1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Baby Bass megathread

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by nil, May 2, 2001.


  1. Fast Freddie

    Fast Freddie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Florida
    Not true that it cant be fixed. Little back story, back in the 80's I did a late gig in NYC in the winter season. Older apts in NYC used steam heat released from a radiator. I got home about 5:00AM and parked my Ampeg unwittingly leaning up against the radiator. Next day I discovered the damage. By the neck adjustment area and the right side of the body the Uvex opened up about three inches. Kept it like that for several years and when I relocated to Miami, Florida I did some restoration work. There's this stuff called Marine Tex epoxy used on fiberglass and many other types of material in the boating industry. Easy to work with and solid on Uvex. It worked great and almost impossible to detect. Many a compliment as to the condition of my instrument. Try it...if you can locate it in Canada. The only thing I cant stand about my Ampeg is the stench. That is a classic method in ID'ing the real thing. Uvex never really cures. It stinks forever. https://www.amazon.com/Marine-Tex-W...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07NYBKN51
     
    65AmpegBB4 likes this.
  2. 65AmpegBB4

    65AmpegBB4

    Apr 26, 2019
    Florida
    This is great news and the first time I hear of anything that works on uvex - it provides a level of mental peace regarding the future of my instrument :) ... though I will continue to care for it in a preventative way.

    By the way, do you know of anyone in Miami who performs setups on baby basses? I live in WPB and haven't found much around here, except Kevin Kaufman, who is rather difficult to get in touch with. Ever since acquiring my bass, all I've done is install new strings.

    Thanks.
     
  3. Fast Freddie

    Fast Freddie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Florida
    I never ever needed any repairs in Miami for my Ampeg. Did some work but I shipped it out to Steve Azola in Cali back in the 90's, (he was the only guy authorized by Ampeg on their last ABB effort). The guy was a god.

    Anyway there are so many clone designers now-a-days, (and with probably better design techniques on the electronics). Only thing they don't have is the reputation which stands to be tested over time. Puerto Rico has about the best enduring recognition. Guys like Accesories – Ray Ramírez Basses.

    But he aint cheap. But if you have an authentic ABB, that don't really matter does it...LOL!
     
    mikedfather and 65AmpegBB4 like this.
  4. 65AmpegBB4

    65AmpegBB4

    Apr 26, 2019
    Florida
    Thanks! I was just inquiring in case I ever need work on my bass. Thankfully it’s in excellent condition (knock on wood) and everything works flawlessly, but one never knows ... it can be as fragile as it is special.

    Yes, I’ve heard of Azola and have seen his products from the 90’s...unfortunately he’s no longer in business. I contacted Bruce Johnson (another god in the luthier world) who happens to be good friends with Steve and who told me the story as to how they used to work together back in the day. Bruce is also a phenomenal guy, full of knowledge and has created some amazing stuff for the ABB, including new necks, bridges, etc. Kevin Kaufman (local to me) is also well known, but apparently extremely busy and nearly impossible to reach these days. As you mentioned, Ray Ramirez is also a great resource - I’ve purchased a few accessories and strings from him in the past, and had a few phone conversations with him. I guess if I ever must, I can resort to shipping the instrument to one of these legends. Post up some pics of your bb; I never get tired of seeing them, even though mine is standing in front of me as I type this. :)
     
  5. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    I've been considering getting some work done on my BB. When I adjust the neck angle, I get action that is too low on the G but still too high on the E. It would be nice to be able to adjust the side-to-side angle, but I'm guessing what this needs is fingerboard dressing?
     
    Fast Freddie likes this.
  6. 65AmpegBB4

    65AmpegBB4

    Apr 26, 2019
    Florida
    You're most likely correct - it also doesn't help that the baby bass has a Romberg Beveled fingerboard - which makes the difference in action more noticeable.
     
    farace likes this.
  7. Koolfool

    Koolfool

    Nov 27, 2014
     
  8. Koolfool

    Koolfool

    Nov 27, 2014
    I bought a M.O.G. Baby Bass at the end of last year. It was shipped from Colombia at the beginning of January 2020. It came with the neck, bridge, bridge guard, tail piece, strings disassembled. It came in a homemade wood crate and a gig bag. Nevertheless there were problems.

    There was a long crack in the lacquer from the pickup to the bottom of the Bass where the end piece is. There were also dents and Nick's in the body. The tone Potentiometer was completely broken off. When I told Mauricio Andres Ortega, the luthier about these problems, he blamed it on customs. He told me how to open up the pickup and solder the Potentiometer back on. I told him that I am a musician and not an instrument tech.

    I brought the Bass to Dylan, the instrument tech at Guitar Center in Brooklyn, and he charged me $80. Dylan told me that the strings on the Bass were old, and that the G string had broken when he installed the Potentiometer. So I contacted Sam at Golliher Bass in Jersey, and he sent me a Super Flexible Solo Thomastik Infeld E string to install on the G space (something about string tension.) This cost me another $43. I paid $1600 for the bass. Paid another $123 getting the Bass repaired.

    All that being said, the bass plays like a dream. It's not made of fiberglass like the Ampeg Baby Basses but of real wood, so it's heavy as poopie. There is no "thump" factor like with the Ampegs. Despite the nightmare of delivery, I am satisfied with my choice. M.O.G. has to figure out how deliver a product undamaged.
     
    mikedfather likes this.
  9. Koolfool

    Koolfool

    Nov 27, 2014
    I
     
  10. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    In trying to get the action down on my '68 Baby Bass, I've found the G string is much lower than the other three. I can tilt the neck to where the G is nearly laying on the fingerboard while the others are still fairly high. This is with the stock aluminum bridge. Now, if this was a wooden bridge, I'd cut the slots deeper for the other strings and then adjust the tilt accordingly. I'm very hesitant to make an irreversible mod to the stock bridge, though.

    I put a thin nut between the treble foot of the bridge as a temporary experiment, and it helped, but I'd like a proper solution.

    I'm looking for ideas. I've thought about possibly building up the G string slot, but with what? I could go back to the home brew and somewhat crude (not quarter sawn) maple bridge I once made. Or I have a vague recollection of coming across someone who made reproduction aluminum bridges. I'd be more inclined to modify the profile on a repro, if need be.

    Thoughts? Thanks!
     
  11. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Are the discs that the bridge feet sit on level with each other, or is the G string side lower?
    Does the G string sit much lower in the bridge slot?
    Is the neck twisted or the fingerboard warped?
    Photos would help.
     
  12. Fast Freddie

    Fast Freddie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Florida
    Sounds like you need a Luthier. From what I can remember the finger board and bridge should be set-up together as a match. IMO that's the best solution. Unless you have a workshop with a great inventory of power tools then I'd go for fixing this problem. But honestly at home with standard tools you don't stand a chance of ever getting it right.
     

  13. Bad start, but good you got it going.....What is the "thump" factor ? Too much punch ?
     
  14. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    The disks are level. I'll try to get images later. Still getting used to working from home, and there are wrinkles to work out!
     
  15. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    This could well be the case. Of course, in this time of social distancing, any visit to a luthier will be necessarily postponed to the future. In the meantime I can examine it more closely and hopefully at least identify what's going on.
     
  16. 65AmpegBB4

    65AmpegBB4

    Apr 26, 2019
    Florida
    Have you tried experimenting with lower-tension strings to compensate for the high action? It may not get you to where you need to be, but it will be easier on your fingers.

    An example of this would be to opt for, say, solo strings tuned to orchestra (such as the famous Thomastik Spiricore Solos). To further capitalize on the lower tension effect, you could opt for the full size string set (which is typically what’s available anyway), which will yield lower tension when tuned.

    Just a thought!
     
  17. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    The problem isn't so much high action as it is the G being so much lower than the other three strings, so that when the neck is tilted to adjust the action, the G is extremely low when the other three are still high. But as suggested by others above, I really need to take a look at whether the neck and/or fingerboard have warped or twisted. I won't be able to give this a really close look right away, but will report when I do.
     
    65AmpegBB4 likes this.
  18. Koolfool

    Koolfool

    Nov 27, 2014
    Like I said. No "Thump." Plays like a dream. Like an electric upright.
     
  19. 65AmpegBB4

    65AmpegBB4

    Apr 26, 2019
    Florida
    Call me crazy but I actually like the thump...it’s the reason many of us pursue the baby bass - it’s very characteristic of the instrument particularly for Latin music.
     
    mikedfather likes this.
  20. Fast Freddie

    Fast Freddie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Florida
    Naw you're not crazy. That's what an Ampeg Baby Bass is..... "the thump", (sounds like the slap on a conga drum). Without it, it's just an ordinary EUB. I've seen many of those and heard what they sound like and in my opinion they sound....meh. I think most don't have any aesthetic value either, (especially the stick looking ones). Just my opinion....
     
    mikedfather and 65AmpegBB4 like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 8, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.