Another Ashbory Question.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by funk_engineer, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. For two and a half months every summer, I travel on a bus. I just got my first bass in November, so I don't want to stop playing for that time. So obviously the Ashbory has occurred to me, as other basses are far too big to work for this. I've never played fretless, but I do have a decent sense of pitch from being a trombonist, and I'll have my trusty chromatic tuner to guide me. But basically, I'm wondering a few things:

    -Those silicone strings- how long do they last? Will they be adversely affected by the summer heat?

    -I'll be running this through some sort of headphone amp. How loud is this thing unplugged compared to other basses? I won't be playing late at night when people are sleeping, but of course don't want to annoy the other passengers too much.

    -As far as keeping my chops up, I realize this will feel completely different in every concievable way from my Fender Jazz, but is it better than nothing?

    -If I play for half an hour everyday, how long will a battery last?

    -Does anyone make a hardcase for it? Is it bulky?

  2. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    The ashbory IMO is useless except when you need an uprightish sound in a tiny small package. I've used it with a pair of headphones plugged directly into it [the headphones had a volume knob]. Unless if you're sure you could use the ashbory tone i'd look into a steinberger @ for a small bass not sure how big they are comparably but they have frets and you can string em with rounds or flats not just silicone. thats all
  3. I looked at the Steinberger, but isn't it quite a bit bigger than the Ashbory? The site lists it as 38 inches overall, which may be way too much. I don't know the exact measurement of the Ashbory's overall length, but with a scale of 18 inches instead of 34, I'm guessing it's a whole lot shorter.

    I'm not going to be gigging here, so the fact that the Ashbory sounds different than most bass guitars is not much of a concern to me. I just want to practice.
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Wow... different opinion here... I use the Ashbory with a headphone amp for quiet practice all the time. Yeah, it's different and takes some getting used to... Totally different feel, so you may not equate it with electric bass techniques so much, but great for getting music down, practicing charts, etc.

    Acoustically, it is next to silent. Don't worry about annoying others...

    The strings never get any deader than the day you put them on, (they can't as they start off dead! That's part of their vibe...), but I'd bring a couple extra sets. I've read of others breaking them. They can be had from for $10.50 a set.

    For keeping chops up, as well as learning new music, it is not only better than nothing, it may force you to concentrate on your playing more, making new things sink in better, IME

    Not bulky, (30" overall), and the case it comes with is adequate. Buy yourself a small jar of Gerbers Baby food, wash the jar thoroughly and fill it with talcum powder. Talc help the strings feel less sticky, and you can keep this right in the gig bag. Also a small paint brush, (1-1/2" bristle width), fits in the bag's pocket and is useful for cleaning off the excess powder.

    I play mine quite a bit and have had it for just about a year. I've changed the battery once, but I can't really give an estimate on battery life. Bring a couple of spares and you should be all set.

    I originally bought mine as a bit of a lark, but after playing with it a bit, it worked it's way into my 'arsenal' and is holding it's own. FJC's right about the upright tone... fairly convincing... The scale length makes it close to useless up past the twelfth 'fret' and I find slides are hard for me, but I've used it on gigs, blues jams, and in community theater with no problems. I won't be getting rid of mine!