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Thread: Looking for a solid body bass.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    16

    Default Looking for a solid body bass.

    I have been playing a GT MicroBass and liking it very much. However, the head/neck dive bothers me a lot. I also have rotator cuff issues that means I have to wrap my upper arm with an Ace bandage.

    The newer ( 2016) Kala California u-Basses appeal to me. But they are very expensive here and I have not found one anywhere. There is an older one, used, chipped in one store and I played for a short time. I will take it home for a longer play later this week.

    What I found very quickly was that the balance was great and comfortable. The fret board is much smaller than the Micro Bass but I think I can adapt to that. The shop will drop the price because it has been sitting around for a while.

    What I am concerned about is that it appears from my reading in UU and TalkBass that the changes in 2016 were significant and make the U-Bass a much better instrument.

    Is this something I should consider carefully. I know Kohanmike has modified one or several of his basses. Is it worth getting the older one or holding out for the newer one?
    Thanks in advance, John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    3,758

    Default

    I always suggest looking at the Rondomusic.com solid body bass ukes, they're priced well and pretty good all the way around. Go to the site and in Search, type "bass uke" to see what's available now. They have shorter ones like the Kala, and 23" scale like the Gold Tone (which was my first bass uke), but not always in stock.


    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,363

    Default

    I don't have experience with solid bodies, but I think the older acoustic Kala Ubasses are better than the new ones...
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    42

    Default

    I have and play daily, a pre 2016 Kala Cali Ubass. Play it in live music venues. I love it. Intonation is good. Has a great sound. I feel it is worth the money I spent on it. If I can sell the two acoustic ubasses I own I am planning on buying a second one with the metal strrings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Near The Hub of Oildom
    Posts
    9

    Default Currently Frustrated

    I am also looking and trying to decide between two older 4 and 5 string Kala SUB solid body ukes both fretted or the Fretless Blue Hadean over at Rondomusic.com.

    I do not like the stock stretchy rubber band strings on my acoustic so I am looking at if I get a Kala solid body I'd put the silver round wounds on it. If I decide on the Hadean Fretless I think I want a flat wound but I don't know if they are available for it or if such a thing is made for the U-Bass and if they would work. Does anyone know? I really like the idea of a fretless. This string thing is what is holding up my decision. Well, there might be another thing.

    In solid body instruments, I am a BIG FAN of humbuckers. In fact, I am restoring a vintage short scale EB3 Gibson. I would like whatever solid body small U-Bass type (as in scale) instrument that has a pick up the most like a humbucker. I hate the Fender hum. Single coils drive me insane. I have no idea what a piezo, Misi, Shadow or Baggs pickup is going to sound like in a solid body. Piezo is in the Hadean the rest have been all used in the older solid body Kala U-Bass.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
    Posts
    3,758

    Default

    I've been using LaBella flatwound steel strings on a few of my Rondo solid body ukes. The strings are 25" scale made exclusively for the Gold Tone ME 23" solid body bass, but they work on any bass uke. In some cases I've added an anchor plate on the back to accommodate the extra length if necessary. https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/goldt...cessories/mbls

    If you want a sub-short scale with standard magnetic pickups, SmallGuitars.com has a P-bass style that I bought a few years and in my opinion, is a very good choice. It's 24.7" scale and comes with round wound strings, but I changed them to the La Bellas. I also changed the tuning machines to standard bass size, added fret markers and had it painted surf green by Pat Wilkins. https://smallguitars.com/catalog/540...ravel_sunburst




    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 9 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,363

    Default

    Mike, I bet you have the best collection of Ubasses in the world!
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Near The Hub of Oildom
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I like what you have done. It is more my style. I play rhythm in a band. I use a 4-string LP Risa and an 8-string Airline mandola to uke conversion, both solid body steel strings with low G tuning. I'm using a Boss ME80, a G10 wireless, and a SubNup to drop an octave when needed. My bassist has a couple songs that are too difficult for him to play and sing at the same time so he wants me to pick them up. My acoustic U-bass causes tremendous feedback because I have two 400 watt Marshalls behind me. One is for my keyboard and synth and the other for the ukes. Stages are so cramped sometimes that I can see myself knocking everything over with my EB3 Gibson (which I love) but when playing ukuleles all the time it feels like a landing strip. If I get this solid body U-Bass or small bass the only feedback nightmare is my banjolele. I don't think there is a fix for that.

    Thanks for the info. You have been very helpful!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    3,755

    Default

    If you’re thinking fretless, there is a Savannah available for $200 on talkbass right now. I can vouch for the seller as I got my Gold Tone ME from him. And you should be able to put the La Bella flats on it like Mike has done.
    https://www.talkbass.com/posts/21736975/
    Ukelele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Guitars:
    Cordoba C1m 1/4, TI CF127, G
    Cordoba Mini M, SC F# EFS
    Jupiter #47, TI CF127, G

    Jim's Blog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
    Posts
    3,758

    Default

    What is wrong with the site, I replaced the image of my basses on the server I use but no matter what I do, the old image is the one that shows in my post. I refreshed the screen, deleted and re-uploaded the image my server checked and it's the correct one, I've deleted the link and re-did it, I've deleted the post and remade it, it's not in the Manage Images section only on my server, I've logged out and back in. THIS IS AGGRAVATING!!

    Hey, it finally replaced the image about 10 minutes later. Is that what's happening now, what a pain in rear.
    Last edited by kohanmike; 10-06-2018 at 08:11 AM.

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