View Full Version : Next bass uke (sort of) project.

10-03-2015, 10:06 AM
A couple of weeks ago I thought I had a good assortment of small basses, but a couple of days ago I was flipping through the Musicians Friend catalogue and saw a sea foam green Les Paul guitar, beautiful color. Then yesterday I was on the Talk Bass forum and there was a thread about sea foam green basses. Then earlier I watched a car restore show for a sea foam 52 Chevy flatbed truck.

Too much coincidence for me so I looked around and bought a 1/2 size 24.5" scale P-bass from SmallGuitars.com, I don't have a P-style, which is designed from a Fender Precision (not exactly a bass uke, and also I've said in the past that I don't like long horns on my bass, but I gave up on that). The small bass comes in pink, which is on sale for $149, or black for $199. I ordered the pink since the finish is going to change. Either I will take the time to do it, or just go to a finisher my luthier works with.

Here is a mock up of it. The body and truss rod cover will be sea foam and the pickguard will be pearl, as will be the block fret markers that I will add.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/small P-bass both.jpg

Patrick Madsen
10-03-2015, 06:32 PM
It's going to look awesome Mike. What kind of strings are they using? Doesn't look like Pahoehoe.

10-03-2015, 08:11 PM
It's going to look awesome Mike. What kind of strings are they using? Doesn't look like Pahoehoe.

Thanks Pat. As far as I can tell, they're round wound steel strings, gauges 45-100 for 24.5"-25.5" scale basses. Basically it's a miniaturized Fender Precision style bass; steel strings, magnetic pickups, solid body, that's why I "sort of" call it a bass uke since it's really a true electric solid body bass, just shrunk. Not like the Rondo Hadean poly string, saddle piezo pickup solid bodies, which are fashioned after the Kala solid body basses.

Patrick Madsen
10-03-2015, 09:28 PM
HMMM, now you have me gettin' the ole BAS. Would be nice to have a short scale steel strung bass.

My buddy Brian and I are sure enjoying our Double 4's we bought after your recommendation. The preamp really made a difference on the Chennell archtop and the battery accessory is outstanding. So far Brian has logged 8 hours, I think, since he re-charged it with a two day in-between uses. Best 53 dollar investment so far. He doesn't even bring the plugin any more; just uses the battery. Think I'll do the same. Thanks again for the recommendations.

10-04-2015, 05:23 AM
25" scale "regular" electric bass may be next for me for when uke bass doesn't fit. I have a birdsong 31" scale electric which is beautiful but even the 31" scale is hurting my arthritic hands these days. But, Scott, who makes birdsong basses, just announced a 25" scale bass. However, I'm having too much fun playing my uke basses, did my first gig on the California 5 string last night (got it at 2pm, did a gig at 10!) and it was great, aside from a few tweaks I need to make during the week- mainly adding a thumbrest.

But, those small guitars basses look cool, good luck with that mod Mike!

10-04-2015, 08:24 AM
...the battery accessory is outstanding...

I just received the battery from Amazon. Been testing it and so far no matter how loud I go, it does not shutdown, great.

But, those small guitars basses look cool, good luck with that mod Mike!

I just sent an inquiry to Wilkinson guitars here in Los Angeles, a custom finisher and builder recommended by my luthier Fren Asken. His custom basses run around $4500-5500, I hope this simple paint job will be reasonable, if not, I'll tackle it myself.

Edit: Hold it! I just looked at a video of a guy repainting a solid body bass, that's way too much for me to tackle, I'll pay whatever it cost.

10-05-2015, 06:22 AM
Just heard back from Pat Wilkinson, it's going to be $270 to paint if I do the disassembly/assembly and about 5 weeks. I live near enough that I can drop it off and pick it up.

10-05-2015, 07:28 AM
Mike, check this out:

My birdsong is beautifully built and I can imagine these are going to be incredible. I may I have to see if he'll take a trade in, mine is another prototype he built but decided not to make as a regular model. It is a highly functional work of art!

10-05-2015, 07:40 AM
Hey, I just looked at that video about 15 minutes ago, great minds... Sounds like a plan to trade it in, makes sense if he's amiable about it. Still a little big for me, not only do I want really short scale, but I store my basses in a cabinet in my office room that can only fit up to about 34" length, the Sparrow looks longer than that, and judging by his other stuff, expensive. The one I bought is 31.5" even with 24.5" scale.

I just ordered a white pearl pickguard blank, and I already have white pearl block fret markers I used for my black mandolele, getting things ready to go. Looks like I have to update my signature images. (But, in thinking about it, I realized my small electric bass guitars can't really be considered bass ukes, so I removed them from my signature, leaving only the poly string u-bass ones.)

10-14-2015, 02:58 AM
Are the 1/2 sized electric basses tuned EADG or ADGC?

10-14-2015, 05:56 AM
Same as a regular bass, EADG.

10-27-2015, 03:27 PM
Here it is, the finished product. Pat Wilkins did an excellent job. I decided to hold off on the pearloid pickguard and just added the stick-on pearlish block fret markers because the two pearl colors did not match. I'll see if I can find matching pearls.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Small P-bass done 600.jpg

Patrick Madsen
10-27-2015, 05:59 PM
Wow, Mike. That looks really good. Amazing how you transformed the instruments you have.

10-27-2015, 09:57 PM
Thanks Pat. I really like having a one of a kind when I can. In this case not only the paint and fret markers, I also added the truss rod cover that it didn't have just to put a cap on the surf green color scheme.