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What's the true story re: short scale basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by surfsleez, May 18, 2005.

  1. surfsleez


    May 16, 2005
    I know that short scales exist; I recently borrowed a no-name from a friend. I've also seen statements that no reputable brand has a bass with less than a 34" scale. I have already ordered a full scale 5 string but still am interested in finding out about any shorts on the market?

  2. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    I'd consider Alembic a fairly reputable brand. :spit: ;)

    Short scales are out there, but less common, and many reputable brands produce them.
  3. surfsleez,
    See my comments on the thread below this one.

    If a short scale suits your playing style/ability/physical size best use one.
    The general public/audience won't notice any difference. We picky bassist/board members might/will hear differences in tone or attack but Jack Bruce, Jack Cassady, etc. did just fine. There are millions of satisfied Mustang (Fender) and EBO owners (Gibson) out there. Try some short scales out. Pickup styles and body woods make a huge difference in short scales.

    The bottom line (pun intended) is to judge for yourself what sound you like and what tool will enable you to play your best. If you play rock and blues and country a short scale will suit the music fine. If you play jazz, fusion, classical, there MAY be times where a tighter bottom or tighter string feel or more tonal variation- on a longer scale will suit the music better. Overall
    it shouldn't be a huge concern. If you have small hands/fingers then a short scale may be the sensible choice just to play one's best.
  4. Fred Hammon

    Fred Hammon Dark Star pickups

    May 13, 2005
    You might also look into some vintage basses as a source for short scale. Namely, Gibson (Eb0, Eb2 etc.) and Guild JS II and JS-I plus the every popular and beloved Starfire hollowbody bass measuring in at 30-3/4" scale. Don't forget the Guild M-85 basses too but they've become pricy lately...
    I wish more basses were made in medium 32" scale. Alembic makes them but they're also extreemly expensive.
  5. Th9nker


    Mar 18, 2002
    Gibson is about to put out a re-issue of the old SG style bass...
  6. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine

    For example, here's Trip Wamsley's 32" scale 8 string Alembic. I've stood in front of Trip while he played it and it sounded incredible. He also said it played great. Yep, the B string, too. The pic does not do this beauty any justice, but here it is...


    Anyone making blanket statements like that without considering any other factors, such as quality/materials, is simply being shallow IMHO.

    P.S. Ironically, the Alembic web site has it incorrectly listed as a 34" "long" scale. :) Yes, it really is a 32. It's an error on the site as confirmed by Trip. He has small hands, which was the whole point behind the custom scale.
  7. Mike Watt plays a short scale Gibson EBO cause he likes the way it plays and feels. I like the way it sounds when he plays it.
  8. So do I, but the only ones that are widely available and decently priced are, AFAIK, the Korean made Burns basses. I also wish that there were more 30" scale basses around, other than often poorly assembled Squier Broncos.
  9. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    32" is gooood!
  10. skunkrawk


    Apr 25, 2003
    dean has a new 30" scale evo xm bass out, it looks pretty neat but i havent actually tried one out yet.
  11. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    Jerry Jones makes a short scale called a Longhorn. I own one, and its a great sounding and playing bass. Very nice, quality instrument. New, about $1000.
  12. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I don't know what you call reputable but:
    Schecter they make the Devil Deluxe
    Warwick has several short and medium scale options
    Fender has the Mustang and P Bass Jr.
    Squier Affinity Bronco
    Daisy Rock has several
    Traveler Escape Travel bass
    SX sold by Rondo has one or two models

    That should give you a few to look at!
  13. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    ... I totally want a medium scale Alembic... like Right now... Along with 8 others.. I'm happy with 1 though :-D.
  14. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Bassist..........6' 2" tall





  15. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    My main bass these days is a 30.5" Hamer 12 string. It'll crush small animals at 50 paces!
  16. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    I'll say it again LANDING BASSES...Go talk to Jimmy and he will explain why his basses are the best short length basses around...TONE WISE, FEEL WISE...

    IHMO shorter scale doesn't control the sound it's the pick ups and the way there made that gets a great tone...

    Landing has GREAT pick ups and are made awesomely....
  17. vometia

    vometia Formerly cbh

    Nov 1, 2003
    Rickenbacker's disreputable? Even Lemmy's best efforts haven't quite managed that yet. :D
  18. M5Yates


    Feb 7, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Don't for get that Kubicki Ex Factors are 32" scale (with a 36" drop D extension)

  19. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Hofner made 30" and 32" scale instruments all through the '60s--both Lennon and McCartney loved short-scale guitars and basses. I play through a 32" 1964 violin bass regularly.
  20. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada

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