Small and light basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andrew B., Nov 30, 2013.

  1. Andrew B.

    Andrew B.

    Aug 20, 2010
    Because of physical limitations here, I need to find a bass easy to pick up, move around, and play, all while reclined in bed. A scale of 30" or less would be great.

    So I'm trying to create a list of basses to consider. I've been reading threads here and listening to demos online.

    I'd appreciate comments or suggestions.

    Kala UBass. Looks and sounds like a lot of fun, but the strings would feel odd. And hard to keep tuned. I need a low-maintenance bass that's easy to deal with. But it looks like so much fun it's hard to rule out.

    SoloEtte Little Thumper. Pricey. Sound more like a guitar than a bass.

    Traveler Ultra Light bass. The only demo I found online is at their site, the the guy playing it is not really demonstrating it. I'm not sure what to make of this bass.

    Traveler TB-4P Bass. 32" scale (I'd prefer 30" or less). Light weight

    Traveler Escape MK-II Bass. I don't know much about this.

    Hofner Shorty Bass. Cheap machine tuners. Pickup near bridge makes it sound bright. But not all bad.

    Sinsonido AS691B. There's a thread here somewhere. Mixed reviews. One said it has an odd sound quality. Not sure what to make of this.

    I'd love to add Squire Mustang to this list, but those are not light. Weighs at least 10 lbs. more than the above.
  2. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I briefly had a short-scale SX Ursa 4 (Jaguar-style). It was so light it almost felt like a toy. Not bad by any stretch, but it was fretless too. Turned out fretless was not for me, at least, not at this time.

    I agree about the Mustang. The neck was light and comfortable, but it was incredibly a$$-heavy and way too imbalanced for my tastes.
  3. fjadams

    fjadams Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    The two lightest I have are the Hofner Icon and the Danelectro Longhorn.

    Like playing the Dano more, it's fun.
  4. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Steinberger Spirit headless bass weighs a little more than 6 lbs. Total length of bass including body is 38.5". Yet it is a full scale bass- so it plays like a bass, sounds like a full bass, no compromises.

    I have a Hohner headless bass that's heavier but it's my couch bass, very comfortable and small in in size, yet it sounds fantastic.
  5. I love my Kala U-bass. It gets played the most, sounds fantastic, the strings will stabilize after a few weeks of playing and restringing, and I like the feel of the strings. I also play 34” scale basses and have no problem switching back and forth between them. Everyone who hears it loves the sound of it.
  6. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    You beat me to it, 1stname... I was just going to recommend a U-bass. Sounds like it would fill the bill nicely.
  7. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    The Squier SS jaguar would be the first thing springing to my mind

    Or maybe an ashbory
  8. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Ibanez Mikro. 28.5" scale, very lightweight, nice neck, good tone, good b-string on the 5'er.
    I use it to sit on the couch and play.
  9. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    image. Most would call this a toy but after a few upgrades she turned out to be a keeper
    Converted to fretless and active EMG pickup
    Weighs under 5 pounds
    Cort Action Jr
  10. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    Here's a pic of the back

    Attached Files:

  11. Geni758


    Nov 15, 2013
    South Jersey
    Danelectro Longhorn reissue. Only weighs about 5lbs. I doubt you'll find anything much lighter.
  12. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    This is my Squier Jaguar SS converted fretless with the electronics fully upgraded
    A bit heavy in the 7 pound range

    Attached Files:

  13. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    Here's another one of my short scales waiting for upgrades
    SX short scale factory fretless found this one for $90 in show room condition

    Attached Files:

  14. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Ubass all the way. They sound great and are easy to play.
    The strings take a little while to stabilize, but after that they're fine.
    Also, in theory, they're less maintenance than basses with metal strings. They won't corrode or need to be wiped down.
  15. Andrew B.

    Andrew B.

    Aug 20, 2010
    Do any of you know how much a Hofner Shorty Bass weighs?

    Regarding the UBass, I like what I hear on YouTube, except I keep hearing what sounds like fingernails clicking on strings or fret slap or something there. Does the UBass take a special touch?
  16. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I've played that hofner shorty and wasn't impressed. The hofner icon violin bass weighs nothing and it's tiny but sounds huge.

    The Gold Tone Microbass is the new player in the petrochemically strung bass game. Damn fine bass with a slightly longer scale than the ubass.
  17. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

  18. Most of the u-bass recordings on u-tube sound horrible. They work best with some kind of preamp or what I use is an f-deck high pass filter. I run it through a Carvin micro amp with a 15” speaker. Sounds full and deep and will shake walls. I don’t have any clicking or weird sounds with the stock strings. As was mentioned earlier by 3234718 the Goldtone Microbass is next on my list.
  19. Andrew B.

    Andrew B.

    Aug 20, 2010
    I didn't realize there were so many choices!!!!! I'm going to have to rethink everything!!!!. And maybe figure out how to get to a store to check some of this out.

    I tried out "Beatle" bass decades ago and remember them as very light and with very easy action.

    After you played the Shorty, did you have an impression of how its weight compares to one of their violin basses?

    Thanks for the tip. I found a demo that's very impressive.

    These strings are game-changers. I have a feeling these are going to go from oddity to major market contender. They can produce a sound many players have been lusting after for yeas. I also think that pretty soon we will be seeing these in guitar size, or even larger.

  20. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I honestly don't remember. Probably a little lighter. I just remember the shorty feeling like a toy and sounding like an unremarkable regular bass. Not Hofner-ey at all. You can easily find an icon for ~$300 bucks used.

    Those strings have been around for a while. Lots of people have made their own mini acoustics out of baritone ukes and these strings. One guy in the ubass megathread put them on a cello and basically made a mini upright.