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Thread: NBUD: Gold Tone ME-Bass

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,475

    Cool NBUD: Gold Tone ME-Bass

    "New to me" anyway. I started a thread a few weeks ago about getting a bass uke for recording some more "organic" bass parts for my projects. After a good bit of research and a trip to the big box stores (Guitar Center/Sam Ash), I concluded that I wanted a solid body, did not want Thundergut strings, and did not mind up to about 23" scale. After a little more googling, this one popped up on talkbass.com and after a brief exchange with the seller, I jumped on it. It did have Thunderguts (probably the originals from the factory), but I had planned to replace with the flatwound set made by Labella exclusively for Gold Tone. The strings themselves were $47 shipped but I felt I was still in for what seemed a very fair price for a 3-year old instrument with minor cosmetic damage.

    The bass arrived before the new strings so I had time to hook it up to my Reason rig for a recording test. If worked fine, but I didn't bother trying to dial in any tones since I still did not care for the Thunderguts. After the strings arrived is when the real "fun" began.

    The was one of the few times in recent memory that YouTube failed to provide instructional material. I found install guides for the Thunderguts and the round wound Silverbacks, but I was concerned the flat wounds could have some notable differences and they did. I'll be writing up my own findings soon on my blog and perhaps YouTube, but just to summarize here, I was able to get it sorted with a combination of pointers from our own kohanmike, Gold Tone customer support, common sense, and trial-n-error. It still isn't "perfect" but with minimal difficulty I have the action down to 2.7-3mm and intonation within 10c at the 12th fret. This should be good enough for my purposes, and I think going for any better would involve nut and saddle work with a pretty high screw up factor.

    Now I'm not a bass player and I don't like wound strings in general, but I'm getting used to flatwounds on my guileles, and the feel of these La Bella strings is so much better than either Thunderguts or Pahoehoes. I hope to dial in some tones soon and post some sound samples.

    But for now, these pics will have to do.


    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,475

    Default

    A few more:




    And yet a few more available here: https://imgur.com/a/5b4Phhu
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
    Posts
    4,360

    Default

    Very nice Jim, and I'm glad to help. As matter of fact, there could be an 23" ME in my future after seeing this.


    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,564

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    Congrat's! those are nice solid bodies...hope it has the sound you're looking for!
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Epiphone Hummingbird - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 - Pahoehoe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Congratulations. I look forward to hearing more about it.

    Last week here in Vancouver, BC I found out that one store here had one in stock. I went to the shop and found that there is a newer version that has 3 control knobs like the Kala U-Bass.

    I found that the balance with a strap was more comfortable than the MicroBass that I own. Much less tendency to head dive. It played fine and I like the thinner body. I am thinking about it and wondering what Pahoehoe strings would be like on it. Probably not much different than on the acoustic one.
    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,475

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRC View Post
    I went to the shop and found that there is a newer version that has 3 control knobs like the Kala U-Bass.... I am thinking about it and wondering what Pahoehoe strings would be like on it.
    Yea, I see the new ones have 3 knobs: https://www.elderly.com/gold-tone-me...g-23-scale.htm

    Didn't notice that before. The seller did say he had to mess with EQ more at the amp more than some other models. Separate on-board bass and treble tone knobs would probably help with that. Oh well. An extra knob isn't worth $200 to me.

    The Pahoehoes should work fine with some bridge adjustments- but realize you'll void your warranty.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,564

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Oh well. An extra knob isn't worth $200 to me.
    You got a deal, then...I might buy one for that!
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Epiphone Hummingbird - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 - Pahoehoe

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,564

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    The Pahoehoes should work fine with some bridge adjustments- but realize you'll void your warranty.
    Why would Pahoehoes void the warranty? Looks like they come with Thunderguts...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Epiphone Hummingbird - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 - Pahoehoe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,475

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    Quote Originally Posted by UkerDanno View Post
    Why would Pahoehoes void the warranty? Looks like they come with Thunderguts...
    From the owner's manual:
    Strings
    MicroBass strings are made of a rubber polymer and are available direct from Gold Tone or through an authorized Gold Tone dealer. Use
    ONLY MicroBass branded strings as they are designed specifically for this 23” scale length model. Similar off-brand rubber strings will not
    work and may cause damage to the instrument. Using non-MicroBass branded strings will void the 5-year warranty
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    27

    Default

    I believe Kohanmike and others on this thread and maybe on TalkBass have changed to the Pahoehoe strings on the MB and thought it performed much better.

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