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View Full Version : Which U Bass?



Pindip
03-27-2014, 05:35 AM
I'm about to buy an electroacoustic U Bass and wondered whether to go for solid mahogany or acacia. Any ideas or preferences?

Also any recommendations for an amp. I will use it mainly for home or small acoustic type gigs.

Cheers
Pindip

SailingUke
03-27-2014, 06:05 AM
I imagine I might draw some flack, but I don't believe it makes any difference.
The U-bass really needs to be plugged in so the electronics give it all the sound.
Buy whichever you like and find a good deal on.

katysax
03-27-2014, 06:59 AM
Agree. I have the mahogany, but the sound comes from the amp. The amp I use most is the Phil Jones Double Four. It's a bit pricey, but it only weighs 7 pounds. Sound quality is outstanding, and it has enough power to be heard in a moderate sized restaurant. If you are going to be carrying around the amp; it is fantastic. I also have the Phil Jones Cub which weighs twice as much, and is still light. It's powerful enough to be heard in a large hall.

I tried to go cheap with the Roland Micro Bass amp, but it distorts too easily and you can't hear it in a large room. Sound quality is just OK. If you don't need a lot of volume the Yamaha thr10 is very interesting but I don't own one so I don't know if it is enough for an acoustic gig.

SailingUke
03-27-2014, 09:29 AM
Agree. I have the mahogany, but the sound comes from the amp. The amp I use most is the Phil Jones Double Four. It's a bit pricey, but it only weighs 7 pounds. Sound quality is outstanding, and it has enough power to be heard in a moderate sized restaurant. If you are going to be carrying around the amp; it is fantastic. I also have the Phil Jones Cub which weighs twice as much, and is still light. It's powerful enough to be heard in a large hall.

I tried to go cheap with the Roland Micro Bass amp, but it distorts too easily and you can't hear it in a large room. Sound quality is just OK. If you don't need a lot of volume the Yamaha thr10 is very interesting but I don't own one so I don't know if it is enough for an acoustic gig.

Katy, have you tried it with the battery option ?
Where did you get your amp ?

katysax
03-27-2014, 09:55 AM
I don't remember where I got my amp. Either Sweetwater, American Musical Supply or Ebay. The Phil Jones does not have a battery. The Roland Micro Bass I've tried both ways, battery and DC. My opinion of the Roland is that you can't get it loud enough without distortion for it to be useful for just about anything. The sound doesn't "cut" through and if you get into a large space it totally dissipates and you can't hear it. I think the Yamaha thr10 has a battery option but I don't know if it would be loud enough either. I think if I were sitting in a small circle in a park and battery power was my only option, the Roland might be barely adequate - that's why I keep it. The tone is also pretty meh. What I love about the Phil Jones amps is that the tone is comparable to a high end, large amp, just not as much volume. Also the Double Four is lighter than the Roland Micro. My only beef with the Double Four is that it has an external DC power supply whereas the Phil Jones Cub has an internal power supply and all you need is a standard cable to plug it in.

I'll add that I really love my Ubass although I actually prefer the solid body SUB to the acoustic Ubass. The reason is that if you play with others you need to plug in the UBass no matter what, and the solid body is very comfortable to hold, doesn't have feedback issues, and is easier to play cleanly. I use the acoustic version for non plugged in practice at home and for settings where a solid body would not be accepted. If I have a choice I take the solid body.

SailingUke
03-27-2014, 10:07 AM
Look at the You-Tube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxbd6pzg8kk).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxbd6pzg8kk
Phil Jones shows hooking a lap top battery to the amp.
From what I read on another forum, the estimate is about 4 hours.

Pindip
03-27-2014, 10:34 AM
Thanks SailingUke. I did wonder if it would matter once plugged in!

Pindip
03-27-2014, 10:46 AM
Agree. I have the mahogany, but the sound comes from the amp. The amp I use most is the Phil Jones Double Four. It's a bit pricey, but it only weighs 7 pounds. Sound quality is outstanding, and it has enough power to be heard in a moderate sized restaurant. If you are going to be carrying around the amp; it is fantastic. I also have the Phil Jones Cub which weighs twice as much, and is still light. It's powerful enough to be heard in a large hall.

I tried to go cheap with the Roland Micro Bass amp, but it distorts too easily and you can't hear it in a large room. Sound quality is just OK. If you don't need a lot of volume the Yamaha thr10 is very interesting but I don't own one so I don't know if it is enough for an acoustic gig.


Thanks Katy. I'm leaning towards the mahogany anyway. The acacia is not so easy to find in the UK. I'll check out those amps too.

PhilUSAFRet
03-27-2014, 11:15 AM
Wood irrelevant re: sound.....comes from strings, pickup and amp. Just make sure you get a model with the hipshot tuners. The cheaper ones are partly plastic and are known to break sometimes.

Pindip
03-27-2014, 11:50 AM
Wood irrelevant re: sound.....comes from strings, pickup and amp. Just make sure you get a model with the hipshot tuners. The cheaper ones are partly plastic and are known to break sometimes.

Thanks Phil. I'm definitely looking to get either the mahogany or the acacia so should be OK.

Cheers
Jason

DaleR
03-28-2014, 03:29 AM
Rumbler with the new electronics....I just use a Pignose 7-100 and with the right settings, it sounds awesome! The electronics are the key and I believe all the models now have them installed. I love my Rumbler!!!

Pindip
03-28-2014, 07:23 AM
Rumbler with the new electronics....I just use a Pignose 7-100 and with the right settings, it sounds awesome! The electronics are the key and I believe all the models now have them installed. I love my Rumbler!!!

Thanks Dale

~dave~~wave~
03-29-2014, 07:14 AM
Also any recommendations for an amp. I will use it mainly for home or small acoustic type gigs.


Any small starter amp would work for your intended use, unless you need battery power.
Will you be unable to travel to a music store with your new bass to try some out?



...I tried to go cheap with the Roland Micro Bass amp, but it distorts too easily and you can't hear it in a large room. Sound quality is just OK...

I'm sure that for twice the price, the Phil Jones is much more than twice the amp compared to the Roland.

But, I play regularly with two U-Bassists who bring their Roland micros to small acoustic uke circles, and they sound great in that setting.
No problem being heard with half a dozen ukes and voices, banjo uke and harmonica, when nothing else is amplified.
The battery power let's us play outdoors with U-Bass. The drum machine is fun.

But yes, they're only 5 watts, so a 70 watt pro amp like the Phil Jones, or any 20-50 watt conventional combo bass amp will blow one away in a big room, at higher volumes where other players use amps, with a drummer, etc.

Good luck, welcome to the wonderful world of bass ukulele.

katysax
03-29-2014, 08:35 AM
Yesterday I got a chance to try out the Yamaha thr10 with a UBass at a local store. It's an incredibly versatile amp with battery power. They sell for $299 but can be found pretty readily on ebay for about $220.

I do agree that the Phil Jones is pricey and not in the same league as the Roland. I just really hate the sound of bad bass amps. The Yamaha, at an intermediate price point between the Roland and the Phil Jones has surprising volume for a 10W amp and the tonal quality is good. It's also an amazingly versatile little amp, has several guitar settings as well as bass, can be used as a speaker for a computer or phone, can be used as a preamp, has USB connection for a computer. And it has battery power.

Pindip
03-29-2014, 08:44 AM
Any small starter amp would work for your intended use, unless you need battery power.
Will you be unable to travel to a music store with your new bass to try some out?

Good idea! I'll get the U-Bass on mail-order (no local stores hold them) and then take it along to the local store to try out the amps! Why didn't I think of that?! Thanks Dave.


I'm sure that for twice the price, the Phil Jones is much more than twice the amp compared to the Roland.

But, I play regularly with two U-Bassists who bring their Roland micros to small acoustic uke circles, and they sound great in that setting.
No problem being heard with half a dozen ukes and voices, banjo uke and harmonica, when nothing else is amplified.
The battery power let's us play outdoors with U-Bass. The drum machine is fun.

But yes, they're only 5 watts, so a 70 watt pro amp like the Phil Jones, or any 20-50 watt conventional combo bass amp will blow one away in a big room, at higher volumes where other players use amps, with a drummer, etc.

Good luck, welcome to the wonderful world of bass ukulele.

I'm looking forward to the world of bass ukulele. I've played bass for thirty years but only took up the uke 18 months ago. Looking forward to combining them!

Cheers

Pindip
03-29-2014, 08:45 AM
Any small starter amp would work for your intended use, unless you need battery power.
Will you be unable to travel to a music store with your new bass to try some out?




I'm sure that for twice the price, the Phil Jones is much more than twice the amp compared to the Roland.

But, I play regularly with two U-Bassists who bring their Roland micros to small acoustic uke circles, and they sound great in that setting.
No problem being heard with half a dozen ukes and voices, banjo uke and harmonica, when nothing else is amplified.
The battery power let's us play outdoors with U-Bass. The drum machine is fun.

But yes, they're only 5 watts, so a 70 watt pro amp like the Phil Jones, or any 20-50 watt conventional combo bass amp will blow one away in a big room, at higher volumes where other players use amps, with a drummer, etc.

Good luck, welcome to the wonderful world of bass ukulele.

Good idea! I'll get the U-Bass on mail-order (no local stores hold them) and then take it along to the local store to try out the amps! Why didn't I think of that?! Thanks Dave.

Pindip
03-29-2014, 08:45 AM
Yesterday I got a chance to try out the Yamaha thr10 with a UBass at a local store. It's an incredibly versatile amp with battery power. They sell for $299 but can be found pretty readily on ebay for about $220.

I do agree that the Phil Jones is pricey and not in the same league as the Roland. I just really hate the sound of bad bass amps. The Yamaha, at an intermediate price point between the Roland and the Phil Jones has surprising volume for a 10W amp and the tonal quality is good. It's also an amazingly versatile little amp, has several guitar settings as well as bass, can be used as a speaker for a computer or phone, can be used as a preamp, has USB connection for a computer. And it has battery power.

Thanks for the info Katy