After 15 years of playing around with 34 inch basses, I bought an Ibanez 5 string mikro.
I love it.
Overnight many things which I struggled and failed to be able to play years ago, I can play now with ease. I can't put the bass down and it has totally brought me back into playing music.
Before purchase I did research online, and honestly, I don't know what people are talking about.
The strings ARE NOT FLOPPY. They just are not. I kept on reading this online. All someone needs to do is actually pick up a short scale bass - and this should be clear nonsense.
Are far as the others - I have an old Peavy Forum and a Dean edge 5 string.
All I can compare to is what I have. The Ibanez as a thicker, richer tone, if anything more sustain, and oh... the other basses have dead spots, the Ibanez Mikro does not. It sounds great and for $200 - I paid about $300 for the others and that was 15 or so years ago!
About comments like this:
"Get used to what most people use."
1) play what works for you, not what someone else tell you to play because it works for them.
"After all, if short scales were superior, why are they relatively rare ?"
2) As far as I can tell, short scales are relatively rare b/c of ignoramuses telling people to not use them... and making up nonsenses about poor tone and floppy strings.
3) "Small hands are no excuse"
Um, if you're hands can't reach, they can not reach. PERIOD. You can not magically grow larger hands!
This is what happens in real life. You have to play an F and G note on the E string. Can you reach with you're index finger or use your pinky? If you have to use your pinky, then it's sort of big for you. Now what if you have to play F and then 4th fret. Now you have to move your hand where someone with larger hands does not. So now you have to work harder, trying to plan how to move your hand around to play, in order to compensate for small hands. Or your can just get a smaller instrument that actually fits your hand.
Maybe, if people were not bullied into buying the wrong instrument for them, then 2 things would happen:
1) More people actually playing and enjoying bass, because they have an instrument to play
2) More availability of short scale basses!