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Guest Jecklin

travel basses.... talk to me.

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Guest Jecklin

Hello All,

As it seems quite likely that my live set will require me to play bass guitar as well as contrabassoon it means I have to cart 2 instruments around with me as well as all the other gubbins ( totally excessive for 15 minutes of music, but that's my look out :) )

Initially I'm not too worried about this for London gigs etc, but with some dates I'd like to sort out in europe I need my gear to be as compact and transportable as possible. There isn't anything I can do about the contra' - my main instrument, so it looks like the bass would be the thing to shrink.

I've seen a few Prose basses around on threads here that tick boxes in terms of portability (and aesthetics), but wondered if anyone else has suggestions.
The Status streamliner is an obvious one, but way over budget - there isn't really a budget as such, but I'd like to see what's available at different price points. The cheaper the better really so long as false econonmy can be avoided.

I need 4 strings and frets and wouldn't really want to go too short in scale length. I need a bass that has a lot of harmonic content.

Anyone use a travel/ultra portable bass?

Thanks for any info and pointers etc

Thomas

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Hmmmm, tricky one, as my first thought as I was reading this
was "try a decent short scale bass"
I suppose you could try getting a really cheap bass, and trimming the body down a bit....

Sounds drastic, I know, but might pay off
There are a few slightly smaller bodied basses around too - like an old Westone,
which are fab instruments, and usually go cheap S/H

I've seen a couple of travel basses online, but they don't look much smaller than a bass guitar

I have a similar problem my self
but my own solution was to get a David Gage Czech Ease DB
I was so lucky to get one S/H on here, and am ever greatful to greg for selling it to me

Don't know if you've seen one - but they are still 3/4 scale
but the body is rather smaller than a typical DB
It saved me a lot of space..... and weight!
and I can now get my DB in the car easily - even in the hardcase
and I've still got more space....

I'm interested in what BC'ers say on this matter
so I'll be keeping an eye on this post
I'm not getting any younger, and it seems I'm forever lugging heavy, bulky gear about the place....
I'm also considering getting a TC electronic 250-208 amp
as they seem very small & lightweight

Let us know what you discover

Cheers
Marc

PS. I've also thought that as the years advance - perhaps I could shift to a 1/2 scale DB.....
Another consideration maybe?

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If you were going for 5 strings, I would say go for the synapse bass that someone is selling here.
You can't go wrong with steinberger IMHO .
Most are expensive tho ' . Not sure of the spirit brand, which are cheaper.
Hohners (steinberger copies) have a great action.
I find the sound abit wooly on the passive models.
Apparently , the active ones are good.
All models mentioned are headless

Edited by RAY AGAINST THE MACHINE

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Not sure what these are like, but looks about as small as you could go
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ministar-Basstar-5-Travel-Guitar-5-Strings-Fretted-with-Headphone-Amp-/321487288899?pt=Guitar&hash=item4ada22ba43

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Guest Jecklin

Thanks Marc and Ray!


I had in fact been thinking of hacking down a bass body on a cheaper instruemnt. The length isn't the biggest issue as the contrabassoon in it's bag is about 5 foot so strapping something to it in transport is ok.

The NS omni bass (which i thought was pointless when i first heard about it) is piquing my interest quite a bit.
http://thinkns.com/instruments/omnibass.php
However the cheaper version (which i prefer the single pick up on) is only available fretless. I'd need to weigh up whether I want frets for my particular playing scenarios with this project. It's probably above my financial means anyway.

I absolutely adore my current bass - a warwick fortress masterman, so wouldn't want to replace it and it's sound has worked very well for the music i write.

I still like the idea of a Prosebass, but there aren't many about and they don't crop up for sale very often.

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Have you considered a Kala U-Bass? It doesn't get more transportable than that and they sound really nice.
I have a fretless spruce top and get compliments on the sound every time I use it.
Being an upright player too, I cat tell you traveling with the U-Bass is at the opposite en of the comfort spectrum :D

Edited by Shedua511

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Cheap solution:

- Stagg EUB + Harley Benton Bass Uke

Expensive solution:

- Yamaha EUB (can't remember the model) + Kala U-Bass

Small, light and good sounding ;)

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He said he needs a bass with a lot of harmonic content, which would rule out the rubber stringed uke basses... But you can buy metal strings for those nowadays too.

Ibanez do a Mikro bass in a 4 string PJ and 5 string J version:

http://www.ibanez.co.jp/usa/products/jumpstart/eb_mikro.html

There are a few more options out there like the one above too, there's a few threads on Talkbass about them.

Edited by dannybuoy

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Guest Jecklin

Thanks again everyone,


Yes I think the Kala basses and simialr may not quite fit the musical bill I'm afraid. The one I've had a play on a while back (different musicial setting though) was a bit to plunky sounding.

Those ibanez basses are so cute! ha ha, I've seen a video on youtube of one of those strung up with picolo strings.

Lots of food for thought here.

Cheers
Thomas

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Hi again,

Not seen those Ibanez micro basses before
Yes they do look sort of "cute"
I'm generally a fan of Ibanez - they are usually well built

Re the Kala U-bass,
I had a very similar "Ashbory" mini bass

It did indeed sound "big" and was really surprising,
and quite a lot like DB to my ear

However, I didn't get on too well with the spacing / intonation
The tuning seemed to go out a lot too (though that may have been more to do with my brand new strings)

I also didn't get on well with the very chunky rubber strings
I found there wasn't enough space between them to play finger-style

The E string also popped out sometimes too,
when playing vigorously (ish)

A 2nd hand Ashbory would set you back less than a Kala,
and you might be taken aback at the sound you get from such a tiny instrument
But it may take you some time to get used to playing one

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[quote name='dincz' timestamp='1408989303' post='2535297']
Some options here:

[url="http://www.playawayguitars.com/play_away_guitars_shop.php?itemID=547"]http://www.playawayg....php?itemID=547[/url]
[/quote]
Post #5....... :rolleyes:

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+1 for the Steinberger Synapse, has mag and piezo pickups with active eq for plenty of sound options. Come with a decent gig bag.
The spirit range are pretty good too.

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Guest Jecklin

Thanks again for the help everyone.

Kala and similar and the ashbory are all out I'm afraid. Not enough sustain or harmonic content to the sound.

The Steinberger Synapse is spot on, but I just can't handle the look of the back end of the bass, looks like a stealth fighter to me :)
Ah the fickle world of aesthetics.
My best bet would be be to hang on and see if anything ever comes up second hand.
I won't be flying, it's all train as the contrabassoon is far, far too fragile to fly with (plus I hate flying anyway :) ).

As it's only a few dates at best, my best bet is borrowing a bass really since it's for such a minor part of the performance.

Cheers
Thomas

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Re the Steinberger,
I always thought their old 80's / 90's basses looked great,
and as others have said - they're a bit of an icon

Not sure about the Synapse,
but I played an old 80's Steinberger, and here's some more food for thought....

Even though I am tall-ish, and have a fairly long reach
I found the far end of the neck to be a bif of a reach, to get my left hand in what I'd consider a good playing position
So this cool bass was a bit tricky to play

So if you do opt for something with a small body, or cut down the body of an existing bass
If it's long scale, you might find the same issues when playing F, F# & G
Just something else to think about
(apologies if that muddies the water even more)

PS. I can't recall the sustain on my Ashbory, which I sold
It did sound like a much bigger instrument when amplified though....

As ever, let us know how you get on....
I'm intrigued to learn what other players find,
and when you play DB - anything that helps reduce the size, bulk, and weight of gear you carry about is important

Marc

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I find this with my Hohner B2A. The strap pin is in line with the 21st fret, so throws the whole thing away from you. Add to that the ghost headstock and until my brain settles down I find I am tempted to play a couple of frets too high. And it is a full 24 frets, too - the whole thing seems designed to play mind games. I do like it a lot, though, and find it incredibly useful as a back up on smaller 'stages' ie when they have moved the table out of the corner for us to set up in :)

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The strap hanger on the synapse keeps it in a more normal position when strapped on.

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Aria Sinsonido? They are surprisingly compact when taken down, they don't cost a lot, and they weigh nothing. The in-bridge pup can sound very double-bass-like.

The Ibanez Mikro sounds nice and fits a guitar gigbag, but you will definitely want to change the strings. Mine needs shielding, as well.

Edited by alyctes

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I love the Hohner B2B as a full scale travel bass, where it sits in its very compact Steinberger case.
The reach of the neck in my overweight case is reduced a lot by a shorter strap and change of angle. I now have a dedicated strap for the Hohner. Reportedly, other people are helped by the same trick.

My Ashbory always stays at home. It's become a bass more for fun in my case.

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Hohner B2A i have dragged mine right across the Sates and 3000kms through Africa. No problems at all. Great little basses

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