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Thread: when does a short scale bass guitar become a bass ukulele?

  1. #1
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    Question when does a short scale bass guitar become a bass ukulele?

    In my search for a bass uke I realised that I'm not keen on polyurethane strings which limited my options considerably.

    Short scale bass guitars give a bit more choice.

    The Cordoba mini II EB-E looks very good indeed and won't break the bank, but it's marketed as a small bass guitar and not a ukulele!

    This led me to wonder at what point does a short scale bass become a bass uke? Is it simply the scale length?

    In one sense it doesn't matter - play whatever instrument you like!

    Does anyone know if there's some technical specification that lays down exactly where the dividing line is drawn?
    Gretsch 9120 tenor, Flight NUB310 baritone (gCEA), Tanglewood TWT20 baritone (DGBE), Luna High Tide bass - so far.....

  2. #2
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    When the marketing department gets involved.

    When it comes to borderline or hybrid instruments, there are virtually no technical specifications defining instruments. I'm mostly comes down to marketing.

    - FiL

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombay Mick View Post
    The Cordoba mini II EB-E looks very good indeed and won't break the bank, but it's marketed as a small bass guitar and not a ukulele!
    There is a Luna Bass Ukulele on Reverb at the moment. That is tuned one octave higher than a U-bass. Since you're in the UK that probably won't help you. Sorry.
    Last edited by Futurethink; 05-16-2019 at 01:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    Kala invented the Ubass (ukulele bass) it has a 20" scale, there are a lot of copies/clones. Longer scale versions from Cordoba, Ohana, Goldtone, etc. are all called short scale basses and have a 22"-23" scale.

    IMHO...

    But then I have a hard time considering a baritone an ukulele.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkerDanno View Post
    Kala invented the Ubass (ukulele bass) it has a 20" scale, there are a lot of copies/clones. Longer scale versions from Cordoba, Ohana, Goldtone, etc. are all called short scale basses and have a 22"-23" scale. But then I have a hard time considering a baritone an ukulele.
    Kala did not invent the U-bass, Road Toad did and licensed it to Kala.

    I have 25 sub-short scale basses, 21-24" scale that I've modified or converted. My definition for bass uke is 21-24" scale, poly or steel strings and under saddle pickup. I've converted small electric guitars with magnetic pickups using a set of steel flatwound bass 25" scale strings made by LaBella specifically for Gold Tone bass ukes, which I call mini bass electric guitars.




    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
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  6. #6
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    There are a few Cordoba mini instruments around - the one I saw is a Cordoba mini II bass EB-E with a spruce top available from Sweetwater, scale length 22.9"
    There's also a mahogany top version (MH-E I think) for rather less money...

    There are so many great instruments available in the US - I wish it was easier/cheaper to ship to the UK

  7. #7
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    There's short scale bass and shorter scale bass. Similar to what FiL said, I consider U-bass and Ukulele bass as marketing terms.
    Glenn

  8. #8
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    The Cordoba Mini Bass was introduced at the last NAMM and should be in the pipeline by now.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombay Mick View Post
    There are a few Cordoba mini instruments around - the one I saw is a Cordoba mini II bass EB-E with a spruce top available from Sweetwater, scale length 22.9"
    There's also a mahogany top version (MH-E I think) for rather less money...

    There are so many great instruments available in the US - I wish it was easier/cheaper to ship to the UK
    Very interesting. Thanks for the news, and for the vid.

    I have my eye on a case which is available in the UK, but not in the USA. I understand what you mean about shipping costs.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for your interest and replies.
    Maybe there's a small business opportunity to import and export instruments and accessories!
    I have been looking at the Luna basses - the tuning being an octave higher than regular bass is OK with me - I could have one like that and a regular one
    My favourite at the moment is the Luna high-tide "bass" - I just love a sunburst finish!
    The other day I went beyond the usual 2 pages of web search results and found a US website that appears to sell surplus stock - radtkeestates dot com - search for item 15631 to see the Luna high tide at what looks like a bargain price - they have lots of other instruments (e.g. Kala bass, item 11868) - is it too good to be true? Has anyone else bought from them?
    Gretsch 9120 tenor, Flight NUB310 baritone (gCEA), Tanglewood TWT20 baritone (DGBE), Luna High Tide bass - so far.....

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