Acoustic 6 Strings Bass with nylon strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thehorse, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. thehorse


    Feb 5, 2012
    Milan, IT
    Hello everybody. From the deepest recesses of my memory crawled out this: an article I read on a magazine, some 10-12 years ago about a 3-pieces acoustic band from Sweden, or Norway, I don't remember well: a singer, a guitar player and a bass player (obviously). I remember reading about the bass player, and he said he was using an acoustic 6 strings bass strung with nylon, classical guitar-like strings.
    Don't ask me why I just remembered this. I just did, and now my mind is in turmoil as I MUST know about this instrument. Does anybody here know anything about it? The band, or a similar instrument. Could it be made? What do you think about it?

    I think that using a BassVI might have triggered some serious brain damage :D:help:
  2. ShoeManiac


    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    Sounds like a guitarron to me. They're pretty common to see in Mexican mariachi bands.
  3. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Was probably a 6 string classical contrabass guitar.
  4. slaerts


    Aug 3, 2006
    I used a 5 string set of road toad u-bass strings to string up on a classical guitar for a 5 string 25 scale bass, so it would be quite possible to accomplish.
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I don't know about that specific instrument, but it might have been something like this:

    I own one. It's a very interesting instrument and I've got mine strung with nylon wrapped (Carvin) strings (not solid nylon like a guitar). It is some interesting raw modding materials but it is really a piece of Chinese crap! I had to install new tuners (on an NEW instrument!!!), I refinished it, installed a new saddle and tweaked the setup as best I could. It still isn't right because you can hardly hear the B string. I don't know if the problem is the pickup or the built-in piezo preamp. I'm still working on it.

    But, all that said, I must say I'm loving the idea of a 6 string fretless ABG. It's totally unusual and gives a great acoustic sound (not unplugged) great for trios, folk etc. small acoustic groups. I'd really like for it ALSO to have a magnetic pickup as well as the piezo so you could move the tone more toward electric if you wanted. I'll have to do that mod as well. I'd love to get this where I can actually take it out and play it so I can get a handle on what you really want and what is useful in this kind of bass. I really think it has great possibilities!

    Once I get to try it and figure out what you really want in this sort of thing, maybe I'll consider getting a custom made decent version.
  6. thehorse


    Feb 5, 2012
    Milan, IT
    Thanks everybody, itdefinitely wasn't a guitarron, more likely a contrabass guitar of sorts.
    Bassbenj I like this instrument! It would be a pain to ship it to italy, but I think I would risk it if it really is this good. I don't care about the piezo, i eould probably fit a magnetic pickup as you suggested. I was also thinking of tuning it EADGBE just like a bassVI so the lowB wouldn't be aproblem. What I'm concerned about is the building quality: is it junk or is it ok? And what about the sound projection? I lnow it's no Kinal, but i would like some nice acoustic tone.

    And about the road toad strings, are those the Ubass strings? How do they sound on an acoustic long scale instrument?
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  8. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    It's yes and no! When I got it the wood had nice grain but was all fuzzy feeling. So I rubbed it down with steel wool and then with minwax tung oil finish. It really looks like a million now. It's got binding work all over the place which was done rather decently so there is a lot of nice work in this thing. Tuners were a mess when I got it. Nylon spacer washers began to break and some tuning posts were long and some short (sort of at random). So I got a used set of gold colored tuners from Rondo music for a song. This really looks like something now.

    A more serious issue was the high action. I lowered the saddle and tried to tighten the truss rod. Helped some but I came to the limit of what that could do...which is playable but certainly not boutique! I really sort of like it. Very unusual to have a fretless 6er ABG. Like I said seemed like some decent raw materials to make a real instrument from, but certainly not perfect out of the box.
  9. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Bassbenj.......are these basses still available?
  10. thehorse


    Feb 5, 2012
    Milan, IT
    Man, that sure took a lot of work. But I am really interested, I'll look into it. Luckily they ship to italy, and it would come so cheap that I could even consider blowing another hundred euros on mods. Now, to choose between this and a 1/4 romanian DB... man that's tough!