Short scale basses

Non-Rickenbacker Basses, Fretless Basses & Effects

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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (antipodean) » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:13 pm

Late to the party as usual. As far as short scale basses go, I have owned a Mustang, two Musicmasters, a Jerry Jones Longhorn and U2, the ex-Jeff Hofner 500/1 V63 and a pair of old Mosrites. They are all great basses with incredible playability, and all get a vintage thump when strung with flats. I have never had any weird technical issues relating to the diminutive scale of the basses, possibly due to the relative weakness of the vintage(-style) pickups compared to a mudbucker.

The Hofner and Longhorn get the most playing time - the Hofner does what it does very well, and can sound very upright-esque when called upon. The Longhorn is very versatile - I've used it for swing, country, vintage rock, punk and reggae. I wonder if the current Dano reissues are up to scratch. If so, they would give a lot of value for your dollar.
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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (Badanovski) » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:16 pm

I just bought a Danelectro Longhorn bass. It took a while to adjust. It makes me play differently. The neck appears short visually so it seems natural to use more of it. For me the long scale of my Rickenbackers
is easier to play fast. With the wide fret spacing, for me, it requires less accuracy. It also gives me more space to slide into notes. That said, I really love the sound of the Longhorn. I wonder if my Rics would sound similar, with the really thin gauge strings of the longhorn? Time to find some stainless steel singles. :mrgreen:
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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:02 am

Glanced at a seemingly interesting 2009 thread on TB regarding medium scale basses. Led to some Japenese J and P bass re-issues manufactured in medium scale. Reasonable prices on eBay. Never heard about them before, but curiosity is kicking in.
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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (antipodean) » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:09 am

Badanovski wrote:I just bought a Danelectro Longhorn bass. It took a while to adjust. It makes me play differently. The neck appears short visually so it seems natural to use more of it. For me the long scale of my Rickenbackers
is easier to play fast. With the wide fret spacing, for me, it requires less accuracy. It also gives me more space to slide into notes. That said, I really love the sound of the Longhorn. I wonder if my Rics would sound similar, with the really thin gauge strings of the longhorn? Time to find some stainless steel singles. :mrgreen:

I'm using standard gauge Short-scale D'addario Chromes on my Longhorn. The sound varies from percussive and bright (with a heavy pick and big attack) to very fundamental-rich.
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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (Badanovski) » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:26 pm

antipodean wrote:I'm using standard gauge Short-scale D'addario Chromes on my Longhorn.
How much did the sound change from the stock strings to the standard gauge?
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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (iiipopes) » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:38 pm

cassius987 wrote:I am starting to get really interested in acquiring a short scale bass. My dad's fake Hofner has a nice thump to it. The market for short scales is so scattered, though... I really don't know where to start. I find myself really interested in certain models but overall find myself scared that low string tension + neck pickup will equal too much string grab on the fatter strings. The SG Bass in particular gives me this concern, with its "mudbucker" and 30.5'' scale.

Mostly, I'm interested in the enhanced fundamental and easier playability of the short scales, but will not compromise on sound. I don't value (and actually dislike) the sterile uber-harmonics of really long scale instruments. So what I mean about not compromising sound is primarily avoiding muddiness, while possibly picking up more fundamental thump. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, in my experience.


"Real" mudbuckers of Gibson manufacture use the same Alnico bar magnets as in the famous guitar humbuckers. The reason the pickup is so large physically is that the coils are turned 90 degrees on edge, are separated by a center bracket that holds the string adjustment screws, and have @ 20 kohms' worth of AWG 42 wire on them. No increased gauss of magnetic field compared to other conventional pickups.

The current Epiphone version of a mudbucker is in name only. The cover hides a much smaller pickup.

In other words, there is no practical issue of magnetic string pull. If you want an EB-0 or EB-3 or a facsimile thereof to compliment your Ricks, go for it!
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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (antipodean) » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:02 am

Badanovski wrote:
antipodean wrote:I'm using standard gauge Short-scale D'addario Chromes on my Longhorn.
How much did the sound change from the stock strings to the standard gauge?

Jerry Jones basses, unlike real Dano Longhorns, were issued with standard bass strings, so I can't comment on the comparison.
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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (partime) » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:07 am

Hi, I love short scale basses, as well as long scale. My favorite is my Rick 3000 (DR sunbeams) for many reasons. My short scale Thunderbird is excellent, eb3, eb2d, three different Les Paul short scales ect. I have asked Rickenbacker and Mr. Hall to make more short scales, but they seem to think its a pain. They were nice enough to respond, but I did not like (still shaking my head) their reasoning. Short scale basses get no respect, but that's ok, they serve me well. Good luck, and search hard, you will find one to your liking.
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Re: Short scale basses

Postby (lumgimfong) » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:10 am

I have had three:
Gibson SG bass (2011?) played great/looked great/sounded awful no matter what mods I did. Too much harmonics not enough fundamental. Sounded like a chorus pedal on it. No clarity. Even the Novak fatbucker could not get the mud out of it.

Guild Starfire Newark Street - Looks great/plays great/Sounds great but not as punchy/growly as a Rick. But sounds good.

Fender Mustang- Sounded the best of the three. Like a Pbass. But my funny bone always hurt after playing it. Tried two from different series. Funnybone still hurts. Somehow the ergonomics dont agree with me.

Waiting for a new Ric shortie one day.
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