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

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    In the hills of New Almaden, California
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    Well, I ordered some La Bella MBLB flatwounds, because I was told they were made for basses between 23" and 25" scale. Perfect, I thought, for my Ohana fretless which is 24.5"

    Well, the first string I tried, the E, looked promising. It was the right length. I had to file the nut slot a bit wider to accommodate the additional thickness but that was easy. I threaded the string through the sound hole, clipped the excess silk from the nut end, put the bridge pins in and started tightening...when I heard a pop. The outer winding started to separate where the string bent over the saddle.

    IMG_0582.jpg

    It was like the string was too stiff to curve over the saddle. Any thoughts? Just a bad string? Maybe the bridge pins are too long?

    So, I'm having to make do with the horrible Ohana bronze buzzy, chirpy, roundwounds that are scratching the fretboard on my fretless bass until I get this situation figured out. (I need my bass at our uke meeting tomorrow so I have to play it)
    Gillian
    **********
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    ~Compass Rose custom tenor
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    ~Blackbird BTU tenor
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
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    852

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    Could be a number of things. I would contact LaBella and see about a replacement, and also send them some pictures to see if they have any idea what happened.
    Product Specialist
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  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Okay..since the last post I've been calling around doing more research.

    LaBella bass strings for the "microbass" 23-25"scale don't work on the OBU. They are too rigid at the ball end to go over the saddle, hence the snap and $30 down the drain.

    I called Ohana and spoke with Lewis, a really nice guy, who said that he found a company that has made some flatwounds for the OBU and will be testing them out next week. If they pass Lewis' testing, I'll be ecstatic.

    In the meantime, I'm having a blast with my new Hofner Contemporary bass. I put LaBella "Beatle Bass" flatwounds on it, although the Hofner stock roundwounds didn't sound too bad. I didn't buy it because McCartney plays a Hofner but because after trying out Fenders and others, it was the most comfortable for me. (Although I will have fun playing it on our uke club's next "Beatles Night". I've almost got the bass line to Penny Lane down.)
    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

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    3

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    Not sure if this thread is still active, but I too have an Ohana OBU-22 (fretted, though), and really struggled with the strings. Couldn't find anything. So I went a different route. I carved a new set of bridge pins, adding an extra 1/4" in length, and bought a slew of nylon spacers on Amazon. That way, I could thread the spacers over the string, and hide the extra (ball-end) string length inside the body of the bass, where they rest on a small bit of foam). I currently have D'Addario Black Nylon tapes (ETB92S) on the Ohana, and like them a lot. Very upright bass sounding, especially if I play near the bridge. And with this setup, and I can pretty much use any existing short scale set, as long as the tension isn't crazy. If you want more information about carving bridge pins, or the spacers, or pics, let me know.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Thanks for the suggestion and I'm impressed with your solution but I'm not as resourceful as you.

    I'm going to send another email to Ohana to ask what the status is in their collaboration with the string maker who makes flatwounds. It pains me to not play the OBU but I can't stand the sound of the stock roundwounds and I don't want to abrade the fretless fretboard with their rough surface.

    I'll post any response I get from Ohana.
    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

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    3

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    Great, thanks - looking forward to hearing what they say! I found the stock round wounds unplayable as well. Made me sad. Spent a lot of time trying different approaches. But this one turned out to be very easy and effective.

    Carving the bridge pins was dead simple, that is, if, like me, you don't mind that they're not beautiful :-) Just used a piece of dowel from home depot.

    2015-12-28 20.32.47.jpg

    Here's one by itself:

    2015-01-02 12.28.49.jpg

    Here's a view if you peer deep inside (before I realized I should put a bit of foam in).

    2015-01-06 20.03.01.jpg

    From the front, you can't see the string inside at all.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    GA
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    49

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    It's a shame to have to go thru all this to make these things more playable. I wish I had waited for more reviews before getting one. It will sit in a closet until I find a buyer.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    3

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    Yep, I agree. And I felt like an idiot - I had talked first with Jason at bassstringsonline.com (great guy, by the way), and his advice was simple: "Don't by a bass you can't get strings for!" But I bought it anyway. Would have saved myself a lot of trial-and-error if I had listened. That said, now that I can put whatever strings i want on it, I'm happy enough to have it -- but I'll listen to his advice going forward.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    In the hills of New Almaden, California
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    Hi, Croakie,

    I'm glad I'm not the only one complaining about those horrid strings.
    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

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    In the hills of New Almaden, California
    Posts
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    Default

    I received a reply to my email yesterday. Louis said the flatwound prototype he received from his string maker sounds really good and is excited to try the production set.

    So be patient, OBU owners. It sounds like flatwound strings will be available pretty soon.
    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

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