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  #16  
Old 04-30-2018, 11:25 PM
Thor2 Thor2 is offline
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Another fan of the Kala U-bass. Acoustic version. Great tone, just have to get used to the very short scale and the funky strings. Amazingly full bass tone.

For a full sized option in your price range, try to hunt down a used Guild. They are quite big, but sound and play great.
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  #17  
Old 07-31-2018, 04:40 AM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Update.

I ended up buying Ibanez PNB14E, a short scale acoustic bass which uses the same strings as Taylor GS mini bass. It's much cheaper but still comfortable to play (especially for guitarists like me) and it sounds really good.
Here is my sound demo of this guitar (mic signal first and then the pickup):


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  #18  
Old 08-02-2018, 03:46 PM
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TokyoNeko TokyoNeko is offline
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Great video. This helped seal the deal for me. Was able to finally sell a six-stringer to finance the purchase. It's on order and I should receive it within a week or so.
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2018, 11:57 PM
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After auditioning the PNB14E for about 3 weeks, I ended up returning it. Its amplified tone was too metallic for my taste, the pickup was very unbalanced (EG strings too quiet, AD strings too loud), and I found that I prefer the sound and playability of the bass ukulele.

Speaking of which, I also auditioned a Hadean. While I like how it sounds and plays, it suffers from a number of quality problems (e.g. fret buzz, poor pickup grounding, nearly impossible access to battery compartment, general "cheapness" in fit and finish, etc.) It's also being returned, and I did what I should have done in the first place - get a Kala U-bass. Here's another week of waiting.
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  #20  
Old 08-30-2018, 09:11 AM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoNeko View Post
After auditioning the PNB14E for about 3 weeks, I ended up returning it. Its amplified tone was too metallic for my taste, the pickup was very unbalanced (EG strings too quiet, AD strings too loud), and I found that I prefer the sound and playability of the bass ukulele.

Speaking of which, I also auditioned a Hadean. While I like how it sounds and plays, it suffers from a number of quality problems (e.g. fret buzz, poor pickup grounding, nearly impossible access to battery compartment, general "cheapness" in fit and finish, etc.) It's also being returned, and I did what I should have done in the first place - get a Kala U-bass. Here's another week of waiting.
My PNB14E's pickup is well balanced what you probably could hear from the video.
Hopefully the U-bass will work out for you. But I couldn't get used to the rubber strings on my U-bass.
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  #21  
Old 08-30-2018, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsum View Post
My PNB14E's pickup is well balanced what you probably could hear from the video.
Hopefully the U-bass will work out for you. But I couldn't get used to the rubber strings on my U-bass.
Yes, I could tell the pickup on your PNB14E is just fine. If I liked the playability and tone, I would have just exchanged the defective instrument for a new one.

I guess I took to the rubbery strings fine, perhaps because I don't have prior experience with bass guitars and hadn't developed any preferences/biases. I'm cautiously optimistic that the Kala will be of a much higher quality than the Hadean. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and the $129 price on the Hadean was too good to be true.
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  #22  
Old 08-30-2018, 09:33 AM
nickv6 nickv6 is offline
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Another fan here of the Kala, those rubbery strings really sound like a double bass when amped.
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  #23  
Old 08-31-2018, 10:03 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Anyone serious about acoustic bass should check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S9XkqMrASY
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  #24  
Old 09-05-2018, 04:03 PM
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Well, the U-Bass (Passenger) didn't cut the mustard, either. This one had some seriously badly stripped screws on the gears of the tuning machines, and one of them (the E string) just fell off when the string was loosened. It was horrible quality control, something I didn't expect from Kala. So that one just got shipped back for a refund. I'm so far 0-for-2 in ordering a bass ukulele from Reverb. It appears that the lower-end Kala U-basses aren't any better than the cheaper models elsewhere. In fact, they all kind of look very similar, which tells me that they might be made from the same low-cost factory in China. I probably need to go north of $300 for a decent-quality U-bass, but I'm going to hold off for now. Because...

Interestingly enough, I stopped by a Sam Ash on Labor Day, and came across this ultra-low-cost model. And surprisingly, this was of much higher quality than the Hadean and the Kala that I just sent back. No fret buzz, no badly stripped tuning machines, just very easy to play. This one doesn't have a back access or dot markers on the side of the neck, but for less than $100, I could live with it. (My left hand actually fits through the soundhole, so I can change strings without huge difficulty.) Also, the intonation at the higher frets is a bit of an issue, but I understand that it's an inherent problem for bass ukuleles with rubber/plastic strings.

So I guess I'll keep this around, at least as a backup. And maybe in a few weeks I might get a higher-priced (and hopefully higher-quality) one, almost certainly locally. I got burned by two bad ones from Reverb already.
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  #25  
Old 09-05-2018, 06:33 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoNeko View Post
After auditioning the PNB14E for about 3 weeks, I ended up returning it. Its amplified tone was too metallic for my taste...I also auditioned a Hadean...it suffers from a number of quality problems...It's also being returned, and I did what I should have done in the first place - get a Kala U-bass....
Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoNeko View Post
Well, the U-Bass (Passenger) didn't cut the mustard, either...It was horrible quality control, something I didn't expect from Kala...

Interestingly enough, I stopped by a Sam Ash on Labor Day, and came across this...This one doesn't have a back access or dot markers on the side of the neck....Also, the intonation at the higher frets is a bit of an issue, but I understand that it's an inherent problem for bass ukuleles with rubber/plastic strings...
Let's see - you need:
  • Something that sounds "acoustic," that you plan to use amplified;
  • Something that doesn't sound metallic, thin, or "quacky";
  • Something that doesn't have serious QC issues;
  • Something that's easy to service/perform routine maintenance;
  • Something that's reasonably compact and lightweight;
  • Something that's intuitive when you pick it up to play;
  • Something that plays in tune at all positions;
You want one of these:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...twound-strings

- one of these:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...with-scrambler

- a set of these:

http://www.juststrings.com/lab-760nhbb.html

- and, speaking as a former owner of two (Guild) acoustic basses, if you can't get a good amplified-acoustic sound with this combination you're not really trying...
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  #26  
Old 09-05-2018, 08:12 PM
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Hah! Sir Paul comes to mind with that bass.

I hadn't been thinking of this one, but will give it some thought. Cheers.
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  #27  
Old 09-17-2018, 06:41 AM
Bunnyf Bunnyf is offline
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My husband has the Taylor and is very happy with it. Nice size, not dinky and ukelike nor giant and mariachilike. He had a ubass and did not care for the rubbery strings. He said they just didnt feel right after years of playing a conventional electric bass. The Taylor is surpringly loud considering its size and he and I can play together and my guitar does not drown him out. In a group, you’d obviously need to plug in.
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  #28  
Old 10-21-2018, 05:54 PM
ventintothemic ventintothemic is offline
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I just bought an Ibanez PNB14 acoustic bass. It's fun to play and sounds great, but now the G-string doesn't get picked up hardly at all. I need to fix it. Any advice on how to do that?
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  #29  
Old 10-21-2018, 08:36 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyf View Post
My husband has the Taylor and is very happy with it. Nice size, not dinky and ukelike nor giant and mariachilike. He had a ubass and did not care for the rubbery strings. He said they just didnt feel right after years of playing a conventional electric bass. The Taylor is surpringly loud considering its size and he and I can play together and my guitar does not drown him out. In a group, you’d obviously need to plug in.
More folks should follow this advice. I don't own the Taylor, but I've played one and it's a good match up for the OP's wishes.

Since Taylor released the GS Mini bass a few other manufacturers are using the same design and the same strings. Taylor is a responsible company and they aren't going to leave anyone high and dry without a source of strings to put on A GS Mini bass.

So many times you see folks who wish to save money but end up not being totally happy with their purchase. My Taylor purchases have always been good experiences and they will ALWAYS hold a substantial amount of their original value at re-sale time.
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  #30  
Old 10-22-2018, 04:46 AM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventintothemic View Post
I just bought an Ibanez PNB14 acoustic bass. It's fun to play and sounds great, but now the G-string doesn't get picked up hardly at all. I need to fix it. Any advice on how to do that?
My Ibanez pickup string balance is good so I haven't experienced what you're talking about with this guitar.
But I had some similar issues with the LR Baggs Element pickup and managed to get it fixed. You can try to remove the saddle and the pickup and reposition the latter.
I had to place a thin piece of paper under the saddle and pickup where the high E string is (it was on a Gibson J-15) and now the output is perfectly balanced.
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