Lakland Shorty to Debut at Winter NAMM
(Dave Molter | Posted 2009-12-29)
First announced in summer 2009, the Lakland Decade Shorty bass is to debut at Winter NAMM in January 2010. Based on Lakland's Decade 34"-scale USA-made bass, the Shorty will have a 30.5" scale and only 18 frets. Lakland has provided sparse information, but the original concept had options for either a wide, P-bass style neck or a thinner, J-bass style neck. The company was expected to decide on which neck to offer, but hasn't yet revealed its choice.
Body style is the standard Decade shape, which is a retro design Lakland debuted to mark the company's 10th year in business. The two-pickup bass is expected to come stock with Lakland's in-house Chisonic pickups, in either single-coil or humbucking configurations. The maple neck will have a rosewood fretboard with pearl block markers and a truss rod wheel at the body to make neck adjustments easier.
18 frets means the bass's highest note will be C#, but unlike the 15-fret Fender Bass V that was offered some time ago, tuning will be the standard E-A-D-G. The Fender Bass V had a high C string, the aim being to allow players access to all the notes of a standard four-string bass without having to use the extreme high positions. The Bass V never really caught on, and the Shorty may suffer the same fate, but should appeal to those looking for a slightly smaller travel bass.
Unfortunately for those on a budget, only a USA-made Shorty will be available, with an MSRP of $4400. I have both a USA Lakland and a Korean-made Skyline Lakland, and although the difference in weight and quality is apparent between the lines, a Skyline version of the Shorty would be an attractive option.