Show Your 5 String Short Scale Bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JohnArnson, Oct 21, 2019.


  1. JohnArnson

    JohnArnson

    May 28, 2019
    I realize there probably won't be many people having one, since it is somewhat a small niche with not a lot of options on the market, but if you do post a picture of yours with a few words about it.

    Mine is a 5 string Ibanez GSRM25 Mikro bass, with a just 28,6" scale length, poplar body, maple neck with a jatoba fretboard, and 16,5mm string spacing.

    I have done a few visual mods on it, but still have the stock pickups in it, and actually don't plan on swapping them out, cause even if I really didn't like how they sounded in any combination as they were wired from stock in parallel, wiring then in series directly to the output jack socket of the bass gave me an amazingly great tone that I truly love.

    Also I have it stringed with a gauge .100 to .032 set of strings, and tuned F# to D, like the 5 lowest strings of an 8 string guitar, or 2 half steps up form standard E tuning (still give me less tension than what a similar gauged set of strings would be in standard E tuning on a regular 34"scale bass).

    Works well for how I use it, playing it a bit more like you would a Bass VI type instrument or a baritone guitar, than you traditionally would play a bass, with a lot of melodic work and chords going on.

    I also split my signal up in 2 parallel paths, one carrying my bass signal, and one going through an octaver pedal pitching the signal up 1 octave, giving me the effect of playing a 10 string octave bass, with 5 bass strings and 5 octave strings in pairs, just with the advantage that I can use different effects on the bass signal and the octave up signal and adjust the tone and balance of the 2 signals exactly to my liking.

    Here it is:
    Bass-5-120919-small-Edit-666999-Lostus-blomst-copy-Take-2-copy-smallest.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  2. JohnArnson

    JohnArnson

    May 28, 2019
    I realize they are a fairly rare breed, but really, no one else who got a short scale 5 string bass here?
     
  3. DaveTomasi

    DaveTomasi Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Just saw this when searching.

    Rare indeed! All of my basses are short scales (30 3/8 ") including 1 5'er.

    Bru Crew 3A.jpg

    Bru Crew 4.jpg
    KXB-5 09.jpg
    KXB-5 10.jpg
     
  4. Mekana

    Mekana

    Nov 4, 2009
    E16AB507-E61D-4BAD-928A-8ED545444BE6.jpeg

    The short scale 5’s I’m currently playing are 30” Brices. In the photo: An older model that I modded with Armstrong pickups and wired passive only; the aqua (oceanburst), violet (custom refinished) and fretless are newer versions and all stock (active/passive) other than strings, setup, and the purple makeover.

    ... and not in the photo is a 30” older version Brice 6 string.

    I also have a 30” scale Kiesel Vader, which is fantastic, but I need to get my tendinitis under control before I can get back to playing it.

    And I also have a beautiful 31” scale Birdsong Hy5 that I love, but it needs some repair work... and right now the Brice basses are doing the trick for the gigs I play, so I’m not rushing it.
     
  5. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    Heh, just picked up a GSRM25 on clearance so nothing new here, just really excited to have a short scale. It will get modded (I can't help it!), but I need to figure out the components that would need to change and what all is out there that is compatible since it's such an unusual scale...

    20200226_180500-jpg.jpg
     
    The Owl, TomB, rdpete and 2 others like this.
  6. BlackStrings01.jpg
    KB Baruke 23" scale lefty semi hollow fretless.
     
  7. Koldunya

    Koldunya

    Dec 26, 2021
    USA
    I got a GSRM25 today (12/31/21) and love playing it :)
    IMG_5216.jpg
    I know you posted nearly a year ago, and may have all this figured out right now, but from some brief and possibly sketchy measurements, Ibanez used 4-string J pickups and they are like MIM Fenders, ie both the same length of 3.63" (MIA have a wider bridge pickup). EMG sells a MIM set and since they seem to use bar magnets, you don't need to worry about individual pole pieces, just maximum spacing. So there's something to go on for finding more pickups, though I'm not really upset with the stock ones. The bridge is a standard Ibanez B15 bridge. Usual Ibanez bass tuners from what I can tell. The electronics could use some work >_>
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
    MovinTarget likes this.
  8. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    I don't have a SS 5 string, but I have 2 30" 6 strings and 2 30" 4 strings, which averages out to 2 30" 5 strings. Close enough?

    Seriously, I want one and will build one in the next year or so.
     
    MovinTarget likes this.
  9. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    I ended up leaving it mostly stock. I only added a passive mid-cut tone control.

    I am pretty happy with it as is other than maybe converting it to headless at some point...
     
    Koldunya likes this.
  10. Koldunya

    Koldunya

    Dec 26, 2021
    USA
    Yeah, I'm pretty happy with this cheap little thing. I might look into the electronics some, the knobs all seem pretty on/off or close to it, there's definitely a noticeable sudden change near the end of their movement. But it's been so long since I've had a passive bass I'm not sure if that's just normal XD
     
    MovinTarget likes this.
  11. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    IIRC, the two factors that leads to this are:
    - being linear pots
    - being higher resistances

    I might be wrong on both counts but I think that behavior is less about the quality of the pots and more about the specs (i.e. replace with identical "quality" pots and you'll still have a narrow band of change)

    They are "mini" pots so if you do consider changing, bear that in mind... it can be done with normals but you may have to hog out more wood.

    Also, mind the finish, as it is very fragile. I'm not complaining, just pointing out where the shortcuts on a $200 5er lie...
     
    TrustRod and Koldunya like this.
  12. Koldunya

    Koldunya

    Dec 26, 2021
    USA
    Oh yeah, and I'm considering changing the tuning to DADFA - I like the bass in BEADG fine, but I have a 4-string 34" tuned to DADF that's a lot of fun to play around with, and my 8-string guitar is tuned to FADADFAD and also a blast to play on. Doing that will make shortscale strings easier to come by for me as Stringjoy makes them down to .110 (though I'm asking them about thicker strings...) for 29-30" scale
     
    MovinTarget likes this.
  13. Koldunya

    Koldunya

    Dec 26, 2021
    USA
    I think you are correct about it being the value, that makes the most sense. I just need to poke around and see what higher quality J basses use. A friend of mine that's played guitar for a long time is a big proponent of finding cheaper instruments that are somehow built really well, and just upgrading the electronics. This worked out well for me with my $350 Schecter Stiletto Extreme 4. Smooth fretwork, and of all my instruments it is the only one that intonated true from the beginning lol...

    And damn it about the trim pots lol. I did not expect to run into that, but not a big deal to find them in the right value. They're used in a lot of mini things in the synth world and eurorack modular in particular.

    **Edit** I pulled and pulled and could not get the knobs off. I do not, however, have a "knob puller" either. I might try a keycap puller if I can find the thing...
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
    MovinTarget likes this.
  14. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    2A4100B3-D24E-4EEF-A226-1EF18BAAEAAC.jpeg Short-scale 5… This Serek Midwestern 2 (30.5” scale) is pretty much the only bass I’m playing out these days - at least fretted. I love it to death!
     
  15. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    Taper yes, resistance value no, assuming they're wired conventionally.

    Kalium do all sorts of fun stuff. There was a thread a while back about someone turning his SRC6 BEADGC with Kalium Bass VI strings. Did lots of other mods to it was well such as EMG 35TW pickups.
     
    MovinTarget and Koldunya like this.
  16. Koldunya

    Koldunya

    Dec 26, 2021
    USA
    I guess I discounted Kalium based on they seem to cater to the extreme downtuning crowd, and don't really have much of anything short scale. Their Bass VI sets do go pretty thicc but the taper is at 35 3/8” - not great here.

    I did come across this as far as rewiring J style passive electronics, though:

    Passive Tone Controls Explained | eBass
     
    MovinTarget likes this.
  17. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    Indeed, finding 5-string short scale string sets can be quite a challenge. I’m liking Dunlops (medium) for flats, and currently Labella RX for rounds. Both sets fit the 2+2 configuration well. Finding ANY particular sets in stock is today’s challenge. I will say that Labella responds very quickly; got the RX strings made and out to me within a week.
     
    MovinTarget and Koldunya like this.
  18. Koldunya

    Koldunya

    Dec 26, 2021
    USA
    I've messaged Stringjoy about making short scales strings thicker than .110 for a 28.6" scale (or if their existing strings would work well enough at all), as well as tuning mine up to DADFA using their existing string gauges. I have an 8-string 27" scale guitar tuned FADADFAD that's a lot of fun to play :D

    Rondo/Agile make 30" scale 5 and 6-string basses, too. Are those any kind of popular? I know their guitars were pretty popular among metalheads/downtuners for their decent price and punch above their weight build quality. So if they are, maybe we can drum up enough shorty interest for more string options XD
     
    TomB and MovinTarget like this.
  19. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    It's an advert to sell you the ACG part. Contains little of use otherwise.
     
    MovinTarget and Koldunya like this.
  20. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    My understanding was that the total "distance" of a knob turn is constant, but differences in resistance basically affected how much change is squished between 1% and 100%... does that make sense?

    I could be totally wrong...
     

Share This Page