1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Talk me out of buying a Brice short scale

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jurberg, Jul 30, 2017.


Buy a Brice Short Scale?

Poll closed Aug 6, 2017.
  1. Yes! It's great and the B is decent.

    5 vote(s)
  2. No! But you won't look silly with the Ibanez Mikro 5, try it out!

    1 vote(s)
  3. No! Find another MTD 34" scale or Peavey Foundation and just play slower.

    3 vote(s)
  4. You don't need a backup! An MTD CRB5 is indestrucable!

    1 vote(s)
  1. After a few false starts I'm still looking for a "backup" 5 string bass to backup the MTD CRB5. The 34" scale is at the edge of my reach. I can play it fine but faster songs in the middle of the neck (for example Boston's Piece of Mind) can leave my fingers sore for the next week.

    I've been toying with the idea of getting a short scale but I need a 5 string. With a $500 budget, that leaves me with an Ibanez Mikro or the Brice HXB2-405 3/4 scale. I think the Mikro is a little to small to bring out in public.

    There's no way to test out the Brice so I'm going in blind. Is it worth it or should I just stick with a 34" scale and skip the faster songs?
    fretlessguy likes this.
  2. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    If the CRB causes you discomfort, don't use it. Period. Life is too short to play an instrument that doesn't fit you.
    I've never seen a Mikro 5 string, but I was not impressed with the 4 string.
    There are some good reviews here on TB on the Brice, and the price doesn't break the bank. And it seems like RondoMusic are really customer oriented.
    Brice HXB-405 Short Scale 5-string!
    So I'm not going to talk you out of it.
    cchorney and jfh2112 like this.
  3. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid

    Jun 7, 2013
    I had a Brice 6 and it was pretty good. The electronics left something to be desired. It did not feel nearly as small as my Mikro and was actually a pretty good player. I wish they made a fretless 6!
    jfh2112 likes this.
  4. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    Too small to bring out in public you say? The bass on top has been my main gigging bass for the past year, bass on the bottom belongs to the guy that took the photo, I was just holding it to show the scale. Play what makes you comfortable and gigs don't have to hurt.

  5. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid

    Jun 7, 2013
    Very true. It matters much less when you just flat-out kill a small bass like this man does with his Sopran!
  6. I play on a worship team and 95% of what I play doesn't cause me any issues on the 34" MTD. It's just the occasional song that requires fast playing in the middle of the neck. I learned bass using Carol Kaye books so the majority of the time I'm using just 1, 2 & 4.
  7. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I'm not knocking you, but is it something that changing your technique might give you some relief? Is there a teacher or player that you respect that might give you some feedback?
    Groove Doctor and cchorney like this.
  8. daveobieone

    daveobieone Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    I'm an old fart (just turned 65), with some mild arthritis starting to set in, especially my left (fretting) hand. After many decades of playing long-scale basses, I started playing a short-scale Epiphone Viola about a year or so ago. Great little bass BTW, at a very affordable price. Anyway, I liked that so much, I picked up a Gibson SG (short-scale) at a music store about 5 months ago, and loved it. I now own two SG basses. A few days ago, I was in Memphis at the Gibson factory, and couldn't leave without a new "Memphis" ES Les Paul bass after picking it up and playing it for a bit. The "Memphis Bass" is also a short-scale.

    As might be obvious, I'm full-throttle in the mode of converting from long-scale to short scale. I have 5 Fender P-Basses that I no longer want to pick up and play. They are wonderful basses, but these days I can't play them nearly as fast, or as cleanly as I can with the the SS basses, and my hands don't hurt after hours of playing.

    Short-scale basses DO take some fiddling with to get things right! With the wrong strings, they feel like you are pulling on wet noodles instead of strings. I've settled-in on the LaBella 760FL's after trying quite a few others. They feel more like a long-scale, and less like wet noodles.

    Some people also form unfavorable impressions of SS basses because they don't understand how to EQ them. A SS won't have as much of the high over-tones...this is just because of the physics involved. They are there however. If you go for very bright, chimey, piano-like sounds of Chris Squire, Greg Lake, etc, you will have to work harder with the EQ to get there with a short-scale, but with the right strings, the right EQ, the right pickups, and the proper pickup balance, you can get there. Don't try it with an EB-0 however (I have one of those too), the mud-bucker alone won't get you there. It's pretty much all thud...although Leland Sklar managed to get some nice tones out of his on a number of tracks.

    My bottom line advice is, don't be afraid of short-scale basses. They DO have a learning-curve however, and it may take some experimenting to get to the feel and tone you seek, but the better ones are quite capable, professional instruments. They are just different.

    Dave O.
  9. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I own the Brice SS, it's a good bass. The B isn't bad, it's no 35" scale B, but it's good. Pickups are just ok, but it's built like a tank. I use it quite a bit.
  10. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    I'm a bit confused...what will happen if you bring a small bass out in public? Will you be arrested and go to jail?

    This is my ESP LTD B-5JR. 28.6" scale. Same size as a Mikro, but very different. I've brought it out in public many times and I'm still alive.

    ThinCrappyTone likes this.
  11. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    I used to have one of those too, good sounding bass, especially with flats. I survived with that too! Although on this particular bass that headstock is a tough one...if I had kept it I was going to modify it so it wasn't quite so pointy (and therefore dangerous on small stages!).
  12. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    I like the pointy headstock! It's not as extreme as a Jackson, though.

    I wanted flats but there were none in stock so I settled for short scale DR Neons.
  13. Panther


    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Don't do it.
  14. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    Sorry but I am a little confused. You say that it causes issues when playing "in the middle of the neck", by this do you mean that it is uncomfortable when you play around the 5th to 10th fret? But you are ok when you play down near the 1st to 5th frets?

    If this is the case, I fail to see how a short scale will help?

    Personally, I prefer a 30" scale, but I have found lately that if I play a 5 string 34" scale, as long as I play around the 5th fret instead of the 1st fret, it is just as comfortable as a short scale, in fact, even more comfortable in some cases.

    And there is nothing wrong with playing a Mikro in public, I have one and wouldn't hesitate, I just find it a little too small for my liking (the extra 1.5" on a 30" makes a lot of difference to me personally).
  15. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Women will mock you. Children will throw excrement at you in the streets. Your family will abandon you and your so called friends will look at you with scorn and disgust. Society will cast you out and you will be made to forever roam the earth, exposing your shame to all you meet. Or just buy it. Whatever.
  16. Sorry, I should have been more clear. I rarely venture past the 12th fret so the 6th fret is middle for me!

    When I'm playing A,E,D,G#m chords, I'm often using index on the fourth fret and stretching to get the pinky to the seventh. Slower tempo I slide my hand a bit and there's no issue. There's not always time to slide on the faster passages so I just stretch.
  17. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    Had a Brice SS 5 a couple of years ago. Changed the pickups/electronics to EMG (found used on CL) and it rocked. Then I went chasing other things and sold it. Wish I had it back...
  18. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    We'll shoot this dog. Ooo-Kaayy - If you buy that bass, the dog gets offed...:dead::dead:
    daveobieone likes this.
  19. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Don't do it
  20. If you buy the Brice, I can tell you they are actually alien imports from the Pegasus Galaxy, which is full of space vampires called The Wraith. Each Brice bass has a sensor that, in addition to Fenders, Peaveys, and Kalas, will allow the Wraith to find you, which they will literally suck every juice and liquid from your body, including your knowledge, life force, and soul, allowing the easy victory over the rest of the Earthlings since they wiped out the brainy ones first. Just...don't...do...it.

    But if you choose to do so, then clean out the Brice short scale bass and get rid of the hissy active electronics, which will eliminate the alien chip. Then put in EMG passive 5 string soapbar pups and decent pots, and turn it into a passive bass. Buy new 5 string short scale sets from either Rondomusic.com or bassstringsonline.com and slap them on. You will have a great shortie 5 string and no problems with the Wraith. You can only kill them quickly with a head shot, by the way. Wraith are pretty tough. If you do encounter one, you can also use the pointy head stock on the bass to poke a whole in their heart, thereby eliminating them as well.
    canuckshort and daveobieone like this.

Share This Page