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View Full Version : Ubass solid or hollow body?



strumsilly
06-18-2012, 12:28 PM
Been thinking ubass. since you really have to plug the hollow body in for anything but practice, any advantage over the new solid body ubass, they both seem to be about 400 or less. the solid body sure look cooler.

Zenin
06-18-2012, 01:36 PM
Been thinking ubass. since you really have to plug the hollow body in for anything but practice, any advantage over the new solid body ubass, they both seem to be about 400 or less. the solid body sure look cooler.
I'm not much of a bass player (yet)...that said, I've been very tempted to pick one up as well and have had the chance to play a few side by side.

They are very, very similar but not identical. The hollow body has slightly less sustain, slightly sharper attack. Think slightly closer to an upright bass. -Although honestly, with the strings these things use it's really difficult to get any real attack out of either of them. The hollow body also responded stronger to slapping, etc since it picked up a lot of sound from the top that just vanishes on the solid.

All and all the hollow body can get a thump, thump attack/tone better and easier then the solid. The solid is smoother and thicker/fatter tone by contrast. Again, these differences are incredibly small and don't go thinking the hollow body will ever be able to pretend to be an upright with gut strings, despite all the comments about "how much it sounds like an upright" it honestly doesn't. No one is going to be playing rock-a-billy or trad jazz on this thing anytime soon. It has its own sound, farther from a guitar then an upright, but still no where near either.

--

For myself, I was leaning towards the hollow...but I'd want to use it for a super-portable bass to play 20s-40s music and I think it'll just be too clean sounding and ultimately disappoint. So now I'm leaning towards the solid...if the sound is going to be super clean and fat anyway, I might as well go whole hog and use it for contemporary music (plus, I agree, the solid bodies look much better).

strumsilly
06-18-2012, 03:20 PM
thanks so much Zenin, that's exactly what I wanted to know. I think I'm going to go for a solid too. there is probably a pedal that you can use to get a more upright sound when needed.I.ve seeen a few 2nds on ebay that have a nice discount.

musicmonsterw
06-18-2012, 03:51 PM
I've owned a solid body UBass for a year. I tried both the hollow and solid bodies. The solid has much greater flexibility of tone. With clever manipulation of the low and hi, EQs, an incredible range of sounds is possible. On a good amp the solid kicks butt over the hollow for bringing deep rich tones into the equation.

My wife has taken over my UBass (the one in the signature). We now regularly gig with it. I play the ukulele or guitar, and she plays the U-Bass. We have another guitar player to round out the trio.


This is a video that shows the sound of the U-Bass playing a simple bass line in a song.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9Jo0NNL9YQ

strumsilly
06-19-2012, 02:59 AM
thanks MMs, now I'm leaning even more twards the solid

Barbablanca
06-27-2012, 08:25 AM
Great vid. (Apart from the author) Who made that song famous? I had heard it before, but don't know who by.

we tigers
08-23-2012, 08:58 PM
I've been playing the hollow body for over a year. Love the tone. When I send it through my Ashdown ABM stack it is the biggest bass sound I have (compared with two Precisions and a hollow body Kay).

The solid doesn't do it for me. But that's based on the looks; looks like a miniature boutique bass. And I don't like active electronics.

ukuleleovernite
09-05-2012, 05:31 AM
My wife has taken over my UBass (the one in the signature). We now regularly gig with it. I play the ukulele or guitar, and she plays the U-Bass.

I've got a hollow body ubass (fretless) which my husband has taken over! ;)

In my opinion, the fretless hollow body sounds better (and yes: more like an upright bass :cool: ) than the fretted one.


This is a video that shows the sound of the U-Bass playing a simple bass line in a song.

Really nice! Where is the "thumbs up"-smilie? :)
I made a video with the ubass played with a plectrum. We didn't edit the sound of it. To me, it sounds better than my other fretless basses which are in regular size! One of them is a Godin, and it still amazes me the little ubass sounds better that one!
Here comes the fretless ubass with plec (don't wonder about the song, it is a cover of the German Eurovision Contest Song 2011):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpn0Y5ycpdM

Zenin
09-05-2012, 06:16 AM
Great sound! I love how using a pick gives the bass some solid attack that I've felt normally lacking from the u-bass.

Barbablanca
09-05-2012, 06:43 AM
Ah, the song Ronin's trio perform above was used in the film Once. I knew I had heard it somewhere!

ichadwick
09-08-2012, 01:49 PM
I owned a hollow-body for about a year and liked it, but wasn't sold on it. Great tone when plugged in. I played around with the solid body at the Twelfth Fret in Toronto on my last two visits to the city and think I like it much more. My current basses are an Epiphone viola bass and a five-string Ergo EUB (I had a six-string Ibanez bass, but sold it). I am mightily tempted by the solid-body Kala, however...

bigchiz
09-10-2012, 06:05 AM
Very happy with the hollow body, spruce top fretless, with pahoehoe strings (OEM). When sitting on the couch it's nice to work on riffs, Guessing the hollow body produces a little more sound when unplugged. And also play it with our semi-monthly uke group gatherings plugged into an amp, I like all the levels set flat (5) and then adjust the volume. Very nice tone from the instrument, I call it gnarly. This weekend we played for an outdoor event. The group sat in a circle with the Roland Micro Cube Bass lying on the ground face up. Plenty of volume for that situation.

Already have a solid body, it's a full scale Ibanez SDGR mid-'80s model. So that weighed into my decision to get the hollow body.

misterbee
12-09-2012, 09:08 PM
What a beautiful rendition of "Falling Slowly"! I have long wanted to cover that song, even bought the sheet music, but my conversion of the guitar chords never sounded right to me. Is your arrangement up on the web somewhere?

DaleR
02-23-2013, 03:50 AM
HOLLOW BODY.:love::worship::shaka:

HeavyDuty
02-23-2013, 04:20 AM
I messed around enough with hollowbodies in the store to know I wanted... a solidbody. Which is on the truck for delivery. Five string fretless.

That said, I would be very interested in a five string fretless hollowbody with the same longer scale as the Cali solid, but I have a feeling that Kala isn't going to scratch that particular itch - and Owen Holt isn't answering my emails. Sigh.

Tootler
03-11-2013, 03:19 AM
I'm very happy with my hollow body fretted U-Bass.

Nickie
04-04-2013, 03:30 PM
I have the hollow body model. I love the way it looks like a uke. Course I don't know jack yet, but it's light...love that!

SonSprinter
05-03-2013, 01:28 AM
What does it mean when a bass has a "sharper attack"?

UkeKiddinMe
05-03-2013, 01:35 AM
Best bet is to spend time with both and decide which one sounds better to you.

Personally, I bonded a whole lot more with the tone of the hollow body than the solid.

The hollow body is also simply - the world's greatest couch practice bass. :)

Harryink
05-08-2013, 02:51 AM
I have a Kala solid Ubass. I was sold on the black solid body electric guitarness of it. I've been pretty underwhelmed by it though.

I've just repaired the jack after the duco and wood around the hole began fracturing and the plug cylinder was floating free and it became unreliable. Now it's fixed to an oval plate and behaving better. I bought it online and it turned up with the soldering falling apart too, so I had to have that properly repaired. Buyer beware, I suppose.

While I had the soldering being fixed, a friend lent me her hollow body Ubass to practice on. I don't actually like the ukulele look of the ubass per se. Somehow it looks like a teddy bear version of a uke to me, all cartoony and thicker. However, you can practice without plugging it in. It gives off enough sound by itself to be, as UkeKiddinMe says, the world's greatest couch practice bass. You could even back up a single uke or duo, I suspect, unamped. If they get cheap, I think I'd get over my vanity and buy one. Until then I'll keep struggling with the solid body. On the up side, that looks cool! :P

bigchiz
05-20-2013, 05:12 AM
What does it mean when a bass has a "sharper attack"?

An example of a sharp attack it so pluck the C string on your ukulele by plucking with your fingernail near the bridge. For a dull attack try using the pad, or side, of your thumb and pluck about halfway between the bridge an the nut.