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MF MD HG01 Electric Guitar Month 06-19-18

DeArmond Ashbory Bass

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Product 510832
Product Price $0.00
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Guild created the original Ashbory Bass in the 1987, and now De Armond offers its authorized version and is making the strings readily available once...Click To Read More About This Product

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The most innovative bass guitar in years!

Guild created the original Ashbory Bass in the 1987, and now De Armond offers its authorized version and is making the strings readily available once again to all Ashbory Bass owners. The 18" fretless scale and super light weight of the Ashbory make it easy to create the round tone of an upright bass. It features a patented transducer and unique silicone rubber strings which make it an exceptional instrument in the recording studio and a treat to play on stage.

FEATURES
  • Unique silicone strings are easy on fingers
  • Super light and easy to hold and play
  • 1" fretless neck and silicone strings get a true string bass sound
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
DeArmondAshbory Bass
 
4.3

(based on 32 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Not For Everyone

I've been playing bass on and off for 40 years. I bought my Ashbory on a whim and I haven't been sorry. Judging from some of the other reviews I think some folks don't...Read complete review

I've been playing bass on and off for 40 years. I bought my Ashbory on a whim and I haven't been sorry. Judging from some of the other reviews I think some folks don't realize what they are getting when they buy one of these. I think you either love it or hate it without much in between. I use my for recording and couldn't be happier with it. It has it's faults, i.e. string breakage, intonation, etc. But if you want a bass that sounds equal to an upright, you will put up with the quirks of this bass. I played an upright bass in a college jazz band in the 60's and I can tell you, this little Ashbory has that sound nailed. Just tune down your strings before putting it away and use talc when you play it. it's pure simplicity and a joy to play.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

A novelty at best, a travesty at worst

I used to be a bass tech for one of the big session and live bass players who's initials are JMJ. Good ol' Justin (oops, that was a giveaway) had a huge...Read complete review

I used to be a bass tech for one of the big session and live bass players who's initials are JMJ. Good ol' Justin (oops, that was a giveaway) had a huge selection of basses at home and at our warehouse. One of his basses was a lonely bastard child that went by the name of the De Armond Ashbory Bass. It never went on sessions, never got played, had a broken E string... it was the proverbial red-headed step child. One night I decided to give the poor thing a try because I don't believe anyone should be alone on Christmas. I plugged it into one of our best '69 Ampeg SVT head and 8x10 cabs and let her rip! It had the depth, but not the punch or growl that I would have preferred. Then again, I knew that it was not built for that kind of sound. In the end I concluded that anyone serious would not pay the $300 price for it and anyone joking around would find it too expensive for a joke not everyone would get. Bottom line; it's not a serious instrument. For the money, you can get so much more.

Reviewed by 32 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Not For Everyone

By Iowa-Bassman

from Central Iowa

See all my reviews

Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

I've been playing bass on and off for 40 years. I bought my Ashbory on a whim and I haven't been sorry. Judging from some of the other reviews I think some folks don't realize what they are getting when they buy one of these. I think you either love it or hate it without much in between. I use my for recording and couldn't be happier with it. It has it's faults, i.e. string breakage, intonation, etc. But if you want a bass that sounds equal to an upright, you will put up with the quirks of this bass. I played an upright bass in a college jazz band in the 60's and I can tell you, this little Ashbory has that sound nailed. Just tune down your strings before putting it away and use talc when you play it. it's pure simplicity and a joy to play.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Killer Bass

By Gigmaster-d_D8o

from Cleveland, Tn.

Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

I've had my Ashbory for a while now, and I won't hardly play any other bass. I am a pro musician, and I use this on all my gigs. The sound is like a good upright bass, only better. You can dial in more punch with the tone knobs if you need it.If you loosen the strings when not using the bass, they won't break so bad (I have yet to break one), and use Cornstarch, or Talc when you play. I've never had any intonation problems with mine, but if you do, it's not that hard to tweak the bridge and get it dead-on.I'd recommend this bass to anyone, without reservations.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great for the money

By John-uBM1V

from Ohio

See all my reviews

Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

I normally play a ukitar (a 6 string guitar tuned ADGCEA, a 4th above the regular guitar). When I read the reviews of the Ashbory, I decided to try tuning it ADGC, a 5th below the normal bass. Now, the high string doesn't break, and I have a really nice rumble to the lower tones. This is a great little bass. It's a lot harder to slam on, but it's a lot easier to tap on. The strings are very expressive. If you have small hands like I do, this is the perfect bass for you. It's a lot easier for small hands to play. In short, I love my Ashbory and play it quite a bit, even though I am normally the lead guitar (on my ukitar) and/or melodica player for our group.

(5 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

A novelty at best, a travesty at worst

By Matt-aQ7c3

from Hollywood, CA

See all my reviews

Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

I used to be a bass tech for one of the big session and live bass players who's initials are JMJ. Good ol' Justin (oops, that was a giveaway) had a huge selection of basses at home and at our warehouse. One of his basses was a lonely bastard child that went by the name of the De Armond Ashbory Bass. It never went on sessions, never got played, had a broken E string... it was the proverbial red-headed step child. One night I decided to give the poor thing a try because I don't believe anyone should be alone on Christmas. I plugged it into one of our best '69 Ampeg SVT head and 8x10 cabs and let her rip! It had the depth, but not the punch or growl that I would have preferred. Then again, I knew that it was not built for that kind of sound. In the end I concluded that anyone serious would not pay the $300 price for it and anyone joking around would find it too expensive for a joke not everyone would get. Bottom line; it's not a serious instrument. For the money, you can get so much more.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A seductive little treat

By Hawlywood

from Southeastern Washington

See all my reviews

Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

I'm a keys player who likes playing bass on occasion, so I'm a very simple player. I love this silly thing (and you will look silly playing it, it looks it was made by Fisher-Price), and will never sell it. It's just too pleasurable to play. The neck is so short, you barely have to move your hand to get where you need to go, and the bizarre rubber strings have a sensitivity to touch that make them extremely expressive, especially in the softer end of your playing range. The idea of being able to stow this near your recording rig (because it's so tiny), and have access to such an interesting range of bass sounds (very warm and acoustic-sounding) by just reaching for this little thing -- well, that's just some kind of heaven for certain bass nerds, I guess. The first time I changed a string, it was a little unnerving -- I was so sure I was going to break the darn thing well before getting anywhere near in tune. But I didn't. It just hangs in there, sounding all sweet and adorable. I played it all night long at a musician friend's birthday party, and it was one of the most effortless playing experiences of my life -- I really could have gone on forever.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Developed by Guild? I think not.

By Nick Riffed

from Norfolk. UK

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    I really hate it when you start a header with an inaccuracy.
    The development of the Ashbory bass had nothing to do with Guild in 1986, when mass production started. By the time it went into production with Guild it had been produced on a small scale be the inventor, Alun Ashworth-Jones and his Luther partner, Nigel Thornbory for a year or so.
    Guild picked it up after Martin Guitars had decided not to take up production.
    The Guild Ashbory is a different beast to the DeArmond or Fender version.
    It has a shorter scale, the tuners are worse than both the DeArmond and the Fender but it sounds more like an upright bass.
    Tuning can be a nightmare if you don't know what you're doing.
    Strings need to be stretched before fitting and then pulled through the tuner until nearly at the correct tension before looping through or knotting so as not to build up loads of winds and putting stress on the rather flimsy tuners.
    The will take ages to settle.
    You also have to give yourself time to adapt your playing style or you may as well not bother.
    If you get all these things sorted you will find that you have a very special little instrument on your hands.
    As for a flat sound, play with the pre amp, play with your EQ on your main amp.
    If you still aren't happy, buy another amp and cab.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    kooky!

    By NFV

    from Oakland, CA

    See all my reviews

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    I've had mine for 4 or 5 years now. I've used it for recording and live sound in an Irish drinking band.Good emulation of an acoustic bass, just tiny.Weird to get used to the 18" scale, but once you do, it's a natural feel.same complaint about the decomposing G string as the others here. It's the one instrument I've had that the string will be broken out of the bag from time to time. The nice thing about the stretchy nature of the strings, though, is most of the time you can just re-tie knot at the string end and restring it. The first set of strings I used lasted about 3 or 4 years.nice to play that portable a bass!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Dangerously cute

    By gnostix-too

    from Western NY

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    A real bass in a very small package. People with smaller hands / limited finger strength can thunder along with the best. Two full octaves on every string, though the high end takes a delicate touch and a good ear.Sounds range between an upright and a good electric flatwounds. Doesn't feed back, though lots of string noise at high gain levels. You can tap as well as pluck, strum, pick, or chord. Good clean raw tone with treble, bass, volume dials; add your own FX. (I like to thicken tone a bit with a tube emulator and/or a Boss chorus pedal). Baby powder for the baby bass is a source of much amusement. Negatives: Wish more string diameters were available for alternate tunings -- I'd really like to tune like a mandolin to facilitate instrument swapping. With this improvement, fiddle-viola players could be instant bass players also.Battery connector popped off -- had to do some soldering. Tuning gears will rust and need periodic lube. And that g-string...

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    i started out with this bass

    By bagofpoo7

    from oki

    See all my reviews

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    its not that bad really! i used it on a guitar amp before and it sounds pretty funky!id rather get ibanez gio bass (what i have now) but yeah,if you have money,GO FOR THIS BASS!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The World's Least Probable Electric Bass

    By Opisthokont

    from Halifax, NS

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    I have one of the original Guild Ashbory models, not the DeArmond or Fender reissues. I will never part with mine. It is absolutely in no way whatsoever a toy, even if it looks like one. This is just an amazing instrument. The sound is completely usable, and extremely versatile. You can make it sound like an upright bass, or an electric, or even an analog synth, if you play with the controls and experiment with your technique. Its looks will raise eyebrows, but as soon as they start to hear it, people cannot believe how good it sounds.The main problem with it is that the G (and sometimes D) strings tend to break. I have found that this problem can be minimised by paying close attention to how the string tension is distributed on the tuning peg. It might also help to have a professional smooth out the channel in the tuning machine, to reduce sharp edges that cause the string to break (I have had mine done, and it worked wonders).Besides being a great-sounding instrument, the small scale and low string tension mean that you can play it forever with no fatigue. Its small size also makes it extremely portable -- get one of these and a good headphone amp, and you have a cheaper (and smaller!) alternative to a Traveler Escape or a Sinsonido, which can be used for gigging and recording as well.Of course, it is not for everybody, but if you are even slightly interested, you should give it a try. There is absolutely nothing else like it.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Huge sound from a tiny bass!

    By The Worship Man

    from Warner Robins, GA

    See all my reviews

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    As with any other bass guitar, or any other instrument, whether or not you like the Ashbory is mostly a matter of personal taste. It is not a good or bad bass, it is just different. Very different indeed!It souns kind of like one of those electric upright basses. Very full, round and warm sound. And you can get other tones if you mess around with the knobs. The thing with the strings is not that they pop very often. It's that they pop for no reason, when the instrument is in it's case for example. But the strings for this bass are cheaper than almost any other kind of string that I've seen, so I don't think of that as an issue.I think the sound is great for jazz, but that is only a matter of opinion. This bass will not work for you if you play in a cover band, since it has not been used by any major bands yet. But if you do your own stuff and you are creative enough, or just open-minded, this bass will give you a blast.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    wonderful finish, great sound, perfect portable ba

    By UM Lake Fierbaugh

    from Sitka, AK

    See all my reviews

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    this instrument is beautifully finished, has great sound and is very portable. it does require some effort in getting used to the strings and fretboard, but all in all i loved my ashbory bass. it is what it is, a small fretless bass with great tone and sound, a small fret board, with big funky strings made of silicone rubber. it is not like any bass i have ever played, but i enjoyed playing mine. mine was deep blue. the battery is in the body behind the black plate and is activated when the bass is plugged in. I'll have another thank you. it's not an instrument for everybody, but if you enjoy that full funky fretless stand up sound and want a small unit to provide it, this just may be the bass for you

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Nice

    By Marty Bushway

    from North Springfield, VT

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    When I first took this bass out, it was shorter than I thought. But once you play it you realize that the size isn't what throws it off. It's the strings. Once you get used to the way they feel, though, it's a nice bass. I put q-parts skull knobs on and they seem to cause interferance. Probably the metal and the active pickups. I like it but it's not for everyone.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Mrs. Tater Hill

    By Mrs. Tater Hill

    from Arcadia, Florida

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    I have an original Guild Ashbory Bass that I bought in 1988 and loved it so much that I purchased the De Armond when it came out. I have not had problems with the G-string since I stopped using powder and started using corn starch. I also store my extra strings in corn starch. **Remember rubber will rot if not treated proper** I have had the most fun after a show with folks coming up asking about my bass, what a conversation piece. The runs, the walks, all are easy to make and the sound is outstanding. But it's not for everybody. Trust me when I tell you it is not a toy, I play in a country/bluegrass band and my band members don't want me to play anything else!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    My second review- still love it

    By Eddie P.

    from Beautiful Toledo, Ohio

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    I reviewed my 1st Ashbory in 2005. I'm now on my third in 2007, & I've been using them for bluegrass & do a lot of slapping to get the upright sound. I sold all of my other basses & use the Ashbory for everything with no complaints from the bluegrass purists or the rock bands. If you're interested in how I play melody with the left hand & rhythm with the right to get the bluegrass slap sound, drop me a line at blueashborybass-player@yahoo.com.I bought silicone cord from a company in Germany in 6 foot lengths for the G & D strings & have lots of E's and A's left over from when I used to buy the strings in sets from Fender. If you want info write me. As for fat fingers, etc. I know plenty of fiddle & mandolin players with fat fingers.You only need the tip of your finger on a string to get the right sound. Thats it! I really enjoy it!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great bass! Takes some getting used to.

    By Martin-1eQBt

    from La Vernia, Texas

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    Best mic'd acoustic sound out there without spending 2 grand! Very slow action on the strings. Strings de-compose after a year or so (especially the "G" string).

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Tuners

    By William Garringer

    from Florida in Winter and Ohio in Summer

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    The tuners are (Crap) I had to change them before I could even tune it. The brass gear teeth broke off.They were hard to turn and would not turn enough to tune it. I had to take the post from them and put another gear and knob on them. Hope you have better luck than I did. And the G string broke before I could get it to pitch.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great bass, love the sound.

    By Ron Smith

    from Kanab, UT

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    Again great instrument, but something needs to be changed about the strings. My G string breaks about every two months.

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    It's Horrible

    By junction-hgUWa

    from Minneapolis

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    I received it okay - no problems there. The g and d strings kept going out of tune (had for four days). But worst of all, the intonation was way out and there's no way to strobe tune this guitar. The twelth fret was almost a whole step lower than the harmonic. Ouch. I wouldn't recommend this bass to any professional musician. If you want to get your kid started on bass - ccol.

     
    5.0

    EXCELLENT

    By Balkan Fantasy Orchestra Band

    from Serbia - Croatia

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Excellent Bass Instrument
    • Fantastic To Play
    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

    • Flat Sound
    • Very Good Quality

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording

    Comments about DeArmond Ashbory Bass:

    I am professional musician over 45 years ! I owe American Fender Jazz Bass 62 , American Fender Precission Vintage , Personaly I owe Ashbory Bass 5 Years. Its Excellent !

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