When you know what you want, you buy U-bass!
U-Bass is an original and interesting product, that does not receive as much attention as it deserves. Let us take a look at some of Kala`s U-Basses and find out why this product is worth considering at the very least.
|№||Model||Rating||Number strings||Weight||Our top||Check|
|1||Kala U-BASS SB4FS||4||6.2 pounds||1|| Check|
|2||Passenger Electric-Acoustic U-Bass||4||4.41 pounds||2|| Check|
|3||Journeyman Electric-Acoustic U-Bass||4||5.25 pounds||3|| Check|
|Kala U-BASS SB4FS|
|Passenger Electric-Acoustic U-Bass|
|Journeyman Electric-Acoustic U-Bass|
Kala Brand Music
Kala Brand Music is a small and really young (but rather successful as well) company, manufacturing string instruments. In fact, there are only three choices: guitars, ukuleles, and original U-Bass (which is basically is bass ukulele). Although the brand is 13 years old only, its` production is known for reliability and uniqueness. There are even some hand-made models available.
What U-Bass is
U-Bass is really what it seems to be. It is a bass ukulele. To make it easier, imagine a bass-guitar, but much smaller and that it has warmer sound. There are U-Basses with 4 and 5 strings, solid and electro-acoustic models.
U-Basses are not cheap and are rather hard to play, so it might be not the first priority item, if you are beginner. However, it is always useful to get acquainted with something new and unusual, so let us take a look at some basic models, their alternatives and make some logical conclusions afterwards.
California Solid Body U-Bass
The first thing to get started with should be something closer to classical guitars. So, here is the solid body U-Bass. Let us take a look at its` physical characteristics firstly.
|Material||The material for ukuleles differs from one used for manufacturing guitars. For example solid U-Basses usually have ashwood body and maple neck. As ukulele is all about the comfortability, body and neck are cut and sanded, and afterwards finished with gloss. This makes the device truly durable and nice-sitting one.|
|Dimensions||It was a little wrong to call ukulele a small guitar. It is smaller indeed, but it`s not like a ½ guitar for example. The shape and dimensions differ. The dimensions are 34,5’’ 14’’ * 4,7’’ inches (which is 876.3 * 356 * 120 in millimeters). So, the shape does differ from guitar`s. It is still comfortable for young players and the ones with small hands. Adults may feel a bit unusual playing this one though (getting used to it won`t take much time). It`s also important to mention that U-Bass solid weighs around 6.5 pounds (which is around 3 kg). In comparison to normal-sized guitars ukulele is lighter.|
|Strings||Ukuleles are packed with Kala`s polyurethane strings (usually 4 of them). This material is a balance between softness and adjustability. It is not that painful to play, and the tune is being saved for a rather long time. However, the material that has no major cons, has no major pros as well. Just a reasonable one.|
With that being said, let me go straight to describing the sound qualities.
How it Sounds
Well, U-Bass sounds pretty much like a regular bass. It might be not as bright, but all the main sound characteristics remain the same. So, here are some reasons for choosing U-Bass over normal bass-guitar:
It is somewhere worse, but somewhere better as well. What I mean is that this instrument provides an opportunity to make the completely new sound in combination with the others. Even by itself it sounds decent enough to be a reasonable opponent to classical bass.
U-basses are much more portable than casual guitars are. In fact, you don`t even necessarily need a gig-bag for it. In case you really need to take it somewhere, it can be stored in a backpack or a bag (this might be dangerous of course, but, as I`ve already mentioned, Kala`s products are durable enough).
It is easier and funnier to play
The fact that ukuleles are usually seen as toy guitars, might be an advantage. Noone expects a lot from toy guitar, right? Playing an ukulele is not like playing a badass bass, when everyone expects a monster solo. It does feel much more comfortable to have and play an ukulele in psychological aspect.
Some Solid Ukuleles to Pick
|Kala`s Solid Body Ukuleles|
|Kala U-BASS SB4FS||This particular ukulele is a representative of classical ukuleles with solid bodies. It has polyurethane strings. The manufacturers claim that is has been designed to provide the deep “marine” sound. In reality it provides some nice reggae-like tones. It is worth mentioning as well, that this one is leight-weighed and compact.|
|Kala U-Bass all solid Mahogany||As you could`ve understood from the name, one of the features of this ukulele is that it uses mahogany body, which is more common for usual guitars. This item has been presented by Kala on its` 5th anniversary and had some other innovations as well. For example, there is a unique Kala pick-up system and EQ, which make adjusting and tuning easier. The sound has been improved, so if you want you can make it sound like a solid full-sized bass.|
|Kala U-Bass solid spruce Fretted||This one has frets, which makes it a little easier to play for the beginners. All the other aspects are pretty much the same as the other ukuleles have. It is compact, provides a nice sound.|
Kala U-BASS SB4FS
That was all the basic info you should about solid U-Basses. However, there is more to learn about Acoustic-Electric U-Bass, so let us not hesitate.
The name does speak for itself. Electric-acoustic U-Bass can be played both an acoustic ukulele and electric one.
Let us start discussing this one just like the previous, with its technical characteristics.
|Material||The average ukulele of this type has either mahogany or ashwood body, rosewood fretboard and satin finish. This is a decent pick of material which makes ukuleles comfortable to play and hold. There are also some laminated ukuleles, that are especially durable.|
|Dimensions||Electro-acoustic ukuleles are a little smaller than their solid analogues. An average model would have following dimensions: 27’’ * 10’’ * 5’’ inches (which is 686 * 254 * 127 in millimeters). This a highly portable device, especially that it only weighs around 4 pounds (which is less than two kilograms). So, even the smallest and the youngest players won`t have any trouble handling it.|
|Strings||Kala produces its` own strings, which are made of polyurethane. They are durable, rather soft and easy to tune. They that the perfectly made detail attracts no attention. This expression is perfect to describe Kala`s strings. You`ll never have to worry about them.|
These was the information about physical aspects of electro-acoustic guitars. Without further hesitation let us take a look at some nice electric and electr-acoustic ukuleles from Kala.
|Kala`s Electro-Acoustic Ukuleles|
|Passenger Electric-Acoustic U-Bass||Passenger model speaks for itself. It is a compact mahogany ukulele. Despite the size is really small, it still provides deep and warm sound when being played acoustically. If it is plugged-in it sounds more powerful and juicy. As a bonus, it has a nicely designed gig bag.|
|Journeyman Electric-Acoustic U-Bass||Journeyman is the top device of Kala`s latest line-up. It has powerful electric potential as well as rich acoustic sounding. It still remains portable and light-weighed. I would like to mark out its` outstanding design, which looks absolutely superior. Journeyman is the best choice for travelers and those who play guitars is small companies.|
Probably it is the strings material (I`ve never touched anything like that before) or the construction of high quality, or everything combined. Hard to tell. Well, another thing is that this device is perfectly customizable. I painted it green partly and adjusted some pins. Everything holds well. So, ukulele is a thing that every travelling person should try playing. Mathias, 33, tourist
Passenger Electric-Acoustic U-Bass
From the headstock to the body, the Passenger delivers a great booming sound along with the UK-500B Piezo pickup to complement the craftsmanship and tone of the U-Bass. This U-Bass was made for gigging and learning musicians who are interested in taking up the U-Bass.
It is made of mahogany wood, from the back and sides, to the top of the body. This provides the gorgeous warm sound to resonate from the U-Bass.
The Passenger U-Bass is practically weightless, and you can take it anywhere you go for the sake of practice, gigging, or whatever the case may be. Booming SoundAs previously mentioned, thanks to the tonal options given with mahogany wood, the Passenger resonates a perfect booming sound that gives off the perfect low-end balance when it comes to lower frequencies in any type of guitar, bass, etc. The mahogany neck also provides a perfect punch.
Finally, I think it is worth mentioning, that despite all the advantages it is not the best choice for a new player. There are some ¾ sized guitars which are more convenient.
Journeyman Electric-Acoustic U-Bass
The fine craftsmanship of this instrument makes it that much more enjoyable along with its big and warm sound. Thanks to the power of the UK-500B Piezo pickup, you are guaranteed a full and warm sound when amplified. For those of you who are looking to perfect your craft and have a very solid U-Bass without breaking the bank, this is definitely one of the best options you can go to.
The all-around mahogany body, with the mahogany neck with a cream binding is very pleasing on the eyes. Not only is it candy for your eyes, it’s also very warm in its sound thanks to the tonal frequencies given by mahogany wood. The F-holes resonate a natural reverb through the body of the U-Bass and gives it a very distinct sound.
Big and Warm SoundAs previously mentioned, the gorgeous deep and warm sound we hear from this U-Bass is thanks to the handy work of the mahogany wood. With the f-holes as well on the U-Bass we can expect quite a bit more resonance from the instrument. When combining the mahogany tone-wood with the f-holes, you can expect a natural warm reverb coming from the U-Bass.
However, if you are looking for some fun rather than serious development, ukulele should be considered. It is a fun-to-play instrument that you can always carry with you.
Summing Things up
So, here is the shortcut of everything said above:
- U-Bass is a rather rare type of ukulele developed by Kala Brand Music in the U.S.A.
- There are solid U-Basses and electro-acoustic ones.
- Both types are small and easy-to-play and carry. However getting used to an ukulele might take some time due to its` size, especially if you`ve been playing normal-sized guitars before.
With that being said I can now only wish you good luck with your further development, whichever instrument you decide to pick for yourself.