Short scale bass review

I recently bought a Gretsch Jet Jr short scald to kick off my bass adventure. I like the conservative look and it is comfortable to play.

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So got my stingray ss a few days ago. Being passive, it’s a lot different sound then my old active stingray. Much warmer/mellower, the old one was much more punchy. As for playing, it’s funny cuz it doesn’t FEEL a lot different, you can just jump on it and play. But then you notice that those pinky stretches are a lot easier. I have made up my mind though that even if this becomes my go to bass, I’m still going to play a full scale too, just to be able to. And because I already ordered a really amazing full scale off reverb :rofl:

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Another comment about short-scale basses; as I’ve just discovered, trying to find strings locally can be a bit of a pain.

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Can’t you just use regular scale strings and clip/trim them?? You need to do that in any case unless it should look like this (found on the net):

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I think they don’t taper in time for the tuners.

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Hm, I see!

But, is that really important?? I mean the tuners are all the same size and have the same openings/slits etc., so they accommodate a thicker E string (even though tapered) as well as a G string without any further adjustments… No?

Just get them off ebay.

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As a counterpoint to this… (which is irrelevant in this day of lock-downs and quarantine, but maybe, if we can ever socialize again…) please try and find something at a local shop.
If they carry strings, it means they have a distributor that sells strings - lots of brands and options.
This usually means that they can order you something if you want it.
It may take longer, but what you’re doing is allowing a brick and mortar location to (hopefully) stay open (when they’re not in virus-lock-down).
This means that there is a findable place to try instruments, talk about strings, get repair work done, find teachers, and interact with a local community of musicians and gear heads.

Of course…
If we end up in Matrix pods after this, the above sentiments (including the need for strings) will be jeered by future generations of incubated human pods in their virtual bands in their virtual studios playing their virtual concerts…

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I’ve been playing 2 years, so limited experience, but have only played short scales- since that size just seemed so much more comfortable as soon as I tried one out in a guitar store. My budget cannot afford Fender/Gretsch/MusicMan, so went in each case with the cheaper overseas version of each. (Squire/Gretsch-Electromatic/Sterling)

I started out with a Squire Jaguar, about a year later added a Gretsch Jr Jet II and then a couple of weeks ago got a Sterling Stingray. Here is my assessment of each:

  1. The Jaguar is a great choice for the money. (although it is discontinued, but you can score used one for not a lot of $$$) After researching a ton online, everything sounded really positive except that the common opinion was that the pickups and stock strings were poor quality. Quite understandable since the total price at the time I think was $199. Otherwise, it has a sexy shape, does not feel cheap and they were produced in a variety of colors. Based on recommendations from others online, I had the pickups swapped out for EMG Geezers, and the strings changed to D’Addario flats. In my opinion, it sounds amazing for plucking style playing. Produces a deep growl, and sounds great on my home amp as well as when I’ve had the opportunity to plug into a big boy amp. So if you want a P/J style bass at an affordable price this is a great choice.

  2. When I first tried to learn how to play with a pick, the Jaguar never really sounded quite right to me, even when I tried to increase the tone. I ended up getting the Jr Jet and the only thing I changed was swapping out the strings for D’Addario rounds. I think they still make these in a few colors, (walnut, green, black and tobacco burst) Overall, feels well made for the money and the shape is cool. The neck is a bit wider, and it has humbucker pickups. The rounds sound awesome for picking, they also feel a bit looser to me, so I can get more of I guess what I would describe as a “twang” sound on contact. Depending on how you have the pickup controls and tone set, you can get a really nice, bright sound. (that at least for me sounds great with a pick) I will occasionally try to pluck as comparison, but for that, the sound can’t compare with the Jag and the flats. I think the cost for this guy was $250, so also a bargain.

  3. That brings me to the Stingray. I have always loved that iconic shape/style and was excited to see MM came out with a SS version last year. But at $2K, way out of my price range. Sterling launched the overseas version this year at $549 and it was an easy choice! As compared to the other 2, this guy feels very solid, and in this case the additional $300 makes a difference in overall feel and build. I think this bass falls somewhere in between what the other 2 were achieving for me. I changed out the stock strings (they were not bad, but OK) to D’addario rounds and I’m in love. Mainly use it for picking, but I have tried a bit with plucking and I think it can work equally well. The neck is thinner so with my small hands/fingers it just feels perfect. It does not have a thumb rest however, so if you primarily pluck, you might need to add that later. (saw someone online that did that)

Had a chance to play the Stingray a couple weeks ago with my once a month band, and it felt and sounded awesome. Highly recommend- but it really depends on budget. The Jr Jet and Jag are both great choices for the money as well.

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If I want to play close to the bridge, I use the pickup as a thumb rest. Otherwise, my thumb likes to find the corner of the neck by the E string if I need to pluck the E string.

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I had read on another forum that it can cause problems with the wrap unwinding, the non-tapered end not fitting in the E tuning peg, or problems with the non tapered part wrapping the peg.
Though I just did a little search and some people claim to have been doing it for years so maybe the above is just internet myth, or only applies to certain types of strings.

And I just remembered I kept my old 34" strings so nothing to lose by trying a little experiment!

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I love experiments!! Go for it!!

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I have one too! It’s really fun to play and easier for a newbie like me! Enjoy

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seeing this reminds me of the story of bootsey collens 1st bass. he wanted to be in his brothers band. who was older than him and considered him to be a pain in the butt and always said no. but as luck would have it one day he asked. smirking the brother said if you can play bass your in. knowing he did not have a bass. well bootsey being resourceful took his fender guitar wrapped a string around each string and wound the string around the tuning peg and the rest is history. also how he got his style was when he finaly got his big break he was playing for the first time with the godfather mr brown looked at him and said. your to busy with that bass son you sound good but just always HIT THE ONE.

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Bootsy man, so good. Normally I would just post a picture from the Warwick site but this is one where you have to go see all the pictures :slight_smile:

http://warwick.de/en/Warwick---Products--Instruments--Customshop---Masterbuilt--Basic-Bass-Models--Signature-Models--Bootsy-Space-Bass--Bootsy-Space-Bass---680--4-string--Pictures.html

teaser:

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Haha, he must have gouged out some eyes with this one… in more ways than one :rofl:

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Five pups, each with their own volume knob, what looks like series/parallel switches for each, plus master tone and volume. Bootsy never did anything half way :slight_smile:

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holy f*ck, the stars are stuck in my eyes now

:star_struck:

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There is your next project bass, Laurent!! :joy:

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