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Thread: b4ce- let's discuss them!

  1. #11
    Here's a good video that compares rounds, tapes, and flats. He does it on his electric P bass, but the results will be similar on an acoustic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifqrU1Afd0E (actual string tone comparison starts around the 7min mark)

    Keep in mind though, it gets trickier, as every brand's version of a certain style of strings can be completely different than the next brand's. Meaning that Labella flats will sound quite different than Thomastik-Infeld flats, just like DR Hi-Beam rounds will sound quite different than Fender Nickel rounds, and D'addario Tapes will sound very different than Rotosound Tapes.

    For example, both the Rotosounds and D'Addario are considered black nylon tapewound strings. However, the Rotosounds are polished and super slippery smooth just like flats, where the D'Addarios have a soft, dry, almost velvety feel to them and these differences in formula make a big difference in tone! The Rotosounds are a lot stiffer and thumpier, whereas the D'addarios are brighter and slinkier (very similar in sound to the tapewounds Scott uses in the video).

    LASTLY, I highly encourage checking out more of Scott's videos... they're the best bass lessons and discussion videos I've found on the web... and they're free!!

    edit: just for fun, here's a video demonstrating the rotosound tapewounds and giving some interesting history on them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVEoNFSRDw0
    Last edited by mellowgerman; 12-19-2018 at 02:05 AM.

  2. #12
    Is it ok to use electric bass strings on acoustic basses?
    Will it change the sound too much?
    I love my Chromes flats on my electrics.
    I want to get an acoustic bass one day. Was wondering.

  3. #13
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feet View Post
    Tapes are flatter sounding flats, right? I should look into that. Still a little skittish because it means a trip to the tech ( it's due) and strings are kinda expensive. And I do like the sounds I'm already getting; there's a lot to be had, but they are more in the " electric" realm.

    But it would be nice to know just how far I can stretch this thing in either direction. I'm just super loafy when it comes to string changes so I'll probably just end up leaving whatever I put on there.
    I've had some strings on the same instrument for over 30 years. I'm still using a set of RotoSound rounds that were new in 1978 and have been on a couple of basses. While it is certainly true you can obsess about strings, it is also true you can just learn to make do with what you have.

    Since you are not primarily a bass player I might suggest you stop wondering about the B4 and just start playing it again. Don't buy strings, or upgrade electronics and if you take it to your tech have something specific in mind like changing the action or fixing the intonation. Live with it and play it. After a while you will either move on, in which case your wallet remains intact, or you will have some fairly specific things you want to change, improve or experiment with. That will make some decisions easier although there are many times when the best solution to a problem is to buy another bass (and keep the current one) :-)

    +1 to mellow's endorsement of Scott Devine. He sometimes loses focus and so a 20 minute video has about 5 minutes of useful material, but in general I find his advice spot on and useful. He seems to have a passion for education. He does not want to be the best player on the planet. He wants one of his students to be the best player. If you notice his glove he wears it because he has a neurological condition and the glove helps him focus
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  4. #14
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    Is it ok to use electric bass strings on acoustic basses?
    Will it change the sound too much?
    I love my Chromes flats on my electrics.
    I want to get an acoustic bass one day. Was wondering.
    Dunno. I recall discussions about tension being a concern. If the acoustic has a pickup then the pickup technology will be part of the answer. I think folks have done it but they weren't always happy.

    I would back off and ask why you want an acoustic bass? There are a lot of situations where an acoustic is not the answer (IMO) especially if your goal is similar to an electric sound. Do you really want to learn all about humidifying an instrument during heating season?
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  5. #15
    well, i meditated on this for a while, and then i had another one of my stupid genius ideas: what if i left the current strings on my b4ce and played up its thumpy, electric tones (which are quite different from my jbass) and picked up a relatively cheap kala ubass for my fake upright sounds. or i could, you know, not spend all that money and try the tape wounds.

    its one of those "i won't know until i know" things. i'll need to record and experiment more and see how it is fitting into a mix. then i'll have a better idea, i guess. but it would be cool to keep my b4ce as is because there are some neat sounds in there that are very electric. and i don't think the ubasses sound all that convincing on their own, but seem to work ok in a mix, where the focus isn't on it as much.

    edit- took a weird, sideways $10 gamble and bought some acoustic upright bass impulse responses to see what that did. and well, it doesn't sound bad. a definite improvement. been going back in forth between kala demos and my ir tracks and the guild certainly sounds bigger and bassier, with some more snap to it. the kala sounds, well, rubbery. technique matters a lot, and what is you are playing, but i think the guild/ir combo will work for now. it is worth exploring further, at least. with a little reverb, maybe panned some, you get a more realistic, "guy in the corner of the room" sound to it. fun to play and listen to, a little harder to get to translate through a mix.

    but i'll keep the kala in mind. that may be more receptive to the impulse response. or if i wanted to lean into it harder, tapes on the guild. you can hear the snappyness and twang of the roundwounds come through, which isn't necesarily a bad or inauthentic thing. a little surprised by the results because i tried some impulse responses with my m20, and although nothing really matched the guitar, the results just sucked. and i generally hate what i've heard from guitar irs but the bass one seems to work much better. i'm using 3 sigma audio irs, by the way. prescott bass for the b4ce, and their j45 model for the m20 (yeah, i know. i may try it again with a closer sounding instrument, but i'm not optimistic).
    Last edited by feet; 01-04-2019 at 04:09 AM.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update.

    If you are willing to spend money and buy an instrument that many bassists do not like to play (i.e. the Kala) you might consider one of these, which at least has a Guild logo for you :-)



    Ashbory bass. Image courtesy of Guilds of Grot.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  7. #17
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    I don't know if he still does, but Gary Fletcher used to play one of those with The Blues Band during their acoustic set

  8. #18
    I have a U-Bass (mine is a custom by Road Toad who later licensed the design to Kala) - I have only played a Kala once or twice in a store, but the concept with the Pahoehoe polyurethane strings is the same. I love playing mine, but it requires its own technique. The feeling of the strings on your fingers (both plucking and fretting) is very different - I can't do slides down the neck because my fingers stick. But it sounds wonderful to me. Also, putting new strings on is a pain - it takes a long time for them to stretch in - took me a long time to figure that out! There are other string options, but my understanding is that they sound significantly different too. I have also heard of people using the Pahoehoe strings on the Guild Ashbory, having also heard the the original silicone strings were problematic for some.

    Here's my U-Bass (the model is actually called the Tadpole) with my new amp for it, a Vox VX50-BA:



    And all the usual disclaimers apply of course (YMMV, TBYB, etc.), especially since mine uses different pickups than the standard Kala U-Bass.

  9. #19
    I bought a Donner Uke bass off of ebay for my girlfriend for Christmas. They are made in China but, based on the limited time I've spent with a Kala, sound and feel very similar. Looks great too. Shipped very quickly and came with a nice gig bag. I prefer my big Guild B-240e acoustic bass on the couch and if I'm plugging in it will be my Starfire 99% of the time. However, she loves it and it cerrainly does what it does very well. They're fun and only cost about 1/3 of the Kala. Just thought I'd throw that out there as a budget option.




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