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  #1  
Old 12-20-2019, 02:05 PM
koolau koolau is offline
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Default Pono Mini Bass

Introducing the new Pono Mini Bass.

Although not technically "acoustic" we thought it would be appropriate to mention our new bass. And we hope this does not offend any acoustic purists. We still specialize in Acoustic stringed instruments, but it seems that most bands now have an electric bass rather than upright. And, our bass is hollow and chambered.

Mini size basses, with short scale lengths come and go. However besides what we like, a short scale bass has been popular for a long time. Famous players like Paul McCarney, Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane), Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), and Jack Bruce (Cream) all played short scale basses.

Combined with a small and convenient body, our Pono Mini Bass will be the ideal bass for those tired of the cumbersome electric bass. One of our best customers was Lyle Ritz. He played bass in the Wrecking Crew, and for everyone from Ray Charles to the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, and many others. For years he played an upright bass, then switched to Fender solid bodies, and even then he said it was a burden (and ended up playing ukuleles).

Our new Pono bass is not intended to replace any full size bass, upright or solid body. Some may end up preferring it exclusively. But other bass players will enjoy the option of practicing at home, or easily toting it to gigs.

As for electronics, we decided to go simple. Yes we could have gone the full route of an active piezo, or inlaying traditional electromagnetic pickups. But instead we have opted for a basic passive saddle pickup. One that is designed specifically for us for a bass. And as most know, it can be spliced through an outboard pre-amp, which will not only convert it to active, but then do lots of other fun things. Or, stand alone, this pickup sounds great. But again, for more projection and volume in larger venue settings, it can be easily converted to active.

Our choice of amplification and other fancy custom choices (side bevels, arched tops, binding, etc. was to keep the cost down (under $1000). So we kept it basic. It does the job, and it's convenient.

This promotion is somewhat premature since we are only now beginning production. But many of our loyal customers have been asking if the project is still a go? Well, we finally made it. After over two years of prototypes, and demos with bass players, experimenting with bridges and scale lengths, we are happy with the results.

Production has begun, and availability will be approximately April 2020.

Here are some specifications:
Body: semi hollow figured Mango (tinted either Red or Blue)
Total length: 33 3/4"
Scale length: 28"
Fingerboard and Bridge: Ebony
Nut and Saddle: Ebony (possibly bone, but the Ebony looks good)
Nut width: 1 5/8"
Lower Body Width: 10"
Body Depth: 1 5/8"
Total Frets: 22
Neck to Body: 16th fret
Tuners: Grover bass
Gloss Finish, will include a gig bag.

for more information or photos, please email: john@koolauukulele.com

Last edited by koolau; 01-07-2020 at 07:20 PM. Reason: text correction
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2019, 02:20 PM
koolau koolau is offline
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2020, 07:30 PM
koolau koolau is offline
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Default Pono Mini Bass revision

After posting our new "Mini Bass" we have received many interesting and constructive suggestions. Although wanting to make a small size bass, with a short scale length, apparently our design was too small.

In answer to some inquiries, our bass has a real steel string bass set (not rubber). We are not making what is called an "Ukulele Bass"

Here are some design changes
Body width: 11 7/16"
Scale length: 28 1/2" (current demo's were favorable, but needs a longer scale)
Pickup: saddle piezo and/or electromagnetic.

We probably should have waited a little longer to submit our plans. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:20 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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I'm always interested in checking out "short scale" basses. You're welcome to peruse what I found as an acceptable design in my Talkbass build topic here:

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/30%...build.1251494/
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:25 PM
koolau koolau is offline
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Default Pono Bass

thanks Rudy, we are receiving many positive comments on our new bass. Apparently there is still a lot of interest in a short scale bass.
While we are at the changes, the decision is to go with a 30" scale, and a slightly larger body, at 11 3/8" wide.
and to have both a saddle and electro magnetic pickup, and of course either/or or both.
John
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