Serek Mid-Western 2 review

The popularity of short-scale basses continues

  • £1,435
  • $2,100

MusicRadar Verdict

A fine instrument if short-scale basses are your thing.


  • +

    Obvious weight and size benefits.

  • +

    Fine split-coil tone.


  • -

    Not a lot of options.

  • -

    Limited tonally.

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Handmade in Chicago, Serek basses are starting to make a splash this side of the pond; they received a lot of attention at this year’s London Bass Guitar Show. 

With short-scale basses remaining very popular, the Mid-Western 2 bass taps into a format that a large number of players are looking for at the moment. If something a little more bespoke than the usual short-scale offerings is what you’re looking for, Serek may well have something to suit you. How does the Mid-Western 2 stack up? 


The Mid-Western 2 has an old-school vibe about it, and the minimal visuals certainly contribute to that impression. The warm mahogany body timber gives a natural-feeling aesthetic, while the three-ply tortoiseshell scratchplate adds to the vintage look. The body shape is rounded but quite slab-like, and although the rear of the body is somewhat contoured, there is only minimal contouring at the front. 

The lower cutaway offers unhindered access to the upper regions of the pau ferro fingerboard, but at 30.5” the scale length won’t be causing any problems. The satin-finished body and neck feel very organic; at times it’s almost as if you aren’t actually wearing or playing a bass guitar - that’s how comfortable this instrument is. The nut width measures 42mm and, with string spacing at the bridge coming to 18mm, it’s apparent that playability has been a paramount consideration to the design. The lightweight instrument has almost no neck dive, so if you place a premium on comfort you will enjoy this bass. 

Features are at a minimum, with mother-of-pearl position markers on the fingerboard and white dots along the side of the neck. Chrome Hipshot Ultralite machine heads and a Hipshot vintage bridge
have been included; no shortcuts have been taken in the hardware department. With a front mounted jack socket and controls for volume and tone, there isn’t anything complicated about this bass. Even the Serek-designed B-90 single-coil pickup nestled against the scratchplate looks typically vintage. 


We see lots of Precision clones and a fair few basses with split-coil pickups, so what the Mid-Western 2 has to offer is fairly obvious from the start. Unplugged, the bass sounds smooth and reasonably resonant, although we expected the mahogany body and neck to instill more character into the acoustic tone. Plugged in, the signal is solid and smooth without too much split-coil clank. Playing with a pick can provide a bit more grind should you require it. 

The volume control operates smoothly across the whole turn, as does the tone control. As with all sub-34” basses, the shorter scale has its benefits, particularly for players with small hands or back, shoulder or neck issues. The neck profile complements the feel of the instrument without being too bulky or too slim; you’ll find yourself whizzing around the neck with relative ease due to its modest physical dimensions. However, the reduced speaking length of each string means that the tone of each one is quite muted compared to a regular long-scale instrument. Some players prefer this, some don’t - just be aware that brighter tones may be difficult to achieve with a bass like this one. 

Playing with a pick will give your notes some extra definition, and if fingerstyle or slap is your preference there are still some usable tones on offer here. The pickup does a fine job of projecting your performance, and string volume is consistent across the neck, with no dead spots that we could find. Players who play extended sets on a cramped stage night after night may well find that this bass suits their requirements perfectly. 

There’s no denying the comfort or playability here, but it’s hard to work out how the Serek will fare in an ultra-competitive market; we fear it may be overlooked in favour of major-name basses with more tone options and features. This is a good bass, but it won’t blow you off your feet, and it’s short on looks and features to set it apart. Still, we’re sure there are short-scale bass fans for whom a handcrafted build is highly desirable, so if that’s you, do investigate.