Recommend a U Bass

vcs700s

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As a former bass player I am thinking about purchasing a u bass.

Lots of info on YT so I thought I would check with all of you.

Acoustic appeals but solid body is good too.

Any insights or recommendations?
 
I'm not a fan, myself. They are not easy to play acoustically.

I reckon you'd be better served by a children's steel string bass. Better intonation.
 
See, for me the problem is physics. Those strings are not easy to get good intonation with.

A lot of luthiers refuse flat out to make one. That should tell you something!
 
Bass is my primary instrument and the U's are super fun for what they are. I would always go fretless personally, and the upright-ish tone of the acoustic U-basses REALLY works well in the lower register. I would go solid body if you want a fretted as the new ones with the P pickup are a tremendous improvement IMO. Can't beat the price on them for an effective travel bass option. They obv don't work for every band/setting and don't handle things like chords particularly well, but they they're fun and do their niche thing.

That said, I would always play an upright instead of one (unless space was an issue). I would always play a traditional (or even short scale) electric bass instead of one. And I would always play a typical scale acoustic bass guitar in my living room over one. To me the fretless ones are worth the low price tag as a cool novelty with a moderate degree of utility.
 
I’ve had two Kala U-bass. I had a solid body with the rubber strings and a regular one with steel strings. I got rid of them both and now have a Taylor mini bass guitar. It’s loud enough, acoustically for a small room and sounds great plugged in too.
 
As a former bass player I am thinking about purchasing a u bass.

Lots of info on YT so I thought I would check with all of you.

Acoustic appeals but solid body is good too.

Any insights or recommendations?
Uke Underground has a Bass board. Navigate to the main Forums header. It's under Music Related Boards.

There's lots of equipment discussion. And one guy named Kohanmike has been through DOZENS of U-Basses and has a lot to say about them.

Dave
 
First question is what kind of sound you're after? More of an upright sound? Or electric rock? Something in between? And do you have a scale length preference? Actual U-bass is a bit under 21. Timber is about 21.5. Then there are some 23"-ish options and a some 25" options.

I havent tried an acoustic one but have had a couple of Kala solids and a Goldtone solid. i still have a fretless Kala California and the Magic Fluke Timber, also fretless. My favorite is the Timber but tha may or may not be a good suggestion for you
 
As a former bass player I am thinking about purchasing a u bass. Lots of info on YT so I thought I would check with all of you. Acoustic appeals but solid body is good too. Any insights or recommendations?
Take a look at the RondoMusic Hadean bass ukes , affordable and built pretty well for the money. I gave up on poly strings and now only play Kala/Galli flatwound nylon core, easy to install, never get sticky and faster to settle in.

 
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First question is what kind of sound you're after? More of an upright sound? Or electric rock? Something in between? And do you have a scale length preference? Actual U-bass is a bit under 21. Timber is about 21.5. Then there are some 23"-ish options and a some 25" options.

I havent tried an acoustic one but have had a couple of Kala solids and a Goldtone solid. i still have a fretless Kala California and the Magic Fluke Timber, also fretless. My favorite is the Timber but tha may or may not be a good suggestion for you
More of an upright sound.

I’ve been researching today and it looks like the Kala Nomad would be a good place to start. $200 and free shipping.

Thoughts on a battery powered amp for my cave?
 
More of an upright sound.

I’ve been researching today and it looks like the Kala Nomad would be a good place to start. $200 and free shipping.

Thoughts on a battery powered amp for my cave?
Sounds good. I'd recommend getting the black Pahoehoe strings or Thunderbrowns
 
More of an upright sound.

I’ve been researching today and it looks like the Kala Nomad would be a good place to start. $200 and free shipping.

Thoughts on a battery powered amp for my cave?
G'morning Vic,

Just a thought. I'd like to sell a bass that I've had since late last year.
I purchased a Kala UBASS- model Bakkthi Kumalo. I was, like you, trying to decide whether to try the bass and this was my choice. I didn't "bind" with it. I tried different strings (it comes with really nice round wounds). First some Thunder Browns, and finally the Galli (Kala Branded) flat wounds. I really liked the Flatwounds but still didn't connect with the instrument.

A friend suggested trying a fretless, and I purchased a Kala Fretless and love it. As a result, the Kumalo has been sitting quietly in its case, waiting for me to put it up on MarketPlace !!! Anyhow, I'd sell it to you for the $200 plus shipping and include all three sets of strings. Strings alone are worth over $100. I purchased it new from Uke Republic which did a proper setup.

Send me a "private conversation" message if you're interested. (Include you Zip Code and I'll calc. the shipping.)
I'll have pics with the traditional UUForum ID photo.

In the meantime, here's a link to the Kala offering:
 
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I liked the Gold Tone. But my band needed me on guitar more at that time. The intonation was fine. Close enough for most folks.

I may get another one as our bass player moved on.
 
As a former bass player I am thinking about purchasing a u bass.

Lots of info on YT so I thought I would check with all of you.

Acoustic appeals but solid body is good too.

Any insights or recommendations?
Hello Vic,
About a year ago I started to dip my toes into the bass waters. Haven't managed to stay with it but I went with the Kala Journeyman. Built for steel strings. Came with wound strings but I replaced them with the flatwounds available through the Kala site. Love the sound and the smooth surface. To my limited ear it sounds a lot like an upright. Not cheap, but the results were worth the gamble. Hope this is helpful.
Pete in Maine
P.S.
Thanks for your reviews on YT.
 
As a former bass player I am thinking about purchasing a u bass.

Lots of info on YT so I thought I would check with all of you.

Acoustic appeals but solid body is good too.

Any insights or recommendations?
I built a cigar box Ubass from a kit that included the neck, bridge saddle, pickup, machine heads, and a built in tuner. I can't tell you how great it plays and sounds using Kala round wounds. If you want to hear studio recordings you can check out my YouTube (not a plug for clicks!). The biggest drawback is the input that shorts out, very annoying so I have to tape down the cord when recording. But it sounds awesome unplugged with the roundwounds, too. Those rubbery strings? Ew... Very odd. The Ubass is NOT a bass guitar, though. It's a contrabass ukulele with the same limitations that a uke has compared to a bass guitar. I can't play a bass guitar. Small hands and multiple surgeries, arthritis, etc., but I can play this. It's good enough for what I'm doing. If I got into it, I would probably look into a Kala Ubass. They've been at it a while now.
 
G'morning Vic,

Just a thought. I'd like to sell a bass that I've had since late last year.
I purchased a Kala UBASS- model Bakkthi Kumalo. I was, like you, trying to decide whether to try the bass and this was my choice. I didn't "bind" with it. I tried different strings (it comes with really nice round wounds). First some Thunder Browns, and finally the Galli (Kala Branded) flat wounds. I really liked the Flatwounds but still didn't connect with the instrument.

A friend suggested trying a fretless, and I purchased a Kala Fretless and love it. As a result, the Kumalo has been sitting quietly in its case, waiting for me to put it up on MarketPlace !!! Anyhow, I'd sell it to you for the $200 plus shipping and include all three sets of strings. Strings alone are worth over $100. I purchased it new from Uke Republic which did a proper setup.

Send me a "private conversation" message if you're interested. (Include you Zip Code and I'll calc. the shipping.)
I'll have pics with the traditional UUForum ID photo.

In the meantime, here's a link to the Kala offering:
Which Kala fretless did you purchase?
 
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