Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

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Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby Rhian Batson » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:44 pm

I picked up a Rondo Ursa 6 string jazz. I know bargain basement but I couldn't help myself. I've had the itch to try one of these sixers for the past coupla years or so.

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http://www.rondomusic.com/usra2mn6car.html

I'm also considering a 2 band Artec preamp. Anyone try one?

Image
http://www.eyguitarmusic.com/Artec-SE2A ... p_768.html

It should arrive 5 days from now, so we'll see. Hopefully it doesn't take the scenic route like Pete's mic. [smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif]
Last edited by Rhian Batson on Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby nolabass » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:43 pm

I'm digging a $100 bass these days too. No reason that can't play and sound cool with a little TLC I bet.......and Ya, hope it's not on the same route as my package was.
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby GonzoBass » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:41 am

Figure you'll swap out the pick ups?
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Effects:
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby Rhian Batson » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:54 am

Gonz, I bought this knowing that there really is no option out there that will fit and is under $150.00 - not that I'm scared to route a $160.00 bass, but if I can avoid it, I will. Reviews on the stock pickups are that they sound good - think 70's jazz, although newer production sixers have higher output than the initial 3 runs of production. Still these are single coil, so 60c hum is a noted observation. I'm leaning towards shielding the cavities - I don't think it will stop the 60c hum but it will do a good job of isolating any noise other than what's coming from the pickups. A little hum doesn't bug me as it's just the nature of the single coil beast IMHO. Most of my J's have it to some degree except my Marcus J w/ retro and my newest which is passive but has stacked hum canceling coils. Ultimately, I want to swap out the round wound strings for a nice set of light or extra light gauge , lower tension flatwounds - if that exists. Either way, some very light flats akin to the light chromes or TI flats I like to use would be nice. Anyone have some suggestions? I think it will be a cool project and I also have been wanting extended range in a bass, so this scratches that itch too.

We'll see [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby GonzoBass » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:17 am

I'm interested to hear how playable this is once you get it on your lap.

When I back saxman Jeff Gaeth,
I have to take along a BEAD bass
because he has a couple tunes that call for low notes.
So I've been staring at the ESP LTD B206SM lately-

Image

and considering it for about the same reason:
"Entry level into extended range".

All I really need is the low B
but figure if I am going to get a new one,
I might as well extend both ways and get a 6.

The ESP would set me back about $500,
so this is a tempting alternative to me.
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Location: Hilo, Hawaii
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Tools:
Steinberger XP2 Workhorse (DB Bridge)
Steinberger XP2 (B-E-A-D)
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Fender Deluxe 24 Fret Jazz
EBMM Stingray Natural/Maple
Xavier Custom 6 String
Ibanez AEB10K Acoustic
Dean Rhapsody 8 String
Carvin BK2A Fretless
Gibson EB3 (Project)
Epiphone Newport EBS
Synsonic Half Scale
Fender Mandolin
A couple Flea Ukuleles
and a few guitars...

Rigs:
Small-
GK MB112 combo
Medium-
GK MB500
GK 2x10 Neo
Large-
GK 1001 Mark II 2x10 combo
GK 1x15 RBS

Effects:
Line 6 Bass POD XT Live
BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer

Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby Rhian Batson » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:58 am

Once I get it, I'll try to get some direct-in Presonus audiobox sound clips recorded and posted here - maybe some mic'd clips too. The one thing I couldn't find online which I wanted were some high quality sound clips of the bass - for example close to 30 pages on TB of people praising this SX bass and not one audio clip. Also, plenty of videos on YT but again, they all had bad audio - Not the quality I wanted anyhow. Regardless, I think that might help you decide if this works for your gig tonally.
Last edited by Rhian Batson on Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby GonzoBass » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:33 pm

Thanks!

I am wondering about the set up/playabilty too.

...being spoiled by low Steinberger action over the years,
even my Musicman seems stiff.
[smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif]
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Aloha-
Papa Gonzo
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GonzoBass
Global Bouncer
 
Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Links: .
Tools:
Steinberger XP2 Workhorse (DB Bridge)
Steinberger XP2 (B-E-A-D)
Steinberger XP2A (Back Up)
Wilkat GonzoBass #001
Fender Deluxe 24 Fret Jazz
EBMM Stingray Natural/Maple
Xavier Custom 6 String
Ibanez AEB10K Acoustic
Dean Rhapsody 8 String
Carvin BK2A Fretless
Gibson EB3 (Project)
Epiphone Newport EBS
Synsonic Half Scale
Fender Mandolin
A couple Flea Ukuleles
and a few guitars...

Rigs:
Small-
GK MB112 combo
Medium-
GK MB500
GK 2x10 Neo
Large-
GK 1001 Mark II 2x10 combo
GK 1x15 RBS

Effects:
Line 6 Bass POD XT Live
BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer

Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby Rhian Batson » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:44 pm

I'm a sucker for light and low action too, so if I can't get it where I want it, I'll be disappointed. This is another reason I'm going to put light flats of some type on it as I can typically get slightly lower action with them. Anyhow, from the reviews I read, it seems like the over all fretwork quality is good with the odd complaint of a high fret although a level and dress fixed the issue. Pretty excited to give it a go and see what all the heavy breathing is about.

It'll be the first CAR bass I've owned in 10 years about. [smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif]

The bass is hanging out in Illinois. I hate waiting.
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby GonzoBass » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:00 am

Not yet?
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Aloha-
Papa Gonzo
User avatar
GonzoBass
Global Bouncer
 
Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Links: .
Tools:
Steinberger XP2 Workhorse (DB Bridge)
Steinberger XP2 (B-E-A-D)
Steinberger XP2A (Back Up)
Wilkat GonzoBass #001
Fender Deluxe 24 Fret Jazz
EBMM Stingray Natural/Maple
Xavier Custom 6 String
Ibanez AEB10K Acoustic
Dean Rhapsody 8 String
Carvin BK2A Fretless
Gibson EB3 (Project)
Epiphone Newport EBS
Synsonic Half Scale
Fender Mandolin
A couple Flea Ukuleles
and a few guitars...

Rigs:
Small-
GK MB112 combo
Medium-
GK MB500
GK 2x10 Neo
Large-
GK 1001 Mark II 2x10 combo
GK 1x15 RBS

Effects:
Line 6 Bass POD XT Live
BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer

Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby Rhian Batson » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:39 am

It's scheduled to arrive tomorrow, the 4th. Sure would be nice if it delivered today though. I am tired of waiting.
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby ghiadub » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:48 pm

I have one of these:

http://www.rondomusic.com/hxb406natbshort.html

B is a little floppy, but usable if you play super light. The bass does not sound or play bad, it has a double trussrod that seems to work well enough. Preamp is weak but usable.
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby Rhian Batson » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:09 pm

It arrived. Here are some sound clips.

https://soundcloud.com/rhian-batson/sx-ursa-6-review

Can't get the stupid soundcloud embed code to be friends with BBcode - oh well. Anyhow, I think the bass would do well with some light, low tension flats for my needs. Id say TI's but not at 130 bucks a set[!!] woof! I'm thinking light Chrome 5vers & sourcing a single C string.
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby nolabass » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:01 pm

Nice review. I think it sounds surprisingly usable. Like you said recorded it is pretty even on the low B. [smilie=food-smiley-004.gif]
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby Rhian Batson » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:37 pm

So after playing with this bass for some time, dropping a partial set of chromes on it, etc. I decided to send it back for a refund. While I think it is a value to players and a comfortable intro-6 string bass with a beautiful finish, there were a couple things about it that swayed me to return it.

1.) Weak live low B sound. Recorded it sounded great, but live even pushing some serious air through one of my 810s with a slight 64-125Hz EQ boost I thought it was anemic. Recorded, it was there and pretty tight but live, I just wasn't feeling it. That meant modding it with a new pickup which I think would be fun but the $$ involved vs it still being a $160 bass - ehh yanno, I don't currently own 6 string pickup[s] so I definitely wouldn't get the money out of it and I couldn't drop the old pickup back in due to the route. Up a creek without a paddle if I had done that.
2.) Electronics/pickups. I thought over all, the volume was poor. This was the main factor actually. They had this serious top heaviness to them in the sense that from the D string up - very pronounced and solid, but below that it got progressively weaker and wimpier. I read some mods of people puting magnets under the pickups but that to me is not a solution. The pickups should simply work better through a better design. Honestly, charge 20-40 dollars more and design or buy and drop in some higher quality pickups. It's worth it and you would get less returns. If this were the case I most likely would have kept the bass because otherwise, I felt it was really light for a 6er and I thought the Fender-esque Jazz looks of the bass were great. On a side note, it shipped with a stupid ground hum with both pickups full on - which is no big deal but bugs me. Yanno, another little thing that would need to be fixed. As I already have the copper tape for that and was part of the plan, yanno, not really a huge deal, but still irritating.

That was about it. I have a few project basses floating around here and I think I will use the funds to complete these vs what I consider some pretty heavy mods to a $160 dollar bass. Still, SX/Rondo was stand up in that I filled out their (10 day) return form, stated my issues with the bass and the next day, a pre-paid return UPS sticker was in my mail box ready to be printed out, taped onto the bass box and dropped at a UPS store. I am not at all against trying a future version of this bass with improved guts/pickups as SX/Rondo was easy to deal with. I do like their 4 string necks, so one may very well show up on one of my bass projects - that is when they get their chrome tuning machines back in their parts store.
Last edited by Rhian Batson on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Slummin' it in the bargain basement - New bass.

Postby Mr. Mom » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:49 pm

That kind of sucks, but at least you got to scratch that itch.
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