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View Full Version : Why uke bass cost so much ?



kkmm
03-29-2012, 11:55 AM
I am new to the ukulele world, my first one was bought 2 months ago. I found ukulele are fairly priced compared to other instruments such as guitars and mandolins.
But the price of the U bass really shocks me.
I have tried acoustic bass guitars in Guitar Center costing around 150$ to 300$ (reasonable to me), but the lowest price U bass is 450$ minimum.
What is so special about the U bass to justify this price tag ?

chrimess
03-29-2012, 12:08 PM
I guess mainly the fact that the few manufacturers that make one form a bit of an oligopoly...

Ernie
03-29-2012, 01:18 PM
Well, the fact that they can sell about a zillion times more volume with the acoustic bass guitars is a big factor.

Jon Moody
03-29-2012, 01:50 PM
I'd go with the shortage of companies making them. As far as I know, Kala is the ONLY mass manufacturer of them. Seriously though, $450 is not a bad price at all.

kkmm
03-30-2012, 07:29 AM
In one of the local music stores, I found a few U bass listing around 800$. You guys gave good reason, it's the supply and demand.
I have spent 1K, 1K and 4K for three keyboards and found them reasonable based on features / performance / cost. However, I still have a hard time to pay 450$ for an U bass, simply because a normal acoustic bass guitar cost a lot less. Just my feeling.

chrimess
03-30-2012, 08:48 AM
You might want to talk to Mim, she has a nice selection of U-basses reasonably priced- I got mine, there.

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In one of the local music stores, I found a few U bass listing around 800$. You guys gave good reason, it's the supply and demand.
I have spent 1K, 1K and 4K for three keyboards and found them reasonable based on features / performance / cost. However, I still have a hard time to pay 450$ for an U bass, simply because a normal acoustic bass guitar cost a lot less. Just my feeling.

PhilUSAFRet
03-30-2012, 08:49 AM
As I understand it, they have custom tuning machines and bridge with individual piezo's for each string, and construction necessry for getting enough string tension in such a small bass to actually sound like a full-sized standup bass. I have seen the spruce topped ones go for $349 plus shipping.

kapahulu50
03-30-2012, 07:39 PM
It sounds great, is a lot easier on the back than a full size electric (or upright) and is fun to play. Well worth $450.

fourstringsisplenty
03-31-2012, 11:40 AM
I love mine.Got my local music store to let me put it on layaway and match the going rate online ($414 at the time) I also traded an acoustic bass in the deal. Quite a nice score, in my oppinion. My fretless acoustic bass has been looking mighty lonely since. The U Bass is so much easier on the hands. And, being a uke, it's automatically more fun to play. Worth every penny

I am new to the ukulele world, my first one was bought 2 months ago. I found ukulele are fairly priced compared to other instruments such as guitars and mandolins.
But the price of the U bass really shocks me.
I have tried acoustic bass guitars in Guitar Center costing around 150$ to 300$ (reasonable to me), but the lowest price U bass is 450$ minimum.
What is so special about the U bass to justify this price tag ?

Chickenstein
03-31-2012, 09:36 PM
Bass guitar was the first instrument I "learned" to play.

I now love playing standard ukuleles, but I don't really see any reason to own a bass ukulele.

For acoustic bass, bigger is better, to project sound; and I really don't see the purpose.

Just my opinion.

fourstringsisplenty
04-01-2012, 08:05 AM
I came up on bass too. It was with some uncertainty that I traded my Applause acoustic towards a U Bass, it had served me well for the last 10 years. But I have no regrets. The U Bass is a whole different animal ( a much easier one to tame) Sounds like an upright, plays like a uke. I also own a Michael Kelly fretless acoustic. Strung with flatwounds it's one of the sweetest sounding acoustics I've heard. I'd have a hard time letting that one go, but still I wouldn't be too surprised to one day see a fretless U bass hanging in its place. Give a U bass a chance, and you'll see the purpose. Many of my guitar playing buddies now want one just for the portability of it.
Bass guitar was the first instrument I "learned" to play.

I now love playing standard ukuleles, but I don't really see any reason to own a bass ukulele.

For acoustic bass, bigger is better, to project sound; and I really don't see the purpose.

Just my opinion.

Jon Moody
04-01-2012, 01:54 PM
Bass guitar was the first instrument I "learned" to play.

I now love playing standard ukuleles, but I don't really see any reason to own a bass ukulele.

For acoustic bass, bigger is better, to project sound; and I really don't see the purpose.

Just my opinion.

I play in theatre pits. There are many times when I'm doubling on electric and upright basses where I just don't have the real estate in the pit to bring both, so I cop everything on electric. I bought the U-Bass specifically to allow me to get a more authentic acoustic sound in a size that is more manageable in a crowded pit situation. Run the U-Bass through the Daring Audio Phat Beam pedal and you can get a sound that the audience probably won't know (or honestly, care) that I'm playing a bass uke.

So for me, it serves a pretty big purpose. Plus, it's fun to bring into a show and have people do a double-take.

leewot
05-10-2012, 09:03 AM
I am new to the ukulele world, my first one was bought 2 months ago. I found ukulele are fairly priced compared to other instruments such as guitars and mandolins.
But the price of the U bass really shocks me.
I have tried acoustic bass guitars in Guitar Center costing around 150$ to 300$ (reasonable to me), but the lowest price U bass is 450$ minimum.
What is so special about the U bass to justify this price tag ?

This is my latest project: BAZZUKA #2
http://youtu.be/Cba5baHL3M0
please let me know what you think?

i'm not suprised by the price of the U-bass etc as they lovely instruments.