Aloha! Kala unveils the Ubass bass ukulele
(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-01-23)
When I first saw the new Ubass, a 20"-scale bass ukulele from Kala Ukulele, I was skeptical when the company said it can reproduce the sound of an upright bass. But after hearing it talked up by Winter NAMM 2010 attendees and seeing a video on the Kala website (www.kalaukulele.com), I'm ready to say, "Book 'em, Danno!"
While I think it might be a stretch to say that the Ubass has the depth and woodiness of a traditional 3/4 upright, I am amazed that such a small instrument sounds so good -- very much like a standard size acoustic bass guitar.
Built on a baritone ukulele body, the Ubass comes in either fretted or fretless models and uses proprietary polyurethane strings. It's tuned EADG like a standard bass guitar and has a solid mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, custom Hipshot tuners and a passive Shadow pickup system with individual piezo elements for each string. Jim Mayer of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band is currently using the Ubass on tour.
MSRP on the Ubass is $599, which includes a custom hard-foam case. The dealer list is quite comprehensive, with representation in almost every state in the US. However, I don't know if you're likely to find one in stock at a dealer unless you live in Hawaii, California, Florida or some other spot with year-round tropical weather.
Hang loose! Aloha!