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Travel Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by legend_bob, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. legend_bob


    Nov 18, 2008
    Been playing a couple years now, though never enough practice. I have an old, cheap Ibanez that's been a good learner but I'm ready for a better instrument.

    I'm about to start a job where I'll be traveling a good bit of the time and would love to spend that hotel time practicing. I just can't decide what the best bass option is.

    My first thought was an Ashbory. I love the idea of it, but I don't see myself being much of a fretless guy and I worry I wouldn't stick with it.

    I've played a friend's EB0 and really liked the short scale size. Would a regular short scale bass be small enough to travel with easily?

    One of those Ministar Basstar could be an option. Attaching the rods for the body seems pretty kludgy though. But, what do you want, that's the price you pay I think.

    If it weren't for the traveling thing, I think I'd be shooting for a Stingray or a J, for what it's worth.

    Any other advice?
  2. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    My favorite shorty is the Gretsch Electromatic Junior Jet (2202).
    Lightweight and has a good sound to it - even through headphone amps
    I think they retail for about $200.
    Good luck
  3. bass_snake

    bass_snake Banned

    Aug 13, 2008
    Stouffville, Ontario
    Check out the Squire Bronco. Goodluck!

  4. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    I'm using an old riverhead Steinberger copy as my travel bass, along with a VOX AC1 rhythmvox as my travel outfit. The bass plays very well, has 34" scale length and is basically the smallest "real" bass you can find. It will be smaller than a short scale bass, and it is a complete bass.

    It straps on with a boomerang system, and its comfortable to play either sitting or standing.

    I've tried the ministar, but the bridge system is weird, the bass longer and more fragile than the headless alternatives. And it doesn't sound anywhere close to as good as the riverhead.

    I know the riverhead is a hard one to find, but there are a few alternatives, including Spirit, Cort, Washburn and Hohner.
  5. legend_bob


    Nov 18, 2008
    Thanks. The Gretsch Electromatic Junior Jet was one of the short scales I was considering. Seems like a good combination of quality / sound / value. So is a short-scale in a hard case easy to carry on a plane or is it too large?

    Interesting about the Riverhead... never heard of that but there's one on eBay right now. More than I was wanting to spend but that looks interesting.
  6. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    The Unicorn is epic :)
    Even Michael Manring owns one of those. Mine is more standard Steinberger type, the paddle shape.
  7. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
  8. I think the Kala ubasses are a great investment. They're probably the smallest basses you're going to find, they sound great, and they have loads of personality. A great tool to add to the proverbial shed, that can be used in lots of situations and looks great. The acoustic one also doesn't need an amp for practicing.

    If you want something more substantial, I'd just go with one of the cheap shorscale Squiers. With all the MF and other online sales that happen every other day you can pick one up for a little over $100. Shortscales fit easily in overheads (so do reguar basses actually). And if anything happened to it, no big deal. It's almost chump change for anyone with a real job or decent paying gigs.
  9. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    OK, I almost never compare stuff because everyone has different tastes (and I'm no expert), but we have both a Bronco and a Junior Jet here at home. Both belong to my youngest son. In my opinion, there is no comparison between the two. I cannot find a category (except price) where the Bronco is better than the Gretsch. The Gretsch is made out of plywood (and is not contoured) and still feels better than the Bronco. The Neck, Hardware, Electronics are all better on the Gretsch - certainly worth the extra change ($100).

    The Kala U-Bass looks and sounds incredible for such a small package. That is too cool.
  10. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I work really hard at my fake job!! :D
  11. +1. Got one of these for the exact reasons you mention - trying to keep up chops when traveling for "non-musical reasons." Check the specs; has a built in headphone jack (runs off 1 9V battery); also has a regular 1/4" jack that you could run through an iPhone amp-app like PocketGK/ASD/Amplitube with a RiffPort or iRig.

    They come delivered with D'A' roundwounds (eg, real strings); my only regret is they don't make a five-string model. Otherwise it's just..well, a small body with no headstock; very portable, but 'real action,' and ... if you had to, you could gig it.
  12. legend_bob


    Nov 18, 2008
    Wow, that Kala is sweet. I like that it's a real instrument, not a "light" version of something else. You guys have given me a lot more to think about than I was expecting. +1 to everyone here.

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