Short scale bass strings

TTBZTTBZ Frets: 523
edited June 2017 in Bass
Bit of back story and my reasoning for getting a short scale in the first place - I loved the sound of my p-bass but I found the string spacing and distance between the frets way too big for me, just didn't like it. So I got a Squier VM Jag bass which looks and feels awesome - the neck is much narrower and the fret spacing feels great.

Unfortunately I've noticed that my recordings sounded way better with the long scale p-bass. In terms of tuning/tightness as well as tone. I want to get some thicker strings to get the same tension as the P-bass on my Jag which in my mind should help tighten things up and give it more punch? What brand/model do you guys suggest? A quick Google suggests GHS or D'addario? I think it has 40-95 gauge at the minute, what should I up it to? Flat or round? I just don't fancy spending all that money on a set of strings and they turn out to not be what I was after!

Anything else I can do to get close to the tones I was getting before with the p-bass other than go back to using one? 
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Comments

  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2793
    edited June 2017
    Q1) Was your P Bass strung with round, ground or flat wound strings? 
    Q2) Was your P Bass regular or does it have a second pickup?

    Short scale bass guitars always sound kinda plunky compared to 34" scale ones. The obvious case in point would be Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads. Her Mustang Bass performances always sound slightly "rubbery" and lack sustain - even compared to her Hofner phase. 

    My suggestion is D'Addario EPS165 round wound 45-105 Stainless Steel wrap.  http://daddario.com/DADProductsBass.Page?ActiveID=1905
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 523
    It was a regular 1 pickup p-bass with the strings that came with it, I assume round wound nickel. Its hard to describe the difference in sound, the p bass just seemed to work much better in the mixes I've had it in. Not sure if it's just a case of adjusting my amplitube settings to help though.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13143
    edited June 2017
    TTBZ said:
    It was a regular 1 pickup p-bass with the strings that came with it, I assume round wound nickel. Its hard to describe the difference in sound, the p bass just seemed to work much better in the mixes I've had it in. Not sure if it's just a case of adjusting my amplitube settings to help though.
    In my experience, P basses just do sit better in the mix - I think that's inherently more to do with the pickup and it's placement than the scale length, but that does factor into it as well - Jag basses do have a very different sound and don't suit all genres and styles, whereas P basses tend to fit in in most scenarios.

    Amp settings might help, but if you really like the P bass sound I actually recommend spending time with it to get used to the scale length and string spacing. With any other bass you're always going to be hunting for a holy grail sound that you won't find until you use a full scale p bass. 
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 523
    Balls. I sold the p-bass to a mate who likely wont sell it back to me haha. What styles are Jag basses suited to then? The stuff I record is stoner rock/grunge. It has p-bass middle and jazz bass bridge pickups, would a replacement help at all? Guess I'll always be fighting that scale length though..?
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13143
    TTBZ said:
    Balls. I sold the p-bass to a mate who likely wont sell it back to me haha. What styles are Jag basses suited to then? The stuff I record is stoner rock/grunge. It has p-bass middle and jazz bass bridge pickups, would a replacement help at all? Guess I'll always be fighting that scale length though..?
    You will. Bit like any guitar - if you want a specific sound then only that guitar will do it really well. 

    I tried a load of PJ configured basses and decided they were neither fish nor foul (but that's probably just me tho). 

    To me, it feels like you have a sound in your head - and the P got there, but the Jag isn't. 
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2121
    You could try LaBella Flats. They make the bass super easy to play. They'll give you a rich core sound that you can EQ, dirty up to suit. I use the Beatle Bass set on my SG Bass. Their lightness and ease of play let you zip around the fretboard if you wish - flats are way easier to play than Rounds imo. I think of the bass as a melody creator/rhythm holder - shortscale is good for that.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13143
    JezWynd said:
    You could try LaBella Flats. They make the bass super easy to play. They'll give you a rich core sound that you can EQ, dirty up to suit. I use the Beatle Bass set on my SG Bass. Their lightness and ease of play let you zip around the fretboard if you wish - flats are way easier to play than Rounds imo. I think of the bass as a melody creator/rhythm holder - shortscale is good for that.
    Good call. Labellas are good. I used to use TIs quite a bit but have moved back to Daddario Chromes for now as I like the tension and feel. 

    Flatwounds may indeed help with the sound.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2793
    The compromise solution here would be a bass guitar that combines the sound and "hang" of a Precision with the neck dimensions of a Jazz. Fender, themselves, make some instruments in this style. Numerous Yamaha bass guitars fit the brief. 
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 523
    edited June 2017
    Do they have a bass equivalent to the Pacificas? I suppose a full scale length with smaller/narrower neck might do it for me, never actually tried any out when I bought mine!
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13143
    TTBZ said:
    Do they have a bass equivalent to the Pacificas? I suppose a full scale length with smaller/narrower neck might do it for me, never actually tried any out when I bought mine!
    It's worth working out whether it's the width or the fret spacing that's bothering you the most first..
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 523
    I'm gonna try and play a TRBX174 if I can find one locally. Looks great in sunburst! I think on a bass it's more the width/string spacing that threw me off on the P.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2793
    TTBZ said:
    Do they have a bass equivalent to the Pacifica?
    The long-discontinued Yamaha Attitude Plus is a P format bass guitar with a Billy Sheehan inspired pickguard and a halfway house nut width. 
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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