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."