Home Forums Guitar Discussion Bass Guitar Need some Short Scale bass help

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  • #23902

    Well, I’m planning on buying a short scale bass and my candidates thus far are

    1. a vintage fender mustang
    2. a gretsch electromatic
    3. a vintage fender musicmaster
    4. an SX short scale p-bass

    all the others i’ve tried have not felt right. these have been a reissue mustang, every gibson EB style, squier bronco, and viola styles. I’m looking for something lightweight and balanced with easy playability.

    You guys have any recommendations? Price, brand, and rarity don’t matter. Has to be a 30″ scale or under. Been thinking about an early 80’s Fender Bullet bass, anyone played any? Or what about the newer Fender Precision Junior?

    Here’s my thoughts on the one’s i’m thinking about so far…

    surprisingly, the 09 SX has been the best so far great balance, playability and construction (i’d have to replace ALL the electronics obv) but I can’t get any in sunburst now or else i’d already have one..

    the vintage mustang has PERFECT sound (a shock, really), good feel, but is a little neck heavy, and like most 70’s fenders, a bit heavy overall. the prices on these are brutal too.

    the gretsch is money in everyway except the neck is too wide for its size and the neck’s also painted/finished which kills speed. it nails that joy division tone tho.

    the musicmaster has awful sound (something fixable) but good weight. from what ive seen these dont age too well and the construction can be questionable. shitty looking tuners but who knows they could work great.

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    • #66972

      Must correct my mistake. The Fender Bullet bass was built in the USA from 1982 for a couple of years before production was shifted to Squier. The USa models would’ve had the pickup that had been going into the Mustang bass. I must say I like the Tele headstock of the Bullet. I’d also be interested in the ops of anyone who’s played one; 30″ or 34″ scale version.

    • #67050

      how about a

      Guild JS bass (SG style body) – great bass
      Rickenbacker 3000 – rare
      Hofner violin bass – not cheap
      Harmony H22 – really boomy bass

    • #67053

      Hello and welcome, CRT.

      For me, shipping to England is the only problem with the SX, otherwise I’d be in like Flint, too. I hear very good things about them and an e-friend used to live virtually next to Rondo and bought several of their guitars. A bit of hardware replacement and he was very happy. If sunburst is a must, have you considered their 30″ scale ’62 Jazz? It’s here:

      Other than that, and at the other end of the price scale, my preference is the US Mustang. If neckspeed is a thing, they had the glossy necks, which can slow some, although the chances are 30 years of hand-rubbing has satined it down by now. Mine is halfway there. Can’t comment on mine much more, because some goon hacked the body to death and I’m waiting forever for a lefty body to surface sometime this century. Again, I hear all positives, and the pup is very handy.

      AFAIK, the US Musicmaster is of similar construction standards and the letdowns are hardware. The bridge is awful, and the pup, I believe, is a Telecaster SC (complete with 6 polepieces). OK, the Ric toasters were also lead guitar units but the comparison ends there. I don’t think it’s a great pup for the bass. Might be possible to use a Bartolini replacement, especially if you tell them what you’d want it for. The most expensive Mustangs are the “competition” and earlier models, so at least a sunburst would save you a few $ but they also tend to be the heavier ones.

      Again, only AFAIK, the 80s Fender Bullet was made in Japan at the Squier factory and the pup etc is Japanese. Not quite the same sound and (so I believe) built as a low-budget bass (whereas the US Mussies were “student” priced but just as well made as the bigger basses).

      My limited knowledge/exp sinks to zero as far as the Gretsch goes. Hope some of the above is useful 🙂

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