UBass Strings

Ubass strings are like nothing you’ll have played on a bass. Here’s a review of the types available and where to get them.

Pahoehoe strings

pahoehoeThese were the original revolutionary strings that bought about the creation of the UBass.  They’re made of polyurethane and have sufficient density to create the deep bass notes that the UBass can create. They are available in black or there are some coloured strings for those of you who are a bit more adventurous. In the early days they were produced by their creator Owen Holt of Road Toad Music and you’d have to get them via mail order. I originally bought a set for my Ashbory Bass but when the UBass came on the market I was instantly hooked. These are available in a few of the online stores and sometimes appear on Ebay. If you are not in a hurry then you can buy directly from Road Toad Music as a US import. Road Toad is also the only place to get a limited range of funky colours. Make sure you buy the UBass friendly strings which are the 20″ to 21″ scale versions.

Where to get them:

Aquila Thundergut strings

A more recent set of strings with a more secret formulation has come from the Uke string favourites Aquila.  They are slighty higher tension than the Pahoehoes and feel harder to touch.  Once installed and bought to tension, they settle down and hold tuning within a few days which is an improvement on the Pahoehoes. One distinct drawback of these strings is they are bright white and in my opinion look horrible.

I have tried a set of Thunderguts and found them reasonably playable until the strings starting sticking under my fingers   Apparently this is a reaction to certain types of skin chemistry.  I guess I’m unlucky.  Apparently using some form of lubricant powder on the fingers is the answer but I have tried it. I didn’t really like the sticky Thunderguts and removed them and went back to the Pahoehoes.  I think it’s just one you’re going to have to try for yourself.

Where to get them:

Aquila Silver Rumblers

Aquila have bought out a new set of thankfully black strings which are supposed to expand on the positives of the Thunderguts.  I haven’t found a definitive answer on whether they inherit the sticking problem of their predecessors so I’ll try them and find out.  Currently I can’t get them in the UK so it has to be mail order from the US.

Where to get them:

A note about UK Suppliers

Please note the supplies seem to go up and down quite considerably. At the time of writing there seems to be ample stock of Thunderguts and I can only find a single supplier for the Pahoehoes. Having a UBass outside of the US is always a bit of a pain when you’re trying to get repairs and replacements.