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View Full Version : No Shortage of GAS in my house. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)



kohanmike
11-16-2015, 08:25 PM
As I've posted before, a while ago I bought two Rondo Hadean solid body 21" scale bass ukes specifically to have modified. A couple of days ago I saw that Rondo now has one in 23" scale, which is the same as my Gold Tone GT MicroBase that has been my go-to bass.

Prompted by a post about the Rondo 23" on the Talk Bass forum, I decided to buy it before they sell out, with the idea that I may swap the neck of the violin style mod to make it more comfortable, and then have spare parts for both basses. I'll see how comfortable the violin model will be with the 21" neck before I actually decide to swap them.

Jon Moody
11-17-2015, 02:10 AM
Prompted by a post about the Rondo 23" on the Talk Bass forum, I decided to buy it before they sell out, with the idea that I may swap the neck of the violin style mod to make it more comfortable, and then have spare parts for both basses. I'll see how comfortable the violin model will be with the 21" neck before I actually decide to swap them.

Careful with that; putting a longer neck on a shorter scale body is not as simple as swapping the necks and calling it good. You may have to relocate the bridge as well to get proper intonation.

They DO sell "conversion" necks, which are necks that are specifically designed for straight swapping with no modification. But for your scale lengths, I don't think that's an option.

kohanmike
11-17-2015, 08:16 AM
The bodies are exactly the same size according to their web site and the bridge is positioned the same too. It looks like they took that into consideration, and have the proper spacing from the bridge to the 12th fret to the nut.

Jon Moody
11-17-2015, 03:10 PM
I hope so. I've seen many of these projects (a couple of mine as well) start out like this and end up with a lot more work.

kohanmike
11-17-2015, 03:31 PM
All I'm going to do is bolt on the longer neck, if it's not right, then put it back and I have a new 23" scale to mod in the future (or not). I have a feeling it's going to work.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Rondo 23" front.jpg

Booli
11-18-2015, 03:18 AM
All I'm going to do is bolt on the longer neck, if it's not right, then put it back and I have a new 23" scale to mod in the future (or not). I have a feeling it's going to work.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Rondo 23" front.jpg


Thanks for the info Mike.

I'm on their mailing list and I missed the info on the new 23" scale model, were it not for your post, I'd have missed it completely, so thank you. :)

I see that for the price, they are ALSO including a tolex-over-wood hard case, which looks VERY nice (and the price is great with the case included). I wish they'd offer such a case for the shorter scale models.

Maybe you can do a test-fitting on your shorter, existing Rondo uke bass model and see if it will fit in the case before you swap the neck, and please report back, maybe with a photo?

If the smaller one fits this case made for the larger/newer model, maybe Rondo can be persuaded to sell the case alone, as an add on?

I am very interested in the results of your swap. I am finding the string tension on the low E string of the sunburst model to be really floppy and bothersome with any brand/style of the poly strings, and I am hesitant to spend the $60 for the metal wound strings without being able to test them first. Along those lines, a few inches longer neck might provide just enough additional tension to make the feel of the strings better for me...

kohanmike
11-18-2015, 05:26 AM
Booli, someone posted yesterday on Talk Bass that Rondo does have a separate case.

http://www.rondomusic.com/ukbc.html

I bought 2 sets of the new Kala metal wound strings, $34 each, used one set on my custom acoustic fretless and I'm very happy with them, though the noise of the windings is there. I also will be using a set on my modified blue solid body, if my builder ever gets it finished (it seems he keeps putting mine off as he gets "more important" clients, like Rick Springfield).

http://shop.kalabrand.com/collections/u-bass/products/kala-metal-round-wound-u-bass-strings?variant=6032410753

mrufino1
11-18-2015, 03:59 PM
@Booli I have the kala rounds on my hadean bass, they are nice. I'm not far away from you if you ever want to try them. I now have a kala 5 string and love the 23" scale. I'm waiting for their rounds to be available for that one, they said they're coming soon.

Booli
11-18-2015, 04:10 PM
Booli, someone posted yesterday on Talk Bass that Rondo does have a separate case.

http://www.rondomusic.com/ukbc.html

I bought 2 sets of the new Kala metal wound strings, $34 each, used one set on my custom acoustic fretless and I'm very happy with them, though the noise of the windings is there. I also will be using a set on my modified blue solid body, if my builder ever gets it finished (it seems he keeps putting mine off as he gets "more important" clients, like Rick Springfield).

http://shop.kalabrand.com/collections/u-bass/products/kala-metal-round-wound-u-bass-strings?variant=6032410753

Thanks for the heads up on the case. I got the email from Rondo just this afternoon, seems my email is slow.

I'm glad that those Kala strings are out, and inline with the price of premium long scale bass strings. The other Pyramid wound strings are still like $60 everywhere and not something I'd be willing to try at that price.

Not sure what your luthier is charging you, but you might be able to rent a bandsaw, router w/router table and a belt sander for a week, for less money and just do it yourself - LOL :)

Booli
11-18-2015, 04:31 PM
@Booli I have the kala rounds on my hadean bass, they are nice. I'm not far away from you if you ever want to try them. I now have a kala 5 string and love the 23" scale. I'm waiting for their rounds to be available for that one, they said they're coming soon.

Thanks for the offer :), I'll send you a PM so we can discuss...

Having recently discovered fifths-tuning over this past weekend, I'm also kind of thinking about stringing my solid-body Hadean like a mandocello, in fifths, GDAE, G1-D2-A2-E3, using some D'Addario XL Chromes flatwounds purchased as singles to get a custom set with the proper tension, using their string tension calculator to figure it all out - stringtensionpro.com.

I have the D'Addario chrome flatwounds on both electric guitars and on my DIY 25.5" scale piccolo bass which I converted from a 6-string strat copy to a 4-string instrument. I was using it for a while as an octave baritone uke and had it strung with the La Bella nylon tapewound strings. Intonation was way off, no matter how I adjusted the instrument or used different strings for different tensions at pitch. I think that the folks that control the QC at La Bella are out to lunch. I read many reports online from other folks with the same problem, sadly it was after the fact. I'll do more homework for next time.

I also have an unfretted strat-style neck, which easily fits the neck pocket of the Hadean solid-body uke bass, and I was considering swapping this neck with the one on it now, and see about learning to play it fretless. It fits nicely, but extends the scale length to 22.5" which I figure is a good thing, since longer scale will make intonation easier on a fretless, as opposed to a shorter scale...but I need to carve out a weekend or two to first fill the tuner holes with dowels, and then drill 4 new holes that are 35/64" in diameter to fit the u-bass tuners I got from largesound.com for $32 per set. Using these tuners will also let me use the poly rubber strings as well as others instead of using standard bass tuners and then trying to file the slots wider - tried that, broke a tuner and got the obligatory gash into my palm as a battle scar...

With the fretless neck, the saddle can stay in place since I am not trying to match a specific fret scale. I figured that I'd use a strobe tuner app to find and mark the side dots for the finger positions and just leave the face of the fretboard unmarked, but protected with 10 coats of polyurethane spray finish so whatever strings I use dont chew up the fretboard over time.

kohanmike
11-18-2015, 08:02 PM
Not sure what your luthier is charging you, but you might be able to rent a bandsaw, router w/router table and a belt sander for a week, for less money and just do it yourself - LOL :)

I've actually decided not to use him anymore, this is like the third time he's taken so long to do a reasonably simple job. I have a contractor friend with a band saw in his garage and I have a couple of routers, might just take on the next one myself.

Jon Moody
11-19-2015, 03:01 AM
I've actually decided not to use him anymore, this is like the third time he's taken so long to do a reasonably simple job. I have a contractor friend with a band saw in his garage and I have a couple of routers, might just take on the next one myself.

I was actually wondering when you were going to pick up the tools and try it yourself. You enjoy modding instruments so much, I figured it was a natural progression to do it yourself.

kohanmike
11-19-2015, 03:39 AM
My problem is I get so anxious to get the job done, I rush and make mistakes, happens every time. I tend to buy doubles of the things I work on knowing that, but many times that's prohibitive.

kohanmike
11-24-2015, 01:28 PM
Just received the 23" Hadean. Feels really good, sounds good, the electronics are certainly better than the other models. Still firmly dislike the Aquila Thunderguts. Now I'm waiting for the other two to be finished so I can swap out the necks and see if that's going to work.

kohanmike
11-26-2015, 07:16 AM
Hey, I measured the scale of the 23" Hadean and it's actually 24". Rondo says the'll look into it.

kohanmike
12-11-2015, 09:11 AM
I finally got the modified Rondo blue 20.5" back and no can do the neck swap, the position of the bridge to neck slot is different. So I have another body to modify in the future.

kohanmike
12-17-2015, 06:24 PM
There was a thread on Talk Bass asking who bought a bass specifically because it was made in the year they were born. I was born in September of 1949 and the only bass I could find in that year was from Audivox who apparently invented the original solid body electric bass, designed by Paul Tutmarc in the late 1930s early 40s, named the Serenader, 30.5" scale. That post gave me the direction to take with the 24" Rondo, I'm going to simulate a 1949 AudioVox Tutmarc Serenader. I'm also going to make a stick-on label of the period AudioVox label and add Tutmark Serenader, Sept. 1949.

AudioVox/Tutmarc 1949 bass advertisement
http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Tutmarc and bass 1940s.jpg

The original Rondo 24" scale bass
http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Rondo blue 24" 700.jpg

My mockup of the Tutmarc mod (with outline of the Rondo body that will be cut off). I'm going to cut it, have Pat Wilkins paint it, and I'm going to make the black pickguard.
http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Rondo Tutmark wide.jpg

Label
http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Tutmarc Audiovox logo.jpg