Traveling with an instrument can be a pain in the ass. Even with recently relaxed TSA rules for carry-on instruments, flying with a standard-size bass or guitar is often impractical.

Shredneck specializes in practice tools and travel instruments, and their Z-Series travel bass may strike a chord with bassists who just can’t stand flying without a 4-string. Available in black and mystic red finishes, this 5/8-sized, 28"-scale model has a nato body and a maple neck topped with a rosewood fretboard. Master volume and tone pots control the P/J-configured pickups. (You can’t blend pickups.) A backpack-style gigbag is included.

With its tone dial at the midway point, the Z-Series delivers a thick, thumpy low-end sound akin to that of other short-scale basses, while prominent mids belie its modest size. There are no sloppy string-tension problems. The action and feel are impressive. The Z-Series won’t replace your main squeeze, but that’s not what it was designed for. An onboard headphone preamp for silent practice would have been nice, but the Z-Series can be an efficient travel companion, a good option for younger/smaller players, or an easy-to-carry gig backup.

Test Gear: Gallien-Krueger 800RB head, TC Electronic RS410 cab


Solid build. Light. Usable tones in a svelte package.

Limited tone options. No blend control. Short-short scale may feel odd.