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What to do with super short scale bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RBS_Johnson, Nov 2, 2013.


  1. Hello all,
    I did some trading and got a bass that was very odd to me recently. I had only heard about them and never actually seen or played one. It is an early 70`s Japanese import bass, with a 24" scale length. It looks like the one here,
    Except that the logo is gone, it was missing the string tree(so it got a generic one), and some idiot attached an Ozzy plastic thing to it with epoxy between the tailpiece and the controls. Still working on that last bit. :rollno:

    So, the shop I got it from put some light gauge strings on it, which as you can imagine creates issues when tuned to proper bassy bass tuning. I am going to try some heavier strings and a better setup to get it to play well, but if that fails I am at a loss.

    The question: What would you do with a bass smaller than a strat if it didn`t bass very well? :eyebrow:

    -Jake

    P.S. - Pictures of my exact bass should come soon-ish.
     
  2. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo

    What is this, 1943?
     
  3. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Can you make it a piccolo bass?
     
  4. Maybe :p
    I deal mostly with vintage stuff(personal choice, not knocking new basses), and that is just what I call them. Most of the imported stuff from this era I have dealt with were medium quality instruments. I just can`t get this one worked out yet.

    I guess I should also clarify, I don`t know for sure it is Japanese in origin. From what I have seen the Kent name was used by multiple companies from multiple countries. I still think it is from Japan based on the styling/components.

    @MEKer:
    I have though of that, but I am still not totally sold. I`m curious to see if there are other opinions out there with ideas I am not aware of.
     
  5. There was not a need for clarification in regards to the country of origin.
    Your phrasing/word choice was rather derogatory and could easily offend others, as it clearly has done so already.
    I would assume it was a simple mistake and was not intended as a racial slur.
     
  6. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    I had one similar to that. It was either a Teisco or Guyatone.

    They make a good couch bass.

    IMG_0083.
     
  7. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    I've read and re-read and still come up with my original read. A simple abbreviation. Some people are overly sensitive, especially in text where misinterpretation is easier. One of the big problems today is the "perceived insult" rather then face value. More benefit of the doubt needs to be given before going straight to offense.
     
    canuckshort likes this.
  8. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I have a somewhat similar animal.

    Telestarbass.

    I bought mine for laughs on eBay last year as it is identical to my first bass that I got as a kid in 1972. It is a fun "couch bass" or "computer bass" with it's little neck.

    Mine hang on the wall as a reminder of how much better my current gear is.

    These did originally come with flats and in my opinion work best with them.
     
  9. I am not trying to offend anyone. I simply didn`t realize that abbreviating the country of origin in this case is considered a slur. Noted for future usage. No intent at hurting the Japanese people, and they went on to make some very nice instruments. This one is a little before that ;)

    @Everyone else:

    I think a set of heavy flatwounds will go it in an attempt to get a suitable enough action. Tried out the piccolo thing last night with some old guitar strings. It is fun, but since there is no way to adjust the intonation on this bass is it practically useless still. This one may just end up looking better than it plays :scowl:
     
  10. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    then it's not worth mentioning. he's talking about a bass. not a person....

    24" is a bit too small for me.. could be a nice little travel bass... easily fits into a guitar bag, right?
     
    canuckshort likes this.
  11. BAce

    BAce

    Jul 31, 2012
    There is a way to use regular 34" scale strings on this. A little fiddly, but it does work and you only need to "doctor" the E and A strings. Use nickel round wound strings, stainless won't work. Cut the E and A to the proper length which is a little past the A and D tuners respectively. Carefully unwind the outer wrap of each string, starting with pliers so you don't stab yourself :) Continue unwrapping until you've removed the outer wrap to about a half inch from the tuner side of the nut. Cut that unwound wrap wire as flush as you can to the string, massage the end over with the pliers. Solder the spot where the outer wrap wire was cut. A soldering gun works better than an iron here--more heat. You can pretty the solder joint up with a piece of shrink tubing, red is the best heh heh. Install and tune up. The D and G strings--just cut to length and install, they are not to heavy to go around tuning posts.
     
  12. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    That's what I did with my Strat bass. I didn't solder though - I just shrink tubed them.

    IMG_0319.
     
  13. ProgRocker

    ProgRocker

    Mar 25, 2011
    When I read it I saw it as an abbreviation for Japanese, not as a racial slur. The context did not convey it as such. Being that 1943 was 70 years ago, the op nay not know that was a racial slur.

    Too many people looking to be offended these days! I remember when people had thicker skin and weren't offended by someone using MIJ instead of MIJ or whatever.

    Seriously, people need to stop looking for things to be offended over, look at the context, be mature, and consider what the author of the post might have meant.

    Such overreaction is unwarranted. Try asking the op what they meant next time.
     
    canuckshort likes this.
  14. redstrand

    redstrand Supporting Member

    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    My Mongrel Teisco plays great, I put 45-95's on it and it sounds great, it's definitely a fun bass.
     
  15. This bass had regular strings on it, but they were the real light gauge(which I love on my 34" scale luna, not on this though). When I took them off I saw why you guys had to modify them, the light gauge E barely fit through the tuner! I will try it out with heavier strings soon. If it doesn`t help much, I will just live with a less than ideal action.

    xaxxat, Do you have more pictures of this bass? Or even better a thread? I made something similar out of an 80`s lotus strat copy and would like to compare notes, lol.

    Thanks guys.
    -Jake
     
  16. jaxom

    jaxom

    Aug 31, 2008
    New Castle, PA
    I have been wanting one of these for a long time...
     
  17. So far it has been fun but not terribly useful. It actually sounds really good with four guitar strings on it, has me thinking about making a piccolo bass(AKA four string guitar)....
     
  18. Racial slurs are racial slurs regardless of intent. Intent matters in how one may judge the author, but not in how one judges the text.

    In a world where "Oriental" is now considered to be inappropriate and has been replaced by "Asian," let me assure those who are not aware: "MIJ" has been considered a racial slur for at least 70 years on par with "Nip" and "Chink" and considered inappropriate ever since society decided that speaking like a racist was inappropriate.

    This is in no way an attack on the OP who appears to have recognized it as an error. It is to those who are expressing that they still think there's nothing wrong with it. It's been inappropriate about as long as "Separate but Equal." This is not some "new" political correctness.

    Welcome to that last 1/2 decade or so. I hope you haven't missed too much else.
     
  19. I must have missed that part. The area I spent most of my life up until now does not have very many people of Asian descent. The guy I learned most of my vintage guitar stuff from always used the abbreviated form, and he never showed any (other) sign of being racist towards anyone. Of course, he is an older guy and may just have never changed his ways. Who knows :confused:

    Again, no harm intended. Let`s not turn this thread into a discussion of political correctness(at least not before we see some more cool extra small basses :cool:).

    -Jake
     
  20. Understood. Living in California, with a large Japanese American population, and where we locked up American citizens of Japanese descent for 4 years just because of their race, we've probably been a bit more cognizant of the issue than areas with very few Japanese Americans.

    I always considered a bass with a 24 inch scale to be designed for children to learn on. It must be really weird going back and forth between that and a 34. Let us know if you manage to get some good tones on it with heavier strings.
     

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