Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

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Mark Wybierala
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Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Just wondering if anyone has looked into this and the strings they use. I have ideas.

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

Dave Higham
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Dave Higham »

I've had a Ubass on my 'to make' list for a while and I've even got the Pahoehoe strings, but I recently came across this German made version that uses specially made wound strings. I don't know how to go about getting hold of them though.

http://www.guitars.de/stevens-custom-gu ... e-english/

The bass player in the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is now using one as part of his armoury of acoustic basses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMW03_WKljU

Mark Wybierala
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Well this is the deal. I have access to multitudes of inexpensive acoustic guitars. They are not good guitars but they look like guitars anyway. I see no reason not to just plug and re-drill the headstock, replace the bridge and pop out 24 to 25 inch scale rubber string basses if I can find the strings.
Yesterday I was playing around with some .105 trimmer line and using a sort of mock-up piezo saddle and preamp I realized a reasonable 3rd bass string (A) tone. I was just pulling the string tight by hand but it seemed to frets okay although it was a barbaric test setup to see what would happen.
What would be really great would be the identification of an economical source for strings. As far as I know, the U-Bass strings are only sold for up to a 21" scale -- maybe on purpose and for the reason to prevent an explosion of instruments like I propose. Yes, I am a conspiracy junkie who sleeps in a treehouse but not every night.

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Bryan Bear
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Bryan Bear »

I have one of these on my someday list. They are just so darned cool. There is a company here in town that sells gasket supplies and you can buy any length of o-ring stock in just about any size. Years ago, I planned to experiment and figure out what gauges would work but am happy to see the strings readily available and save the trouble. But, if you need longer strings it may be an option for you. You want to make sure you have access to enough material or the owners can easily source it, otherwise the end user is in trouble on e the strings need to be replaced.

Not to hijack the thread but I wonder if inexpensive geared tuners will work if you put larger diameter "spools" on the posts.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Matthew Lau
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Matthew Lau »

Just a quick reply.

The original inventor of the U-bass has strings that fit up to 27."

When I emailed him a year ago, the price of long scale strings was around $30.
The toners were hipshots reamed to size (seem a bit heavy for a U bass).

http://www.bassuke.com/string_store.html

Update: I think it's $24 for a set of strings.

Dave Higham
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

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Mark Wybierala
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Mark Wybierala »

It looks like I have a few orders to make and a few things to experiment with. Thanks folks. I have a couple of forums that I frequent but when it comes to getting valuable answers, this is the one that comes through just about every time.

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Mark - I bought some bulk trimmer line a couple of years ago to try on an acoustic bass I was making. It didn't have enough tension to drive the bass, but I thought it might work for a ubass type instrument, at least for experimentation. I don't think I'm going to get around to trying it in the near future.

http://www.baileysonline.com/shop.axd/S ... immer+Line

The sizes I have are 0.95, 0.105, 0.130, 0.155, and 0.170. I could send you a few feet of each to play around with if you think you could use it.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

John L Young
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by John L Young »

I have made a guitar into a bass type thing using nylon line

http://dennishavlena.com/doodle-b.htm

gives info on making a doodle bass - a bit of fun :)

Steve Barbour
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Steve Barbour »

I made one a couple of years ago. Bought the strings and tuners from road toad. Installed a K&K bass pu in it. Lots of fun.
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Doug Shaker
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Doug Shaker »

Peter Wilcox wrote:Mark - I bought some bulk trimmer line a couple of years ago to try on an acoustic bass I was making. It didn't have enough tension to drive the bass, but I thought it might work for a ubass type instrument, at least for experimentation. I don't think I'm going to get around to trying it in the near future.

http://www.baileysonline.com/shop.axd/S ... immer+Line

The sizes I have are 0.95, 0.105, 0.130, 0.155, and 0.170. I could send you a few feet of each to play around with if you think you could use it.
I tried some trimmer line, too, but I found that even with the largest size, they didn't have enough mass to give me a really good bass note.
The rubber strings seemed way better.
-Doug Shaker

Mark Wybierala
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Short update...
I did some searching on the internet and found Gatorline comes in .170, .155, .130, .105, and more. The .170 is just not enough for a 25" scale E-string but only by a little. It sort-of works but not as well as it needs to. The .155 and the others work okay for the A, D, and G, strings. I'm using a cheap under saddle piezo and preamp on a cheap acoustic guitar with a defective truss rod. The tuners are adjustable tension cello pegs drilled to accept the fat trimmer line. I think that the .170 might work on a 30" scale fretless. I might try bringing the pitch up to G and see what happens.

Carl Mayer
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Carl Mayer »

I built a miniature acoustic one with a gamba style body. Its a fun little thing. The construction details and sound clips are on a talkbass thread I started. http://www.talkbass.com/threads/acousti ... d.1193471/
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Bryan Bear
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Bryan Bear »

Carl, that is all kinds of cool. I thought about making one with a miniaturized double bass shape a while back. Seeing yours has me smiling ear to ear.
PMoMC

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David King
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by David King »

The Ashbory, AKA Guild Ashbory bass was the first one I know of to use the silicone strings back in the mid 1980s.
Carl, that thing is awesome!

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Pat Foster
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Re: Has anyone played around with the U-Bass concept?

Post by Pat Foster »

Many parts and info for the Ashbory persuasion are available at

http://www.largesound.com

No affiliation.

Pat
I like to start slow, then taper off.

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