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My new ABG has arrived.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DaveBeny, Mar 10, 2005.


  1. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Just received this afternoon.

    It's a Crafter BA-400EQ - a Korean-built brand. Their acoustic guitars are making a good name for themselves, but their basses are pretty rare. Jonas Hellborg has been using this model (although he has modified his). I believe they come out of the same factory that builds the Ibanez and Dean acoustics.

    It sounds very good unplugged. I am still working on getting a good amplified sound - the onboard EQ seems versatile, but the bass has come with filthy bronze strings that will be changed ASAP.

    Bought it used from ebay for next to nothing. Here's the seller's pics (I will take some of my own soon).
     
  2. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    Looks nice! :cool: I am GASsing for an ABG really bad right now! Sound clips?
     
  3. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    nice David!

    What's the scale?
     
  4. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I put Labella nylon-tape wound strings on my Ibanez ABG 5 this week. I think they are the way to go.
     
  5. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    J-Raj: the bass is 32" scale. String tension is good and harmonics still ring clear.

    John: no sound clips at the moment - I don't have the know-how. I am hoping to take some lessons with urb_munki soon, so will hopefully be able to get something recorded with him.

    Lpdeluxe: I'm considering TI acoustic strings, or even perhaps my regular set of La Bella Deep Talkin' roundwounds.
     
  6. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    The Ibanez is 32" also.
     
  7. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    David,

    Is it possible not to use Brozes and just use regular bass strings on an ABG?
     
  8. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    It is indeed. There have been a couple of threads about using regular bass strings on an ABG.

    I've just ordered a set of Thomastik acoustic bass strings, which are a bronze wrapping over a nylon core. The only issue with using regular strings is that as the bass only has a piezo system, some types/brands of string are going to produce more fret/finger noise than others. Unlike many other ABG users here on Talkbass, I'm not interested in getting a double-bass type sound - I want an ABG to sound like a low-pitched guitar, so I intend to try a range of electric bass strings in the future.
     
  9. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    oh, ok... so, with steels and nickels on a piezo (you can tell I haven't owned a piezo'd bass for a while) p/up'd bass, you can hear more finger noise than Bronze?

    On my acoustic guitars, the bronze strings turn to p00p real darn fast... So I have always stayed away from them.

    I hear you about wanting the ABG to sound more like a guitar (clarity wise), just an octave down. I really would like to find an affordable 5'er with a cutaway, fishman/lr baggs and tune it E-C.... Does Dave Maize still make ABG's?
     
  10. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Well, bronze, steel and nickels are all going to give off fingernoise with piezos - the bronzes that came on this bass pick up every unwanted noise (when amplified). I think the trick is to find a string that strikes the balance between clarity and "noise" that's right for you. Judging by previous threads, people have found most success with stainlesss steel flatwounds and tapewound/wrapped strings.

    The nylon core of the Thomastik acoustic strings will hopefully counteract the 'clankiness' of the bronze windings, giving it warmth but also clarity.

    Crafter make a nice 5-string (although with their own brand of electronics) - I missed out on one on ebay a couple of weeks ago (I too would have strung it E-C). Check www.crafterguitars.com - I'm not sure what their US distribution is like. If you do a search for a recent thread called 'What make is Jonas Hellborg's ABG?' you can find out a bit more about that bass.

    In the US, you have Michael Kelly guitars, which appear to give you a lot for your money.

    Regards,
    DB
     
  11. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Thanks DB,

    I always thought Jonas played a Wechter... which is TOTALLY outside my price range.

    Tax returns are coming back and I was thinking about a 34 inch ABG 5'er... I played a Michael Kelly 4 stringer that was turned in at a GC for a used trade-in... :meh: Not worth it IMO.

    Those Tacomas aren't bad... a little higher in price, wonder if they make a 5'er....

    Well I'm hopping on Crafter's site to check them out....
     
  12. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    The reason I tried the nylon flatwounds was that, with the Ibanez, while the guitar-sized body is too small to amplify real bass notes (I bought it to use with an amp), it amplifies finger squeaks and noise really well. I wasn't trying for a standup bass sound (although that would be fun to play with, no doubt) but I wanted a deep bass without a lot of distracting noise. I realize it may be my technique, or lack of it, but it's an easy answer to the problem of the large windings on the brass strings that came with the bass. If I wanted an acoustic bass, I guess I'd have to spring for a Tacoma, but I really bought this Ibanez for 2 reasons: so it wouldn't look as out of place when I gig with "folkies" (as I frequently do) compared to my Carvin solidbody, and to get that low B string. With the piezo, the material the string is made of doesn't matter so much. They seem to be perfectly smooth, by the way, which is a weird feeling!
     
  13. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    As a well-known Hellborg nut, I can fill you in!

    Jonas has a number of acoustic basses:
    - The Wechter (now modified to hold six strings: EADGBE)
    - A Crafter BA-400EQ (with the preamp swapped out for a 3-band Fishman unit and a magnetic pickup added by the bridge) - the bass can be seen in the 'Paris' concert DVD. It was subsequently modified to a six-string EADGBE setup.
    - A 5-string Crafter ABG, tuned EADGC, which again has now been converted to EADGBE)

    As you can imagine, the above basses have TIGHT string spacing. I have seen recent pics showing JH with a 6-string ABG with more conventional string spacing - builder unknown.


    Wechter now offer an acoustic bass guitar as part of their range - an electronics-equipped model will set you back $3000 (+ options).