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Thread: Of the various bass ukuleles which one would be the best without an amp?

  1. #1
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    Default Of the various bass ukuleles which one would be the best without an amp?

    I have been reading a lot and watching videos and have a pretty good idea of the limits of an unplugged bass ukulele. But I would like to be able to practice and play at home without an amp.

    I get the impression that some are better than others at this but do not have a clear idea of which one.

    If I go in this direction are there any drawbacks?
    Thanks,
    John

  2. #2
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    You're right about the limitations of these small basses played without amplification. I have the original Kala U-Bass and it can keep up with maybe one ukulele strumming along, but with any more than that it will go unheard. As you say, it suffices well for practicing by yourself.

    When I bought mine, Kala was the only option on the market. By now, there are several less expensive brands that are basically just plain copies of the Kala. And then there are a couple of brands that offer something a bit more original. These are the ones that I'd have a closer look at:

    - Aquila ShortBassOne: similar to the Kala U-Bass, but with a bigger body and a longer scale

    - Taylor Mini-Bass: similar dimensions as the Aquila, but with steel strings

    - Ohana Bass OBU-22: steel strings and a 25" scale

    I assume that due to the steel strings, the Taylor and Ohana have a bit more power. But one of their problems is that they use proprietary strings that may be hard to replace.

    Good luck with your search, let us know what you end up with.

  3. #3
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    My Chennel Archtop by Jazz box ukes is the best I've heard unplugged.
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  4. #4
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    The Rondomusic.com acoustic bass ukes will work just fine. I bought one recently and use it without an amp all the time to practice. They run about $150 to $180. www.rondomusic.com, then type bass uke in the search box.

  5. #5
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    Any of the Kala or Rondo Acoustic/electric are loud enough to practice with. I like the Original Ubass sizes (20" scale) with Road Toad Pahoehoe strings for the mellow upright bass sound. The Ohana and other steel wound string versions might be louder, but have a more electric bass sound, it's "sharper".
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Ohana CK-35-8 - Living Water | Kala KA-ACP-CT - Living Water, low G
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe

  6. #6
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    I have an Ohana OBU-22. It has a very nice full acoustic tone. I like it better now with the custom flat-wound strings, which get rid of the round-wound string noise. They were very costly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    The Rondomusic.com acoustic bass ukes will work just fine. I bought one recently and use it without an amp all the time to practice. They run about $150 to $180. www.rondomusic.com, then type bass uke in the search box.
    Curious: have you tried the Donner? It looks like Caramel is out of the bass uke business.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    Curious: have you tried the Donner? It looks like Caramel is out of the bass uke business.
    I was tempted to try a Donner, there were some for under $150 on ebay a month ago. But, I found a good deal on an older Kala Exotic Mahogany.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Ohana CK-35-8 - Living Water | Kala KA-ACP-CT - Living Water, low G
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkerDanno View Post
    I was tempted to try a Donner, there were some for under $150 on ebay a month ago. But, I found a good deal on an older Kala Exotic Mahogany.
    Looking up Donner, it has to be from the same Chinese factory that makes the bass ukes that Rondo imports.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    Looking up Donner, it has to be from the same Chinese factory that makes the bass ukes that Rondo imports.
    Maybe, who knows, but there's probably more than one factory in China.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Ohana CK-35-8 - Living Water | Kala KA-ACP-CT - Living Water, low G
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe

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