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Kala U-Bass Spruce Top (Fretted)

by Kala
3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

List Price: $530.00
Price: $449.00 & FREE Shipping
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Ships from and sold by Total Music Source.
  • Proprietary Polyurethane Strings
  • Standard Bass Tuning
  • Acoustic/Electric
  • Includes Gig Bag, 20" Scale
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$449.00 & FREE Shipping Only 2 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Total Music Source.


Product Description

If you closed your eyes and heard the Kala U-Bass, you may think you're listening to a real-deal acoustic upright bass. When you opened them and saw this pint-sized package, you may think someone was pulling a trick on you. But that's not the case here. The Kala U-Bass has been known to have a surprisingly close sound to an upright bass. Big things do come in small packages! To get that great tone, Kala gave this U-Bass an solid spruce top to add air to its mahogany back and sides. Another classic tonewood, rosewood, makes up the fingerboard and bridge. If you're a bassist on the go... traveling, backpacking, whatever - don't leave your music at home. Take the U-Bass with you. And if you happened to get a gig along the way? Use the built-in Shadow piezo pickup system to plug in and play!

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • ASIN: B003EUIOG0
  • Item model number: KA-UBASS-2-FS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,508 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: December 29, 2009

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
This bass was recommended by a friend who plays ukulele. I also play ukulele, but not very well. I was a bass player first. I like the string bass sound, and always tried to emulate it with my bass guitars, mostly by using flat wound strings, and less high range tones. This little bass sounds more like a string bass than any bass guitar I ever played! The sound is BIG and, well, BASSEY! I never could play slap style bass, and because it uses piezo pickups, I doubt this is a good cadidate for that style. If like me you like old school reggae (Sly and Robbie, Lloyd Brevett of the Skatalites, etc.) this is for you! I love it!
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I received my uBass 2 (spruce top, fretted) and love it. I usually play short (30") scale basses and did not find the size of this bass that hard to adapt too. I am playing it thru an Ampeg Portabass amp and the tone is great. As everyone says, very much similar to an upright bass. I used the normal passive input (without an outboard pre-amp) and have no trouble getting a nice tone and plenty of volume.

Someone had commented about concern that quality control might suffer with the great demand. I am a very meticulous person, so some of the things I note may be of little concern to others. I have not seen an earlier production model but I was somewhat disappointed in the QC on this uBass. Right out of the box, The input jack was lose, there were 3 tiny spots of something, orange in color, apparently spilled on the top after the finish had partially dried (and left there). The finish is so thin you can feel the wood grain pretty much every where. The ends of the frets are poorly dressed and are felt when you run your hand up/down the neck. The magnetic cover for string access is not flush and can be dislodged accidentally. I know this is not a $ 1000 instrument but I did expect a little better... I have a Jay Turser jazz box made in China and it is perfect...

For those considering a uBass purchase, here are the stats from mine:
neck width at the nut 1.77"
neck width at the 12th fret 2.2"
neck thickness at 1st fret 1.8"
scale 20.375"
neck meets the body at the 12th fret
lower bout 10.187"
upper bout 7.687"
body depth at lower bout 3.125+"
body depth at upper bout 2.75"

nominal string diameters (after one re-string/stretching as per KALA video)
E string = .185"
A string = .
Read more ›
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Verified Purchase
Ended up buying two of these through Amazon after trying my brother's. The first was a gift for a friend and that one fortunately is fine. The one I bought for myself however, is not. I'm sending it back for rework because the D and G strings buzz all the way up and down the neck. Service from George's Music (Jimmy) has been very good, but ultimately they recommended returning it to Kala for repair because the headstock nut (I offered to swap it out myself for a re-cut version) is epoxied in place and consequently there is a risk of damage upon unskilled removal. So Kala will replace it and hopefully this will lift the action sufficiently to eradicate the dreaded buzz. Otherwise, I think the bass is a great innovation and is well-crafted. Just know there is some risk of getting one that's not set up quite right, and though this is often the case with string instruments, there's not a lot you can do about it on this unit - no truss rod and nuts are epoxied in at the factory.
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Verified Purchase
I haven't performed in public yet, but I like the sound and I especially like that you can practice without amping. I'm still a beginner, but I like this way better than an electric bass guitar. Wish the price weren't so high, but they have a unique product without competition and if you want it, you gotta pay. That's why the four stars instead of five. C'mon Kala, be nice! Make it more affordable and sell way more units! Mahalo for the case.
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"I can't believe how good it sounds" is the verbatim phrase I've gotten from people who've heard me play this U-Bass. Not just any people, mind you, but multiple lead guitar tone junkies and classically trained symphonic musicians have been impressed by this little instrument.

Sounds amazing as-is, without a ton of effects. 9 times out of 10 I would just plug it directly into an amp. Occasionally I'd use a Sunday Driver pre-amp to get a more tube-y sound but it really wasn't necessary. Never had a problem with feedback, from people or PA systems.

The ease of playing this instrument is probably what takes the most getting used to. It doesn't take a ton of force is required to get a punchy tone out of the (kind of goofy sized) strings. If you're going for a low rumble sound or a sustained note after plucking, you can fret the note you want, mute the others, and give the upper body of the bass a few rhythmically timed light palm strikes. Slapping this bass requires some finesse that really can't be explained succinctly.

Great bass as a non-practice, gigging bass. Ended up selling mine to a young man who played upright but was looking for something practical to tote around. I played this for about 3 years, didn't feel the need to ever change the strings, although a few times I did remove and re-thread through the tuners, snipping away the excess. I felt like the strings were aging like a fine wine, but your tone preferences might be different from mine.

Also, I did have to tighten the endpin jack a few times, but there's fairly easy access to the internal half of the jack, and a couple pairs of pliers are all you'll need for that.

Going to try one of the solid-body U-Basses next.
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