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#1
I've recently been messing about with ideas and ways to spend my money that i've saved. And after a lot of thought i think i'll go for the most sensible option for me and get hold of a second bass... My band play in drop C and C# so i really need a second bass for playing in standard tuning.

I tried out a Squier VM Jaguar SS in a local music shop today and i really like the feel and tone. I've never owned a short scale before but as im rather short and have relatively small hands the SS felt really comfortable to me and i'm pretty set on getting hold of one.

I just wanted to know if there is any downsides to short scales?

Thanks in advance.
#3
Yeah, I would recommend anyone who's thinking about buying a shortscale to play it first. I didn't and ended up with a bass that felt very awkward to me when I played it so I sold it. But since you've already done that I can't see a reason why not to buy a shortscale.
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#4
Yeah stuff like octaves at 1st fret are a bit of a stretch for me and feel kind of uncomfortable, but on the short scale i feel so much more relaxed playing. I felt a little lost when playing at first but i got a little more used to the fret positions after playing, I'm sure after a few hours i'll be more than comfortable with it
#5
Drop tuning on a short scale is going to get seriously wobbly, the shorter scale means less tension. They're also a lot warmer and "thumpier" than a longer scale bass so agressive tone might be a little difficult to achieve.

This is where Din of Win swoops in to prove me wrong.
#6
The one i played on seemed to be really trebley... The EQ on the amp was completely flat so it must've been the bass
#8
Yeah thats true, though i ment its more trebley than thumpy. But yeah, new strings probably played a major part in that
#9
You will not appear Godlike when playing a short-scale bass. That is a major drawback.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#10
Im really short, so i actually look slightly out of proportion with my full sized one... The short scale is far more... my size haha
#11
Quote by FatalGear41
You will not appear Godlike when playing a short-scale bass. That is a major drawback.

Stanley Clarke manages to, and his Alembics are pretty damn small.
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#13
He is, it just makes the basses look even smaller.
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#14
The man makes his upright look small.

Short scales just have a different tone--no drawbacks at all if that's what you are looking for.
#15
Alright cool! Thanks for that, just one more thing. Someone mentioned them not doing drop tunings very well? What kind of extent are we talking? Will it be able to go down to drop D without any problems?
#16
Bass God Janek Gwizdala rocks the short scale basses - check him out.
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#17
Since Din isn't hear, and I'm the only other one with a small stable of short scales...

My mustang is string through, with flats, even with rounds, it has a definite vintage vibe in look of course, but the tone is a very warm thump.

My Bronco, purchased after lusting over Din's is very different. I got this used from a pawn shop where it had been sitting for some 2-3 years at least and it sounded good. I replaced the pickup (rail style humbucker single size) and gave it some custom wiring. It has a very aggressive tone, even from the rounds it came with which I took off and put back on. Of course, I am a mid heavy guy and my bass has a .0015 cap permanently in place that cuts some lows leaving it less boom and thump more growl.

I've also owned a Epi EB-0 and though it sucked $100 in fix ups would have made it a champ.

These Jags and other short scales all have P and J pickups which will shape it's tone dramatically. My mustang and Bronco and the EB-0 sounded nothing at all alike so it's hard for me to vouch for a night and day difference in short to long in and unto itself. They do seem to have a easier action and intonation and sound even between all 4 strings. I did play my mustang in drop C# but it felt bad and was just a no go. But from standard to maybe D standard (with a higher string gauge is easy)
#18
You won't have very good string tension at br00tz metul tunings.
I've tried, Drop C tuning on a short scale doesn't work very well.
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#19
Yeah,I probably wouldn't be going lower than drop D on a shortscale.
For a while I didn't my own bass,and so I borrowed a 69 Fender Shortscale,and while it certainly was worth a pretty penny,I simply didn't like it.After 2 months or so,I longed for the depth of a full scale.
Seagulls,the chicken of the ocean.

Originally posted by Gunpowder:
Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.
#20
Thanks for that, i wont be doing drop C on my short scale, i just wanted to know if i'd still be able to get to drop D on it

Ive heard these a lot of these P-J squiers tend to have quite low output on the Jazz pup. I didnt really notice when i was playing it in the shop but if it does i guess i could sub it out for a slightly better one, i mean they dont cost too much now do they?

Also with strings on these, i can just trim standard length strings right? No need to buy SS specific ones?
#21
Fender sells short scale strings, they are round wounds, 40-95 or 45-100 (better for drop) and about $15-$20 online.

Most PJ basses are unbalanced do to the wiring and output difference in the two. Just adjust each volume accordingly.
#22
As the other ss guy on the forum, and as far as I know,the only one who owns the VM SS Jaguar, I'll throw in my two cents...

I do love the short scale, and the jag has a ridiculously fast neck, and as standard, comes with thinner guage strings than most Fender/Squire models, this is part of the reason it has more twang and bite than other short scale basses on the market. However, the J pickups is weak, in comparison to the P, and once those strings get broken in you'll notice the boom of the P more...I probably wouldn't just use the J pu solo,in fact usually I just roll it mostly off. It gives a cool old school fuzz tone with the right fx, certainly less bright and punchy than my sandberg or westone, but less thumpy than my mustang! It's a good blues rock bass,and this is what I use it mostly for, straight up rockin' tunes, rather than anything like slap, or jazzy pieces.
I would happily gig with it,and part of the reason I bought it is the fact it looks, imo, ****in sexy as hell (always been a sucker for the jag shape, and the slightly different contours of the ss really do it for me,especially black on black with matching headstock) and it's silly low price, I think I paid about £160-170 for it,brand new! As such, it's probably gonna be my mod baby,as I'll deffo do a pu swap in the future, firstly on the J and, it being a budget priced bass,there's much less fear if I **** it up.
Im also not sure how long they are gonna make them, so you never know,it may be an investment!

Anyways, like we always say,if it feels and sounds good to you, get it! It IS budget bass,it doesn't sound amazing, but through a good amp, and eq'd well, it does sound good, especially with a bit of drive or fuzz! hope this helps and happy bassing!
Quote by the humanity
I'm just joking Moog. you know nothing can tear our friendship apart, not even the fact we are miles apart, I am right there beside you, yelling, "Chug it, ya little wimp!"
#23
This bass will be my one for standard tuning. Which is basically college work and maybe the odd jam. I'm pretty sure i'll end up swapping out the pups over time when i have a bit of money lay about... If i did use it for gigging i'd probably be running it through a pre-amp and a ODB-3 so really the natural tone of the bass wont matter too much! I'll probably be using it for the more technical stuff i play for performances and stuff so i cant wait to get it! Thanks guys
#24
Its great for jams cuz its light,and small so you can carry it too and from peeps houses and such no problem, sounds like you have a good plan for it,and arn't expecting too much!! Good show, drinks all round
Quote by the humanity
I'm just joking Moog. you know nothing can tear our friendship apart, not even the fact we are miles apart, I am right there beside you, yelling, "Chug it, ya little wimp!"
#25
Yeah, the college bus is always packed and everyone hates me for having my bass... This should make things a little easier... And im going to think of it as a working progress mod. When i've got a little bit of cash spare buy some new stuff for it, make it bad ass
#26
Oh, haiiiii!


Haha, everyone pretty much nailed what i would say. I've used my shorties for all manner of tunings. While it's rare, there ARE 5-string basses that are short-scale. So, i was easily able to do B-E-A-D tuning on o short scale with a set of Short Scale 5-string stings (DR's in my case). Other than that, you can get some nice thick flatwounds (La'Bella!) that are perfectly capable of low tunings (i can do C standard with a 110g E-string a-okay).

Since you touched on it... i'm gonna run wit this a bit...

Short Scale + ODB-3 = AMAZING!!

In general, Short Scale basses are WONDERFUL with dirt (Fuzz, Distortion and Overdrive). It makes sense when you look and see that most of the prominent short scale users are in the Noisy end of the spectrum, myself included, and are a favorite for; Shoegaze, Noise-pop/rock, Dream-pop, Garage-pop/rock, and all manner of fuzz-laden "indie" styles.



Another point that came up, regarding perception. For a long time, short scale basses were regarded as "student" or "Beginner" basses. That ideal has sort of stuck. Buuuut... the 90's changed a lot of that. Along with the aforementioned genres above, grunge was catapulted into the mainstream. These styles of music, while all the sudden popular, were still being played by musicians that recently had very little money. By this time, your Fender P's and J's were getting much more expensive, and Rickenbackers (while cheap in the 80s) were also looking at a price hike... so, while the Fender Aesthetic was popular, many musicians looked at cheaper alternatives... so you began to see guitarists using a LOT more Jaguars, Duo-Sonics, Musicmasters and Mustangs. This carried over to the bass-realm, and you see an uptick of Mustang and Musicmaster players. My favorite example of this, is the "high end" Squire line of the 90's: The Vista Series. Thanks to Nirvana, Hole, and Sonic Youth... It was an (almost?) all short-scale line up! The lone bass in the series was the INCREDIBLE Squire Vista Musicmaster (still, IMHO, THEE best shortscale Squire, or Fender for that matter, has ever produced).

So, these days, short-scales are ACTUALLY incredibly 'hip'. I've played a few fests here in America (SXSW, CMJ, Gainesville Fest, SF Pop-Fest, and a few others) and for noisier indie music, short scales are the majority. Squier, Danelectro, Gretsch, SX and many Japanese brands all have very usable Short Scales in the sub-$500 range!


But anyways, i'm just soap-boxing now...

The Squire SS Jag is an awesome bass. I'm sure you'll have a blast with it!
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#27
Quote by Din of Win
Oh, haiiiii!


Haha, everyone pretty much nailed what i would say. I've used my shorties for all manner of tunings. While it's rare, there ARE 5-string basses that are short-scale. So, i was easily able to do B-E-A-D tuning on o short scale with a set of Short Scale 5-string stings (DR's in my case). Other than that, you can get some nice thick flatwounds (La'Bella!) that are perfectly capable of low tunings (i can do C standard with a 110g E-string a-okay).



Well damn I learned something. How much truss rod and action change would occur putting strings on there for bead or c standard? that seems pretty big. Also I assume the nut would be having a problem.

You have me on the edge of turning my bronco into a fire breathing monster, but I need to resist because my P bass set for c standard is almost ready

What to do?
#28
Quote by askrere
Well damn I learned something. How much truss rod and action change would occur putting strings on there for bead or c standard? that seems pretty big. Also I assume the nut would be having a problem.

You have me on the edge of turning my bronco into a fire breathing monster, but I need to resist because my P bass set for c standard is almost ready

What to do?



Let the P be your down-tune bass!! haha

Just because the short scale CAN, doesn't mean that it'll be better than the 34".


For mine, i lucked out, and didn't have to adjust the truss much. The saddles were raised a bit. The nut was filed juuuuust a bit. Luckily, the high-ish action was offset by the natural floppieness of the bass being tuned so low. It was with my old Fender Musicmaster, and i DID have to lower the pickup height a bit.

I'd get a thick 4-string short scale set of flats first, and see how low you can tune and play. From there, you can decide if you want to do all the extra work of a set-up.


Also... before anyone asks, the only 5 string short scales i've seen are very expensive... i saw one custom short scale 5-string Lakland Decade... and that was probably the cheapest one...


On the completely other end of the spectrum.... if you are looking for lower tunings, look at one of the various Fender Bass VI copies (SX, Danelectro, Teisco, etc...) that can reliably tuned to BEADGC. It has a different quality... but could be an option, and they have a 30" scale.


Also... there was this:



They were tuned EADGC, but those few lucky enough to own one have reported stringing theirs to BEADG. It also came in sunburst
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#29
^ I thought Bass V's were 34" scale, despite the fact that they only have 15 frets.
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#31
Quote by Tostitos
^ I thought Bass V's were 34" scale, despite the fact that they only have 15 frets.


Woah... i never realized that. I did a lil more research, and they were apparently 4" LONGER than a P bass. They indeed had 15 frets, but that's why they had an extra high string; to allow higher octaves without "barbarically" playing high up on the neck

I has always assumed the Mustang style = 30"

Learn something new every day
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
Last edited by Din of Win at Jan 2, 2012,
#32
They're quite the disproportionate instrument:



Fenders solution to a super short neck? Make the body longer!
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#33
Quote by Tostitos


Fenders solution to a super short neck? Make the body longer!



IT'S SCIENCE!!1!
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#34
Quote by Tostitos
They're quite the disproportionate instrument:



Fenders solution to a super short neck? Make the body longer!

actually, i think that bass is perfectly proprtioned, and common basses aren't... we may think at first sigth that it is unproportioned, but really it is even length between body and neck.

this is really unproportional, i think:

a nasty looking cort curbow... i still have to try them though, maybe they are ugly as shit, but if they sound any good...
Quote by FatalGear41
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#36
Wow, Thanks Din! When people said you where the bass forums 'Short scale guy' i wasnt expecting that much haha! Thanks for that man Now im really looking forward to picking this bad boy up! Im going getting it on the 9th of Jan, I'll make sure to do a NBD thread.

Also is there any places you know of that sell short scale specific cases? Or maybe guitar cases that fit a short scale? I cant be doing with 4-6" of floppy head stock space from my spare case. Hard case or soft is fine really, I dont wanna get one of those flimsy gig bags but a padded soft case it probably my preference Thanks in advance!
#37
Well Rondo.com might be a place to check, but maybe not yours. Short scale basses are hard to find cases for, Rondo carries one that fits the bronco/mustang build for $49.99 (compared to over $100 for a fender case). The fact yours is a relatively new build and a squier makes it very unlikely a hardcase that's affordable would be around yet. I use a big padded guitar bag for my bronco, but I'm gentle and even then I fear for the tuners being snapped at the end. two possible scenarios are to have one built, or find a old beat up working case that at least fits the bass with work and carve out hunks of styrofoam and padding until it fits then cover it and use it.
#38
Well for my P i have a soft case, its just got a good 3/4" of padding or something stupid like that on it... Thats kind of what i was looking for with this one. Do short scales tend to fit into guitar bags? It would make my job so so much easier if they did...
#39
To not really answer your question... Sometimes they fit, sometimes they don't. :/

Luckily for you, the Bronco is on the smaller side of short scale basses and it MIGHT fit in a guitar soft case. If you have one, just wait... and if it does; Yay! If it doesn't; THEN you can decide what to do.


As an aside to the rondo hardshell case... it does fit a Bronco... but it wouldn't fit the SX Short Scale Jag i got from their own stinkin' site
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#40
I guess my trip to the guitar shop will consist of trying to ram the thing into as many different guitar cases as possible then! Oh this should be fun...
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