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Played a classical ABG today

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Richard Lindsey, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. It's this Spanish ABG that's essentially an overgrown classical guitar. The guy said the maker, or maybe the importer, was LaBella. LaBella actually makes strings especially for these things--nylon cores with metal wraps, like the bass strings on a regular classical. The scale is short, about 30", and IIRC there are 21 frets, with the 14th coming at the neck-body joint (rather than the 12th, as is usual for a classical). It comes in both a fretted and fretless (unlined) model.

    It actually sounds pretty good, if you don't have unrealistic expectations for volume. I think it would match well enough with a classical guitar, possibly even two, though the Gipsy Kings would drown it out.

    I'm pretty well set in the ABG department myself, but it occurred to me that some of you all might be interested in something like this.

    Anybody ever check one of these out?

    I'll see if I can locate a pic somewhere.
  2. -I think. An Aria, or maybe a Alvarez-Yairi. Sounds interesting, but I would really like to see a wide-spaced 6 or 7 string full-scale ABG. I've dabbled in designing one, but don't hold your beath waiting for me to actually build it. :rolleyes:
  3. Oh, I've got one of those already:


    I was just kind of interested in the sound of an instrument that took a "straighter" classical approach.
  4. What is it? How wide? What strings? How much? What kind of pickup/preamp(if any)? Would you like to trade a fretless Rebop 5 for it? ;) Is a dog's mouth cleaner than a human's? :meh:
  5. Mr_Soup


    Jul 14, 2005
    New Orleans
    Right on, Richard
  6. It was made by a partnership of two English guys, Jon Shuker, who mostly does electric basses, and Antonio Lamaq, who's primarily a classical guitar luthier. They've since parted ways amicably. I have a couple of Jon's solidbodies:


    but I don't even know where Antonio got to. Anyway, neither one of them makes these basses anymore AFAIK.

    The spacing is 18 mm at the bridge, but at the time I could have asked for 19 or 20 if I'd wanted to. The PU/preamp that came with it is a Headway system, but I've also added in a K&K passive system. The two are wired to a stereo jack, so I can use either or both. Right now I have T-I Jazz Flats on there, and that's what's worked best for me so far. I don't like the sound of bronzewound rounds on ABG, and regular nickel roundwounds didn't get me where I wanted to go. I may still try tapewounds one of these days, just to see what they're like.

    Sorry, I wouldn't consider any trades. I'd never find another one of these!;)

    But listen, I just remembered, I did hear about this guy named John McCombs who does 6 and 7 string ABGs. Somebody here had one and posted pics, must have been a couple of years back. I don't think McCombs has got a site, but you may be able to Google him up somewhere. One of his basses was reviewed at bgra.net.

  7. Thanks- I have heard of Shuker. I can't afford, much less justify, a custom ABG. Shoot, I can't really justify any of my sweet stuff, so I don't! But one CAN dream...
    That is a beautiful piece.
    BTW, I suppose the 'dog vs human' question depends upon which human as well as which dog we're discussing. :rolleyes:
  8. bassgeek


    Oct 19, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Richard, I've played the bass you mentioned at the start of this thread. For the price, it's really nice. It seems like a lot of people have gone in and played it, because it's sounding a little "duller" than it did 6 months ago when I first played it. I've been in there several times and asked to play it, I'm sure the salesman are getting sick of me. I don't have the bread to buy it or I would and I can't justify putting it all on credit...not yet. I contacted LaBella to try to get some more information about the bass. Apparently, these are the only two in existence. Here's what the guy from LaBella had to say:

    These basses were designed by Richard Cocco Jr. our President.
    > >They are both unusual in that ther crafted in the tradidional manner
    > >of the famous Artesanos of Espana.
    > >The techniques used in formulating these instruments were onein the
    > >same as developed over the centuries by the Spanish craftsmen.
    > >They both incorporate a double pickup system. On inside and the
    > >other at the bridge, in this way giving you a true bass tone.
    > >Umanov is basically the primary outlet for these instruments. These
    > >designs are most original.
    > >Robert A. Archigian
    > >Director of Sales
    > >La Bella Strings

    Did you get a chance to play either of these basses through an amp? I didn't. I told the salesman I'd like to hear the bass through my set-up. (Acoustic Image through Raezer's edge Bass 10).

    BTW, any soundclips of that sweet acoustic you have?
  9. No, I didn't get to play that classical ABG through an amp; woulda been interesting!

    As for soundclips of my Shuker, I used to have a couple, but I changed computers earlier this year and don't know if I still have them. Unfortunately, I don't have any place to host clips, though I could e-mail them to you if I find them.
  10. bassgeek


    Oct 19, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    I'll let you know how that thing sounds through an amp when I get over there again. If you happen to find the soundclips, pm me, but if it's a hassle, don't worry about it.