Short Scale / Long Scale can they tell?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassBob185, Feb 7, 2009.


  1. Yes

    13 vote(s)
    16.7%
  2. No

    52 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. Carrots

    13 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. BassBob185

    BassBob185

    Oct 25, 2007
    Rocking Chair
    I recently added a short scale SX to my bass family. I am curious as to whether my fellow TBers believe that an audience can tell the difference in sound if someone is playing a short scale versus a long scale.

    Scenario: Your are playing at a gig and you have a regular scale Fender P. You unplug the long scale and plug in the P configured short scale on the same rig. Adjustment to the volume and tone knobs on the bass can be made.

    I know it is hard to compare but please give this old geezer and long time bass player a break.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. DrPepper09

    DrPepper09

    Jan 22, 2009
    Denton, TX
    the audience wont hear any tonal difference (unless it sounds like a wish bass), but they will see a difference in the neck.. i've had people ask me why my basses neck is longer (so the audience is at least observant in that category... no matter how stupid they are.)

    In Short: Physically yes, sound wise no.
     
  3. lawsonman

    lawsonman

    Dec 19, 2005
    NW IL
    99% of the audience wouldn't know if you was playing a long scale Jazz or a Tuba.:)
     
  4. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    Texas
    I've one shortscale in my "play live" basses and about to add another.

    Typical audience at a gig?
    No, ESPECIALLY if you make adjustments as mentioned.
    If you have a Line 6 preamp or other with presets, you can even tweak presets to make your shortscale sound better than the longscale.
     
  5. Stone Age

    Stone Age

    Apr 13, 2008
    Connecticut
    :D:D:D:D
     
  6. Jjango

    Jjango

    Nov 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ain't it the truth? :D
     
  7. Just about every time I play my Rob Allen Mouse (30" scale, single cut), someone will come up and ask what the deal is with the little bass. It's almost always accompanied by a remark on the sound too, but the look gets the first question. Of course the fact that I am 6'4" makes it look that much smaller too.
     
  8. Presuming EADG, right?

    I don't think you can discount the visual aspect. If you could, a lot of bands could save a lot of money on stage lighting.
     
  9. Absotively posolutely true.
     
  10. BassBob185

    BassBob185

    Oct 25, 2007
    Rocking Chair
    Yes, tuned EADG
     
  11. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    On the off chance that somebody did notice how long the neck is on my instrument, why should I give a flying rats patoot?
     
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    A very few of the audience might hear a difference - if there is a significant difference in sound. For instance, if the long scale had flats and the short scale had new rounds. Most would not perceive any difference at all. Any real difference would be a result of the overall character of the bass, not just whether it's short or long scale.

    Most people would perceive no difference even IF there was one.
     
  13. Visually, people will probably notice. I'm only 5'6" and people still notice that my Mouse 30 is kinda small. I remember in my last band switching from my Conklin 6 to the Mouse 30, which made the transition even more obvious!

    Sonically, kinda depends on how different the tones are.
     
  14. amandolin

    amandolin

    Mar 16, 2008
    Lancaster, PA
    If the audience notices, it's probably a bunch of dudes anyway :atoz: :D
     
  15. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    Not only can't they tell the difference in tone between long and short scale, but they probably couldn't tell you which is long and which is short (unless the basses are side by side). They don't care either.
     
  16. honestjohnny

    honestjohnny

    Nov 24, 2006
    Heck, a friend of mine who plays bass for a national touring act couldn't tell that I was playing a short scale, even when I was jamming at his place. So how's that?!
     
  17. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Montreal
    I voted carrots 'cause it depends what music you're playing and assumes a good rig. Play a blues scale or classic rock above the nut and noone will know, but play a chord or double stop or lean on your open E and it won't sound nearly as good or clear. Intonation above the 7th fret will be off IMO/IME (unless it's a fretless). The average audience member won't realize in the moment, but could tell the difference if asked to discern between the 2.
     
  18. The audience can't tell and, even if they could, they wouldn't care.
     
  19. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    They probably don't care, but I guess they could tell quite easily.
    Short scale is just shorter. I'm sure the audience could spott that.
     
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    The audience wants a good show. They don't care about the rest unless they're gearheads.
    Will you feel the difference is the only important factor.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 22, 2021

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