    fjadams

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    Have flats or tapes on all my shorties.

    I use GHS Precision, Brite, and Tapes. D'Addario Flats and Tapes, LaBella Beatles Bass Flats and Tapes.
     
  12. D'addario medium Chromes on an SX short scale P bass. Sounds like a P bass.
     

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