Lakland Shorty to Debut at Winter NAMM

(Dave Molter | Posted 2009-12-29)

Lakland Shorty to Debut at Winter NAMM

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.

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