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Username: 5sicks

Post Number: 25
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 9:40 am:   Edit Post

I am intrigued by this thing...has anyone played this?

(Message edited by 5sicks on October 16, 2011)
Username: 5sicks

Post Number: 26
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 9:55 am:   Edit Post

travel bass
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3030
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post

Tried one out around 30 years or so ago. It was certainly different but not for me :-)

Advanced Member
Username: fmm

Post Number: 328
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:58 pm:   Edit Post

I have one, and use it fairly frequently.
It took an afternoon to get used to it.
I've recorded with it and have used it in the pit for a couple of musicals.

2 of my students have purchased them after trying mine.

I have a prospective student who's in 5th grade. I'm trying to get his parents to buy one of these rather than a Fender Precision Jr.

One weird thing: they are "interesting" to tune. I can only get them in tune using a strobe tuner on an open string, The harmonics are weird, possibly because of the greater diameter-to-length ratio makes the string vibrate more like a bar than a string.

Also: new strings take forever to settle in, and the G string (and to a lesser extent the D) are prone to breaking while the base is in the gig bag. You will never break an E string.
Username: svlilioukalani

Post Number: 94
Registered: 6-2008
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 5:34 pm:   Edit Post

Kala, the Ukulele maker, has some updated members of this type of bass. Same kind of rubberband strings. They don't handle playing fast well. But are way cool if you can slap. And chicks dig it.
Username: 5sicks

Post Number: 27
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 4:36 pm:   Edit Post

Sounds like the Kala is closer to what I'm looking for, and less heartburn string-wise. Thanks
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 518
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 8:16 pm:   Edit Post

I know people who own these love them, but I bought one when they were Guild/Ashbory basses and returned it a day later. I guess I don't get it. I felt that it was made like a toy (tiny, hollow), silly tuners, and I seem to remember thinking that the "fretboard" looked like a plastic sticker. I'm a big guy, so I really looked like a clown too. It's surprising to me that they didn't try to do something like this with a longer scale. I imagine it would have been hard to find the right balance of string size at that diameter and length.

I do have a Renaissance bass, which I guess is sort of a very distant cousin, as it uses a nylon core string and piezo system. It's a high quality instrument with a great, unique tone (nobody would call it upright like, though). Of course, the Ren basses are from Rick Turner, so they're of a common heritage with your Alembics.

David Fung
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 736
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 5:32 am:   Edit Post

I tried once. It sound reminds the acoustic bass tone qualities (although we all know that the real thing will never be truely reached on any electric), but annoyingly hard to play in tune since it is so tiny to a bass player's muscle memory. Its floppy feel and thick gauge makes it difficult to play fast, but maybe all this can be solved with pratice.

I wouldn't mind having one as travel bass, but not exactly for gigs though (just to carry one little light bass with me when far from home).
Senior Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 787
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post

David, do all Renaissance basses use nylon core strings?
Intermediate Member
Username: dlbydgtl

Post Number: 115
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 5:12 pm:   Edit Post

I have a kala and it sounds really good and is fun to play but, the wife says don't take it out in public. John
Username: 5sicks

Post Number: 30
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2011 - 11:47 pm:   Edit Post

Maybe the string problem could be solved by using some 1/4" steel cable and wear gloves. Thanks all
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 519
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 12:46 pm:   Edit Post

pace -

Hmm... I started to answer, then visited Turner/Renaissance to check model numbers and I see that they've split the model families. The solid body basses are all "Turner" basses now, and the semi-hollow are all "Renaissance". It used to be that everything was "Renaissance" except for the custom stuff that was "Turner".

With that in mind, yes, all the Renaissance basses come with the Thomastik nylon core strings as standard equipment. The only pickup on this instrument is piezo. Magnetic pickups won't "hear" a nylon core string, but you can use regular steel strings on the piezo (I've never change the strings on my Ren).

They're pretty interesting feeling to play. They roll easily under your fingers a bit like classical guitar wound strings (although not that rolly). The sound is fantastic, very growly with very heavy bass response.

I also have a Veillette Mark IV (it's since been made much fancier and called the Paris) which is conceptually similar and also piezo only. They come from the factory with Labella Deep Talking Nylon bass strings, which have steel cores and work with regular pickups (mine doesn't have one though). It's very different than a regular bass sound too, although much more "normal" than the Thomastiks.

David Fung

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