NBD: Hadean Uke Bass; Cool Bass, Intonation sucks... Not anymore.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by moonshinegtrs, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    A couple of years ago I bought a Hadean Uke Bass from Rondo. It was the 20" scale and it had a nice flame maple (laminated) body that was covered in a translucent bright yellow :wideyed: finish . Cool little bass, I played it off and on put black pahoehoe strings (at least I think that's what they are... Every pic I see of them they appear looking like the lava they are named after. Mine are shiny... Any ideas?).

    This year I started playing it more and more and now I am in a couple of acoustic/electric projects playing resonator, ABG, upright and the Uke bass. The U bass is fun to play, I'm finally learning to soften my touch when playing it. The one thing I didn't like was the extremely short scale; the bass was just too freakin' tiny... As mentioned several times in other posts, I'm not little. Playing the U bass just felt funny (I somewhat play mandolin too and it's not the same) and the bright yellow finish made it look even more like a toy (it isn't).

    I also have one of Rondo's solid body U basses, a 23" (actually closer to 24") scale model and it feels more comfortable to play. I have Kala steel U bass strings on it and it sounds more like a electric bass than an upright (due to the strings).

    I decided to sell the yellow U bass and order a 23" scale model; they were available with walnut or zebrawood (laminated) bodies. I went with the walnut.

    Hadean Bass Uke UKB-23-33 Long Scale - RondoMusic.com

    When it arrived I have to admit it surprised me; I didn't even think about it being so much physically bigger, not that was a bad thing. I had previously found a set of the same black strings (barely used on Reverb for $10!) and I immediately put them on. Right off the bass felt good and the scale length made it much more easier to play. The neck was slightly overbowed but an adjustment at the truss rod took care of that. Still the action was too low for my personal taste so I tried putting a shim under the saddle/pickup but it raised the saddle up to the point that it leaned towards the neck under pressure from the string tension. To top it off, the longer scale made it easier to play up the neck which brought up how much the intonation was off. For the bass to be playable I would to do some modifications, specifically raising the string height and correcting the intonation issues.

    I really wanted to use this bass live but it wasn't possible until I took care of the issues. Time is limited due to builds in process and a cleanup taking place in my shop due to some water damage. Time for a quick bridge mod!

    Here is the bass unstrung and ready for surgery:

    Originally I had planned on removing the bridge the putting a 1/8" veneer under the bridge and re-gluing it but after thinking about it, I decided to fill the slot then glue a 1/8" veneer onto the top of the bridge saddle area and using it to route out the correctly intonated bridge saddle slot...

    This is what it looked like before routing the saddle slot (you can see the pencil line for the new saddle):

    Next I marked the width and length of the saddle off then I used a 3/16" brad point bit to remove material and a spiral cutter in a dremel with a router base to cut the slot; I screwed up and deleted the photos so you'll have to make do with before and after shots:

    Now the action is where I can dig in a little (I'm guessing .200" at the 12th fret) and the intonation is dead on or as close as you can with these strings. Lol.

    Moonshine :bassist:
  2. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    Outstanding job. Now that you've moved the bridge for better intonation, are you finding that the frets were properly placed for intonation up the neck as well? These things have a truss rod? (And BTW, did you see that Rondo now makes one with a built in USB recorder? LOL). I own a lefty Hadean UKB-22 and there isn't any truss rod. I also found that the frets were not accurate, so I pulled them to go fretless.
  3. filiosp


    May 11, 2020
    I know the thread is old but not many threads on this bass. :p

    Did you find the difference in playing acoustic significant or not? I was wondering if there's any chance it would work in really small venues. A.k.a playing music to 4-6 tables around you with a guitarist too.
    I was about to buy the regular uke bass, when I stumbled on a sale of this bass.
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