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Intermediate Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 132
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 9:33 am:   Edit Post

O.k. guys and all you Stanley players especially. I've noticed that there are quite a bit of Stanley 30" scale basses out there and I was wondering why so many of you get them. Are you tuning them to a piccolo tuning or standard? If standard then how could the e string have any kind of punch/sustain with a short scale as opposed to a full 34" scale? Whatever your reason is cool, I'm just curious and amazed at how many of you have them and would assume you play them regularly, as that's a lot of bread for a small scale bass that in my opinion would sit around in my collection & not get played very often. Mind you I'm not knocking Stanley's I'm just curious about their appeal. Who knows, one of you could give me some insight on yours that would tempt me to get one, boy the wife would love that!
Intermediate Member
Username: hb3

Post Number: 101
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post

My short scale's got punch and sustain for days....I could blow out windows w/ this thing....
Intermediate Member
Username: lidon2001

Post Number: 150
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 1:04 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Adam,

I ordered the short scale for my short fingers. I can now play first position much more comfortably than on my 34" Fender Jazz. I wish I would've got it years ago. Plenty of bottom end, but I have Ebony in my neck so that helps a bit I assume.

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1150
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 1:34 pm:   Edit Post

Even purpleheart in the neck is plenty to give a 30.75" scale Alembic as much beef as the typical production 34" bass. The fact is, I gain playability with the short scale. Lots of playability. I can go faster if I want, I am more accurate and much cleaner as speed increases. Very low positions don't cramp up my hand. It's all good.

Someone else may disagree, but I don't feel like I am giving up anything at all to get this. I use standard tuning with relatively light strings and defy anyone listening to detect anything missing in the bass tone. I wouldn't recommend it for extended low range, but I wouldn't go back to longer scales for a standard tuning either.

These basses are a real attractor to Alembic. There are dozens of good basses available in long scale. There are dozens of quality luthiers that will make you a very nice custom bass. As such, the market for 34" scale instruments is spread pretty widely. On the other hand, top quality short scale basses are a lot more rare. If that's what you're in the market for, you pretty much have to come here. I suspect that is why it may seem there are a high percentage of these basses floating around .
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 578
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 2:20 pm:   Edit Post

Also let's not forget that Guild Starfire basses (see Phil's Godfather and Jack's Guild) are 30.75" as well. You can get plenty of bottom end and sustain without having to extend the length.

my 2

Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 431
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 2:22 pm:   Edit Post

I have no issues with the bass response on the E string (I play a Brown Bass). It is just as strong as my 34" Orions. Like Bob I think the neck it is unbelievably playable. With my smaller hands I can reach frets that will strain me on a long scale. I like it so much I intend for my next bass to be a short scale, small body Series I. As far as the complaints I've heard about the high frets being close together, Stanley seems to handle them well and he has large hands and long fingers.

Senior Member
Username: dnburgess

Post Number: 476
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 2:37 pm:   Edit Post

Not to mention the Hofner "Beatle bass" which sounds great and has a 30" scale.
Intermediate Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 134
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 4:00 pm:   Edit Post

It's not that I doubt it sounds great recorded but how it responds in a live setting, especially a loud rock band. But keep the comments coming I'm enjoying everyone's input.
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 551
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 4:42 pm:   Edit Post

Let's also not forget that what Stanley plays is not a "Stanley Clarke" model. He plays a standard short scale Series I. He likes it for his own reasons the way I like my fretless '77. Great tone, super fast neck and light weight (being that it's semi-hollow). It's just a great Bass whatever you want to call it. Mine is certainly NOT a Stanley!

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1151
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 4:49 pm:   Edit Post

I didn't see any response that mentions recording, so maybe I am missing something. I don't record, at least not in the traditional sense. My bass playing is solely about the live rock setting. We do all the classics as well as some more modern stuff. One band is Dead-like with a little bit of Jethro Tull and some island rhythms thrown in. The other band has a wider range including REM, U2, Motown and The Who as well as a half dozen originals.

When doing covers, I try to get a bass sound that approximates the original tunes. I haven't found a tone I can't get with my gear. The Alembic is tighter than any of the basses I have played before and provides a more focussed tone. From there, I can pretty much create whatever I want.

I assure you that any weakness of the instrument would show up much more in a recording environment than a loud rock band setting. If anything, the shorter scale makes it much easier to entertain in the live rock setting because the bass is so much easier to play. With less consciousness applied to fretting, there's more available for connecting with the audience.
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 432
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 4:58 pm:   Edit Post

I spend most Sunday nights sitting in with or for the house bassist doing blues and/or jazz. I play live using the house Peavy 4X10 something or other. There are no labels left but there is no mistaking the rig as a typical Peavy. This is not a quiet setting. There is plenty of tight bottem end. I can also alter the tone from really deep dark bass to a bright fusion sound all I do is adjust with the filters and Q switches. More importantly when going bright I still have a good deep "E". The sound only improves when I use my regular rig. I can also compare the E to my medium scale 8 string Hagstrom. The low E on it can sound quite loose and feel sloppy. This has never been the case on the BB.

Next time you are in the Raleigh (or Greensboro or Greenville),NC area give me a holler. This would give you a chance to play and hear a short scale.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3795
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 6:30 pm:   Edit Post

Keith; according to his schedule, he was in High Point just last Friday.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 780
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 8:23 pm:   Edit Post


The scale length has almost nothing to do with it. I think this is one of those myths that just won't go away from the old times. And CERTAINLY these days when most average bass amps have graphics or paras with LOTS of boost, much less a BassPod or similar contraption, it's really a moot point.

I'm 6'1" and wear a 44 long jacket. My Spoiler Five is a Series Omega shaped instrument, and I feel every inch of the reach to first position. It's worth it to me, but I can CERTAINLY understand anyone that wants that look without that reach out to there . . . and you give up nothing for a shorter scale.

If anything, I 'hear' the sound of 35" or 36" scales more easily than short scale axes.

I agree that one of ALEMBICs real selling points is that they're virtually alone in offering virutally any scale as a regular, no-big-deal option. And that they make loads of tone IN any scale. Call Fender and ask for a 32" Jazz. They even quit making them for Stu Hamm. Or get a 30" Fodera Monarch. Fat chance.

As an aside, it always cracks me up to hear all this teeth-gnashing that 'I can't play thumb-slap-pop on these narrow necks'; Stanley's a very large man with GREAT BIG HANDS and seems to do just fine on a short scale with an incredibly narrow nut width and string spacing.

J o e y
Intermediate Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 135
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 8:57 pm:   Edit Post

This is great! Bob, I mentioned recorded sound because David Burgess mentioned the Hofner bass. We all know Paul McCartney got great,thick,bassy tone out of that Hofner when recorded, but how did it sound live? I would think the low end response and sustain would not be happening especially w/ those rigs of yesteryear. A lot of my opinions on this are based on my second bass which was a Yamaha Motion B med. scale which I bought because it looked similar to a Spector(THE YAMAHA HAS ABSOLUTELY NO LOW END), and my own Distillate also med. scale. Right now the pre amp is at Alembic getting fixed & upgraded as the e.q. switches did'nt work when I got it so I could not tell what kind of hump it really has. I did try it out in a rehearsal w/ my band and just had to put it down for the lack of balls. The other three strings sound great almost like it was a full scale bass that e just needs some help.
Intermediate Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 136
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 9:13 pm:   Edit Post

Keith, thanks for the invite, I just might take you up on it! I live in Knoxville so N.C isn't a bad drive for me. Who knows maybe we could make those Alembic meetings in N.C. more frequent, we need Alan to get home for this. Kind of like the NAMM shows. Hell, let's rent out a hotel ballroom if at least 20-30 Alemboids will show up(are there that many?). It could be like Winterlembic & Summerlembic Meets! Guiness book record for most Alembic bassists showing up to play "Big Bottom" and "Jazz Odyssey". I can see it now..... hot damn!
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 419
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 11:11 pm:   Edit Post

I have had my SC DX model ( coco bola top and back with purpleheart neck lams) for just under 4 years now and used it on virtually all my bass gigs since then.

I've never felt there was not enough bass on any gig at all. In fact on gone gig I had with one of the former members of the reggae band Steel Pulse, he told me it was the best bass sound he had ever heard.

So there is nothing lacking there, sustain is incredible as with all alembics. It is far easier to play than my Europa 5, however it does feel heavier and distinctly different in sound.

I think they are popular because they are exceptionally good, well made basses, easy to play and maintain.

It's also obvious that their popularity is also due to the name association too. However not taking anything away from the fact that when you are paying that much for a bass, name or no name.... it has to be good....!! and it is.....!!!
Username: naxalez

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - 6:54 am:   Edit Post

You know, This is Alembic! Everythings can happen with these stuff, yes, also a big sound in just 30" Scale bass.

As you know, others try to making a longer neck to provide a big bottom low. But this stuff just only 30" to be the same at 35"

(Message edited by naxalez on May 09, 2006)

(Message edited by davehouck on May 10, 2006)
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 14
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post

RE: Playing Stanley short scale:

1. I only play short scale basses with super-light Rotosound Funkmasters. For me, nothing like that flappy, snappy, fishing-line feel. Every fingered note sounds like a slap lick.

2. Generally, if your hands are big enough to palm a standard basketball, then you can play from the root to the thirteenth in one position on a short scale neck, although it sorta hurts.

3. Oh, and I like the Stanley devil horn body shape. It scares my congregation, though.


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