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Mr Bassman

Ibanez UB804 Upswing EUB

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After a year of gassing for one of these I finally got one yesterday.

It was a toss up between this or an Omnibass as I want something compact that I can play seated.

Out of the box it was almost in tune, ready to play. Decent build quality and nice neck profile.

The stand on it's lowest setting is ideal for playing sitting on an office chair, maybe a touch high for a dining chair. I'll probably take a stool if I use it live.

Sound wise it was more or less as I expected after watching the awful demo vids. I spent a few hours changing strings and ended putting the originals back on.

Having tried it through the various amps / speakers / combos I've accumulated so far it sounds best through my AI Coda combo with the mid down a bit and most or all of the treble cut on the bass.

The more I play it the more I like it. Looking forward to trying it on a gig, which won't be for over week so got plenty of time to get used to it.

https://www.ibanez.com/usa/products/detail/ub804_01.html

Edited by Mr Bassman
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I do like the look of these, and the strings & AeroSilk pickup look like the same as on my Ibanez SRH400, and sound great. Agreed the video doesn't demo an acoustic-type sound, but I'm sure you'll be able to get a usable tone out of it. Let us know what it gigs like.

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As it is only a 34" scale - does it sound any more upright than a fretless? (just a question - I'm not disparaging it; for other forumites!) what advantages would it hold over your Rob Allen Mouse?

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Quick post gig update

I couldn't be more pleased with the Upswing, the sound improved the more I played it through the week as the brightness wore off the factory strings.

I spent a few hours trying it through various amps and settled on the Acoustic Image combo for today's gig which was in a small venue with piano, snare & hi-hat, guitar and 4 different singers. I sat on a stool and set the bass up with the nut at eye level. It's great to play, easy on the left hand, feels just like an upright for pizz. I haven't used a bow yet.

I got a few compliments about the double bass sound which I achieved.

On 23/02/2019 at 22:11, philparker said:

As it is only a 34" scale - does it sound any more upright than a fretless? (just a question - I'm not disparaging it; for other forumites!) what advantages would it hold over your Rob Allen Mouse?

Phil, it does sound much more upright than a fretless, the bass is so resonant acoustically it's loud enough to practice on at home although plugging in does enhance the sound.

I was a bit concerned about there being too much sustain but I can tame that. In the mix it just sounded like a good upright.

As much as I like the Rob Allen mouse which I've used on hundreds of gigs I think this will take over some of it's duties, if not all. I can dig in on this whereas the mouse responds best to a much lighter touch. I'm hunched up playing the mouse which isn't good for my right arm, (spondylosis), I had no ill effects from playing the Upswing so far.

It won't suit everybody but so far I'm pleased with the convenience & portability, the playability and the sound.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this unusual instrument Mr Bassman. It's always good to hear the thoughts of other players, on new gear, or instruments which may be of interest....
Only things is.... you may have transferred some of that GAS to the rest of us! ;)

I've grown to really like my NS Design upright, and found I can get that more upright sounding than fretless sounding the more I play it, and the more I experiment with amps / EQ pedals etc.
I also place a small piece of foam under the strings, right next to the bridge, and find this helps to control the sustain (or perhaps I am convincing myself that it helps?). Have you tried that on this new EUB yet? Sorry if I'm suggesting the obvious....

Also, just wondering what strings you tried on it, and in what way were the factory-fitted strings superior?
Hope you're well good sir? :)

Edited by Marc S

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3 hours ago, Marc S said:

I also place a small piece of foam under the strings, right next to the bridge, and find this helps to control the sustain (or perhaps I am convincing myself that it helps?). Have you tried that on this new EUB yet? Sorry if I'm suggesting the obvious....

Yes Marc, I've tried foam but find it sucks away the tone. I like the bass to sing but this also has a nice thump to it if I dampen with fingers.

I've tried La Bella black & white nylons, TI flats, Rotosound Trubass, and as recommend by someone on Talkbass I got a set of NS Omnibass strings. They didn't do it for me so I went back to the originals. Think they're heavier gauge D'Addario XL. They feel more like double bass strings than all the BG ones I tried.

I also got a TC Bodyrez to try, it somehow adds to the sound without having to eq, sounds great with the Acoustic Image set flat, also sounds good through my TecAmp Bona Fide into my Epifani UL110

 

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I keep coming back to this thread, to click on the link and look at the UB 804...
It's all your fault Mr Bassman! ;)

I don't need one of these - I'm perfectly happy with my NS
I don't need one of these, I don't need one of these, I don...... 

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Quick update on the Upswing

After several hours experimenting with the TC Bodyrez and 3Sigma IR's with a Mooer Radar I decided to ride bareback at a restaurant piano bass duo gig last night.

I wanted to keep set up to a minimum so plugged the Upswing into a GK MB200 and AI Upshot speaker.

It sounded fine without the pedals and was fun to play. 

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Yes , I’ve been looking at these with the same concerns ! But they do seem like a great transition instrument to the double bass . Plus a great instrument to create unique sounds on via the bow and effect pedals . I think I’m going to buy one , but again the name omni bass does the same , and same price . But the ibanez does look better 

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Another update.

I really like Labella 760N black nylons on my fretless basses so tried a set on the Ibanez. They were nice to play but sounded too much like a bass guitar so went for some Daddario ETB92 Tapewounds. What a difference! Less sustain with nice sound. Looking forward to trying them on a couple of gigs next weekend.

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I tried one of these in PMT in Bristol a couple of weeks ago. I particularly wanted to see if I could get away with playing it with a floating thumb RH technique, and indeed I could. It still felt weird having the neck vertical though.

Does anyone know how this bass responds to a rockabilly-style pluck-and-slap approach?

 

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Being and playing left handed I emailed the distributors and the guy who replied could see no reason why the strings couldn’t be swopped round.  
As you’ve restrung yours, Mr B, what do you think?  
Any other lefties out there?

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My previous left handed string swop question.

Any clues, or should I stop wanting?

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Hi Jimmy,

sorry only just seen this post.

The bridge saddles are staggered with the E saddle being about 1/4" further from end of fingerboard than the G saddle

I think you'd struggle to get the intonation spot on, but then it's fretless so if you adjust your technique accordingly it might be ok, after altering the nut of course.

It's a great instrument, I used it on quite a few gigs, mainly sitting.

Hope this helps

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On 16/04/2020 at 21:17, Mr Bassman said:

Hi Jimmy,

sorry only just seen this post.

The bridge saddles are staggered with the E saddle being about 1/4" further from end of fingerboard than the G saddle

I think you'd struggle to get the intonation spot on, but then it's fretless so if you adjust your technique accordingly it might be ok, after altering the nut of course.

It's a great instrument, I used it on quite a few gigs, mainly sitting.

Hope this helps

I finally sold my Martin D28 (rarely played these days) and just took delivery of an UB804. Boy am I a happy bunny. I’ll be rehearsing with my Jazz band mates on Wednesday, can’t wait see their faces.
I have tried it right hand but had to turn the strings round. It’s working fine without altering the nut. Just got to practice like mad before Wednesday to build my fretless accuracy. 
cheers

Jimmy

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Still practicing with it and especially checking on my finger placement accuracy using a nice big iPad display and PolyTune.  My amp is a MarkBass 121p and not really sure where to set the tone controls or, for that matter, the tone on the UB804.  Any suggestions? 

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Set all the tone controls, bass and amp, to the middle of their course. Get used to that sound for a while (a week or so..?), then turn them up and/or down and listen to the difference. Hope this helps. B|

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If you've got the stock strings (D'Addario® ECB81), I've got the same strings on my Ibanez SRH500F fretless and they're ace, and I think it's also the same Aero Silk pickup. I'm using a bit of foam to dampen the G and D strings slightly until they lose their brightness.

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