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Gold Tone Micro Bass Fretless Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by vHarmonic, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    I though I would post a little review of my Fretless Gold Tone Micro Bass. First I will just say that I am loving this thing. I had been on the fence about buying a UBass for many months. When I first saw the Micro Bass online I immediately thought that it might address some the issues there where still holding me back from buying a ubass.

    Personally I think it is a very nice looking instrument, the construction seems very solid, no complaints every thing seems nice and tight. Well except for the slots nut slots for the G and D string, they are way way to big, but it does not seem to be an issue. One interesting note is that the back is very slightly rounded and there doesn't appear to be any braces on the back. The rounded back is nothing like an Ovation, where the rounded back makes it impossible to hold. It is very slight and doesn't seem to affect the way I hold it at all.

    One of the first things that drew me to the Micro bass I the bigger body. The body is a fair amount bigger that a UBass but still Very thin. The bigger body makes it much easier and more comfortable to play while sitting. The neck seems a bit less chunky and the nut is just a bit smaller 1 5/8", the ubass is 1 13/16". To me it the neck feels extremely comfortable. Next The cutaway along with the 14th fret body joint and slightly longer scale length make it easier to play higher up on the neck. After a few weeks of practice I can play fairly well in tuneup to the 16th fret. I think with some more practice I will be able to consistently go a bit higher. I have found it quite easy to get used to intonating on the sort scale length, and I am no fretless master. I have played fretless bass for maybe 2 years, and I feel it may even be a bit easier to intonate on this shorter scale. On this bass you don't really have to stretch to find the notes, they are just right under your fingers. Also as far I can tell the fret lines seem to be right on all the way up the neck. I would be very curious to hear how the intonation is a the fretted version. The sloped top doesn't provide as much comfort for my right arm as I had hoped but is still a nice addition. It does have 2 strap buttons, but the one on the neck seems a bit misplaced. The bass hangs completely horizontal with the strap attached to the strap buttons.

    This thing sounds great. To me is sound pretty much like a UBass, it actually looks like it has the exact same compensated saddle and piezo as the UBass.The thunder guts give a bit more definition and volume than pahoehoes but other than that is sounds and feels about the same to me. Acoustically it is a bit louder than a ubass and plenty loud enough to practice with un-amplifyed. Run threw my GK MB200 in it sound awesome. Again very much like a UBass, huge deep upright sound. The preamp runs on 2 3v 2032 batteries, the same ones that my Snark clip-on tuner takes. It has a built in tuner and bass and treble controls. Probably not the most versatile pre, but I have found it very useful for adding or removing just a touch of bass. So far this seems to be about all I need to get a good sound once I have my amp set the way I like it.

    All in all I am thrilled with this purchase. I have been having some nerve issues in both arms and this little bass allows me to play nearly as much as I want without discomfort. Personally I think any one who is thinking about buying a UBass should check out the Micro Bass. It has all of the benefits of a UBass plus some really great features that the UBass lacks. I can't see why someone would buy a UBass over this bass, unless they wanted to carry it onto an airplane. To me it seems so much better though out and implemented,it came with a really really nice thick padded bag and it less expensive, $375.


    I recorded a few sound clips, you can find them here Sound Clips.


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  2. bluebird28

    bluebird28

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    Hello VHarmonic, where in this great big world are you and whom did you purchase the bass from. When I spoke to Gold Tone they told me they were not expecting any into the US until mid to late Sept. I'm glad you like it, and thank you for the review. I have tried to get Gold Tone to put up a decent sound clip in acoustic and amped instead of the amped and looped vid they currently have, but alas they have ignored me and deleted my request on their web site. Is there any way you could put up an acoustic sound clip. Thank you for the review.
  3. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    I got it off ebay from Butler Music. There have been several on ebay over the past few months, but it seems that I bought the last one. Maybe they where samples form Namm or something, I am not sure.

    While I was undecided about fretted vs fretless I found this site http://www.jacksonsmusic.com/brands/new-products/
    has a photo of a fretted one one their New Gear page. You might give them a call if you want a fretted model. Also Goldtone has a list of distributers on there site. Maybe you can get one of the distributers to order you one.

    I can probably make a sound clip for you. Do You want the strait unplugged tone or run the bass threw my amp and record it with a mic or both? Let me know and I will see what I can do. I am not sure I can do the bass justice, but I will give it a shot.
  4. bluebird28

    bluebird28

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    If you could do both that would be:hyper:
    I am going to be on the west coast of FL. next week Ft Myers. I have contacted a couple of dealers and they did not plan on getting any, in fact they were not aware of the Micro bass. I'll call Gold Tone when I get there.

    Thank you for the effort.
  5. jburtonca

    jburtonca

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    The only thing I'm not very keen on with this bass is the output jack placement. Having it mounted on the thin wood on the side would worry me. It's liable to hit the players leg.

    Btw, how are the strings installed if they come with some type of mounting hardware already on them? The only opening is the soundhole.

    Jeff
  6. 3234718

    3234718 Supporting Member

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    I briefly had a Kala rumbler ubass with only the soundhole and no back hatch. You're meant to feed the string through the front of the bridge, pull it out the soundhole, tie a knot, and that's how it stays put. I assume it's the same with this.
  7. jburtonca

    jburtonca

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    I have Thunderguts on my Kala mahogany, so I know about the knot thing (I also put a cable tie behind the knot), but what about Pahoehoe strings or any other terminated strings that may be developed? It's probably not a problem for most players, but it is a potential limitation.

    Jeff
  8. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    Yup, you got. However the E and A strings had no knot, some large staple clamped on them and then a bunch of sting wrapped around the string in front of the staple. I don't know if it came that way form the factory, but the manual say they are supposed to be tied in knots.
  9. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    I posted some sound clips, you can find them here Sound Clips. I hope you find them somewhat useful.
  10. bluebird28

    bluebird28

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    Thank you Jesse, that is exactly what I needed to pull the trigger. I contacted Jeff at Butler Music and when he hopefully gets them in I will be awaiting delivery.
  11. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    Great, I am really glad it helped! Can't wait to hear how you like your Micro Bass, when you get it. I am fairly sure you will love it.
  12. bluebird28

    bluebird28

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    Well I decided not to purchase via the internet and place an order thru a local Gold Tone dealer in the event that there is a problem with the instrument. I found a fretless at Jackson Music in Buford GA, but with shipping and the other extraneous stuff, I can wait a month to get one. Its not like I don't have enough instruments to play with. It would have been nice to have one in FL while I was there but Gold Tone did not have any in stock they just shipped everything they had and a week later their stock is all assigned to other dealers. Dusty Strings in Seattle will be ordering a fretted model but I will have to special order the fretless I want.:crying:
  13. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    I month feels like forever when you are waiting for an instrument. But I am glad you found a way to get one! Defiantly report back when you get it and let me know what you think of it. I think going for a fretless is a great choice. I have been playing mine allot, and I am really enjoying it's beautiful fretless tone.
  14. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    There is a couple of Micro Basses up on eBay if anyone is interested.

    Fretless

    And

    fretted
  15. bluebird28

    bluebird28

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    Well I ordered one from a music store 4 miles from my house. I asked for the spruce top lined fretless if available if not I would take the mahogany lined fretless. We will see how long it takes to get here. I will report back when it shows up. I can't wait to try this thru my Carvin BX250 and SWR 210 cab.
  16. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    Sweet, can't wait to hear what you think of it. I think it only comes in mahogany though.
  17. bluebird28

    bluebird28

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    That's what I was told but check your links above, the Fretless link brings you to a blond fretless. A guy can hope can't he?
  18. vHarmonic

    vHarmonic Supporting Member

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    yes, you can hope dude, but the I bought mine from that same eBay seller who had that same photo stock photo in the listing.
  19. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    what in the world is a pahoehoes?

  20. bluebird28

    bluebird28

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    Chef, your kidding right, its the strings that come on a Kala UBass.

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