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Any of you switch between and short scale and 34" regularly? Thoughts?

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by FortyEight, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I don't play bass but am a wanna-be-soon, and am looking at short scales a la Mustang/Hofner but most likely the Reverend Dub King. However for most gigs I play a guitar the first set with a 24.75" and the second set with a 25.5", and don't know if that's really analogous to your bass question, but it takes only like less than a minute to adjust and forget all about it!
     
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  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    I know a builder named Brad Lowe in Florida who sells Fender swap fretted necks that are 34” to 30” scaled conversions. It’s a cool idea.
     
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  3. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    Interesting. I played the short scale MMBS the other day and I don't think it's for me. I'm just really at home on a PBass. I mean I feel like I could get into the short scale, BUT, for me it feels a LOT different and would take more time to adjust than maybe some of you. I don't like the idea of that cuz the whole reason for a second bass is in case the first one goes down in the middle of a set.
     
  4. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am primarily a bassist, and I go between 34" and 30" scales all the time. Not much of an adjustment needed, as long as the short scale is set up well, with beefier and/or higher strings than stock.
     
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  5. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Not playing a lot of bass lately, but I did play both 30" and 34" scales pretty regularily. No problem switching at all, but I do like the stiffer string feel of the long scale. My son has a Jackson mini bass that is extra short scale - 28.75", I think if I remember correctly. That one is a breaking point for me - feels like playing rubber bands. It's his travel bass, though, and it fulfills its role there well. I will say that it sounds pretty darn great.
     
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  6. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    I don't find changing scales to be an issue at all as far as fingering is concerned, but I do dislike the feel and sound of short-scale basses. With modern gear and a short-scale bass with pickups designed for the floppy, looser strings, I'm sure a great tone is possible, but I never managed to achieve either a feel I liked or a non-farty sound.
     
  7. Gunny

    Gunny Tele-Holic

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    At present, 6 of my 8 basses are short scale. I've got a 34" Sting P and a Ric 4003. At a gig where I brought a Mustang bass (only) I accidentally kicked off a song in the wrong key. My hand position on the shorty was 2 frets different than where it would be on a full scale. I quickly shouted out B (should have been A) to the others and we got through the song without a problem. The singer didn't notice!
     
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  8. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow @Gunny It's cool they all transposed on the fly. Not sure what kind of music you play and how long they've been playing with you but that would stymie most of the bands I play in. LOL. It happened once in church and we did ok though. But I think it was an easy song. LOL. Wasn't my fault though.

    But yeah... I get a bit..... maybe too dialed in on one instrument. I was thinking deep down I don't even really want another bass. My Pbass i've been so happy with. I've never felt more at home on any other guitar. Although I played an Ibanez 4 string at a church a while back and that one felt good too. I don't love the looks of most of their bodies though. But I guess looks is secondary..... Well in theory for me it is. LOL.

    I mean it's sort of fun shopping and thinking about something new and shiny but I'm not attached to any bass out there right now and for me it's not an easy thing to add something new like that. I like to keep things simple. I've even been debating if I should just keep an octave pedal and my 6 string guitar with me for gigs...... But there again I think if I had to switch to that mid set... I would be a little lost. LOL.

    I still think the idea of a second pbass and put flat wounds on it or ground wounds for a different sound for recording would be good. Then I can have a back up that would be close to what I need for the country band.

    So if that's the case my mind is working out what level of quality. I mean... if I go affinity... It might sound junky or not be very reliable. That being said, I'm not sure it's that big of an issue. My main 6 string guitar right now is an affinity tele. And I'm surprised at how good it is for the money. If I have a back up affinity and don't play it a lot, it would probably be fine. But then I'm like should I get an american Pbass and blow some dough and move the mexican to 2nd fiddle....

    Actually, I saw on Fenders Website they got these made in Japan ones that are PandJ pups. The big kicker is that the nut is 1.5" instead of 1.625" on a regular pbass. So it's kind of a hybrid and I think I would like that a lot. I've not seen one in a store though... I'm not sure I want to spend that much and I'm not in love with the looks. But I think I would like the versatility.....
     
  9. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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  10. Englishman

    Englishman TDPRI Member

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    I can switch to the KALA U Bass at 20" with no problems.


    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Gunny

    Gunny Tele-Holic

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    Forty-Eight "It's cool they all transposed on the fly". The song was Stand By Me. I kicked off the intro and that's when I immediately discovered my mistake. The others had a few seconds to quickly adapt before everyone was in. I call this stuff 'livin on the edge'. not something I would ever want to do frequently.
     
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  12. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I'm pretty sure $574. is what I paid when the SF Green Sweetwater version came out. In hand the color has a little more green in it. It has a nice vintage look without screaming "Surf Bass" IMO.
     
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  13. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    For some reason the mustangs keep calling out to me in my head but I'm being swayed by some bands I'e been listening to on Youtube. The bass player from Deep Sea Diver plays one on See These Eyes. I mean he may play it on other songs but I've seen him use that one, a Hofner Violin, and a PBass.
     
  14. ZenGuitarist

    ZenGuitarist Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it's more important to figure out what bass works for you rather than what someone else plays.

    There are a lot of short scale options available. If you want a short scale bass, try some out until you find the right one for you. I've acquired several basses over the years - both short and regular scale - but my first one was a short scale model.
     
  15. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah all I know thus far is I feel really at home on a Pbass. I'm not in love with anything else yet. I do like the Music Man style. It feels really good to me. But I'd rather not deal with the active pup. It's been said that they have made some versions with passive pups though.....
     
  16. alex1fly

    alex1fly Tele-Meister

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    This is my experience as well. I go between a short scale and a full scale in the same gig or rehearsal no problem. My basses are a Fender P (34") and a Squier Bronco (30"). The short scale does better with higher tension than the P bass. Grab a set of strings that specify they're for short-scale basses and it'll take the guesswork out of it.

    For me the short scale is handy in situations where I'm focusing on a bunch of other things besides just playing the instrument - singing, putting on a show, connecting with an audience or my bandmates, etc. Having notes closer together just means less margin for error.
     
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  17. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    All MusicMan pickups are passive. Most models have an active preamp. IMHO it's nothing to bother with. You either like the tone of the bass or you don't.
     
  18. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    So the MM ones work without a battery in them? I didn't know that. Do they sound decent that way?

    I was meaning I don't want to futz with a battery. YMMV.
     
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    No, a preamp requires a battery, and the Stingray, (USA) Sterling and most other MM models have pickups that are underwound and specifically designed to be used with their preamp. There have been a few completely passive models, and maybe a few with a preamp that can be bypassed and used without a battery, but for the most part a battery is required.

    It shouldn't be anything that should bother you, even if you're playing a lot of three hour gigs. Carry a spare just in case. You'll be able to tell when the battery is about to expire. Unplug the bass when you're not playing it, and the battery won't drain.

    Some other basses do have preamps that can be bypassed and used without a battery, e.g. G&L.

    One way or another, I wouldn't let a preamp be a deciding factor if I liked the bass otherwise.
     
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  20. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    My gigging basses are Rick 4001s, so long scale there. I have a mid-80s 32" scale Ibanez w/P-bass style pickup I use for rehearsing, as it's really light and not something I'd worry about dinging up and makes all the noises I want a P-bas p'up to make. The transition from one instrument to the other is nearly negligible.

    I also have an Epiphone Allen Woody Rumblekat with a 30" scale I break out on occasion. Thinking about it, the scale length doesn't bother me much, but the pickups are reeeeealy nasal, which I don't like, but I haven't done anything about it as yet, I just tweak the amp to try and compensate.

    For what it's worth, I bought that Ibanez on the cheap with every intention of stripping it for parts, but it plays so well as it I just left it alone. I have had a tough time finding strings I like over the last year or so, and was forced to install some 'ground-wounds' which I really don't like the feel of, though they sound ok.
     
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