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Thread: Short-scale Bass - what's the deal? | Forums

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  1. #1
    Senior Member KinchBlade's Avatar
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    Short-scale Bass - what's the deal?

    I'm browsing my local version of Craigslist for a bass in anticipation.

    I see some short scale basses for sale. What's the deal with these - are these just for the vertically challeneged or is there something more to it?

    Would I be missing out on some critical feature by buying one as opposed to a standard scale bass?
    If you say 'gullible' slowly it sounds like 'oranges'.

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  2. #2
    Should work fine. Shorter scale means less of a stretch compared to normal which you might like as it makes it a bit more guitar like.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Steel_Nirvana's Avatar
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    Just doing a bit of mental math tells me there should be some impact either on string diameter for a given tension, or on string tension for a given diameter...but then there's a little popping noise and I start looking at cartoons, so I haven't gotten all the way to the end of that train of thought.
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  4. #4
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    It's probably the same difference as a guitar with a shorter scale... i.e. not much.

    *** grano salis
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  5. #5
    Senior Member KinchBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marauder359 View Post
    It's probably the same difference as a guitar with a shorter scale... i.e. not much.

    *** grano salis
    I have found a cheap full scale Squier - that'll do just fine (Medio tutissimus ibis, since we're chatting :-))
    If you say 'gullible' slowly it sounds like 'oranges'.

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  6. #6
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    Ahhhh, Ovid... I nearly threw de gustibus non disputandem est at the folks who were complaining about the DLC, but I restrained myself.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Pancho X1's Avatar
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    Anybody know much about those rondo music basses? I know the guitars seem to be regarded highly. I'm considering getting one to complement my Jazz bass. Do they make a short scale model?
    Last edited by PanchoX1; 02-22-2012 at 11:45 PM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member fatherrock's Avatar
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    Well if I wanted to know the difference...I would go to google and type in

    Short scale bass vs regular scale bass...and hit enter.
    Google does have its uses. :-D

    Rock On !
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  9. #9
    From Sweetwater website...

    "Long and short scale bass differences explained!
    06/10/2004

    Q: "What's the difference between a long scale bass and a short scale bass?"

    A: In the context of guitars, bass guitars and other string instruments, scale length refers to the relationship between the length and diameter ("gauge") of the strings and the pitches they produce. Short scale basses are generally defined as having scale lengths between 30" and 32". Long scale basses conventionally have a 34" string length. Remember that we are talking about string length - the distance between the bridge and the nut - not neck length, although one affects the other.

    The gauges of different bass string sets vary but a common long scale set made by Fender includes (high to low) .040, .060, .080 and .100 millimeters. Short scale strings are often thicker (heavier gauge); a typical set has diameters of .60, .75, .90 and .115 millimeters. Sometimes the densities of short scale strings - a factor of the materials used and how tightly they are wound - are also greater.

    The first and most obvious reason to use a short scale bass is physical size. With their shorter necks, less distance between frets and more compact general dimensions, short scale basses are a good choice for young players and anyone challenged by the extra reach a long scale instrument requires.

    However, many studios pros have long known a secret about the sound of short scale basses. The shorter strings demand lower string tension to be properly tuned. This gives the strings a kind of soft and floppy feeling but it also creates fatter, "blooming" low notes and what musicians perceive as sweet upper notes.
    In the 1960s, short scale basses were more popular, but many were generally cheap student models with narrow string spacing and poor tone. As a result, many bassists got a bad impression of them. Although many bassists find the closer spacing of the frets more comfortable to play, for various reasons (sound not the least of them), long scale basses have remained more popular since the introduction of the first Fender Precision Bass in 1951. With the exceptions of the Ampeg/Dan Armstrong "See-Thru" basses and a few special order Alembics, there aren't many professional-quality short scale basses on the market today."
    Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts' do.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Steel_Nirvana's Avatar
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    Glad to see I wasn't completely off base with the string theory.
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