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cdlynch
ukbe20wh.jpg

Hadean UKBE-20

3/5, 3 from 1 review
Budget solid body electric ukulele bass
ukbe20wh.jpg
  1. cdlynch
    3* as purchased, but a good project instrument
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jan 30, 2016
    Tone:
    3/5,
    Build Quality:
    3/5,
    Feel:
    3/5,
    Value:
    3/5,
    Pros
    • + A cheap and fun way to add a new sound to your collection, and you might find you can gig it. Can be upgraded nicely on a budget.
    Cons
    • - Quality is bad, but acceptable for the price, especially on sale.
    This is a good value at 1/5th the price of a Kala, but it's not without problems.

    CONS:
    I don't like the included Aquila Nylgut strings. Squeaky and quiet.

    The active electronics don't sound good to me. Noisy and harsh treble control, and distorting bass control. Both are boost only, so it works very well to run those at zero and use your amp for tone shaping.

    The nut is a terrible chalky substance which might have been carved by random squirrel chewing. It does the minimum job a nut should do, but the strings stick in it, complicating tuning. The nut is probably the worst part of the instrument.

    UPGRADES:
    For the price, those problems are expected, and can be dealt with reasonably easily.

    I switched (as many others have) to Pahoehoe strings. string_store

    I bought a replacement nut from Kala, which required a mini rat tail file to widen the slots, and lots of material needed to be removed from the bottom for improved string height. I also carefully cleaned and squared the nut slot before replacement.
    U-Bass TUSQ Nut - 4 String Solid Body

    If you want to spend more than the price of the instrument, you can completely replace the electronics with an LR Baggs system. For much less money, you could build a better preamp and use the existing bridge if you have the skill. I just leave the tone at zero and live with it for now.


    SUMMARY
    This instrument is perfect for me. I won't use it enough to justify getting a high quality Kala, and I enjoy projects. It was the right price for a novelty that I might even use on some recordings. I saved $50 on the sale, which makes it even better, even though I'm not a fan of white instruments.

    Without upgrades it's still a usable instrument if you can work around the nut with careful tuning, and new strings hardly qualify as an upgrade. So at full price I stick with 3*, but on sale it's 3.5*. After upgrades it has the potential to be 4+*, as far as you want to take it.
    Price Paid:
    $99 on sale
    PsyDocHill likes this.
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