Ashbory Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lbanks, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    dude, those are crap. i don't care what everyone says. they are fretless small little things that feel like a Fischer-Price "Beginnin Bass Dude" Toy. don't even think about it man.
  2. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Ashbory + Korg Pandora + earphones = travel practicing goodness :cool:
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    THey sound like crap, they are too tiny.

    I prefer a hohner steinberger headless as "travel practicing goodness". I just need a mini amp now.
  4. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
  5. *shrug*

    The strings are made out of Fake Boob material though:p

  6. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Well if you get bored you can always squeeze your strings:meh:
  7. HAHA

    good one dude:)

    I'd get one of they were like 2 bucks...but they were more then my 34 inch scale bass!:eek:
  8. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    They aren't "toys," and they aren't "crap."

    You simply have to know what you are doing. I've had one fora bout 2 years now, and it sees quite a bit of playing time at both blues and jazz gigs. I don't see it working for Mudvayne, or RHCP covers...

    Since it has a piezo in the bridge, you need something to buffer the output into an amp for optimum tone. I use a Fishman Pro Platinum II EQ, and it sounds absolutely amazing.

    As for the size, it is what it is. In the middle of a 3 hour gig, it certainly is nice to pull out the Ashbory for the middle set. It's both a back, and a hand saver.


    It's a legitimate bass with a legitimate use. They certainly aren't for everyone, though.

    I'm almost finished setting everything back up after my move. I'll post some sound clips of mine soon.
  9. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I agree. That's why I put up the url in an earlier post. So people can learn. I wish I had one. I hear they have a very upright like tone. True?
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I finally got to play one back in March, after years of wanting to try them out. I have to say that I wasn't blown away by it - especially when I was told that the strings are quite prone to snapping.

    It's dropped from my wish list to my wouldn't turn down if offered for free list... but YMMV. Reserve judgement until you get to try one.

  11. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I owned one for awhile and I can say that they are definitely not crap.

    The tone is unique and VERY fat - with an almost synth-like sound when tapping.

    Still, after the initial honeymoon, I found it wasn't as versatile as I would have liked. Also, I found there were intonation problems (the notes weren't always where the lines were) and the high strings were breaking almost every month, which was a hassle since almost nobody carries them here.

    Upright-like tone? Well, sort of. It can do a pretty good impression of a cheap electric upright, but it's more of its own sound than anything.

    I eventually traded mine for a nice fretless P - so I'm not complaining!
  12. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I had a jazz pianist at a gig tell me that he liked the sound of my Ashbory more than most of the basses he'd heard. It would never be confused for an upright, but it sits in a mix much the same way.

    As for the strings snapping, I've had 2 strings break in two years. And, one of them was the original string that came with the instrument. Since I've started detuning the g string when I'm not using it, I haven't had any problems.

    Once again, if you know what you are doing, and don't expect something from it that it can't do, then you will enjoy it. I love mine.

    It's not a bass that you can pick up and play with the same technique as a normal 34" scale bass. I mean--it's got rubber strings and an 18" scale. Why would you think it could be played the same way? After getting used to the shortness of it (easier than you'd think), I've gotten to the point where I can slap on it (interesting sound), and I even use a felt mandolin pick from time to time, too.

    Besides--who else can do a 9 fret stretch on one string? That's what I thought.... :bassist:
  13. If Tony Levin plays one, it's not crap.
  14. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I had one for almost two years and sold it due to changing playing habits, paring down my gear, etc.

    Definitely a player... worked well for Blues, Jazz, and I probably would have kept it had I known that I'd be in a country band within a few months of selling...

    The sound was huge. Took a bit of getting used to, but after some 'shed time, it was a joy to play. I used it in band settings and played two community theater shows on it all to good effect. I'll probably be getting another one someday.. The strings can be hard to come by, (especially the 'g' as it is most prone to snapping)

  15. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    i saw one at GC, and i just couldn't stand it IMHO. it just felt like a toy to me, and i didn't think it sounded good at all (once again IMO) but hey, YMMV.
  16. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I will eventually get one of these when I find my deal.

    They are not toys, but they are pretty specialized. The late DeArmonds are regarded as the best of the various Ashbory incarnations. Most people I know who use these use them for recording jazz to fake an upright sound - with varying degrees of success.

    My biggest concern is the problem with the string failure and supply. The G will simply snap in storage and there is no guarantee that Fender (DeArmond was a FMIC company) will still keep marketing the strings.

    Tuning down the strings when in storage does seem to extend the life, though, as has been pointed out.

    Elsewhere, I have seen the suggestion made to find the original industrial source for the extruded silicone that is repackaged as Ashbory strings and just buy the stuff by the foot to save time and money.

    I don't know if anyone's located the source, though.
  17. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I've owned one for awhile. It was nice when i just had the Jazz Bass and the ashbory. I could keep the jazz setup w/rounds for a rock sound and then the ashbory for quasi-upright stuff. Once i learned how to play upright it eliminated the need for me to have it. Now i use it an effects bass, you can do some pretty interesting things on them. The sound is unique and can fit really well. The look is a bit of a distraction for some though. That's all
  18. I'll agree with you guys when it comes to saying that it feels and looks like a toy... but it packs a hahaha. it's got a nice fat sound and its a cool way to practice two handed tapping and stuff like that. I don't use it as a main bass, but it's definitely one of those axes in people's collections with a unique sound.

    When I play it, I use a Boss Overdrive pedal to boost the gain and level, as well as the low end, but don't fuzz it. The tone can come in handy. I've jammed with friends to it, it looks funny but it can do some serious stuff. Don't be able to slap or anything.

    I had bought it at first to use as a travel bass, but I found the strings to be too unreliable, especially when it came to keeping it in tune. For a travel bass, I'd rather have a Steinie or something with that practical travel size.

    The Ashbury isn't a high end bass or even really anything like a traditional bass, and to me, it's a unique form of the bass guitar.
  19. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements

    I have an as-new black one on the way with a few G-less sets of new strings plus a full set, that I bought for $180, delivered.

    The G string is sold in bulk for $13, shipped, per meter from Mike Tavener. This is enough for three G strings. He takes PayPal and both the guy and the strings get very good reviews from those who have ordered them. Mike's string seems to outlast the original Fender G by a substantial margin and sounds at least as good.