kala ashbory subcontra

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by [CRTL+ALT+DEL], Feb 25, 2014.


  1. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    i'm one of those dudes into the subcontra thing. i'm still getting the major kinks out of my rig.

    anyways, had an idea in the shower. you know those dinky little ashburys and kala basses? theyr'e what, 18" scale and are playable basses.

    has anyone tried to rig a regular 34" bass up with those rubber strings and a piezo? that would nearly double the scale length. theoretically you could play down an octave or so with decent string tension.

    just thought it might be a short cheap solution whilst i battle building a super long scale bass on my own and dealing with the inadequacies of cheap ****** dean with massive strings.

    anyone out there with a piezo bass about to do a restring? i'd totally buy and send you rubber strings if you could execute the experiment.

    what do you think?

    ***please don't turn this into another thread about your personal preference not to play sub bass. there are many threads you can go re-live with out giving the rest of us a rerun. see also: http://youtu.be/JnfcMJwiOHQ
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Those strings require tuners with special posts. I don't think they'd work with normal tuners.
    Very interesting idea, though.
  3. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    for a temporary experiment sake, i bet you five bucks you could just tie it in a knot to the tuning post and twist away
  4. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    and to be honest, they probably won't fit the nut or bridge correctly either. but this would not be a permanent installation for an experiment.

    the information to be gathered would be

    A) would those little rubber strings vibrate a regular sized wood bass enough to get a decent volume out of the piezo? with out cranking a considerable amount of gain on the preamp, thus giving you a crappy high noise floor.

    B) when tuned down would those itty bitty strings just flop around? (i assume they at least wouldn't *CLANK* around like a giant floppy steel string)
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  6. mrbell321

    mrbell321

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    I'd think you'd have trouble finding those rubber strings in sufficient length...
  7. Selta

    Selta

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    Hm, if my Bongo with Piezo shows up before anyone else offers, I'd be into trying this out.
  8. davewave

    davewave Old and in the way... Supporting Member

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    Your biggest challenge is that practically, as opposed to theoretically, the strings as packaged don't have that much extra length.
    If you managed to stretch them onto a 34", they'd be so tight that you'd lose the low pitch you're after.

    You might try directly contacting Owen Holt, the inventor of the U-Bass at http://www.bassuke.com/string_store.html.
    Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.
    He says he will do custom sets up to 25" scale, maybe you could get him to make you a five-string set with extra length.
  9. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    i mean, i'm looking into building a bass because i don't have $4k to drop on a custom. but if i could buy a few hundred dollar bass with a piezo, nutjob, replaced tuners, etc. that would be stupid easy
  10. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    thanks. there are also the ashbory style ones. i've read people just buy silicone medical tubing and cut to length
  11. mrbell321

    mrbell321

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    So I'm working on a bass uke. Just getting started. First problem I hit today is that the tuners I was planning on using are too narrow for the strings. Not that the slots are just too narrow(they are), they cannot be widened enough to accommodate the strings. There would be 0 post left. However, I was going to use smaller tuners. Full sized tuners shouldn't be a problem(or buy some ashbory tuners for ~$20 or ubass for $60)
  12. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    that's the spirit!

    btw, if only they made a bongo 5 HH stealth with a really long scale! *drool* that is the most sexy modern bass style there is. of course a regular bass is only useful for my other band and it's all super retro and sitting cold on the back burner.
  13. Marial

    Marial Pooped Supporting Member

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    How different are they from the Weedwackers used in the upright world?

    Weedwackers

    You could cut a set of these down to size.
  14. Selta

    Selta

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    It's supposed to be at my dealer (ThePerfectBass.com) by the end of the month last I hear, then from him onto me - a couple of days.
    I have no issues with any of my Bongos, but I only play 1/2 step down at most. I'm curious about this experiment from a few different angles :). This will be my 2nd one with a Piezo - the first was a Sapphire Black 5 HH fretted that I sold.
  15. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    another good idea. i have absolutely no experience with them. but they look like they'd be worth a shot in this scenario
  16. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

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    This is exactly right. Road toad makes a 24" scale set, but after stretching them to fit a 34" you'll be several steps above standard eadg....nevemind sub contra tuning.

    As for the ashbory silicon strings, I doubt they'd survive the tension.
  17. [CRTL+ALT+DEL]

    [CRTL+ALT+DEL] mad scientist Supporting Member

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    would not be the tension be relatively about the same, just longer?

    the tension is not more/less when i fret the the 12 fret, but i'm up on octave. imagine the nut as the twelfth fret on a much larger instrument. i know my analogy is a simplification and there maybe some additional physics i'm not adding into the equation but, i don't know why it would change.

    and to be specific. i'm not talking about tuning to drop d or something. i'm talking about going down to hz teens
  18. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

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    I don't think it's possible but it's an interesting idea. Go for it. I'm subscribing. Looking forward to hearing your results.
  19. Kickass

    Kickass

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  20. Selta

    Selta

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  21. lz4005

    lz4005

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    It's not the tension. Ashbory strings are very fragile. Ashborys are all fretless because frets will break the strings.

    Weedwhackers are designed to be tuned standard at 42" scale. At shorter scale they'll be higher, not lower. The E string is a .170. The stock Ubass E is .250.

    The more I've thought about it, I think you could experiment cheaply with the nylon tubing that's been mentioned. It's available by the spool. Infinite length. Start with .250 or so. It'll cost you a hogged out nut, but you might end up with mega sub coolness.

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