Hey mon, NBD! Kala S.U.B. U-Bass

Jim Hanks

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This is my second bass. The first is the Gold Tone ME-Bass that I immediately replaced the stock Aquila Thunderguts strings with the La Bella flat wounds. This is a good bass but I wanted to try a standard U-Bass for comparison. After looking for a couple of weeks on talkbass.com and reverb.com, I spotted this on eBay for a reasonable price and went for it.

The story is that Kala used it as a demo for a NAMM show. How it came into the possession of Texas Guitar Ranch is not told, but sometimes it's best not to ask questions to which you don't really need to hear the answer. :) At any rate, it arrived in very good condition, setup seems just fine, and seems to perform flawlessly, so I have no reason to doubt this origin story.

It is strung with Pahoehoe Dreads which feel a *lot* different than the flats and slightly different than the standard Pahoehoes I've tried in music stores - a little smoother perhaps? I don't know if it is the shorter scale (21" vs 23") or the lower tension, but the Kala seems noticeably easier to fret than the GT. I've only played it a few minutes so far, but it seems like a keeper. I had gotten in a set of Thunder Reds strings just as I found the Kala, so I held off putting them on the GT. I think I'll keep the Dreads on the Kala for now and eventually put the Reds on the GT.

Hopefully I can do a sound sample over the weekend. From my few minutes tonight playing direct into Reason, it seems the sound greatly benefits from some simple processing like a couple of EQ notches to reduce finger noise, high and low pass filters, compression, and amp sim. I've heard some YouTube samples of U-Basses plugged straight into an amp where the sound really didn't make me want to play a U-Bass, but I'm convinced some decent tones are possible with a little bit of extra effort.

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By the way, doesn't it seem like a lot of wraps on this A string? Do I need to do something about that?
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A couple of more pics here: https://imgur.com/a/6EsHJjN
 
Congrats Jim. Someday you may catch up to my 21 sub-short scale basses. And thanks for making me aware of the Gold Tone ME, I played it the other at rehearsal and I really like it.


8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 10 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
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Congrats Jim. Someday you may catch up to my 21 sub-short scale basses.
No, no! This is my last bass, I swear! :p

Jim, that was fast!! Took me 3 yrs to get my second (& current) bass 42 years ago.
Haha! Yeah, I tend to buy in batches to find out what I like with the intent of selling off the ones I don't. I have a problem with that second part though. :rolleyes:

Ready to join a reggae band?
You never know. That would be irie, mon! :nana:
 
Somebody has UbassAS...:D:shaka:

Those strings are probably just colored Pahoehoes, they are really stretchy! You'll benefit by unwinding and trimming the excess string off. My Pahoehoes seem like they are finally settling in and keeping tune better after 6 months? I also need to trim off some excess again.
 
Somebody has UbassAS...:D:shaka:

Those strings are probably just colored Pahoehoes, they are really stretchy! You'll benefit by unwinding and trimming the excess string off. My Pahoehoes seem like they are finally settling in and keeping tune better after 6 months? I also need to trim off some excess again.
Didn't you read my last? This is it, I'm tellin ya! :D

I read somewhere that they are a slightly different formula but I don't know. I don't have the standard ones to compare against. I'm definitely gonna have to trim the A string at least. The rest aren't as bad.
 
Didn't you read my last? This is it, I'm tellin ya! :D

I read somewhere that they are a slightly different formula but I don't know. I don't have the standard ones to compare against. I'm definitely gonna have to trim the A string at least. The rest aren't as bad.

Congratulations Jim. Those colored strings are way cool, do they each taste different, kinda like Skittles
 
Congratulations Jim. Those colored strings are way cool, do they each taste different, kinda like Skittles
Bwahahaha! Well, this did supposedly go to a NAMM show so there's no telling what kind of juju they picked up. I don't think I want to lick them to find out. :biglaugh:
 
Definitely need to get those extra wraps off those tuners! You will ruin the tuners by overlapping the strings.
 
Definitely need to get those extra wraps off those tuners! You will ruin the tuners by overlapping the strings.

Doubt if it will hurt the tuners, but it will be a lot easier to tune and keep in tune if you trim some string...
 
Any consensus on how much is enough? I trimmed about 3" off the green and yellow:
I usually have 2-4 winds with my Pahoehoe, no more.


8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 10 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
 
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Just saying.

Doubt if it will hurt the tuners, but it will be a lot easier to tune and keep in tune if you trim some string...

If you do not believe me I suggest you look through the Kala megathread on TalkBass, that is where I saw this. There are a number of posts about it.
 
Interesting topic. I saw this YT yesterday, and noticed that most of the basses discussed by Alex use the white strings. It could be that the demo could become tedious and expensive had a variety of different brand strings used ? This is where you (the enthusiasts) are going to do the research and bear the costs. :cool: Having looked at various options, this gent from Sweden (Magnus Sjöquist) has done many tests. The YT was interesting though. I am interested in the red strings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2mIMOuP0y0
 
I've seen many of Magnus videos and he is without a doubt the best u-bassist I've seen. I haven't seen that video though. I'll have to check it out tonight.

As far as strings, yeah, u-bass strings are expensive. You can probably find the white Thundergut and black Pahoehoe in shops but I've never seen the Thunder Reds "in the wild". I ordered a set but haven't put them on anything yet.
 
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