Looking for Advice on Ashbory Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mattzink, Jun 22, 2002.

  1. mattzink


    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I'm looking for a cheaper, smaller bass to take with me on vactions so my main bass ('78 Musicman Sting Ray) doesn't get dinged up or trashed. I am considering and have priced some Ashbory basses. These are the really small basses that look like dog bones. They have rubber strings and have built up quite a following because this tiny bass produces a large, incredibly "upright like" sound. (check this link for more info or to refresh you memory: http://www.ashbory.com/)

    This is why it seems like a good buy: it's cheap, sounds decent, and portable.

    Here is my question: I've heard that because the strings are rubber, this bass is difficult to keep in tune. Is this true? Can anyone offer advice on whether or not i should buy an Ashbory bass? (I'd just go out and try one, but none of the local music shops have one to try.) I'd appreciate any input, esp. from those who've played/owned an Ashbory Bass. Thanks, Matt
  2. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I tried one out at a store, and I thought it sounded pretty close to an upright bass, close but not exactly like one. It did sound closer to a true upright than say a Fender bass with black nylon tape strings.

    The short scale, however, was a turnoff to me. The note spacing is so close together in the upper registers of the neck that it's somewhat impractical to play, IMHO. especially if you have big hands.

    If you don't mind this drawback, go for it. It's kind of a novelty, and it does have a nice tone.
  3. Duke of Prunes

    Duke of Prunes Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Southborough, MA
  4. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I've got an ashbory. it gets close to the upright tone but isn't the real thing, i've pretty much retired it since i started playing double bass. It's a decent small/travel bass. I'd see if the store would order one so that you could try or try and find someone who'd let you play theirs before spending the money on one. Thats all
  5. i have one but use it only when all other options are impracticle. it's the only bass that i know of that you could play while on a plane but going from an extended range sixer to a limited range four that is only playable for about half of the fretboard. if you do get make sure you have some baby powder for your fangers or otherwise it's a real pain to play.
  6. some guy#2

    some guy#2

    Feb 3, 2001
    Hi mattzink, I'm ashplyr over at the Fender Forum www.fenderforum.com
    so as you may well guess I am an Ashbory owner!

    It is a fine instrument with an impressive sound no doubt.
    Its extremely short scale (18") does lend itself to simple playing (read below the 12th fret) BUT that does not mean that more complex things cannot be played on it.
    Playing it, in fact, has helped my technique on a standard sized bass...
    It can be played with or without (DEPENDING on your skin & sweating factors) baby/talcum powder.
    A light dusting will suffice.
    I just dip my fingers into a perscription cannister I've 1/3 filled w/ baby powder then replace lid, throw into gig bag!

    REGARDING YOUR QUESTION; is it difficult to keep in tune?
    Yes & no. When the strings are new they do fall out of pitch a great deal until...well, they have been stretched out a bit!
    This dosen't take too long, maybe a few days to a week or so. After that it is stable enough to play at a gig with just minor tweeking: the G being the most in need of tweeking.
    Once the strings have been on a bit, it really only poses a very minor "problem" if it could indeed be considered one at all. Please do not let this aspect of the Ashbory scare you away.

    As for your intended use, it is fantastic!
    I've been known to throw my little 1/64 stack Marshall into a bag slung over my shoulder, plug in the Ashbory & some headphones (I'm a KOSS man) & go just about anywhere. It is very nice when the weather is nice!!!
    (silly me, I've not tried pluging in directly & as it's active, no "amp" whatsoever may be needed)
    It does not sound "decent"...
    The SOUND is simply AWESOME!

    Should you have any further questions feel free to email or PM me.

    I, in fact, may be wanting to talk to you!

    At any rate, any bass/bass player is alright by me!