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bnolsen
06-10-2014, 02:53 AM
just noticed this yesterday. for 120usd someone has to try it!

http://www.rondomusic.com/ukb31.html

rondo music is famous for their high valued SX line of electric bass guitars and good customer service for returns.

67638

katysax
06-10-2014, 06:44 AM
OMG - you had to point that out. That's awesome - I might have to buy that it's just too good a deal. Very interesting.

I gave in - I had to try it. I like that it has a preamp and I haven't tried the Aquila strings. I'll post about it when I get it.

I went back and saw they have a solid body version. I ordered that one too.

bnolsen
06-10-2014, 12:00 PM
solid body???? no friggin way! where is it and how did i miss it? And why did they post an all walnut one? hehe.

katysax
06-10-2014, 12:11 PM
There was a solid body posted for $149. I bought it - must have been the only one because after i bought it there was no more choice. It wasn't there this morning when I bought the acoustic one.

bnolsen
06-10-2014, 12:13 PM
just curious, can you pull up the page link for it? They usually keep the page around even for things you can't buy although the links are lost. thanks!

katysax
06-10-2014, 01:37 PM
just curious, can you pull up the page link for it? They usually keep the page around even for things you can't buy although the links are lost. thanks!

I can't pull it up in my account but can't get to a page for it. I didn't see it this morning when I bought the acoustic. It showed up later in the day when I was showing a friend what I had bought. Maybe they only had one.

bnolsen
06-10-2014, 03:51 PM
and another one in walnut (now seems to be sold):

http://www.rondomusic.com/ukb26.html

this one was already sold:

http://www.rondomusic.com/ukb27.html

6772167720

katysax
06-11-2014, 11:44 AM
Hey, they've got another solid body up

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

Mine was natural color but this is what they've got now.

bnolsen
06-11-2014, 07:09 PM
and another maple:

http://www.rondomusic.com/ukb29.html

67719

PhilUSAFRet
06-11-2014, 11:34 PM
and another maple:

http://www.rondomusic.com/ukb29.html

Tried to snag this one, but it's gone already

bnolsen
06-12-2014, 02:27 AM
swamp ash:

http://www.rondomusic.com/product6884.html

solidbody blue swamp ash:

http://www.rondomusic.com/product6883.html

check new items on their front page. these links stay even if item is sold so these are here mainly for viewing pleasure.

6772267717

strumsilly
06-12-2014, 03:21 AM
I bought the swamp ash one [I think] the blue solidbody is still available [I think] / I've been wanting to try a bass, this was too good a deal to pass up [I hope]. thanks for the heads up.

RichM
06-12-2014, 03:25 AM
I bought the swamp ash one [I think] the blue solidbody is still available [I think] / I've been wanting to try a bass, at 140 shipped, this was too good a deal to pass up [I hope]. thanks for the heads up.

I'd be curious to hear report outs on these. They look nice (although one seems to have an odd string spacing issue), and for ~150 I wouldn't mind having a short-scale bass.

bnolsen
06-12-2014, 05:11 AM
sorry to be a pest but here's another solid body prototype. Looks like they ran out of acoustics:

http://www.rondomusic.com/product6886.html

67718

strumsilly
06-12-2014, 06:48 AM
ooh, solid body sunburst, must resisist 'till I see how the acoustic plays.

strumsilly
06-12-2014, 08:12 AM
looks like the string is out of the nut slot on the swamp ash, is that what you see?

Booli
06-12-2014, 07:22 PM
@bnolsen-

Thank you so much for making this thread!


I've been wanting a solid-body u-bass for a while now, but could not put together enough cash for one of the Kala models, and if these are decently constructed and basically playable, they could be a real bargain. (I dont mind having to do nut/saddle work myself to fix the intonation and/or action)

Interesting to me that they are all listed as 'prototypes' and seem to be offered for sale only one at a time...

For those that have bought them already - please share your impressions when you receive them. I am going to wait and see what you all think of them before diving in myself.

I am very excited that these are available! :)

bnolsen
06-13-2014, 03:51 AM
The sad part is that i suspect some of these will be one off's. They are being sold as prototypes. Does that mean they decided not to manufacture them or they were just clearing out space? I'm one of the suckers, I grabbed the olympic white solid body although I wish that blue swamp ash had been up at the time, that one is very pretty. It seems like all of them are now gone...or they've paused with posting these.

67786

katysax
06-15-2014, 11:46 AM
Since they say prototype my guess is that they are sold out now. They might start selling them for real since these sold out so fast. Just speculation.

My expectation is that the pickups will be mediocre at best. The tuning gears will be cheap and need replacing. However, the body will probably be fine, the intonation will be fine. The pickups and tuning gears are easily replaceable. I'm looking at these as backup and an opportunity to try different strings. Rondo guitars tend to be a very popular platform for modding. I wish that blue swamp ash had been up when I bought mine - it sure looks pretty. The SUB solid body uBass that I have is pretty darn cheaply made and has its issues, but it sure is fun. It was a lot more money than these.

bnolsen
06-16-2014, 11:15 AM
cross post from talkbass. Someone emailed rondo music and they'll have more in august. Not sure if that means solid body, acoustic or both.

katysax
06-17-2014, 09:56 AM
OK I got one of each. Picked them up from UPS today. Opened them at the office so I haven't plugged them in yet.

Initial impressions:

-- Solid body. Mine is natural color. Looks a LOT like ubass. The neck is very nice and the body well done but obviously kind of cheap wood. The tuners are very smooth. We will see if they hold up over time. The bridge installation was kind of messy The potentiometers are really cheap and flimsy. The nut is badly cut. The jack is installed much better than on the Chinese UBass. I kind of like the feel of the Aquila strings. Easier to tune than the Paoehoe strings but a bit sticky. My first impression is that it's a pretty awesome deal for the money. The stuff that is potentially a problem can easily be upgraded.

-- Hollow body. Mine has a spruce top. Holy Moly. It is very very pretty. Better looking than my mahogany UBass. Sounds acoustically like an acoustic bass guitar - not enough volume to be worth much besides practicing alone. The string spacing is fine. Tuners are the same as the solid body. I'm guessing the quality of the pickup is pretty cheap.

These both look really terrific for the price. The hollow body one looks better of the two (and was the cheapest).

strumsilly
06-18-2014, 04:24 AM
mine [hollow swamp ash] arrives tomorrow. will post impressions.

katysax
06-18-2014, 02:06 PM
Now I've had a chance to plug them in:

Keep in mind I'm not really a bass player but a musician who sometimes plays the bass.

Acoustic Model - I like it. I might like it better than my mahogany U-Bass. Not only does it look good, the pickups seem acceptable. It puts out more volume than the passive pickups in my acoustic ubass. Intonation is OK and overall feel is good. The strings are a mixed bag. They are easier to tune than the black strings but they are sticky and make a bit of noise.Theres a little twang in the sound that makes me think that for some types of music it would be pretty cool. Overall my first impression is that its a heck of a deal for the price. Because the strings are not as hard to tune, the cheap tuners might be adequate for the job.

Solid Body Model - Not that great. Body is a bit bigger and heavier than either the California or Chinese UBass. The pickup is pretty terrible. Not much volume and the sound is kind of dead. However, there is a lot of potential. I think if you changed to a decent pickup it could make a very nice ukulele bass. I like the Chinese UBass better because it has a much better pickup, much more volume and good full deep sound. I like the California UBass way way better. It is just all around better quality and the pickup is considerably better, much richer sound.

I like the solid body UBass, the California or Sub bass, way more than my Mahogany acoustic. It's just easier to play. Easier to hold. Less concern about feedback. I keep the Mahogany because sometimes I play with people who insist on "all acoustic" even when I plug in the Bass. I'm going to try using the Hadean instead. As far as the solid body. I think it would be a good deal for someone who wants something to mod. It is though a lot lot cheaper than even the Kala Sub U Bass so you really can't expect that much.

Someone who knows what they are doing and really knows the bass might have an opinion different from mine.

bnolsen
06-18-2014, 03:49 PM
Got mine this afternoon. I have no previous experience with any ubass.

I had literally 5 mins with my white solid body this afternoon, most of that spent tuning it up (had to take the girls to piano practice). Had to fight my almost 4yro son for it.

Took a LOT of twisting to bring things up even a half step. The tuners aren't bad, one seemed a bit tighter than the others. What I did play (second position only) sounded in tune to me. Definitely thumpy compared to typical bass, thinking more double bass like.

I really like the size, weight and balance but I need to strap it. Definitely quiet pickups but didn't have time to mess with the knobs other than to get sound. I'll probably get another 15mins or so plugged in later on.

katysax
06-18-2014, 04:45 PM
Took a LOT of twisting to bring things up even a half step. The tuners aren't bad, one seemed a bit tighter than the others. What I did play (second position only) sounded in tune to me. Definitely thumpy compared to typical bass, thinking more double bass like.

I really like the size, weight and balance but I need to strap it. Definitely quiet pickups but didn't have time to mess with the knobs other than to get sound. I'll probably get another 15mins or so plugged in later on.

These strings are way way easier to tune than the Paoheoe strings when they are new. As much as you had to twist - it was really nothing. I agree the sound has a kind of thumpy double bass sound to it.

bnolsen
06-18-2014, 06:20 PM
hokay got 10 more mins with it. note some of these observations may well apply just as well to any ubass.

Grabbed a 3" planet waves strap at GC on the way home. Price match on it. A bit overkill for this tiny bass, but the balance is good, it wears well.

I thought round wounds were loud. Finger noise is pretty extreme. Crank down the treble, thump thump is what you get. It's not a bad sound, just fundamentals. Nope, this isn't a heavy metal bass (got pedal?).

I did some intonation checks at the 12th fret. Tuner on my zoom pedal showed sharp across the board. Very precise tuner. Moving over to a snark showed it to be in tune, maybe 1 sliver. I have room to drop the bridge and will do so. Not tonight.

ubass general problem: frets are close enough making it hard to do 1-2-4 fingering so will mess with my practicing.

katysax
06-18-2014, 06:36 PM
frets are close enough making it hard to do 1-2-4 fingering so will mess with my practicing.

You don't finger the chords on the bass - you will kill your hand and arm. It's better to move your hand around and do one note at a time.

Finger noise is very extreme on the Hadeans. One of the main reasons that I like the solid body ubass better than the acoustic is that it doesn't have a finger noise problem.The acoustic one does have a lot of finger noise.

bnolsen
06-19-2014, 02:38 AM
Its the solid body. I forgot i left the pedal fully in the effects loop instead of half plugged in so that may have boosted the finger noise.

I have a zoom g1on at home (used here) and a zoom b1on at work. The tuner function is very precise.

The amp I'm testing with is an ampeg ba108 with high sensitivity 8" speaker swap. It has a dedicated effects loop which can also be used as a tuner plug.

1-2-4 isn't chording, its a bass fingering technique where you only use 1st, 2nd and 4th fingers to fret. The frets are too close on the ubass to use this technique

katysax
06-19-2014, 06:32 AM
1-2-4 isn't chording, its a bass fingering technique where you only use 1st, 2nd and 4th fingers to fret. The frets are too close on the ubass to use this technique

Ha ha. Thanks for the clarification. I'm not a bass player but just dabble on the bass. I should not give advice on how to play. People probably should take all my critiques of the instruments with a grain of sand. All I can do is say what I like but I really can't judge.

bnolsen
06-19-2014, 07:16 AM
Need more pics:

6804968050

sound sample (sorry about the poor skillz). Bass, Treble and Volume all maxxed on the ubass:

https://soundcloud.com/traeak/hadean-omega-ubass-progression

strumsilly
06-21-2014, 05:17 AM
my swamp ash acoustic/electric was waiting for me when i GOT HOME YESTERDAY. It looks nice and sounds pretty quiet ubtil you plug it in. then it sounds like a bass, duh. t. This was an impulse buy as the price was too good to pass on this. I'll sell it for what I paid $140 and split the shipping, so should be about $150. PM me if you're interested. I could do a SOUND SAMPLE and pics if needed.

katysax
06-21-2014, 07:32 AM
I'm pretty sure I want to send the solid body one back. It's actually a great deal for the money but the electronics leave a lot to be desired. Given that I already have the UBass, and I'm not really one to do modifications - I think my curiosity is satisfied. Before I send it back I thought I'd give people here and on Talkbass a chance to buy it from me. If I send it back they will refund me $150, if they sell it to you they will charge $150 plus shipping - I'll sell it to you for $150 and I'll pay the shipping. PM me if interested.

The one I'm returning is the solid body. The acoustic/electric one for me is usable as it is and great backup.

Booli
06-21-2014, 12:56 PM
@strumsilly, & @katysax:

wow! immediately for resale. hmmm. :(

I'm all for modding (upgrades, given the price compared to the lowest Kala U-Bass), but due to recent events, lack the funds at the moment.

Otherwise, I'd love to take one of these off your hands.

Somebody should jump on this, as there have not been any new bass ukes listed on the Rondo site for the past couple of days.

katysax
06-21-2014, 02:04 PM
@strumsilly, & @katysax:

wow! immediately for resale. hmmm. :(

I'm all for modding (upgrades, given the price compared to the lowest Kala U-Bass), but due to recent events, lack the funds at the moment.

Otherwise, I'd love to take one of these off your hands.

Somebody should jump on this, as there have not been any new bass ukes listed on the Rondo site for the past couple of days.

That's why I'm offering it here. If no takers by Monday - I'm sending it back. There's really nothing "wrong" with it. For the price it is a killer deal. I guess I bought it out of curiosity. Now that I have it I realize that three solid body Ubasses is probably two too many. On a scale of 1-10, the California model is a 9, the Sub Ubass is a 6, and this Rondo Bass is a 5. Not bad considering it is significantly cheaper than the Sub Ubass, and in some ways it is better - I like the neck better and the jack better. The pickups do not put out a lot of volume. It would be OK if I were using a bigger amp, but I carry the smallest possible amp I can get away with so these pickups will not do. But if someone took this bass and upgraded the pickups they'd have an instrument in most ways better than the Sub UBass for a lower price. So I'm offering it here because Rondo is sold out for a while. If I send this back it will be grabbed quickly when they put it up again.

Edited Tuesday June 24: OK i did indeed send back the solid body. The pickups really are weak. The bridge and overall construction are not equal to the Kala Sub U Bass, their solid body Chinese model. That's not surprising considering the vast difference in price. It just wasn't worth it to me to mess around with upgrades. On the other hand I am keeping the acoustic model. Overall the quality was higher than the solid body, even though cheaper. It's probably because the acoustic was built on a standard baritone uke so there was nothing new that needed to be built. IMHO the acoustic version is a killer deal compared to my Kala acoustic UBass, but the solid body needs work.

strumsilly
06-29-2014, 10:58 AM
my swamp ash acoustic/electric was waiting for me when i GOT HOME YESTERDAY. It looks nice and sounds pretty quiet ubtil you plug it in. then it sounds like a bass, duh. t. This was an impulse buy as the price was too good to pass on this. I'll sell it for what I paid $140 and split the shipping, so should be about $150. PM me if you're interested. I could do a SOUND SAMPLE and pics if needed.
I've been playing around with it and have decided to keep it [for now]. surprised no one jumped on this.

Booli
06-29-2014, 01:39 PM
I've been playing around with it and have decided to keep it [for now]. surprised no one jumped on this.

Had I not just acquired 2 new ukes in the past 30 days :) [both project-ukes, with additional incidental costs], I definitely would have taken you up on your offer, but as of now, and for at least 30 days, there will be no significant UAS funds for me:(.

strumsilly
06-30-2014, 09:42 AM
I am having such a blast playing it, I bought a Kala SUB! Sunbburst.

bnolsen
07-03-2014, 06:05 PM
the returned bass??

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

68510

katysax
07-03-2014, 06:20 PM
Yeah, that looks like the one I returned.

bnolsen
07-31-2014, 07:59 AM
More ubasses!

http://www.rondomusic.com/bassukenat.html
69570
http://www.rondomusic.com/product6886.html
69571
http://www.rondomusic.com/product6866.html
69572

Not sure if these are re-returns or new ones showing up.
Nope...also seems these newer ones use a 9v battery to drive the preamp.

bluebird28
08-05-2014, 05:50 AM
More ubasses!

http://www.rondomusic.com/bassukenat.html
69570
http://www.rondomusic.com/product6886.html
69571
http://www.rondomusic.com/product6866.html
69572

Not sure if these are re-returns or new ones showing up.
Nope...also seems these newer ones use a 9v battery to drive the preamp.

These are new instruments, the Natural one I received has a 9 volt battery box external from the control cavity and the sound across all 4 strings is equal in volume.

Booli
08-05-2014, 07:39 AM
These are new instruments, the Natural one I received has a 9 volt battery box external from the control cavity and the sound across all 4 strings is equal in volume.

Interesting. Does that mean that they might have a different preamp inside?

Where is the battery box located?

Could you post a photo to show the location of the battery box? (I dont see it in the photos on the rondo site)...

Thanks,

Booli :)

strumsilly
08-05-2014, 08:33 AM
looks like the hollow body is still available, $119 + about 20 shipping. this is a great deal . I really like mine. someone needs to jump on this!

bluebird28
08-05-2014, 11:28 AM
I posted pictures on the Talkbass Forum here is a link to that site go to post number 36 to see all the pics I posted. I'm a noob here and have not posted pics here but will attempt to when I have more time.
Here is the link:
http://www.talkbass.com/threads/hadean-omega-bass-uke-kala-u-bass-copy.1083566/page-2

bluebird28
08-05-2014, 03:34 PM
I just added 2 new pics to the above link, but I will try to add the back of the bass here.

Booli
08-05-2014, 04:02 PM
I just added 2 new pics to the above link, but I will try to add the back of the bass here.

That's great! Thanks for the pics (and taking the time to share) here and on the talkbass forum. Just what I needed to see.

I noticed that your knobs are different (metal) than what it on the rondo site for this model (chicken-head style), did you swap them out, or did it come that way?

Thanks,

Booli

igorthebarbarian
08-05-2014, 05:26 PM
this might not be the right place for it, but is bass easy to pick up and fool around with? Is there a good bass tab site? And/or some sort of Uncle Rod's Bootcamp for it?

bnolsen
08-05-2014, 05:38 PM
this might not be the right place for it, but is bass easy to pick up and fool around with? Is there a good bass tab site? And/or some sort of Uncle Rod's Bootcamp for it?

if you want to go semi formal there's a combined 3 book hal leonard series each with backing track cds you can get for something like 13usd on amazon. the exercises are heavily geared towards reading music.

http://www.amazon.com/Leonard-Bass-Method-Easy---Use/dp/0793563836

unlike ukulele which is mainly a chording instrument bass is almost entirely a picking instrument, but definitely pattern based.

bluebird28
08-05-2014, 07:19 PM
I have not done anything to it except shorten the strings, they were at the point of wrapping around it self. Knobs are what it came with, the strap is mine however. The tuners are not the best, they almost felt like they were striping when I had to restring.

igorthebarbarian
08-06-2014, 04:48 PM
Thanks bnolsen!


if you want to go semi formal there's a combined 3 book hal leonard series each with backing track cds you can get for something like 13usd on amazon. the exercises are heavily geared towards reading music.

http://www.amazon.com/Leonard-Bass-Method-Easy---Use/dp/0793563836

unlike ukulele which is mainly a chording instrument bass is almost entirely a picking instrument, but definitely pattern based.

bluebird28
08-20-2014, 06:18 AM
I just took off the G string on my Hadean Bass Uke so I could look at the tuners. The shaft on the tuner is 1/2" where it goes thru the head stock. The head stock hole is 9/16th". I thought these tuners were made of plastic, I was wrong. What I thought was plastic coming out of the tuner as I tuned up was actually anodized aluminum not plastic. I lubed up the gears with some Singer Sewing Machine oil, at least 40 years old. Reinstalled the tuner and lubed all the tuner gears sparingly and now the tuners turn very nicely. Sooooo what I thought was plastic was the metal seating itself. Silicone grease might have been a better choice but I went with what I laid my hands on first. I just thought ya'll might like to know about the shaft diameter in case any of you OCDers want to change out the tuners, they are NOT plastic.

strumsilly
08-20-2014, 06:30 AM
hey bluebird, is yours the hollow body, or solid. I just checked mine on the hollow, and mine are metal too.

bluebird28
08-20-2014, 11:07 AM
I have a solid body Mahogany natural finish, meaning it has a clear coat of poly.

bluebird28
08-30-2014, 07:52 AM
The Kala SUB gig bag fits the Hadean Omega Uke Bass. Ask me how I know.

kohanmike
08-31-2014, 07:10 AM
How do you know? :-)

bluebird28
09-01-2014, 05:58 AM
I bought one and it fits beautifully.

kohanmike
09-01-2014, 06:22 AM
Best way to know.

omeed00
11-27-2014, 08:13 AM
The basses are back in stock. Rejoice friends!

bluebird28
01-06-2015, 02:51 PM
Kurt has 3 acoustic and 3 solid body styles available again, just saying. go to their site and in the upper right hand corner is a search bar, type in "Uke Bass" and it will take you to the page.

kohanmike
01-06-2015, 03:50 PM
Earlier today I was on the site and saw three acoustic basses, but they are all gone now. Wow, fast.

PhilUSAFRet
01-07-2015, 01:56 AM
At that price, I guess so. I like the mahogany acoustic.

greyghost
01-07-2015, 02:03 PM
I got the zebrawood (Merry Christmas to me!). I love it so far. One interesting thing: the one on the website had a logo (Omega) on the headstock, but the one I received is blank up there and has no label inside. Is this true for others as well? Also, the body is shallower than the Kala U-basses I've tried. Pretty cool. The thick rubbery strings are an adjustment--I'll have to play with a much lighter touch than I usually use on any other instrument, to avoid buzzing. Remarkable invention.
7473274733

bluebird28
01-10-2015, 07:52 AM
per e-mail with Kurt at Rondo they will be back in stock in March and fretless will possibly be available next fall.

lespaul1963
01-10-2015, 10:49 AM
My wife and kids got me the Swamp Ash Ubass from Rondo for Christmas. I'm a multi-instrumentalist and Ubass is the perfect solution where I'm playing an acoustic set or just need to cop a tone that is "upright-ish". As someone else had mentioned, some of these are shipping sans logo on the headstock or visible through the sound hole. Mine is one of these. All it has is, in terms of markings, is a Made in China sticker and a serial number sticker on the back of the peg head. There is a hang tag that is a promo for the silicone strings that the bass came strung with also.

Fit and finish are remarkably beautiful. The built in preamp makes it easy to dial in a number of happening tones. The only adjustments to my style is to use a lighter touch and to make sure that I fret the string far enough behind the fret so that the finger pad/tip does not contact the fret. In doing so, any buzzes or sour-toned notes are mitigated.

Booli
01-10-2015, 11:14 AM
I keep missing these and they sell out before I can get one. I'll just have to keep refreshing their pages a few times per day.

In the meantime, I've hacked up a workable substitute, borne from the ruins of the Schoenhut fake Flea, inside which I had previously installed an UST pickup/preamp ( just could not bring myself to throw it out, nor inflict someone else with such disappointment), and with bridge, nut and tuner modifications and the addition of some Aquila Thunder REDS, I now have soprano-scale GCEA Octave-Uke that is 1 octave below a regular uke tuning.

FYI, this means that instead of G3-C4-E4-A4, it is tuned G2-C3-E3-A3, so while not a true uke-bass, it sounds more like an upright bass like the U-Bass, despite being only an octave down.

I could not get DGBE nor EADG with these strings since they are too slack at 14" scale length. It sounds decent and it more playable and useful to me than the terrible soprano it used to be, and for the initial $30 I spent, I turned lemons into lemonade (since I already had all the other parts and materials from other projects).

This was partly 'just to see if it could be done', partly inspired by the efforts and results by fellow UU brother Yeelaberbin, and partly due to necessity being the mother of invention combined with the frustration of the instruments on Rondo selling out so quickly before I could get one each time.

I plan to put a show-and-tell video up once I get the time.

Maybe now I dont need one of these Rondo uke-basses any more? UAS has an almost fatal hold on me - OY!

bnolsen
01-10-2015, 02:54 PM
with that schoenhut scale you maybe should have considered going with ashbory strings which are for shorter scale. both thunderguts and pahoehoe's sell ashbory scale sets.

The schoenhut probably was a good choice since it does seem like the plastic bowl is well built and stable.

bnolsen
01-27-2015, 04:39 PM
Sorry if this is lame but I finally figured out how to record my ubass and ashbory.
I used a usb instrument cable for both. Bass and treble knobs maxxed. I played these deaf, meaning no monitor.

The ashbory is wearing thunderguts.
The hadean omega sub (which I recently defretted) is wearing stock strings which are supposed to be thunderguts.

I played the omega first. I had some problems getting the ashbory volume dialed in.

https://soundcloud.com/traeak/sets/fretless-poly-u-basses

SweetWaterBlue
01-27-2015, 05:10 PM
Speaking of Ashbory - have you seen what has happened to their value since Fender quit making them? I bought mine used 3 years ago, so I check the prices occasionally on eBay. Now, everybody is listing them as "rare" and they have gone way up in price. I'm not complaining, mind you.

bnolsen
01-27-2015, 05:37 PM
i'm seriously considering selling mine since i defretted the hadean omega. My ashbory is really mint condition except for the thunderguts.

gitarzan
04-03-2015, 04:39 AM
7473274733

The Zebra Wood one on the Rondo site is the only one available. Their picture is pretty fugly. Looks like it's Masonite countertop material. I suppose that's that JPG compression talking. Yours is really nice looking. Really. Nice. Looking.

Anyway I emailed Rondo last night asking if others were forthcoming again. Theresa replied "We will have more Hadean Uke Bass guitars available in the very near future."

So do I wait? I checked on the count. they only have 60 of the Zebrawood ones in stock. ;)

gitarzan
04-03-2015, 04:41 AM
So what kind of amps are you guys pushing these things through?

bnolsen
04-03-2015, 04:58 AM
sold my ashbory through reverb.com but still have the omega. I typically use a modified ampeg ba108 (original) for bass noodling but the E string does fart out more easily than with a full scale electric bass. Stronger fundamental. Hmm..still haven't hooked it up through my genz benz rig...

gitarzan
04-03-2015, 05:50 AM
Well, I'm in. Decided to get the Zebra Wood one.

I love the UBass. But I just cant bring myself to cough up the price.

This is more my speed.

bnolsen
04-03-2015, 06:10 AM
My olympic white hadean omega SUB I think was 149, I can't remember exactly. Pretty impressive considering all the features it has. The preamp is a bit sloppy. Two cr232 batteries that aren't held in well, but it still works so far.

Croakie
04-04-2015, 09:40 AM
sold my ashbory through reverb.com but still have the omega. I typically use a modified ampeg ba108 (original) for bass noodling but the E string does fart out more easily than with a full scale electric bass. Stronger fundamental. Hmm..still haven't hooked it up through my genz benz rig...

You should give that a try. Playing my U-Bass thru a Genz-Benz Contour 500, really love the sound.

bnolsen
04-04-2015, 01:26 PM
You should give that a try. Playing my U-Bass thru a Genz-Benz Contour 500, really love the sound.

hokay...i keep the ubass at work and play it through a zoom b1on.

Captain Simian
04-26-2015, 06:35 PM
I just stumbled across the Hadean tonight. I'm seriously considering one but I do have to ask about the Thunderguts. The Kala U-Basses that I've played I had a lot of problem getting used to the synthetic strings, they felt very sticky. Does this go away the more you play them? I string up all my basses with half-rounds or flatwounds so that's where I'm coming from if that tells you anything.

kohanmike
04-26-2015, 06:54 PM
I find the Aquila Thuderguts to be way too sticky for me, they came with my Gold Tone and the Hadean (I just bought last week). I changed them to Road Toad Pahoehoe black on the Gold Tone and yellow on the Hadean, very smooth and comfortable.

I really like the Hadean solid body, the blue one I bought is going to be modified, and I also just ordered another to use all the parts with a solid body designed like a violin bass.

Original
http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Rondo blue bass.jpg

Modified mockup I drew
http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Rondo blue bass pick.jpg

Mockup violin replacing the body
http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Violin bass solid red705.jpg

igorthebarbarian
04-26-2015, 08:16 PM
Kohanmike - thanks for the pics of the BLUE ones. Those look awesome. My wife recently took up the bass - a cheap but decent Squier P-Bass - but she doesn't practice/play enough yet, so I don't want to venture into BAS for her, especially if she's not going to be fully into it. I have my own UAS to deal with already!

bnolsen
04-27-2015, 02:34 AM
if the intonation is good on one you get they're definitely worth having. Bass in a compact size. Not quite as versatile as a magnetic pickup electric bass, but the size and weight are great!

kohanmike
04-27-2015, 05:46 AM
The bridge is adjustable on the Hadean, and on my Gold Tone, the Pahoehoes have good intonation. I just started playing bass a few months ago with the Gold Tone, and since my bass playing so far is only with my ukulele group, the poly string sound works very well, but as you see in my signature, I have two steel string magnetic basses as well.

Booli
04-29-2015, 09:09 PM
HEY FOLKS!

I just noticed that Rondo is ALSO selling these Hadean uke basses on Amazon now, see here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_musical-instruments?ie=UTF8&field-brandtextbin=Hadean&node=11091801

Seems like there are many in stock at the moment.

Let The BUYING frenzy Begin! :cheers:

kohanmike
05-05-2015, 08:51 PM
Received the second Rondo Hadean solid body sunburst u-bass yesterday for which I'm going to have the violin body made, but when I went to tune it, I found that the D string volume was much lower than the other strings. I emailed Rondo in New Hampshire and Theresa said I should do a return and they would send me another, which I'm doing. I hope the next one doesn't have a problem.

Booli, seems yours have no overt problems, correct?

Booli
05-06-2015, 10:04 PM
Received the second Rondo Hadean solid body sunburst u-bass yesterday for which I'm going to have the violin body made, but when I went to tune it, I found that the D string volume was much lower than the other strings. I emailed Rondo in New Hampshire and Theresa said I should do a return and they would send me another, which I'm doing. I hope the next one doesn't have a problem.

Booli, seems yours have no overt problems, correct?

Sorry to hear yours had issues. Similar OEM/replacement pickups can be seen on ebay made by the Shadow brand. I'll see if I have a link...

But on the acoustic model which has a similar saddle, other than the compensated plastic part, it seems to have a standard rod-piezo underneath the white plastic as per observation when I installed the Kala Silver Rumbler strings. I have not taken the saddle apart (yet) :).

I have not played the solid-body sunburst uke bass for a few days, but last time I did, I did not recall any specific issues other than the edges of the nut slots being really sharp, and the gloss coat at the edges of the string-through hole showing a bit of wear (as mentioned previously) when I installed a set of Aquila Thunder REDS.

I will try to check it again in the next 24 hrs and report back, specifically testing the individual string sensitivity of the pickup...stay tuned!

Booli
05-07-2015, 02:05 PM
Received the second Rondo Hadean solid body sunburst u-bass yesterday for which I'm going to have the violin body made, but when I went to tune it, I found that the D string volume was much lower than the other strings. I emailed Rondo in New Hampshire and Theresa said I should do a return and they would send me another, which I'm doing. I hope the next one doesn't have a problem.

Booli, seems yours have no overt problems, correct?


Sorry to hear yours had issues....
I will try to check it again in the next 24 hrs and report back, specifically testing the individual string sensitivity of the pickup...stay tuned!

As promised, here are my findings:

First off, I plugged in to my very nice Rogue SCR-80 amplifier (80 watts, stereo with chorus and reverb built-in with 2 x 10" speakers), in the clean channel with all eq flat and the 'gain' at zero, with volume and master both at 50%...

1. Hadean Solid-Body Sunburst Bass Uke:
With volume, treble and bass controls on the instrument all the way up, the sunburst solid-body model right away seems to fart-out the speakers of the amp, as in the bass being artificially boosted by the Hadean's onboard preamp, and not only causing distortion by overloading the input of the amplifier, but also having a boost, at around 150 hz. As such it makes the E and A strings seem about 25% louder than the D and G strings.

As such if I back off the bass control on the Hadean to zero the distortion goes away, as does about 20% of the volume difference across the aforementioned strings, but since this is not a bass amp, I also had to back off the AMP eq for the bass to zero in order to get a balanced sound. There is a fair bit of string noise as well, so I backed off both the treble on the Hadean and the treble on the AMP to zero, and the string noise is mostly gone.

In this manner the sound is very good, without the seeming artificial bass boost, yest there is still a vary slight difference in volume, wheres the E and A strings are LOUDER by about 5% than the D and G strings.

I think this is a factor of the Hadean's preamp in an attempt to increase the gain of the lower strings since the lower frequencies will typically need a bit of help, but in this case it seems that even the minimum setting for the Hadean's BASS eq knob is too much.

I was able to almost get the volume even across the strings by adjusting the amplifier's MID control with the sweep function and reducing the perceived bump that occurs around 200 hz.

2. Hadean Swamp Ash Acoustic Bass Uke:
Leaving all eq on the Hadean in the middle (50%, i.e., where the detent is) and leaving the amplifier as the same as in the end of #1 above with the bass and treble controls to zero, and resetting the mid and freq-sweep to the midpoint (50%), I find that the volume across all strings is perfectly even and balanced. The only adjustment I made on the Hadean was to reduce the onboard preamp's treble to zero to minimize string noise.

Conclusion:
The preamp in the solid-body Hadean has a boost to the bass frequencies that is set a bit too hot at it's minimum setting, and completely unusable at it's maximum setting (distortion). IMHO, they need to either use an 'audio taper' potentiometer instead of a 'linear taper' potentiometer for the bass control, OR somehow reduce the gain functions of that preamp circuit.

One way to verify if the preamp is the culprit of the voume differential, is to open the preamp cavity and bypass the preamp completely and see if the issue persists, and if so, then it's possible that the piezo element is not seated properly inside the holding plate under the compensated saddle.

I have not yet done this, but now I am curious to find out, but may not have time until the weekend to take everything apart and troubleshoot it.

Another option I might try is to plug in to my Crate CB-65 65-watt bass amp that has a 15" speaker and see if there is still a volume difference across the strings with this other amplifier, but I will not have access to the Crate amp until after Sat 5/9...

If the volume problem goes away when I bypass the solid-body's preamp, I'm tempted to rewire pickup directly to the V/T/B controls, and on the output jack (making it totally passive), rather than replace the preamp right now. I have 3 different external preamps (2 tube pres [1 Behringer & 1 A.R.T] and one digital pre [M-Audio] that I can use if needed) for the time being.

Kohanmike, if you send your Hadean back to Kurt/Rondo, please report back what happens. I will likely NOT be sending mine back as resolution of this problem is within easy reach for me, and shipping, etc is too much of a hassle otherwise. I am not concerned about voiding any warranty, as I never use them anyway and usually try/learn-to/fix things myself. :)

kohanmike
05-07-2015, 02:23 PM
Thanks for all the effort Booli. I did send it back yesterday. If the next one has similar problems, I may just look into your suggestions since I'm going to build a new body and move everything to it, although I have limited knowledge of those electronics.

I bought a couple of pieces of basswood for the violin body, I may try and cut it myself. At House of Hardwoods I ran into a custom electric guitar builder, Bob Reselman, who saw my drawing and immediately told me his wife plays u-bass, and as it happens, they know the leader of my uke group Cali Rose. He offered to help guide me through the work. I'm taking him up on the offer.

As I mentioned in one of the other posts, I really like the preamp/tuner setup they put in the acoustic version, those do well in my ukuleles too.

Booli
05-07-2015, 06:39 PM
Thanks for all the effort Booli. I did send it back yesterday. If the next one has similar problems, I may just look into your suggestions since I'm going to build a new body and move everything to it, although I have limited knowledge of those electronics.

No problem. :)

Most of the time these instruments (uke or guitar or bass) are wired from the pickup, to the bass eq, then to the treble eq, and then to the volume control (in the case of individual potentiometers for each like in the Hadean solid-body), and the coming from the volume control you will have a signal and ground coming out (typically a single wire with the center conductor being signal, and the outer shield being ground), which the signal and ground wire goes to the preamp, which has an attachment for the battery wires, which has signal and ground to the output jack, and depending if the output jack is a 'switched jack' (3-conductor), i.e., NO (normally open) or NC (normally closed), which is typical for plugging in the cable to turn on the preamp, the switch in the jack 'makes' the battery connection when the cable/plug is inserted...

Stewmac has lots of wiring diagrams that you can look at and/or download for free, that are more of a 'layout' diagram than an electronic schematic diagram, so should be easy to read even if you are not fluent in electronics.

As such, if you remove the preamp and battery from the equation, it's simple matter of getting the signal and ground to their appropriate mating wires on the existing jack, or to a simple replacement 2-conductor 1/4" jack which can be had for ~$4 for a nice Switchcraft or Rean brand.

Most of the time, all of this requires some simple soldering and heat shrink tubing, but it CAN be done with very small wire nuts (from the hardware store) if you have an aversion to soldering.


I bought a couple of pieces of basswood for the violin body, I may try and cut it myself. At House of Hardwoods I ran into a custom electric guitar builder, Bob Reselman, who saw my drawing and immediately told me his wife plays u-bass, and as it happens, they know the leader of my uke group Cali Rose. He offered to help guide me through the work. I'm taking him up on the offer.

As I mentioned in one of the other posts, I really like the preamp/tuner setup they put in the acoustic version, those do well in my ukuleles too.

I never heard of Bob Reselman before, but it sounds like you got lucky in meeting him. That should be both fun and a nice learning experience.

Can you share the source of this (Asian-made) acoustic preamp?

Also, since you are doing a custom build of the violin body shape, you might be able to have a nice routed cutout on the side of the upper bout (facing up at you when you hold/play the instrument) and use the preamp like from the Acoustic Hadean (you might need to make the body a little thicker than anticipated, but visually, your audience will not see any controls on the front of the instrument). I like having the tuner on board, and the controls seem to work well on this acoustic preamp.

kohanmike
05-07-2015, 08:36 PM
Thanks again Booli, you've explained it very well, and I've soldered my share of wires, so no problem. I don't mind having the controls on the body. I actually bought a tuner that's inserted in the side, but when I had it installed in my Telecaster bass build, it wouldn't tune, maybe because it might be made only for an acoustic instrument or couldn't handle the low vibrations.

Apparently Bob only makes solid body guitars, his card says, "Custom fitted to the hands of the guitarist." This is the only page I could find online: http://www.cigarboxnation.com/profile/BobReselman932?xg_source=activity

I've bought a variety of uke preamps from AliExpress.com, just searched for ukulele preamp and all kinds of choices came up.

bnolsen
05-08-2015, 02:29 AM
booli: you have a way of using headphones with your setup to take that amp out of the equation?

Booli
05-08-2015, 05:32 PM
booli: you have a way of using headphones with your setup to take that amp out of the equation?

Yes, actually, with the solid-body model, the first test out of the box was into a small Dano Honeytone amp (1 watt) into a pair of AKG K240 studio headphones, and even at low volume the sound farted out the drivers in the headphones due to low frequency boost. I had to turn the bass eq on the Hadean itself all the way down to get any kind of useful sound out of it.

However, this Honeytone amp has an LM386-N IC diving the speaker (which to my ear has a really crappy sound overall, but it is used everywhere because you can buy a dozen of these chips for like $1 on ebay, and for another $3 worth of capacitors and resistors built yourself a basic preamp, or amplifier depending upon the specific circuit), and I only use it for 'testing' and not for anything requiring audiophile or reference audio

I also have a Vox AMPLUG than I can try with, as well as several interfaces into the computer and iPad.

If I run it into the computer (using the Apogee JAM, which is very high-quality preamp and audio interface), and record the sound into Audacity for example (using Linux in this case), I can do a spectrum plot and see exactly just how low the actual bass frequencies are that this is putting out, and if I use Garageband, I can look at the Spectrum Analyzer plugin, which will show a similar output. I can do a screen capture of both images and share them here. I may not be able to get to this until later on Sunday (Mother's Day), but once I do, I will do these listening tests and capture/upload the images...

I have also tested the solid-body into both the SCR-80 amp (as in my previous post), as well as my Kustom Sienna 30, both into headphones (3 different sets, one 24 ohm, one 32 ohm, and one 50 ohm) and with both amplifiers into headphones, the bass eq on the solid-body Hadean has to be fully off to get any usable sound that is not either distorted or farting out the headphones.

Sorry for the use of the word 'farting out', I truly hate that phrase myself, but it's almost an onomatopoeia in the accurate way that it describes both the physical response and sound in this case.

kohanmike
05-08-2015, 07:52 PM
I emailed Bob Reselman and he gave me his Facebook page, pretty nice stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/ImplementsOfMassConstruction

bnolsen
05-09-2015, 03:06 AM
Yes, actually, with the solid-body model, the first test out of the box was into a small Dano Honeytone amp (1 watt) into a pair of AKG K240 studio headphones, and even at low volume the sound farted out the drivers in the headphones due to low frequency boost. I had to turn the bass eq on the Hadean itself all the way down to get any kind of useful sound out of it.

However, this Honeytone amp has an LM386-N IC diving the speaker (which to my ear has a really crappy sound overall, but it is used everywhere because you can buy a dozen of these chips for like $1 on ebay, and for another $3 worth of capacitors and resistors built yourself a basic preamp, or amplifier depending upon the specific circuit), and I only use it for 'testing' and not for anything requiring audiophile or reference audio

I also have a Vox AMPLUG than I can try with, as well as several interfaces into the computer and iPad.

If I run it into the computer (using the Apogee JAM, which is very high-quality preamp and audio interface), and record the sound into Audacity for example (using Linux in this case), I can do a spectrum plot and see exactly just how low the actual bass frequencies are that this is putting out, and if I use Garageband, I can look at the Spectrum Analyzer plugin, which will show a similar output. I can do a screen capture of both images and share them here. I may not be able to get to this until later on Sunday (Mother's Day), but once I do, I will do these listening tests and capture/upload the images...

I have also tested the solid-body into both the SCR-80 amp (as in my previous post), as well as my Kustom Sienna 30, both into headphones (3 different sets, one 24 ohm, one 32 ohm, and one 50 ohm) and with both amplifiers into headphones, the bass eq on the solid-body Hadean has to be fully off to get any usable sound that is not either distorted or farting out the headphones.

Sorry for the use of the word 'farting out', I truly hate that phrase myself, but it's almost an onomatopoeia in the accurate way that it describes both the physical response and sound in this case.

i have a focusrite audio interface but i keep the hadean at work. I'll bring it home and do some direct recording with it to check the waveform if possible. Or at least do some recording. My preamp is probably different since my takes two cr2032's instead of a 9v.

Booli
05-10-2015, 09:28 AM
i have a focusrite audio interface but i keep the hadean at work. I'll bring it home and do some direct recording with it to check the waveform if possible. Or at least do some recording. My preamp is probably different since my takes two cr2032's instead of a 9v.

That would be great, then we can compare the waveforms and see if the CR2032-preamp has a difference in the audio spectrum output when compared to the 9v-preamp.

The specs on Focusrite's interfaces are impressive, and many folks seem to really like the great sound quality they render, according to the review's I've read online. How do you like yours?

I also have a Tascam 1804 [firewire-interface], as well as an A.R.T USB Dual Tube Pre [USB2-interface] that I can use for test recordings, but lately I've been focusing on using my Apogee MIC, and Apogee Jam since it's just a single USB wire to worry about, instead of the dozen or so cables etc to get the others hooked up and running.

kohanmike
05-18-2015, 07:12 PM
I received the replacement sunburst Hadean solid body bass from Rondo today, but it too suffers from a lower volume D string, not as bad as the first one, but noticeable. I'm going to keep it and when I move all the hardware to the new violin body, I'll look at Booli's suggestions. I just ordered a black trapeze short tailpiece, the long one is too long.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Violin bass solid red705.jpg

For a minute I thought I would also order an acoustic flame maple model from Rondo, but decided instead to pull out the custom fretless u-bass I had made in Vietnam that I put aside when I installed a pickup and preamp that didn't work, and do what I can to fix it. I ordered chrome standard bass tuning machines from China and will try a set of Pyramid strings I bought a long time ago.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/U-Bass-675.jpg

kohanmike
06-06-2015, 09:03 PM
In another thread I announced that I bought a Phil Jones Bass Double Four amp. The more I use that amp, the more I find that the Rondo Hadean solid body is sub-par for sound quality. My Gold Tone MicroBass sounds great on the amp, but the Hadean solid body is muddy and way out of balance. I'm sure it's mostly what Booli is talking about, the electronics inside, and possibly the pickup as well. I'm waiting for my blue solid body to come back from being modified and will see how it compares. I also have another saddle/pickup that I'll put in to see if that makes a difference.

katysax
06-21-2015, 05:16 AM
In another thread I announced that I bought a Phil Jones Bass Double Four amp. The more I use that amp, the more I find that the Rondo Hadean solid body is sub-par for sound quality. My Gold Tone MicroBass sounds great on the amp, but the Hadean solid body is muddy and way out of balance. I'm sure it's mostly what Booli is talking about, the electronics inside, and possibly the pickup as well. I'm waiting for my blue solid body to come back from being modified and will see how it compares. I also have another saddle/pickup that I'll put in to see if that makes a difference.

That's why I returned the solid body when I tried it. I thought it just didn't work very well. The electronics were terrible.

kohanmike
06-21-2015, 07:14 AM
Sherry, I've become skeptical of the Rondo products with your response, Booli's and two in row being poor, but for the price, I'm willing to do some futzing with it.

bnolsen
06-21-2015, 07:23 AM
I did a head to head test and I thought the hadean omega sub was as good as the ashbory for electronics and pickups. Those recordings I did "deaf" meaning direct into recording without monitoring. A few weeks back I did a quick check using a focusrite interface and yeah, it sounds a bit muddy through the interface, but then again so does my gretsch junior jet. Must partly be the dry signal.

The piezo that kissing likes to use on ukuleles, might be worth a try, and those are cheap, under 15usd. Bypassing the preamp and going through a behringer bdi/adi might be another way to run/test the electronics.

Okay just quickly did a bass to focusrite to audacity, the same track 4 times. 2 different electric basses and the hadean omega full bass/treble and full bass/50 treble. Order of recording bottom to top. Yes I realize I need lots more practice.

https://soundcloud.com/traeak/sets/house-of-horrors

Jon Moody
06-22-2015, 03:04 AM
That's why I returned the solid body when I tried it. I thought it just didn't work very well. The electronics were terrible.

That's usually the spot where all of the companies can drastically cut cost; the quality of the electronics. And since the U-Bass and instruments like it really don't have a lot of options in terms of aftermarket parts, you're kind of stuck with the sound you get.

katysax
06-22-2015, 04:58 AM
I think the quality of the amp has a lot to do with perception of the bass. Cheap bass amps really don't give much in the way of a good sound, just sort of a low pitched thump. Until I got my Phil Jones Amp, the only time I ever heard my bass with any tonality was through other people's amps that were higher quality than anything that I had. It could be that with some amps that the problems with the electronics in the Hadean aren't so noticeable.

Electronics make a huge difference. I thought my Sub U-Bass was great until I got the California U-Bass. The sound difference is dramatic. That's not the only difference, they are night and day in terms of build and craftsmanship. However, between the Sub U-Bass and the Hadean, the differences were almost as great. I think a lot of people like the Rondo products because they like to mod them. That's great if you like to do it.

Jon Moody
06-22-2015, 05:21 AM
I think the quality of the amp has a lot to do with perception. Cheap bass amps really don't give much in the way of a good sound, just sort of a low pitched thump. Until I got my Phil Jones Amp, the only time I ever heard my amp with an tonality was through other people's amps that were higher quality than anything that I had. It could be that with some amps that the problems with the electronics in the Hadean aren't so noticeable.

I agree. Most of the small practice amps are really just afterthoughts, or an easy way for a company to extend their product line.



Electronics make a huge difference. I thought my Sub U-Bass was great until I got the California U-Bass. The sound difference is dramatic. That's not the only difference, they are night and day in terms of build and craftsmanship. However, between the Sub U-Bass and the Hadean, the differences were almost as great. I think a lot of people like the Rondo products because they like to mod them. That's great if you like to do it.

There is that (having bought a couple of Rondo basses myself and modded them to the nth degree), but a lot more buy them specifically because they're cheap. But again, with the Hadean and all of the U-Bass ilk, there's little to no easy way to try and mod them. It's not like buying a Rondo P Bass and looking around for better tuners, bridge, etc..

Booli
06-22-2015, 07:56 AM
Due to this conversation thread getting some more attention, I was inspired to do some more testing with my solid-body sunburst Hadean uke bass.

Honestly, I have not picked up the thing in weeks, other than every few days to re-tune the Aquila ThunderReds that I installed, since I've been quite busy, and also wanted to come back to it with fresh ears and see if my initial impressions were still persistent.

I have some thoughts as follows:

1) there seems to be lots of 'scratchy' string and finger noise with the treble eq at 100%, with the treble all the way down, it's more tolerable to the sound I want.

2) with the bass eq at 100%, there seems to be a boost @ around 250hz, which at least doubles the volume of the E and A strings to the point of clipping (distortion) on the input of whatever it's plugged into, regardless of how soft I play. I understand the idea of boosting the lower frequencies which by their nature will have a lower gain then the D and G strings, but a 50-75% boost would be more natural sounding. I have to set the bass eq to zero for it to not be clipping when I play.

3) when I get some time, I'm going to use a set of alligator clips and connect the output of the pickup wire directly to a 1/4" jack and repeat the above tests and see what the sound is like, and if it's better, for now at least, I will see about just bypassing the preamp completely, retaining the volume and tone controls if possible, otherwise it will be with the pickup directly to the output jack. I have a handful of different preamps that I can use that will always sound better than any onboard preamp.

4) also, while I have the back cover off in #3 above, I want to see what the values are for the pots (potentiometers) they use and how they are wired, and for example, if they are using liner taper or audio taper pots, and what, if any capacitors are being used for the tone controls, and see if I have any easy replacements to better effect the tone to sound more balanced.

5) if the strings are still unbalanced in volume even after temporarily bypassing the preamp, I'm also planning to try and open the saddle and pickup and see if I can re-seat the piezo element to get a better balance of the sound, but this is dependent upon being able to get to the piezo without doing permanent or visible damage to the saddle.

It might be some time before I can investigate further any/all of the above, but when I do, I will report back.

OTOH, the acoustic Hadean uke bass, which I've had sitting out and have the Kala Silver Rumbler string set installed, seems to have NO ISSUES with the volume balance across the strings, nor any issues with it's preamp sounding unnatural.

I'm still glad that I bought them both.

One thing though, I've been searching high and low for both the La Bella nylon tapewound and the Pyramid nylon tapewound that were available last summer for the U-Bass, and they seem to be not for sale anywhere. Maybe they were taken off the market? Does anyone know where to buy them? The usual suspects dont even list them.

Keep in mind that to use regular 'short-scale' tapewound bass strings on these instruments, there's going to be an extra 10" of string that you need to either cut off, wind on the post, or otherwise find a way to take up the extra slack, for if you trim tapewound strings after the silk at the peghead end, they have this nasty habit of the nylon outside wrap peeling off completely, which I'd like to avoid. If anyone has a method for trimming them and preventing them from coming apart, please share. If solution exist for trimming them, then a 5-string 30" short-scale tapewound set becomes and option using the 4 lower strings of the set (BEAD) for the EADG tuning on the uke bass, provided that there is enough tension at the shorter scale. Has anyone tried this before?

:)

Jon Moody
06-22-2015, 09:00 AM
If solution exist for trimming them, then a 5-string 30" short-scale tapewound set becomes and option using the 4 lower strings of the set (BEAD) for the EADG tuning on the uke bass, provided that there is enough tension at the shorter scale. Has anyone tried this before?

:)

Without knowing the makeup of that particular string, I would advise against trying to tune a BEAD tapewound set to EADG on the smaller U-Bass. The strings themselves will probably tune up to that fine, but if that's putting 80lb of tension on that bass (which is pretty low tension for a bass string set), it's probably going to harm that instrument at some point.

As to why LaBella and Pyramid don't have the tapewound sets available. I know that making any sort of wound string for the U-Bass is tricky enough to fabricate something that has light tension and yet intonates and sounds good, but maybe the market just wasn't there?

katysax
06-22-2015, 05:56 PM
I think the acoustic version of the Rondo Bass is surprisingly good. I don't have the issues with the sound that I did with the solid body.

kohanmike
06-22-2015, 06:06 PM
Very good news here; per Booli's suggestion, I took out the black spacer under the saddle of my Rondo Hadean sunburst solid body u-bass and that pretty much fixed the imbalance volume problem. With that, I adjusted the tone pots to where the volume and resonance now sounds pretty good. I replaced the three knobs with Strat black knobs that have numbers so I can judge where the ideal settings are; about 5.5 for the knob next to volume, treble if I'm not mistaken, and 4.5 for the third, bass knob. Just as a reminder, I replaced the Thundergut strings with Pahoehoe, which I definitely feel sound better.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Rondo Hadean sunburst knobs.jpg

kohanmike
06-22-2015, 07:25 PM
I take back everything bad I ever said about the Rondo Hadean solid body u-bass. I've been playing it for the last hour and who woulda' thunk that just removing that thin little shim would make such a difference. (Sherry, maybe you should have tried it.) It's like a good uke opening up. So much better balance, the tone is so much better, really good sustain. I might not mod it with a violin body as I was planning. (I actually made a suggestion to Theresa at Rondo to have their Chinese manufacturer make up a line of poly string solid body violin basses. She liked the idea and said she would pass it on.)

katysax
06-23-2015, 05:52 AM
I take back everything bad I ever said about the Rondo Hadean solid body u-bass. I've been playing it for the hour and who woulda' thunk that just removing that thin little shim would make such a difference. (Sherry, maybe you should have tried it.) It's like a good uke opening up. So much better balance, the tone is so much better, really good sustain. I might not mod it with a violin body as I was planning. (I actually made a suggestion to Theresa at Rondo to have their Chinese manufacturer make up a line of poly string solid body violin basses. She liked the idea and said she would pass it on.)

I'm glad that you found a way to make it work. I'm not sorry I returned it. I love my California U-Bass so much I don't want to play any other bass except another California U-Bass.

bnolsen
06-23-2015, 06:13 AM
where is this shim? is it externally accessible or you have to open up the saddle/bridge assembly?

A problem with violin basses is the neck dive. There's a horn on most solid body basses and guitars for a reason.

kohanmike
06-23-2015, 08:13 AM
The shim is easy, I just released the strings (which I had to shorten as well), then just lifted the saddle assembly and the black shim was sitting there.

As short as the neck is going to be on the violin conversion, I'm not concerned about neck dive. The 21" scale will be the same, the length will be about 33-34" and the tail end of the body will be longer to fit a trapeze tailpiece.

Booli
06-23-2015, 08:45 AM
The shim is easy, I just released the strings (which I had to shorten as well), then just lifted the saddle assembly and the black shim was sitting there.

I just pulled the shim on my solid-body uke bass. After tuning up, I do not notice a big difference in the sound across the strings with the bass eq all the way down. If I turn up the bass eq past 1/4 from zero, it overloads the input of whatever it is plugged in to, even if that device's input gain is minimal.

Also, if I look at the edge profile of the shim, the side that was under the D and G strings is about 1-1.5mm taller (guessing by eye) than the side that was under the E and A strings, and it is 'ramped' as such. Not sure why unless for some kind of extra saddle height adjustment beyond the screw length. Maybe I should reverse it and reinstall it, as I have the saddle height on the side for the E and A strings about 12mm high in order to prevent those open strings from rattling against the fingerboard, regardless how how soft I pluck them. Maybe it was installed incorrectly at the factory?

kohanmike
06-23-2015, 09:17 AM
Now that I have the shim out, I'm finding the pots to be much better, not sure why. Maybe your electronics have a problem where mine don't. Seems to be a hit and miss proposition with these low cost items. I hope my blue one fares better.

lowtrac
06-24-2015, 09:06 AM
I bought one of the blue solid bodies a couple of weeks ago. I really hated the stickiness of the original strings so I replaced them with Pahoehoes. That was a pain. I play bass in our praise band at church and used the uke this past Sunday. I really enjoy playing it and got quite a few comments. I'm a big guy, so it's like Linus playing the little piano.

Anyway, mine suffers from the "quiet D string" issue as well. I replaced the strings one at a time so I didn't try messing with the bridge shim. I will say that in reference to the different amps, I play through a Fender Rumble 15 (8") practice amp at home but I use a Peavey TNT 115 at church. Plugging into that thing makes it sound like a totally different instrument.

Did I mention installing the Pahoehoes was a terrible experience?

Booli
06-24-2015, 09:32 AM
I bought one of the blue solid bodies a couple of weeks ago. I really hated the stickiness of the original strings so I replaced them with Pahoehoes. That was a pain. I play bass in our praise band at church and used the uke this past Sunday. I really enjoy playing it and got quite a few comments. I'm a big guy, so it's like Linus playing the little piano.

Anyway, mine suffers from the "quiet D string" issue as well. I replaced the strings one at a time so I didn't try messing with the bridge shim. I will say that in reference to the different amps, I play through a Fender Rumble 15 (8") practice amp at home but I use a Peavey TNT 115 at church. Plugging into that thing makes it sound like a totally different instrument.

Did I mention installing the Pahoehoes was a terrible experience?

Interesting...hmmm. I went to the Aquila Thunder REDS on my solid-body Hadean uke bass because the original Thunderguts were too sticky for me as well, maybe these would be better for you? they do not really have a shiny texture, more of a papery texture.

Why was installing the strings a terrible experience for you?

Maybe you need to invest in a string winder that can handle the extra-wide tuner buttons? (like one made for bass)

Without one it can seem to take forever to wind these uke-bass strings up to pitch.

Booli
06-27-2015, 09:07 AM
For those still subscribed to this thread, I thought you might be interested in the new uke bass that was just released by The Magic Fluke Company.

I created at thread for it right here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?108445-!!!-Magic-Fluke-Uke-Bass-Timber-just-released-!!!

katysax
06-27-2015, 11:18 AM
For those still subscribed to this thread, I thought you might be interested in the new uke bass that was just released by The Magic Fluke Company.

I created at thread for it right here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?108445-!!!-Magic-Fluke-Uke-Bass-Timber-just-released-!!!

I saw that. As I said in that thread. Those tuning pegs are not going to cut it. With those strings it sill sound more like a short scale bass than a u-bass.

kohanmike
06-27-2015, 11:50 AM
The other bass player in The CC Strummers uses a Kala spruce top u-bass with Pyramid strings and I find it sounds too metallic for my liking, but I did buy a set of Pyramid to try on one of my basses, haven't yet. I'm also not keen on the round wound buzz when sliding on the strings. I so like Pahoehoe, and on my Les Paul and Tele basses, I have flat wounds.

lowtrac
06-27-2015, 04:37 PM
Interesting...hmmm. I went to the Aquila Thunder REDS on my solid-body Hadean uke bass because the original Thunderguts were too sticky for me as well, maybe these would be better for you? they do not really have a shiny texture, more of a papery texture.

Why was installing the strings a terrible experience for you?

Maybe you need to invest in a string winder that can handle the extra-wide tuner buttons? (like one made for bass)

Without one it can seem to take forever to wind these uke-bass strings up to pitch.

The problem wasn't cranking the tuners, it was keeping the string stretched to near-pitch while trying to get it wrapped and not slip out of the tuner posts. I ended up using the Kala "tie" method on the A as well as the D and G. I had quite a problem holding the body down while stretching the strings. I eventually got it done and they've almost stopped stretching now. I'm still digging them.

Booli
06-27-2015, 04:55 PM
The problem wasn't cranking the tuners, it was keeping the string stretched to near-pitch while trying to get it wrapped and not slip out of the tuner posts. I ended up using the Kala "tie" method on the A as well as the D and G. I had quite a problem holding the body down while stretching the strings. I eventually got it done and they've almost stopped stretching now. I'm still digging them.

On both of the Hadean uke bass models that I have, all 4 tuners have a concentric hole in the middle of the tuner shaft. When I removed the factory installed Thunderguts, I cut the replacement strings to the same length as the Thunderguts, and then like the factory strings were installed, I simply inserted the first inch or so of string into that hole and then folded it down the slot. While tuning, they never slipped at all. At one point when they were stretching out and the string wraps on the post began to double up and wind UP the post, I slacked the strings, cut off another 1.5" from the string ends, and then reinstalled them. Now the strings have 3 wraps on the post for the E and A strings, and the D and G strings have 5 wraps on the post, all of them winding DOWN to the bottom of the post and giving a nice steeper string break angle from the nut to the tuner.


Initially I tried that special funky Kala knot as shown in one of their videos, and not only did it slip forever, but it also left an ugly tail of the string and a big fat monkey-fist on the tuning peg where the end of the string goes under the first string wind. I did not like either of these results, so I went back to the method outlined above, and it's been working really well and no string slip at all for me.

lowtrac
06-29-2015, 04:12 AM
On both of the Hadean uke bass models that I have, all 4 tuners have a concentric hole in the middle of the tuner shaft. When I removed the factory installed Thunderguts, I cut the replacement strings to the same length as the Thunderguts, and then like the factory strings were installed, I simply inserted the first inch or so of string into that hole and then folded it down the slot. While tuning, they never slipped at all. At one point when they were stretching out and the string wraps on the post began to double up and wind UP the post, I slacked the strings, cut off another 1.5" from the string ends, and then reinstalled them. Now the strings have 3 wraps on the post for the E and A strings, and the D and G strings have 5 wraps on the post, all of them winding DOWN to the bottom of the post and giving a nice steeper string break angle from the nut to the tuner.


Initially I tried that special funky Kala knot as shown in one of their videos, and not only did it slip forever, but it also left an ugly tail of the string and a big fat monkey-fist on the tuning peg where the end of the string goes under the first string wind. I did not like either of these results, so I went back to the method outlined above, and it's been working really well and no string slip at all for me.

I was able to do that with the E string, but the other ones were too large to fit in the hole in the tuning post. They were also a good bit shorter than the strings that came off. Maybe I got the wrong set of Pahoehoes? I did get them on and they tuned up fine... I also had to drill out the string holes in the body for the D and G strings since the new ones were larger in diameter.

mrufino1
06-30-2015, 03:55 PM
I said this in another post, and on talkbass, but I put the LR baggs pre from kala in my hadean last night, night and day difference. Much more even and the bass is not overbearing.

I couldn't get the pahoehoe to work in the tuner holes except for the E, but tying the knot is working fine for me. The d and g have stretched thin so I have to tie the knot the opposite way kala shows, but it's still working fine.

kohanmike
06-30-2015, 08:10 PM
Show us photos of what you did. As much of an improvement as removing the shim from under the saddle that I did, I would like to see something even better.

mrufino1
07-01-2015, 07:26 AM
Will do, I'll try to take some photos tonight. I have Friday off and will try to make a video as well.

mrufino1
07-03-2015, 06:23 AM
Here's some photos of the hadean, now with the kala bridge and lr baggs electronics. How did those 2 big sings get there? Don't ask...but it sounds awesome now.

8119581196811978119881199

mrufino1
07-03-2015, 06:25 AM
2 more of my homemade mute, I use one on all of my basses.

8120081201

kohanmike
07-03-2015, 06:54 AM
I see that a bunch of new holes had to be drilled, makes me think I will not go there. So far I can easily live with the sound as it is. Also, you think like me, find a way to add a thumbrest. I actually used a cardboard file that I notched out to wedge between the bridge adjustment screw gap and fretboard gap, but when/if I make the violin body, it will also include a custom thumbrest.

Explain the use/necessity of the mute.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Rondo sunburst thumbrest.jpg

mrufino1
07-03-2015, 09:10 AM
The mute I use when I'm playing Motown or other soul songs with my band where the original bass part used the foam mute that came on p basses at the time. Motown and Philly shoul mainly, but some others as well.

I have a video rendering right now that will be on youtube shortly, I'll post the link when it's ready. I use the mute in that, playing "My Girl." I am also going to try to shoot some footage at my gig tomorrow night with a full band to give an idea of the sound in context.

mrufino1
07-03-2015, 11:05 AM
A video I did today of my hadean uke bass. Hopefully I can get some gig footage tomorrow:
http://youtu.be/JVbokxgU-8A

kohanmike
07-03-2015, 11:27 AM
I like all that funky stuff, great. Something I aspire to.

mrufino1
07-03-2015, 11:30 AM
Thanks. I aspire to it also, someday maybe I'll get it! Did you dig the mute? I can't play a gig without it. As for drilling, I'm either stupid or fearless...but I did drill a few holes. As was said somewhere else on this forum, I don't enjoy playing bass by myself, this bass is really fun on gigs though and my shoulder and back are even happier with it.

kohanmike
07-03-2015, 12:55 PM
I didn't realize Motown did that, so that's why when I try a Motown lick, it doesn't sound quite right. I've drilled my share, have you seen the bass conversion I did of an Epiphone Les Paul Express 22" guitar? I drilled the string-through holes at the tail and two bridge holes.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/LP Gotoh.jpg

mrufino1
07-03-2015, 03:01 PM
I have seen that, I like it! Looks better with the bass tuners and probably easier to tune now as well.

kohanmike
07-03-2015, 08:32 PM
Yes, they helped, but tuning is still really touchy requiring only slight adjustments. Must be that I'm using 30" flat wounds on the 22" scale.

By-the-way, I've been noodling on my Hadean sunburst for the last couple of hours and yep, removing the shim sure made a difference, I'm looking forward to getting back my modified blue one. And as you see in my signature, I'm ready to receive the Oscar Schmidt, got the tracking number today that says I should receive it by Monday, going from Fayetteville to Los Angeles.

mrufino1
07-04-2015, 02:58 AM
It's because you're using bass strings. On my birdsong bass, one full turn of the tuner could be a whole step, on a rubber strung bass that's about 40-50 turns. That's the main reason I'll eventually need a 5 string; I need to hit a low D a few times, especially in songs like uptown funk, and on uke bass I have to tune down really fast then back up ater the song, usually without a break between songs. On my electric bass I have a hipshot lever, so going down to d and back is just the flip of a switch.

mrufino1
07-05-2015, 11:45 AM
Video from last night's gig, recorded with my zoom video cam from the side of the stage. Played through a tc bh250 head and a 1-10 cabinet. Hopefully you find it helpful to hear the hadean bass in a band context. I tried to get a view of the whole band but there was nowhere to put the camera, so you'll have to deal with just seeing me with the guitarist and drummer... Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/ogNQwUy15_I

kohanmike
07-06-2015, 08:04 PM
And as you see in my signature, I'm ready to receive the Oscar Schmidt, got the tracking number today that says I should receive it by Monday, going from Fayetteville to Los Angeles.

Got the Oscar Schmidt today but the preamp or pick was DOA so I immediately sent it back for a refund and will have my custom Bruce Wei bass uke fixed instead. (Signature is updated.)

bnolsen
07-30-2015, 05:28 PM
this isn't going to help you gas'ers. white hadean omega on sale for 99usd

http://www.rondomusic.com/product7753.html

kohanmike
07-30-2015, 05:37 PM
Yep, we've been bantering that around since yesterday.

bnolsen
07-30-2015, 06:28 PM
Yep, we've been bantering that around since yesterday.

been out a few days and didn't see this deal posted in the BASS section so i just added it to this thread.

Booli
07-31-2015, 10:59 AM
been out a few days and didn't see this deal posted in the BASS section so i just added it to this thread.

I actually created a new thread for it 2 days ago in the 'Links & Videos' section figuring it would get more exposure over there:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?109196-ON-SALE-Rondo-Hadean-Bass-Uke-99US

Maybe I should have posted it to the Bass section instead?

Please advise. :)

kohanmike
07-31-2015, 11:03 AM
I'm coming to the conclusion that the Uke Talk section has the most readership so I don't have a problem posting and seeing bass conversations there. After checking that section, I go to What's New?, that's how I saw your post in Links & Videos. It would be nice to have a function on this forum where we could combine any number of sections we choose into one list.

bnolsen
08-01-2015, 08:19 AM
well it *is* a ukulele bass so it can cross over.