View Full Version : Ubass set-up?

08-01-2013, 12:31 AM
I've played a few ubasses over the last couple of days and really like them. I was wondering if they need to be set-up or if they come from the factory set-up fairly well.

I am looking for an all mahogany fretless which I can't find in stock, so it seems I may need to order one.

08-01-2013, 02:30 AM
the HMS listings say that they do need to be setup by them.

I've played a few Ubasses on stores that don't do setup... seemed easy to play and the tension is quite low.
Maybe HMS make it even more easier to play

Jon Moody
08-01-2013, 02:35 AM
Having a U-Bass at my house, I don't know how much you can actually adjust it. My version is the older Hutch Hutchinson model, so there's no place for a trussrod to be adjusted (if it even had one, which it doesn't), and the bridge is pretty much set. You could probably fiddle with the nut, but I think that's your option.

08-05-2013, 07:24 AM
I recently received a fretted, hog from an online dealer who doesn't do set-ups. Everthing seems fine straight from the factory. Plays easy and intonation is as good as it has to be. It has a truss rod and there is some bow in the neck, but I'm going to leave it that way. With the amount of oscillation in those strings, I'm guessing it needs some bow.

08-06-2013, 05:36 AM
I don't think there's a great deal of need for a setup on a UBass beyond what the factory does. I have a Kala spruce-top UBass, and I suppose there could be differences with other brands or with the newer Aquila strings, but the strings are so stretchy anyway that intonation isn't an issue, and a buzzy fret is usually just caused by the finger placement or lack of pressure. At least I wouldn't worry about buying one from a seller that doesn't set them up.

Even the wood choice isn't all that much of an issue; I went back and forth between the solid mahogany model and the spruce, but finally reasoned it wasn't going to make any real difference other than cost and appearance, and I think the spruce top looks fine. The unamplified volume is so low that who's going to worry about minor differences in tone, if you can hear them at all (I doubt it), and amplified sound should be the same. Plus, solid wood needs more care and pampering, so I reasoned that a solid-wood body was unimportant (though the spruce model has a solid top, laminate sides).

They're a lot of fun, and very similar to an acoustic bass in sound; combined with a battery powered amp like the Roland Cube, they are still very portable.

Patrick Madsen
08-06-2013, 06:10 AM
I bought mine (Acacia Ubass) from HMS and according to Andrew, they should/need setting up like any other uke. I'm not sure, but I think one of the issues was the pots in the pickups being right as one of the technicians set one up for me and when Andrew checked it out, he felt it wasn't right so went and got another and set it up himself after hours. What a cool place to do that. IMO, basses need setting up like any other stringed instrument.

08-06-2013, 06:40 AM
They've changed the design a few times. We have had so many with lately with uneven output and the way the pickup is attached makes an adjustment next to impossible. Beyond slight nut adjustments the best we have done for our customers as of late is returning them to Kala. Which is why Joel and I made the decision a few weeks ago to take them off the online store once we sell through a few more. We'll just sell them in store.
Then last week we got the Islander Ubasses from backorder and Joel said they did not have the problems, or at least the 4 we got. I'll show you the fretless version they have David when we meet up today. You can compare it with the Kala. (I better catch a nap real quick)

08-06-2013, 09:41 AM
Sounds like a plan.