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!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Mini Bass is a Mystery Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pianolance, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. pianolance


    Feb 15, 2014
    Has anybody ever heard of a mini bass. It's a bass instrument that has a single tine that is plucked. The instrument is about the size of a box of wooden matches and has a single slider on it that changes the speaking length of the tine, thus changing the pitch. It has a plug for a guitar cord, and is made out of chrome and a bakelite type plastic. Looks like it was made in the 50's or 60's but I really have no idea. The bottom says Mini Bass, pat. pend, serial number is 159 and it comes in a little plastic case shaped like a guitar. It also has some other writing that I can't recall right at the moment. When played it roughly sounds like an upright bass. I picked it up at a pawn shop today for $20 and it's just so cool in a weird way. I'll post a picture of it later and give you the info on the rest of the writing on the bottom, but for now, anyone ever heard of something like this?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Sounds very neat, looking forward to pics.
  3. Never heard of this, looking fwd to pics
  4. pianolance


    Feb 15, 2014
    Here are the pics of this mini bass. You can't see in the photos but the serial number is 195. I'm new to this forum having been a bass player back in the 70's but since that time have been playing piano. I recently bought a Peavey Fury bass from a pawn shop and have really enjoyed getting back into some bass playing. Anyway, here's the pics. The thing is quite heavy for its size and seems to be very well engineered. I put it next to a pack of playing cards for scale. It's about 3.5 inches long.

  5. Twocanbassman


    Jan 31, 2014
    Wow - that's different. Can you post a vid or sound clips?
  6. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    That is very cool. I hope you can post some sound clips.
  7. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    What on earth is a mini bass?
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Very funny thing.
  9. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Looks like a toaster from the 1950s
  10. "Speedway Manufacturing Company Inc filed as a Domestic for Profit Corporation in the State of Florida and is no longer active. This corporate entity was filed approximately fifty-one years ago on Tuesday, October 08, 1963 as recorded in documents filed with Florida Department of State.

    Key People

    Carolyn Wood served as the President

    The registered agent for the company is Sylvan A. Wells. Also known as a statutory or resident agent, the registered agent is responsible for receiving legal notifications regarding court summons, lawsuits, and other legal actions involving the corporate entity."
  11. Love to hear how it sounds.
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I love it! Super neato.
  13. pianolance


    Feb 15, 2014
    I'll see if I can get some sound clips. It's a very unique sound but somewhat similar to an upright bass. Sort of an upright bass meets rubber band sound. This thing weighs in at about 1lb 8oz which is very heavy for its size.
  14. flatfender

    flatfender Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit Supporting Member

    "Breathtaking. I shall call it... Mini-Bass".
  15. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    It's a single-tine bass kalimba !
  16. pianolance


    Feb 15, 2014
    Here is a very short sound clip of the Mini Bass. Keep in mind that I just got the instrument yesterday so I am not exactly a virtuoso, and this recording is just straight into the recorder with a guitar cable. There are no effects or processing of any kind. It's definitely a slippy, slidey fun kind of instrument to play. Accuracy seems to improve quickly when you practice.

  17. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    After hearing that, all I can think of is, "Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy." :D
  18. pianolance


    Feb 15, 2014
    :bassist: Plunking -- Plunking!!!!
  19. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    "Hiya, kids. Hiya, Hiya, Hiya." ;)
  20. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    I love how it sounds like a bass, but not like a bass. Definitely unique, and completely unfamiliar to me, which is surprising, 'cuz I am pretty old.

    Cool score for sure.

    So, you play it with the slider for (fretting) and the white protrusion for striking the note? Or am I way off here...?