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Thread: !!! Magic Fluke: Uke Bass: 'Timber' just released !!!

  1. #1
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    Default !!! Magic Fluke: Uke Bass: 'Timber' just released !!!

    I had just gone to the web site for The Magic Fluke Company, and just as promised in the winter NAMM 2015 video segment with Aldrine (@ 1:19 in the video), they have released the first models of their take on the uke bass, called 'Timber'.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N154P9nH3SM

    Here's a look (and more photos on the site linked below):



    From their web site:
    "Timber, Electric Bass, Fretless

    Short Scale Electric Bass

    A short scale, solid body, fretless, electric bass. We've been thinking about this for years, and finally it has come to life in the last six months or so. Our new instrument is versatile and portable, tuned to EADG and playable like a full size bass guitar.

    21.5" scale length over a solid cherry body (milled from our property in Sheffield) bolted to a maple neck and hard maple fingerboard (fretless with markers). The strings are metal wound with a synthetic core, custom built to our spec by LaBella in New York. With our bridge-less design, a rosewood saddle sits directly into a slot on the body. Underneath the saddle is a Shadow piezo pickup, which connects to an active preamp system with volume and tone control and digital tuner onboard. We are including an adjustable 1" wide leather strap which anchors to the strap button on the output jack at the bottom end of the instrument and a built in Kevlar loop at the base of the neck.

    This first batch is equipped with Grover 4B friction tuners which are difficult to turn, but we are working with Pegheds (in South Carolina) on a custom set of internally geared tuners, similar to those offered on our other instruments, but beefier. When these tuners are ready later this summer, they will be available as an upgrade, which we will have to install.

    We are very excited about this instrument, so until the end of June the bass will be available for a special introductory price of $495. After that, we will evaluate our costs and adjust the price accordingly.

    Base Price: $495.00

    Product Code: TIMBER"
    http://www.magicfluke.com/Electric-Bass-p/timber.htm


    So, what do you all think?

    I'm excited and might want one, but I need to know more about the strings they are using, and will likely wait until the tuner pegs issue is resolved.

    I might have to sell of my Hadean solid-body and Hadean acoustic uke basses to help pay for it, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    I'm a huge fan of this company as some of your may already know, and it's great to see them come out with new products, the last ones being the Cricket Violin and of course the Firefly banjolele.
    Last edited by Booli; 06-27-2015 at 02:58 AM. Reason: added video
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  2. #2
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    An exciting development. Congrats to them. I think it looks cool. Fretless is a fun choice. I like that they're using local wood for it too. Can't fault their honesty, being upfront about the tuners.

    I see they put the fret dot on 9. Guess they decided to stay in keeping with the traditional electric bass.

  3. #3

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    That looks pretty cool. I much prefer the solid body u-Bass and I think solid body is a great choice. I have tried the metal wound pyramid strings for u-bass and I like them a lot. They kind of make the u-bass into an ultra short scale bass that sounds like a typical electric bass guitar. More like a bass guitar and less like a double bass. I've been planning to string my sub Ubass with those as an alternative sound.

    Those tuners are not up to the job of turning bass strings and will be a big pain in the neck for anyone who buys the bass with them. I wonder if Road Toad bass tuners would fit; it looks like there might not be enough room for them. I'm guessing that it is fretless because they are having trouble coming up with a fretted version that will intonate properly. I think it looks interesting but I would not buy it with those tuners.

  4. #4
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    Vewwwy intewesting! I think this is a must-try-before-buying though. So many details I don't know if I could get used to or not - fretless, metal wound strings, longer than baritone scale. But i agree those tuners are a deal breaker.
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  5. #5
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    I saw their prototype at NAMM last January and although it was interesting, I didn't think it was ready for prime time. Waiting for the new tuners is a good idea.

  6. #6
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    Without having any adjustment for the saddle and it looks like no truss rod this model should remain fretless.
    Not too excited about the wounds on fretless. Since they're new strings its worth it to wait and see. They're taking a few risks here.
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  7. #7

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    I think the price is high for what you are getting. It's pretty easy to find a used Sub U-Bass solid body for $350. The Kala is a proven product.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnolsen View Post
    Without having any adjustment for the saddle and it looks like no truss rod this model should remain fretless.
    Not too excited about the wounds on fretless. Since they're new strings its worth it to wait and see. They're taking a few risks here.
    Quote Originally Posted by katysax View Post
    I think the price is high for what you are getting. It's pretty easy to find a used Sub U-Bass solid body for $350. The Kala is a proven product.
    I agree with both of the above. I'd like to try the strings on my $150 Sunburst Rondo Hadean solid-body uke bass first before making a much bigger investment. Hopefully there will be an EASY way to buy the string sets, AND at a reasonable price (maybe ~$25 USD?) similar to the rubbery U-bass strings.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnolsen View Post
    Without having any adjustment for the saddle and it looks like no truss rod this model should remain fretless.
    Not too excited about the wounds on fretless. Since they're new strings its worth it to wait and see. They're taking a few risks here.
    More than likely, the metal used on those strings is silvered copper, which is very soft. It's also the standard in classical guitar strings for the basses, and it is excellent for fretless applications because of this. I seriously doubt you're going to get any real marring of the fingerboard with them, save for the first five minutes, where it leaves superficial marks.

    The bigger issue I see with those strings is that you're limited to them, period. At least with the U-Bass style of instruments, you have a couple different options. With this model, you have the LaBella strings, and that's it.

    However, making an electric instrument like this with wound strings is going to sound much closer to a short scale bass over the U-Bass or anything remotely close to an upright type of sound. You'll probably get a pretty great Jaco-like tone with this setup, but that's it.
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  10. #10

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    I'm intrigued but I do have a few reservations.

    1. Tuners look like a huge pain to deal with. I won't even seriously consider it until they get that sorted out.

    2. I'm under the impression the strings are rounds which I'm not a huge fan of especially with a piezo pickup. To my ears it's a very harsh, brittle tone. I think a flatwound string with a piezo would sound better.

    3. I would rather it had a magnetic pickup instead of the piezo. If they're going with rounds I think those would sound better with a magnetic pickup.

    4. While it would be tough, I don't think it would be impossible to have a fretted version that will intonate properly. I like fretless but not for every song.

    This is one I'm going to keep an eye on to see how it turns out.

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