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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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Ashbory Bass


i noticed that fender has reintroduced the De Armond Ashbory bass once again, i'm curious if anyone has ever used one of these?? it looks interesting-i'd like to get a unique sounding fretless, though i'm not sure what this thing actually sounds like, and the Silicone Rubber strings seem a bit strange (they recommend using talcum power on the left hand for a better feel on the strings)..
January 25, 2002 @12:27am

I bought one when they were first reissued about 2000. I also spoke via email with one of the guys that invented it.
This is what I can tell you. The tuners are better than they were on the Guild model. Guild used bango tuners which did not work well at all. These are better tuners.
Even so the problem I find is that it is hard to keep the strings in tune. I believe it's the silicone strings.
Unplugged, the bass sounds exactly like a stand up bass. Exactly! Plugged in, the thing can rock solid if you want, but seems to lose the upright sound to a degree.
It won't replace a good fretless bass though. It is fun to play with, and I plan to use it to record, when I can, just to see how it records.
You really have to use talcum powder on the strings. If not, it's easy for your fingers to "stick" and get a nanosecond lag, when moving to other notes of positions. But the powder stays for a while. How long depends on the usual things like sweat, dirt, playing style, and such.
Here's an odd thing I discovered. With a fretless bass, you have to play on the lines, or just behind the lines to get the right notes. With the Ashbory, you can finger between the fret lines as if it were a fretted bass, and get the right notes. I have no idea why this is.
All and all it's a fun bass, it really does sound very good, and for the price, you can't go wrong. Can't do much in the upper registers though, but I wouldn't let that stop you.
If you need strings, this site sells them. www.juststrings.com
Hard to tell when to replace the strings. But I'd say, at least try one out, if you can. If not, order from a place like musicians friend where you can return it if you don't like it.
Hey, why not go for it?
January 26, 2002 @06:18am