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Shortscale semi-hollow inquiries...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gothic, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    So, last night I fell in love (again) with a semi-hollow short scale bass, an Ibanez ABG200. I plain and simple love the sound! I've already played it in the past, and although I can do without the short scale, it isn't a thing that bothers me, either. I play in a metal band, and I'm constantly looking for a different tone/sound and approach to the bass (I have the luxury, since I'm the bandleader/songwriter) and that bass is just too sweet for me to ignore. The (potential) problem, and my main concern is if that specific bass could handle downtuning, since we tune in D (some songs are also in drop C). I mainly want to avoid the extra "floppiness", since it doesn't really go well with our music, especially on some pick played stuff or fast parts. I should also mention that this is the only bass I liked within my budget, since I can't find any other similar semi hollow 34" scale basses in the usual e-stores I buy from, and within my price range (about 400€). I don't wanna buy used, either. Any help/info will be greatly appreciated guys! :)
  2. Alcyon


    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Short-scales don't really do well at all with downtuning; a lot of metal players look for longer scale lengths (like ESP's 35) to stabilize low tuned strings. Also if you use gain at all or any kind of distortion pedal the semi-hollow body will give you a lot of feedback. I confess I've always wanted to play that bass too, but I think downtuning on a short scale with a semi-hollow bass is going to give you a lot of mud. From what I've heard (on youtube) the bass sounds excellent in a roots/bluegrass/jazz etc. style however. If I had the money I'd buy one and play everything but metal on it.

    Your Ibanez and G&L should make excellent metal basses already but if you're looking for another one the ESP Viper series is excellent and in your price range.
  3. The only short scale bass I know can handle any downtuning is the Rob Allen Mouse 30, but nothing past dropped D. Looking for a short scale to detune without floppiness is very counter intuitive. The tone also has a lot less treble which is kinda necessary if you want to have any tonal definition in metal.
  4. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    Sounds to me like you dig the tone (semi-hollow) overall, as opposed to the scale ("...and although I can do without the short scale...").

    In that case, you should look into a full scale semi-hollow bass, like the Epiphone Jack Casady (used, if possible, to fit your budget). Plus, a full scale would be much more apt to handling drop D (or C) tuning than a 'shorty' would.

  5. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    Thank you for the answers guys, you've pretty much validated my thoughts exactly! The basses I currently own are just fine for metal, but I was just searching for a different tone (I got fretless covered, as my sixer is getting defretted), and I love the tone of the semi hollow, and the Ibanez fit the visual part perfectly as well, plus the price was just right. I guess I was just hoping for a different answer! Buskman was actually right on the money for my case, I guess I should find another way! Anyway, thanks again for all the answers, much appreciated. :)
  6. IMO the short scale lends alot to the classic hollow/semi-hollow sound.
  7. sarcastro83


    Jul 27, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Ibanez has a discontinued, full scale, semi-hollow artcore line that they were manufacturing a few years back. It's only a single pickup, but does the hollow-body thing beautifully. Not to mention, they look freaking GORGEOUS. I used to know a guy who had one like this:


    They had another model that was a double cutaway, and more of a tobacco burst kind of colour. I believe one of our fellow TBers has one, and stuck a darkstar in it, if I remember correctly.

    Check your local craigslist ads or ebay. You should be able to find one for a reasonable price maybe?
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    You said in your OP that you don't want to buy used. Why not? It's often the best way to to get higher quality for less money. You just need a reliable, safe place to shop, and the TB classifieds are great for that.

    If you're interested in the Jack Casady (which I personally recommend as well), I think buying used is actually a better idea than buying new, and not just because it's cheaper. As wonderful as these basses are, many folks have had various minor problems with them that appear to result, at least partly, from poor quality control. If you can buy one from someone trustworthy, who can tell you about whether his or her particular bass has had any of those problems (and, if so, that they have been fixed), you'll be in better shape than if you bought a new one. And, as a bonus, you save some money too!
  9. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    If you wand to de-tune a short scale bass without having the strings get floppy, can't you just use a heavier guage of strings?
  10. Epi Rivoli

    Epi Rivoli

    Jan 13, 2009
    I would also recommend the Cassady, since it's a long-scale it'll handle downtuning better. Also: The singer/bassist from dutch metalband Gorefest uses a Cassady and it looks very cool:

  11. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    Thanks again for the answers guys. :)

    @ sarcastro83: I've been looking for one of those here and there, but I couldn't find anything. Plus (as I've said in a few other threads :D), I can't yet buy from e-bay, and I don't want to either. I live in greece, so, no craigslist here, and the used market isn't that great when it comes to basses, and on top of that, people think they can sell their instruments as much as they go new. :rollno:

    @ Lobster11: I don't really wanna buy used, firstly because of the reasons stated above, and second, I don't really trust anything I cannot try myself to be in a good condition. Call me old fashioned, but I've had some crappy deals before that way, and I'm not going down that road again, regardless of the fact that it might save me a lot of money.

    @ danomite64: I will put on heavier gauge strings anyway, but I'm afraid the shorter scale would still hinder the clarity of the lower notes, despite the heavier gauge of the strings, and would add to the floppiness, anyway.

    @ Epi Rivoli: Nice man! Funny thing is, I've been watching some of their videos lately, including this one, and I never paid attention to the bass!

    Gathering your views on the matter, plus researching a bit on my own (done a lot of digging around talkbass, as well), I think I'm gonna spend a little more on this bass, since I have to get something good enough to record, as well as gig with, so I can't afford any "lemons". Since my budget's still limited though, I've narrowed it down to the Epi JC, and the one I tend to favor right now, the Hagstrom Beluga IIF. Both are very nice (visually), and seem well crafted, but I gotta admit that the Hagstrom seems a lot better made than the Epi, despite the Epi's "signature" sound, and all the reviews around here. Thing is, the Hagstrom has only one side hollowed out (according to their website), and I don't really know if that would make it able to produce that semi-hollow sound I'm into. On the other hand, the Epi is surely what I'm looking for, but I've read stuff about flying bridges around, and I'm not really hot on that, either. Plus, I like the Beluga more (visually). Any opinions? :help:

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