coverting a uke, into a bass uke?

covernment

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just a question if i got a tenor or baritone uke and got bass uke strings and switched them out would it sound ok? i really want a bass uke but the only one i can find online is 400 big ones and i dont have that kinda money to spend :/. the only problem i see would be the bass strings being too thick to put in the uke. but yea just tell me if i should try it or not.
 

dnewton2

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I think you would need new/different tuners, bridge and strings at minimum. Maybe a special pick-up for the bass, not sure about that. I think in the end it would be cheaper and easier to just save up and buy the bass uke. On the road toad site the cheap tuners are $77, the bass pick up is $70, bass strings are $24 and I will add $10 for a bridge blank. That is $181 for parts, plus you would need a uke and tools to make the upgrades. It can be done since there are base ukes out there.
 

Skrik

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On the other hand, the Kala ukulele bass goes for $499. I say go for it.
 

Tudorp

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I am a bass player, and it might be fun to build one, but ya might need new tuners to accept the larger gauge strings, and changing the bridge and nuts or re-filing them of course. The biggest concern is a good bass will be built much heavier than a standard guitar, with steel rod in the neck too. The tension on the neck is tremendous and might even fold a regular Uke in half.. lol.. I would hate to be holding it when that happens, hahhah..
 

dnewton2

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On the other hand, the Kala ukulele bass goes for $499. I say go for it.

The Spruce top is $409, A little cheaper. I am going to round up my estimate to $200 for parts (added a new nut and some shipping). Plus the uke, I would think at least $100. $300 < $409 but there is build time (time is money) and any tools you might need. I think it can be done, I have thought about it. I am not sure how much money you will save, and depending on you building skills the final product may not be as nice.

If you do it please keep a builders log with pics so you can show us how it is done.
 

covernment

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thanks yall wasnt sure if it would work or not, guess i should start savin!
 

sebi

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I think in the end it's cheaper getting the Kala UkuleleBass from MGM for about $400 on his ebay store. I own one and it is worth all its money. But hey, I've been thinking of building my own Ukulele Bass, too :) According to my research (and like the others said before), you'd need to change the tuners, the bridge, get a piezo pickup, drill bigger holes for the strings, cut a hole into the back of the baritone uke, and I'm sure I'm missing something. Anyway, would be a nice project for the weekend. Tell me if you decide to do it.

Btw, here my latest video with the Kala U-Bass in action:
 

Skrik

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I am a bass player, and it might be fun to build one, but ya might need new tuners to accept the larger gauge strings, and changing the bridge and nuts or re-filing them of course. The biggest concern is a good bass will be built much heavier than a standard guitar, with steel rod in the neck too. The tension on the neck is tremendous and might even fold a regular Uke in half.. lol.. I would hate to be holding it when that happens, hahhah..

Luckily, there are plastic strings (the same kind of stuff O-rings are made of) available that give bass tones at ukulele tensions and scale-lengths. Normal bass-strings on a ukulele? I shudder at the thought.
 

SailingUke

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You would need tuners and probably a major modification to the bridge to get the strings to attach.
No telling what you would need to get the action set correctly. MusicGuyMike has the KALAs for a little over $400.
You would have a first class quality instrument.
 

dnewton2

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There is the Ashbory bass. It has a 18" scale and can be found for around $270. It is purly electric. I don't know anything about these personally but it is cheaper then the UBass.
 

kissing

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I was just about the suggest the same thing:
http://www.ashborybass.com/Purchase.shtml

These use latex (rubber) strings though, and would feel different from a bass Uke.
I read in one review of the Kala Ubass that the Ubass had greater playability than the Ashbory bass.
 

sebi

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I've played the Ashbory and it is a really cool instrument, but it is definitely no ukulele bass. The Kala U-Bass really gives you the feeling of a uke. Of course it depends what you are looking for. Just be careful with the Ashbory bass, the strings are rather sticky to play, whereas the strings on the U-Bass are very smooth to play.
 

angelopb

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I think you can purchase ashbory parts a la carte easily. The ashbory pickup transducer is also the bridge so you don't string those through the body. But that works with an active preamp circuit board.

Not sure if it would work without the active preamp circuit but you can buy that too. I would not purchase a new uke for purposes of converting it to a bass uke.

I have the pahoehoe low tension set on my ashbory bass. The G and D strings seem thinner than the ashbory strings and the output seems a little muted by comparison. But you get way better intonation and it is much more playable with more growl on the ashbory. In other words, more plastic and less rubber is a good thing.

If you are on the cheap find a used ashbory for like under $125. Make sure it is the deArmond/Fender reissues as those are better than the originals LOL. If you have trouble, PM me. But if I part with mine, I am getting a U-Bass. So if you have the coin, get the Kala.
 

MGM

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Great video cover love it and what did you do to compress the voices in the harmonies like that
 

PhilUSAFRet

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For just under $200 you can get a Samick Corsair MC 1 mini bass at 33"
For under a hundred, you can get a no name chinese mini base at 36"
The new 5 string Kala UBass is 31"
Just sayin!
 

kissing

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In my search for short-scaled basses, I also came across the Fernandes Nomad bass.
Also something worth checking out if you want a small bass packed with features :)
 
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greenway

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What's with everyone wanting small basses.
I'm mainly a bassist and I'm looking for bigger ones :p