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View Full Version : DNBD (delayed new bass day).



kohanmike
08-03-2015, 04:43 PM
After about 8 months of trying to get my custom fretless bass ukulele functional with a pickup, preamp and strings, I was finally able to play it for the first time with my ukulele group today.

I installed a Chinese 3 band preamp (looks the same as what Rondo uses in their acoustic u-bass), had Guitar Center add Gotoh tuners (I provided), cut a nut and install Aquila Thunder Reds, but I didn't like the them, so I decided to install a set of Pyramids I had. As I tuned them, pop went the E string. Looked for them online, but could only find Kala's new metal round wound, so I ordered two sets in case I pop one of them, only $35 each (already out of stock).

I've been a little skeptical of metal wound because the other bass player in the group uses a Kala U-Bass spruce top with Pyramids and they sound too "tinny" to me. But once I plugged in and warmed up, I found the sound of mine to be nice and full and deep. That very well could be due to my Phil Jones Bass Double Four vs. his Pig Nose Hog (most likely).

I have to say, I'm very pleased with the sound and feel. The volume balance is very good, and it's not that problematic to play fretless as I've heard so many times.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/BWE bass uke done.jpg

kohanmike
08-17-2015, 07:44 PM
Wow, after almost 400 views I'm surprised there are no replies. I had to take it in today to get a new nut, the grooves on the one cut for the Thunder Reds are too large so I'm getting a little bit of buzz on the G string. Should be ready Thursday afternoon.

CactusWren
08-18-2015, 04:02 AM
Maybe not too many bass-uke-ists here? Was the object of the quest to go fretless? It sounds like a lot of work, but that will make eventual success all the sweeter.

I have a Kala U-Bass, but don't play it much. It has frets and those very thick black, gooey strings.

katysax
08-18-2015, 04:13 AM
I am finding that fretless is deceptively "easy". It does require that I pay a lot more attention, and it seems to me that it is easy to have the intonation go off. I like the way fretless sounds with my ukulele group. But there is another group I've been playing with and fretless does not work as well in that situation.

kohanmike
08-18-2015, 05:33 AM
Maybe not too many bass-uke-ists here? Was the object of the quest to go fretless? It sounds like a lot of work, but that will make eventual success all the sweeter. I have a Kala U-Bass, but don't play it much. It has frets and those very thick black, gooey strings.

There are usually four or five of us that reply to threads here (katysax is one). It was fretless right from the start, I had the builder in Vietnam make it that way. I have other bass ukes with poly strings, Road Toad Pahoehoe, and I really like the sound and feel of them much better than the white or red Thunderguts.


I am finding that fretless is deceptively "easy". It does require that I pay a lot more attention, and it seems to me that it is easy to have the intonation go off. I like the way fretless sounds with my ukulele group. But there is another group I've been playing with and fretless does not work as well in that situation.

I'm glad I had the fret lines added, does help a lot, but I still have to listen and I tend to look at my left hand more. I doubt that I will have another fretless though.

My arsenal is; the Gold Tone GT MicroBass and the Rondo solid body violin with black Pahoehoe, the BWA custom fretless and the blue Rondo solid body with new Kala round wound steel on nylon core; the custom electric Telecaster bass has flatwound steel, and the Les Paul electric conversion has flat wound black nylon coated. I still have a set of yellow Pahoehoe, two sets of Thunder Reds and five sets of Thunderguts, including the new D'Addario Nylgut, which look exactly like Thunderguts.

Jon Moody
08-18-2015, 07:59 AM
I am finding that fretless is deceptively "easy". It does require that I pay a lot more attention, and it seems to me that it is easy to have the intonation go off. I like the way fretless sounds with my ukulele group. But there is another group I've been playing with and fretless does not work as well in that situation.

Very true. I find it interesting that from my experience, the people that say that "fretless is easy" have limited experience with one and the ones that say "fretless is definitely tougher than it looks" are those that have taken some serious time with one.

The biggest thing I still work on with my fretless is giving the impression that it IS a fretted instrument; being able to switch from that clean, crisp attack of frets to the warmer, rounder sounds of fretless is where the true mastery of that instrument resides.

kohanmike
08-20-2015, 11:11 AM
Got back my bass uke today, Jeff at Guitar Center did a very nice job, and fast since I gave it to him Monday afternoon. He even made sure the preamp volume balance was good string to string.

Patrick Madsen
08-20-2015, 03:37 PM
Wow, lucky guy Mike, to have a guy from GC actually know something about setups. Ours locally, is not that fortunate to have one I'd trust. Bass looks really good.

My PJ double4 amp is here, I just can't open it up til Sunday, my B'day. Wife is a stickler for that, no matter how much I grovel. I learned that many years ago so don't even try anymore.

kohanmike
08-20-2015, 05:24 PM
I've been giving him my last few jobs, installing Gotoh tuners in my Les Paul conversion, new nuts, setup, tweak the preamp, so far, so good.

I've been having a problem with my D4, it's been cutting out during rehearsals, but I think it might be due to the Sony wireless system I'm using. Today the battery died on the receiver so I pulled out my cable and the D4 didn't cut out. I wonder if the Sony is sending a dirty signal.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Sony DWZ B30.jpg

Jon Moody
08-21-2015, 02:44 AM
I've been giving him my last few jobs, installing Gotoh tuners in my Les Paul conversion, new nuts, setup, tweak the preamp, so far, so good.

I've been having a problem with my D4, it's been cutting out during rehearsals, but I think it might be due to the Sony wireless system I'm using. Today the battery died on the receiver so I pulled out my cable and the D4 didn't cut out. I wonder if the Sony is sending a dirty signal.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Sony DWZ B30.jpg

Could be. I used to gig with wireless units (different brands, varying levels of quality, etc..) and they all were pretty finicky and would cut in/out at the weirdest things. That kind of inconsistency swore me off of wireless units; give me a good instrument cable any day.

kohanmike
08-21-2015, 04:54 AM
That seems to be the conclusion I'm coming to as well, but even cables have their drawbacks, the last one I used worked fine for a while, then suddenly it was humming like crazy, changed to another and it was fine.

Jon Moody
08-21-2015, 05:53 AM
That seems to be the conclusion I'm coming to as well, but even cables have their drawbacks, the last one I used worked fine for a while, then suddenly it was humming like crazy, changed to another and it was fine.

That's why I only use high quality cables now, because they usually have any sort of grounding or interference issues eliminated. Plus, in the case of my current brand (Tsunami Cables (http://www.tsunamicables.com)), they all have a lifetime warranty and you can call up the owner, Keith, directly and chat.

kohanmike
08-21-2015, 06:15 AM
That sounds good, I'll check it.

Jon Moody
08-21-2015, 06:33 AM
That sounds good, I'll check it.

They're not cheap. But they're also one of the few cables that I use and don't even think about if I'll have any issues.