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de Armond ashbory basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wdsabs, Jan 6, 2002.


  1. wdsabs

    wdsabs

    Jan 6, 2002
    I'm looking for feedback from anyone who is using / has used a Guild or De Armond ashbory bass (the one w/ the 18' scale)
    Comments Re: the initial learning curve, pitch consistency of scale, tone quality as related to acoustic bass??
     
  2. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I've been playing mine for nearly a year and still dig it. As far as tone, I like mine with the bass dimed and the treble rolled almost all the way off. Passable upright tone, with a fairly quick decay, but still not as quick as an upright. I sometimes play in a modified 'palm-mute' mode, but you have to be careful not to kill the note too quickly.

    As far as learning to play it... Not too difficult if you're familiar with fretless technique... rolling into a note, for instance. The strings make slides and glisses nearly impossible, (for me anyway!). My intonation is pretty decent up into the ninth 'fret', (E on the G string). I remember reading somewhere about using a modified 'violin' fingering up above that, using two fingers of the left hand, and have had some success, but to tell the truth, 95% of the stuff I find the Ashbory suitable for is lower register anyway...

    Bottom line, IMO anyway, is that the Ashbory looks quite unique, gets a few grins and giggles when it's first pulled out which can be quickly quelled by kicking into a tune, and works extremely well within limited parameters. If you truly want to sound like an upright, well... there ain't no substitute for the real thing. If you only need the tone on a few songs a night, then the Ashbory may be just the ticket.

    HTH,
    -robert
     
  3. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    By the way... Welcome to TalkBass!!

    -robert
     
  4. MJB

    MJB

    Mar 17, 2000
    "The strings make slides and glisses nearly impossible..."

    Talcum powder is the standard cure for that.
     
  5. KB

    KB

    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I had one for a little over a year and just sold it. It was fun to play, but it was kind of a novelty. Talcum powder really does help withthe strings, but it can get messy. It can get a close approximation to upright sound, but it is a little different. It only sounds good up to about the 9th fret then beyond that it gets a little "rubber bandy" sounding. I just found that I didn't play mine that much as compared to my other basses and that I wanted more punch (and needed the money) so I sold it this past weekend.
    I recommend trying one before you buy if possible to make sure it is what you like. It is fairly easy to adapt to playing it though.

    -KB
     
  6. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I use talcum powder, and while it definitely helps with the strings' gumminess as far as picking and fingering, it just doesn't do much for sliding and glissing. From my view, this is due to the fact that the strings actually compress slightly when playing. Your mileage may vary...

    -robert
     
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've loved mine since I got it. It only took about an hour to be truly comfortable playing it. I've taken it to a couple of gigs, and it sounds great. Works well with blues, but the most fun was when we broke out "Mr PC" or "All Blues." It sounded great, and the piano player couldn't believe the sound I was getting out of the little thing. No problem soloing during either tune, but there were 2, or 3 bum notes.

    Honestly, it wasn't nearly as difficult to get up to speed on it as I thought it would be. Maybe I was just lucky.
     
  8. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer

    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Does anyone with one have any sound clips they can post of what it sounds like?
     
  9. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'll see what I can do when I get home.
     
  10. is that an Ashbory bass on the closing track "Boogie man" on Aerosmith's Get a grip album?
    Tom Hamilton was listed as an endorser in Ashbory ads, and it sounds like some weird rubbery fretless played with a pick.
     
  11. wdsabs

    wdsabs

    Jan 6, 2002
    Thank you all for the comments.... from trying one in the store, I agree about the fel of the strings. I play primarily stand-up accoustic (Mostly big band / jazz) my thought was to possibly use it as an option for combo work, etc to save some wear & tear on the back. any other thoughts??

    w.
     
  12. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    I bought an ashbory as a 2nd bass to my jazz. [now have 3 and lookin at a 4th]. The Ashbory to me works great for quasi upright stuff where you need close but not neccesarily upright tones-power ballads, slower stuff. Talcum powder has helped me with playability-just be careful if you switch to another bass-it can get into the strings and feel kinda weird. Overall i like it as a novelty-it got me to look at steinbergers just for a small, weird lookin bass. Now i use my jazz w/flats for upright stuff unless if i wanna go extreme and use the ash. thats all-try before you buy if you can.

    btw-i got moon blue.
     
  13. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    It'll definitely do that... The thing weighs like two pounds. After replying to this thread, I've been playing my Ash quite a bit... It's been a little while, and I'd forgotten just how much fun it was. I'm thinkin' that it may even make a cameo appearance at this weekend's gig!

    A little hint of getting the talc off when switching basses... keep some rubbing alcohol handy, and pour a wee amount into you hands. Rub 'em together and viola! Instant clean, dry hands...

    -robert
     
  14. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Bass NW has a red one, used, for $199. Not a bad price at all...
     
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Musician's Friend has had a blem black one for several weeks, in the December SPAM they had it for $194.99, I think that it is currently $224.99.
     
  16. Just picked one up for myself, along with a ToneWorks PX3B to practice on the road.

    With that in mind, has anyone experienced any problems recently with airlines, carrying on their Ashbory? I'll have the PX3B so "proving" that it's a functional instrument to security won't be an issue. It also just barely fits the 3D diagonal dimension limit of the larger carry-on so I should be ok...
     
  17. Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Joshua Pickenpaugh Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2001
    The Midwest of USA
    The porblem that I have occuring with my Ash' is tuning. Do you guys tune to EADG or an alternate tuning? When I tune up to EADG the strings get real taught and, more often than not, break.
     
  18. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've had no problem tuning the bass to standard tuning. When I got the bass, the guy I bought it from had the E string around the tuning peg the wrong way. After I fixed that, it was smooth sailing.
     
  19. How quickly do they break? I've tuned mine up to pitch, following the instructions here:

    http://www.algonet.se/~ashbory/tech/restringing.html

    ...but that was only last night. A little extra technique that I used was to gently stretch the string towards the tuners as I was tuning it, that way the short piece didn't stretch too quickly.

    Also, check for spurs at all points where the strings come in contact with the bass body. It could be that something is slicing the rubber.
     
  20. Just a little update. Ashbory travels like a charm! No problems taking it as carry-on onto the plane. It fit nicely above/on top of my max-size wheeled carry-on in the overhead compartment.

    Had a change to jam with a coworker who brought along his travel guitar.