BillyRadd Music

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Like

A Kala California UBass with a solid swamp ash body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and break through Mi-Si Align Pickup System flanked by a Fender Rumble 15 Bass practice amp, and Digiteck RP1000 stomp effects.

I like this little bass.  I mean really like it.  After selling my beautiful pearl white Fender P Bass to a worship music bassiet, and then my year-old acoustic Ubass to an ecstatic uke player for basically what I paid for it, I jumped on this little American-made beauty at a nice close-out price from Elderly Instruments.

I almost don't know where to begin.  Well, lets see . . .

1.  I have small hands with correspondingly proportional but short fingers.  The ubass size dimensions are much closer to a baritone ukulele than a typical Fender Bass.  Great for my particular Snausages, as a friend of mine's wife calls his own stubs.

2.  All Ubasses can be tuned to standard string bass tuning - E A D G.  The strings that came with it are Kala's proprietary polyurethane strings which were specially developed by Road Toad Music in Hawaii.

3. The Mi-Si Align System features an active battery-free preamp. The preamp uses Mi-Si custom piezo linearization scheme which allows for the most truthful and accurate sound from the pickup. Align also includes onboard volume, bass and treble controls. You only have to power up for 60 seconds using the Mi-Si Power Charger for up to 8 hours of performance time.

4.  The California Ubass, called that to denote its place of birth, arrived in beautiful condition from Elderly Instruments and really thumps through my little practice amp or vintage Ampeg fliptop, and especially is fun to route through my Degitech RP 1000 which adds some really wild or subtile effects to the Ubass lowside.

Everyone is surprised at this little wonder's booming bass voice, but they quickly learn to love and respect her power and depth.

If you ever run across one, I'd pick it up and try thumping it a bit.  Most people say it feels like rubber bands, but you quickly get used to that.  And, your fingers don't get sore even after playing for a few hours.

Whether you're a bass player or not, I think you'll appreciate its thoughtful design, even balance, beefy construction and detailed build quality.  It plain just feels good to the touch and has a classic character that reminds me of fine hand-crafted furniture.

I'd buy more than one but I can only play one at a time.