Ubass style mini upright

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Nigel
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Ubass style mini upright

Post by Nigel » 08 Sep 2019, 21:14

OK we all know nothing I've ever junked together really belongs in the lutherie section. I put it here because Phill refuses to create a "Things Nigel should never do" section. Admin move me if you think this belongs somewhere else.

I've always loved my u-bass and was sad to sell it to fund some mission work last year. I've also always dreamed of being able to play an upright. But those suckers are huge! I had a dream of combining both about 3 or 4 years ago. Research led me to the 3/4 cello which is about a 25 scale. A bit longer than a ubass scale at 21". But I could never find a 3/4 scale cello in budget. Well I just pulled the pin on a second hand 3/4 cello. I think this could end up being a really cool and fun timewaster. Time to dust off the hacksaw and cable ties.

I have a 5 string set of ubass strings. I need to think carefully about stringing it BEAD or EADG. I have a good quality piezo kit. I'll have to check how much of a problem the string thickness will create on the poly B.

Anyone got any advice. I am kinda busy and this could take me months.

OK bring on the flames!
Mailloux Custom "Lucky 13", EA Doubler, Mojo-Sonic 1x10.

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narcdor
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by narcdor » 09 Sep 2019, 06:42

So you’re going to cut it down to 21”, add piezo pickups and string with rubber? Interesting.
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DoctorJohn
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by DoctorJohn » 09 Sep 2019, 08:33

So you’re going to reduce the neck length? It sounds like a good project.

If you weren’t planning to, I’d be inclined to start by modifying the tail piece if you can to reduce the scale before hacking at any of the wood.

basshack
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by basshack » 09 Sep 2019, 09:09

I am so subbing this build. I love different.
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RedVee
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by RedVee » 09 Sep 2019, 10:20

Interesting
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Nigel
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by Nigel » 09 Sep 2019, 12:27

Il'l keep the scale length at 25. It leads me to believe the extra few inches will give better string tension with a low B. (you over-estimate my woodworking skills thinking I could reduce scale size). The classical guitar I converted had a similar scale, certainly closer to 25 than 21. The strings worked just fine with that. I am tossing up the idea of handing it to a luthier so the job actually looks and works like it should. I suspect I'll try to fit the ubass strings as is with minimal adjustments and add a piezo and hope nothing goes wrong.
Would it be an error to get line markings on the neck? Even at the top edge so only i could see it. My ear has improved over the years but I don't think I could get intonation with no markers.
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BazzBass
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by BazzBass » 09 Sep 2019, 13:33

Nigel, jokomo inlays make non adhesive side dots that electrostatically stick to the neck and can be lifted off leaving no residue. About $8. Won't fall off.


https://www.inlaystickers.com/collectio ... -markers-1

I put them on an acoustic bass that had no fretboard markers and they never budged. I had to remind myself to let the new owner know after I sold the bass. You couldn't tell they were temporary.
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Nigel
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by Nigel » 09 Sep 2019, 14:24

They seem to have everything except lines to make a fretless a lined fretless. DO you think I could cut one of them to make line markings or would each sticker need to stay whole?
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BazzBass
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by BazzBass » 09 Sep 2019, 19:49

as someone who just bought his first fretless, lined, I have to say I NEVER look at the fretboard when playing, either standing or seated. What I DO look at are the side dots. Side dots on the fret position, not in between would be my suggestion.
What I have learned is that each note is not exactly on the line, and varies up and down the board and across strings. I have already developed my ear enough in just a week of where the spot is. You just roll your finger a tad in the right direction.

PS try emailing him,I am sure he does requests, yours would be easy peasy for him
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Nigel
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by Nigel » 10 Sep 2019, 10:07

I had a vague recollection about dots on the line marking not the space between. Thanks for clarifying that. The guy in the link sells dots. Bazzbass you just saved me a whole lot of angst over this project. Thank you so much.
Mailloux Custom "Lucky 13", EA Doubler, Mojo-Sonic 1x10.

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vin-tone
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by vin-tone » 10 Sep 2019, 10:19

If it's to be played as an upright its harder to see dots on the side of the neck. You're usually looking down the board.
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BazzBass
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by BazzBass » 10 Sep 2019, 13:07

Nigel wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 10:07
I had a vague recollection about dots on the line marking not the space between. Thanks for clarifying that. The guy in the link sells dots. Bazzbass you just saved me a whole lot of angst over this project. Thank you so much.
glad to be of use to somebody hehe

I'd email him about the fretlines as well, vin-tone makes a good point.
Loud things: Trace Elliot Elf and 10" cabs ,Markbass LittleMark 250, Hartke HA2500 amps, Hartke XL210 cabs, Yamaha DTX drums
Pretty things: Fender MIA P, MIM P,J&J Fretless,Hofner B Bass,Mike Dirnt P, SX J
Bands: Los Mescalitos , Distorted Tarts

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Nigel
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by Nigel » 14 Sep 2019, 10:06

Hi guys,
I picked up the cello last night. I have done a solid 5 minute internet surf and found a lot of people have done this before. I thought I was doing something new. It turns out it is just a bit unusual. Some people have just put steel upright strings on the cello and I was considering doing that, but those things are expensive. I'm sticking with the ubass strings that I already have. I suspect the low B will too thick for a straight conversion and will end up going E to G.

I am currently investigating the tuning pegs. They are pegs and seem to rely on friction (a tight fit) and one is a bit loose. I need to work out if it is possible to put proper tuners on. (either double bass, or electric or cello ones).
Mailloux Custom "Lucky 13", EA Doubler, Mojo-Sonic 1x10.

basshack
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by basshack » 14 Sep 2019, 10:50

Hi Nigel, they are tapered and so yes a friction fit. If they are all the way in the hole and still loose then you can buy a new set, ream the hole to suit and start again. Double basses have geared tuning pegs so yes making up something for standard tuners is possible but may be more work than staying traditional.
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Nigel
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Re: Ubass style mini upright

Post by Nigel » 14 Sep 2019, 21:05

Strings on and playing acoustically. Those pegs are mongrels tune with.
Next is to set up a piezo and output jack.
Happy snaps.

The retractable foot thing (I'm sure it has a name) is a great height for playing.
Mailloux Custom "Lucky 13", EA Doubler, Mojo-Sonic 1x10.

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