BillyRadd Music

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A New U-Bass Is Born

It doesn't take a genius to figure out when something just flat works.

I believe that's the case with the new solid body U-Bass from Kala Ukuleles.  It's the next step in the evolution of the diminutive little bass with the pudgy urethane strings and big sound, but with a price tag of $1,200 it might be a while before I get my hot little hands on one.

What a great new musical invention!

I've owned four electric bass guitars in my life; a Framus short scale when I was in high school, a beautiful Gibson Ripper that I bought in the middle '70s, a Fender active P bass I bought last summer, and my little Kala U-Bass which I bought a few months ago.  They all had different advantages, features and tonal qualities, but the little U-bass sounds the most like an upright or double bass AND is the easiest to play.  I'd love to play one of the new solid models of U-bass but I'm afraid I'll have to wait until they possibly become available at a local music store here in Asheville, which may take some time.

The other remote possibility would be that I could buy one at the $1,200 introductory price.  So, I'll just have to wait until they get cheaper (which doesn't usually happen with quality built musical instruments), or until they become known as a novelty, in which case the value may go up as well.

Anyway, in their current manifestation, the solid body U-Bass comes in four cool colors, freted or fretless, and in 4 or 5-string models.  I prefer the natural colored finish since it looks like what a Hobbit bass player might jam with on the vales and in the taverns of Middle Earth.  Rustic and small.

The new Kala solid body U-Bass is currently made and assembled in Petaluma, California, which may explain their premium price tag.  But, my hollow body spruce-top U-Bass, which I believe is manufactured in China like seemingly most everything else affordable, seems to be built very well so I have no complaints and only good things to say about my little baritone uke with the fat strings.

If you play bass at all, I'd check out both models.  They are a real hoot to play and everyone loves their low, broad tone.  And, they weigh about as much as your lunch box.

Check out Hutch Huchinson, an experienced session player and bassest for Bonnie Raitt.

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