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View Full Version : Question about uBass/Tenor uke combo



Allen
02-28-2016, 08:11 PM
I have a client that wants to know if I can build him a uBass/tenor uke combo. All one instrument.

Obviously it's going to need amplification, but off the top of my head I can't think of a way that you would be able to incorporate the two instruments.

So I'm open to suggestions.

spongeuke
02-28-2016, 09:10 PM
Here is a shot of each side of the Bass/Bari. I built last year using a Tenor Guitar body. I have since disassembled it and will try a violin type peg head when I finish building one from scratch using a fender type tuner arrangement.
For a Tenor and Bass scale length, you might try the tenor neck to body at the 12th fret and the Bass at the 14th. Bari/Bass is cleaner as they have the same scale length.

Allen
02-29-2016, 09:19 AM
Well, that's certainly a different approach. I had only been thinking of those double neck electrics that were somewhat of a thing when I was much younger.

lauburu
02-29-2016, 10:25 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAZdiJGWdfI

Here's an upgrade on the double neck concept.

You could perhaps fit in a concert and a soprano as well? :)
Miguel

resoman
02-29-2016, 11:38 AM
My back hurts just looking at that!!

pointpergame
02-29-2016, 12:43 PM
Here is a shot of each side of the Bass/Bari. I built last year using a Tenor Guitar body. I have since disassembled it and will try a violin type peg head when I finish building one from scratch using a fender type tuner arrangement.
For a Tenor and Bass scale length, you might try the tenor neck to body at the 12th fret and the Bass at the 14th. Bari/Bass is cleaner as they have the same scale length.

Darned clever! I've been around instruments for many a year and this is a new one for me. You have double / triple the stress of one instrument. 1) Have you calculated the stresses? and 2) how do they sound? and 3) Dones one really have to amplify a uke bass? I wonder if it's possible to get enough bass out of a suitably large bass body?

Jim Hanks
02-29-2016, 12:53 PM
Solid body should be a piece of cake, right? Way easier than post #4 and it got built. :p

Jim Hanks
02-29-2016, 01:03 PM
You could have the necks sticking out opposite ends : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KvoYGnkGcf8

Allen
02-29-2016, 03:30 PM
Yes, a uBass has to be amplified. In fact this will be a stage instrument that both would need to be amplified.

How does one amplify a nylon strung instrument if it's a solid body? Just using under saddle pickups?

spongeuke
02-29-2016, 03:34 PM
1) Have you calculated the stresses? and 2) how do they sound? and 3) Dones one really have to amplify a uke bass?
1) Figured that with the necks attached at the heel and the head, it forms a narrow cantilever section that shares the strain.
2) The Baritone sounded just fine but the bass was unacceptable and didn't like the Aquila Rumblers anyway. The new model will have D-Walker short scale strings from Ortega. These should drive the bass sound board better.
3) The Ortega strings may solve the issues I had using a Shatten PU. I would also like to try the new MiSi Air when it becomes available.
The inspiration came from a Mando-Uke made in the 30s. This experimental stuff is the type of thing I like to do. I work far too slow and don't have the skills to match the inlay work I see from real luthiers let alone claim to be one.
Mike Smith of Goat Rock Ukuleles has generously let me use his shop to bend the sides and I send him progress reports when it happens. Try to do one step ever day.

Jim Hanks
02-29-2016, 03:56 PM
How does one amplify a nylon strung instrument if it's a solid body? Just using under saddle pickups?
I believe so : http://www.kalabrand.com/ubass/four-string-solid-body
http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-te-sb-tenor-electric-package.html

kohanmike
02-29-2016, 06:32 PM
I have three Rondo Hadean solid body bass ukes that came with polypropylene Aquila Thundergut strings and a wood bridge with a wide saddle/pickup assembly very similar to what Kala uses on their solid body U-basses, and what Gold Tone uses on their GT MicroBass acoustic and solid bodies. My older Rondo preamp/pickup is not very good, but my newer one is much better. The Gold Tone is good all the way around.

Kekani
02-29-2016, 09:09 PM
I just did some work on a 19" scale doubleneck, double cutaway 4 string top six string bottom. I would've taken a picture of it, but the POS wasn't worth it; the builder not only glued in the saddle, he "lowered" the saddle slot by drilling in (it looked like a ridgline), AND that was glued in as well. Although, the rest of the build itself was nicely done.

The double cutaways was definitely a nice touch, and lots of room between the necks. Of course, the necks were parallel, which looked good, and actually played well, albeit heavy. In your case, the scale length will be different, so some different issues there.

If I were doing it, I'd do a single sided headstock with the tuning machines on the "outsides" so you can use a winder. I found it to be a pain to restring by hand (geared tuning machines, of course). Then again, may not be an issue for the Bass side.

LRBaggs Element UST or Five.0 for a solidbody, or even hollow body. Call Owen Holt at Road Toad for your tuning machines, or just go directly to Hipshot (which I think you already did). Fairly certain the Five.O won't have the freq range for the Bass, but the Element may.Not sure if baggs will make available their UBass eq system, but that would be the one.

Hope this helps.

WAGWAD
03-01-2016, 08:29 AM
One I built recently. Could substitute bass neck instead of six string neck.
Mi-Si made me a custom piezo with one jack.

Wally

Allen
03-01-2016, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I chatted with Rick Turner about this as well and he gave me some ideas that I'll need to consider. Still don't know if I want to take on something like this with all the work I already have going on.

Kekani
03-01-2016, 09:46 PM
The question you ask yourself if you do take it on, do you jig up for this, or not. Personally, I hate making jigs as they have to be "perfect" so to speak, which means you spend a LOT of time making them. However, I love using them once they're done.

From a player's perspective, I play bass, and it comes in around 8#, so yes, I have a strap. And I have my own amp and cab that I play through, even if I DI into the house. If I had a UBass/Tenor combo, I'd plug the bass into my current cab and DI into the board as needed, and plug the Tenor into an LRBaggs Venue, into the house, and use the monitors for foldback. This alone would make it a moot point to have both instruments on one body since they'd be sent through a separate signal chain anyway. Unless the player went wireless with in-ear monitors.

On the other hand, I can see if its a 4 and a 6, and there is a singular jack with a switch between pickups (that would be cool), or he went wireless. with in-ear monitors.

In any case, if your client asked you to do it, I'm sure he knows the end result he's looking for, and has the amplified aspect of it in mind already.

It does sound like a very interesting build.

Allen
03-02-2016, 09:32 AM
The more I think about it, the more I'm talking myself out of it. I'd need to charge far more than the client would be expecting to pay in order to cover the costs of what would essentially be 2 instruments that I could build quicker on my existing forms in a way that I'm already familiar with. This has too much of the unknown to be experimenting and hoping to get right.

Thanks everyone for their ideas and advice.