So the “California” bass gave us a LOT of information and we’re incorporating some changes into the next design in the development of our short-scale bass. Here’s a bit of a rundown on the changes.
We’re actually going to open the scale up just slightly. The “California” bass uses a 30-inch scale and the next bass will use a 31-inch scale to open up the upper frets just a little. The spacing at the first position will be a tiny bit more of a stretch but it should give us a little extra room higher up the neck.
This will also give us more room to work with in placing the pickups. With the 30-inch scale the PJ pickups were very close together and we had to angle them to adjust the string spacing.
We’ll be closing up the string spacing; a little at the nut and a little more at the bridge. We’ll use a bridge with adjustable string spacing, most likely a KSM Foundation.
Staying with EMG pickups, we’re changing over to a soapbar style pickup. This will solve our string spacing issues. With the shorter scale, the string spacing tapers more quickly and we had to angle our pickups to line up the magnets properly. Also we’ll be staying with passive pickups. The passive EMGs that we’ve used so far, work beautifully with our Tech 21 SansAmp Paradriver DI and they eliminate the hassle of 9V batteries.
Our current “California” bass has an ash neck which has proven to be a bit too flexible. We’re shifting to book-matched hard Maple and that should provide plenty of rigidity.
Aesthetically, we’re very happy with the shape of the “California” bass but the lower but needs to be adjusted to fit better while sitting and playing