View Full Version : Kala UBass variants and set-ups

05-01-2012, 10:35 PM
An informal jam video with Music Man Mike on a Kala UBass caught my ears. Mike obviously was less at home on the bass as on the smaller ukes, but I liked the sound enough to have my musical heart being set on fire. I have long- and short-scale bass guitars, even built one myself 30 years ago, but this little thing sounds so wonderfully close to an upright. Which is nice, as my left hand does no longer likes my upright bass.

I have some biases as an instrument collector: concept instruments like the Ovations and other synthetic roundbacks are fine, but no plywood/veneer instruments are really welcome, which excludes the spruce topped UBass.

And then I have seen more mahogany furniture than I like, so I have some reserves against that species of wood. However my Martin Backpacker guitar is all mahogany aside from soundboard and fretboard, and I really like the way the overtones blend in that instrument.

A Hawaii outlet, which sets up all instruments prior to shipping, has the acacia UBass at price quite a bit below the list price. However a UK outlet has the same model even cheaper, when shipping, duty, and red tape is considered. But this outlet does not set-up the instruments. The Kala UBasses are said to be set-up in the US anyway, so how are they out of the box?

In my ears this demo sounds very, very well:


It displays the fretless model, which I could play, if I practiced enough, but I am too lazy. It looks like being the mahogany variant.

And here my heart and my purse have a discussion, because there is a mahogany model with frets available for a reasonable price in the UK (easy to import for me in Denmark).

So is acacia worthwhile over mahogany?

Is a dealer set-up worthwhile over an out-of the box sample?