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What are some short scale basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Badtown, Jun 12, 2001.

  1. Badtown


    Apr 22, 2001
    Midwest USA
    I'm looking to get a short scale bass (30" as opposed to 34").
    I understand Ampeg makes one? What are some others that I can look into? No particular price range, I would just like to see my options. Thank you!
  2. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Warwick has short scale available as an option on their basses now.

    In the cheapo range, Squier Bronco.

    Guild/DeArmond Starfires.

    Used, Fender Mustangs and Musicmasters. Gibson EB-O, EB-3.

    I think Alembic has a 32" scale, not sure about 30".
  3. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    Alembic makes a short scale bass in different models. The scale length is 30.75"
  4. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Hey Badtown,

    My suggestion would be for you to get your hands on a Guitar & Bass Buyers Guide. They are published annually by Guitar Player and Bass Player magazines. They go through a mind-numbing amount of gear and usually do a good job at identifying available scale lengths for various makers basses.

    You'll find there are a lot more short scale basses available in a wider range of prices than many may think of.

    Short scale basses have um....issues.... that a lot of lower end (cheaper) brands my not overcome. The best inexpensive short scale that I have ANY experience with is a Danelectro (Longhorn I think). You have to get past the look of the thing though. I mean you REALLY have to get past the look.

    The best short scale I've played is the Alembic Stanley Clarke Signature, but it's EXPENSIVE. You get what you pay for.

    (Surely y'all didn't think I'd get through a post without using the A word!!!! :D :D :D )


  5. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    If you like the way they play and sound (personally, I do) the new Ampeg basses are quite good. The Epiphone EB0, EB3, Rivoli and Explorer are all short scale. Of the Epi's, the only one I have experience with is the Rivoli, which I like a lot IF the deep tone fits into the style you are playing. Older Gibson EB0, EB1, EB2, EB3, SB300, SB350, Les Paul Triumph and Melody Maker basses as well as the 60's Epiphone Newport are all short scale, but then again, most of these have that thunderous deep tone (the huge humbucker) that can get muddy sounding in a lot of settings. The Guild and DeArmond Starfires as well as the older Guild solidbody basses, the JS-II (sort of SG shape) and M-85 (sort of Les Paul shape) as well as the DeArmond JetStar are short scale alternatives to Gibson and Epiphone.

    Though they are hard to find, I believe the early Robin Ranger basses were medium scale (32"), as were the SD Curlee basses. In fact, now that I think of it, some of the early import Fender P-Basses (not sure if they were sold as Fender or Squier) were 32" scale.

    If you are a McCartney fan, the Hofner basses are short scale, as were the Klira (another German brand) "beatle style" basses.

    Still another alternative are Hagstrom basses, though the only one I would really recommend for every day use is the Swede model...the tuners on the older ones are horrible and would need to replaced before one used them on a regular basis. Hagstrom Swede basses are cool, but like the early Robin's and the SD Curlee's, hard to find and becoming collectable.

    Then, of course, there are the older Danelectro's as well as the newer Danelectro Longhorn...which are cool in a demented sort of way.

    I sure there are others too...

  6. get a stieberger
  7. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Epi Viola
    Epi EBO
    Epi EB1 (32")
    Dano Longhorn
    Ampeg Dan Armstrong

    As for vintage, all Gibsons except Thunderbirds and Les Pauls, i.e., EB, EBO, EB1, EB2, EB3

    Because of scale length, short-scale basses handle the harmonic series of overtones differently than 34" basses. Also, string tension is quite different. On the plus side, they offer fingering options with much less left hand stretching due to the decreased space between frets.

    I personally enjoy short-scale basses and often use one for gigs where I don't want to work quite so hard or just want the change. For the money, the Longhorn is king.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Steinbergers are not short scale, they are standard 34" scale basses.
  9. because of the missing head stock you cant tell the differance
  10. yes you can the scale lenth is from the nut to the brige
  11. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    the Ashbory is 18" I believe... anyone tried one?
  12. KumoriNeko

    KumoriNeko Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Isn't the EB-3 a longer scale than the EB-0? On the Epiphone website it says they are 34" and the EB-0 is 30.5", or maybe you guys are talking about the Gibson models?
  13. Malthumb has it!

    Be sure of why you want a short scale and know the pro's and con's of their inherent sound.

    I love some of them for a 1960's type of muted tone, but they can't cover a wild variety of gigs in my experience.
  14. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Danelectro Longhorn... 30" scale, and 24 frets. Almost like playing a guitar. Nice sound too.

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