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Thread: Best strings for an Ohana-OBU-22 FLM

  1. #11
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    Got it. I'll ask that too.

  2. #12
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    Gold Tone gave me the answer, the MELB LaBella strings on their sight are 38" tip-to-tip. I don't know how they wind them for a 23" scale base, which I asked them just now.

    I have two electric basses that are 22" scale for which I use short scale flatwound strings, to accomplish that, I drilled string-trough holes at the tail of one to use up the extra length, the other is a custom that I had the builder also do string-through at the bridge plate into a chamber on the back with anchors for the string barrels. They both work very well that way and I can use any short scale bass strings on them.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    Gold Tone gave me the answer, the MELB LaBella strings on their sight are 38" tip-to-tip. I don't know how they wind them for a 23" scale base, which I asked them just now.
    That's the length of the string, and not the winding length. Given that standard silking length is around 10-12" long, I'd say the official winding length of the MELB strings are somewhere between 26-28" long.

    Since bass strings are compound wound (meaning, they are made from more than one cover of wire), the winding length is the length to the shortest wind, where the taper starts (or in the case of LaBella flats, the silk). Reason this is important is because if you're like me and have a Hofner Beatle Bass, while the instrument is a short scale, it needs a string with at least a 34" winding length, because of the detached bridge design. 34" is not the winding length for most sets of strings that are "short scale." For the Hofner, you need what many call a "medium scale" string. Without this knowledge, nearly all of the "short scale" strings on my Hofner would have the silked part moving past the nut into the first fret area, which is not ideal.
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  4. #14
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    I received the complimentary roundwound set from Ohana and the length from ball end to the beginning of the taper: 26.5".
    The gauges are .045, .065, .080 and .100. I cut approx. 7" of excess wire at the tips which allowed for one or two wraps around the tuning posts.

    The big positive difference is now my lovely OBU-22 is in tune all the way up to, and past, the 12th fret. I now know where to consistently place my fingers to get the accurate note.

    The big negative is, after playing with smooth, quiet flatwounds, it sounds like I'm plucking guy wires, with a zipper accompaniment. Is this my bad technique or just something that comes with playing roundwounds? I love sliding into a note but not with these strings!

    I've read where you can sand down the top of the roundwounds with a few passes of real fine grit sandpaper but that seems like a job for a luthier or someone with just the right touch.

    My plea to Ohana, LaBella, Rotosound, GHS, D'Addario, etc.....PLEASE make some flatwounds for these extra-short scale (24.5") basses!
    Gillian
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillian View Post
    The big positive difference is now my lovely OBU-22 is in tune all the way up to, and past, the 12th fret. I now know where to consistently place my fingers to get the accurate note.
    That's great on the intonation, and I'm glad that ill-suited strings were the culprit.

    Just remember, the lines are a tool and not the end-all, be-all. I play regularly with a pianist (who uses a very nice grand), and depending on how long it's been since the piano was tuned, will have to adjust where my fingers are, in relation to the fretlines.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gillian View Post
    The big negative is, after playing with smooth, quiet flatwounds, it sounds like I'm plucking guy wires, with a zipper accompaniment. Is this my bad technique or just something that comes with playing roundwounds? I love sliding into a note but not with these strings!
    I'm on the other side; I prefer roundwounds on all of my fretless basses. OEM phosphor bronze is way too noisy however, where a nickel wound string would do better. Sadly, you really don't have options at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillian View Post
    I've read where you can sand down the top of the roundwounds with a few passes of real fine grit sandpaper but that seems like a job for a luthier or someone with just the right touch.
    It's not as hard as you're making it seem. A couple of quick, light passes would do the trick. It won't take care of ALL of the extraneous noises you're getting from roundwound strings, but it will silence it a bit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gillian View Post
    My plea to Ohana, LaBella, Rotosound, GHS, D'Addario, etc.....PLEASE make some flatwounds for these extra-short scale (24.5") basses!
    It's a relatively new instrument scale, sadly. We looked into making a set of strings for the U-Bass (which has a lot more models out than this one at current), but it's still a pretty specific set of strings, that only works on one instrument at this point.

    Not saying it won't happen, because the LaBella flats on their site show that it has, but the above are considerations to keep in mind.
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  6. #16
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    I'm still on the hunt for flatwounds for our extra-small scale basses, specifically for the 24.5" OBU. There is a recent post (7/02/15) in the "testimonials" at the Ohana website from a guy who states:

    "I am excited to report the results of new flatwound steel bass strings for the OBU-22 bass uku made for me by Splitsecond Music, I have been using my new strings for about two weeks, and they are absolutely perfect, a pleasure to play, and the intonation is spot on! Thanks for all your help ."

    I sent Ohana an email wanting to know what kind of help they gave this guy to get these strings, and that they should place an order and stock them.

    In the meantime, I called Goldtone Microbass and was told their LaBella flatwounds will work for basses with scales from 23" to 25".
    Gillian
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    ~Kamaka Longneck Concert(HF2-LK)
    ~Compass Rose custom tenor
    ~Compass Rose custom microjumbo tenor
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    ~Romero Creations Tiny Tenor (koa)
    ~Duke 10 tenor banjo ukulele

    ~Ohana OBU-22 fretless bass ukulele

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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Monkey View Post
    That's the length of the string, and not the winding length. Given that standard silking length is around 10-12" long, I'd say the official winding length of the MELB strings are somewhere between 26-28" long.

    Since bass strings are compound wound (meaning, they are made from more than one cover of wire), the winding length is the length to the shortest wind, where the taper starts (or in the case of LaBella flats, the silk). Reason this is important is because if you're like me and have a Hofner Beatle Bass, while the instrument is a short scale, it needs a string with at least a 34" winding length, because of the detached bridge design. 34" is not the winding length for most sets of strings that are "short scale." For the Hofner, you need what many call a "medium scale" string. Without this knowledge, nearly all of the "short scale" strings on my Hofner would have the silked part moving past the nut into the first fret area, which is not ideal.
    Thanks for this info, OBM. I'm waiting delivery of a Hofner Contemporary bass (so excited!!). I have an extra set of Rotosound 77 short scale-standard gauge flatwounds that I was going to put on my new bass, but from your post, they are too short. There's $30 wasted....
    Gillian
    **********
    ~KoAloha longneck soprano (KSM-02)
    ~Kamaka Longneck Concert(HF2-LK)
    ~Compass Rose custom tenor
    ~Compass Rose custom microjumbo tenor
    ~Blackbird BTU tenor
    ~Romero Creations Tiny Tenor (koa)
    ~Duke 10 tenor banjo ukulele

    ~Ohana OBU-22 fretless bass ukulele

    My YouTube channel

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillian View Post
    Thanks for this info, OBM. I'm waiting delivery of a Hofner Contemporary bass (so excited!!). I have an extra set of Rotosound 77 short scale-standard gauge flatwounds that I was going to put on my new bass, but from your post, they are too short. There's $30 wasted....
    According to Jason's list at Bass Strings Online, the Rotosound short-scale flats you have are too short, at 32" ball to silk (or, winding length).

    Winding length is gigantically important when picking out wound strings for a bass. While there is "some" uniformity with string brands, there is a lot of variance in instruments and a lot that are exceptions to the rule (the Hofner needing medium scale strings being the most widely known).
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  9. #19
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    One thing I discovered doing my recent dread to bass conversion is that the thinner bass strings (say 60 and less) are the same guage all the way along so you could use standard scale stings for those since you are cutting them down anyway. Where the D & G srings on this new set non-tapered?

    Anyway, other than that I would recommend a product called FingerEase. a spray for lubing your strings. Just a quick spray ever so often will lower the squeak and give you a smoother feel.
    Bob

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkeNukem View Post
    One thing I discovered doing my recent dread to bass conversion is that the thinner bass strings (say 60 and less) are the same guage all the way along so you could use standard scale stings for those since you are cutting them down anyway. Where the D & G srings on this new set non-tapered?

    It'll depend on manufacturer, but it's closer to between .050 and .055 on roundwound bass strings where it'll go from one to two covers.

    For flatwounds, however, nearly all of them for bass are going to have at least two covers, because the flat ribbon wire is so thin.

    Quote Originally Posted by UkeNukem View Post
    Anyway, other than that I would recommend a product called FingerEase. a spray for lubing your strings. Just a quick spray ever so often will lower the squeak and give you a smoother feel.
    While that does help (esp with the squeak associated with phosphor bronze strings), it won't make a set of roundwound strings feel or sound like flats.
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