Kala UBass Megathread, Part 7

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by olitoon, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    Honestly, all of these are mass produced imports. So it is less the brand than from one to the next instrument and what feels right to you. I tried 3 different ubasses when I bought mine and they all were a little different. That said, I’ve had mine for over six years now, gigged it indoors and outdoors, and zero problems.
  2. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Unfortunately, these aren’t represented much in a brick n mortar to just go try a few and pick one. There are so many options for wood, brand, sound hole... that I thought I’d ask if there is any notable difference.
  3. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    The electronics and strings will make the most difference to sound. And some players have strong feelings about scale length. For performing, I put a plug in my sound hole to prevent feedback. If your instrument is fretted, it's good to check intonation up the neck as well.
    DagoMaino likes this.
  4. Strings will make a HUGE difference.
    DagoMaino and Fretless55 like this.
  5. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Well, I tried a Carmel and found it to be noticeably inferior to the Kala SSMHGFS No inlays on the top of the neck, tuner is very frustrating, intonation was noticeably worse... on to the next one...
  6. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    I got a Kala Journeyman Ubass from Sam Ash just over a year ago. It's got weird problems with the E string -- it just won't sound right even after I changed to a different kind of strings. Harmonics barely respond, and the whole string is full of wolf notes even after it's reloaded and untwisted many many times. I can't even tune the E string as the tuner just seems to hear a different pitch than I'm hearing. Also, plugged in to an amp, the string to string response is very uneven.
    So I got a FedEx call tag to ship it back to Kala, but FedEx will not ship it without a hard case. I don't have a hard case.

    My options are:
    Order a hard case -- my two local music stores do not have any in stock. I'd have to wait for the case, then wait for the bass to be shipped across the country, get repaired and come back. I have a performance in August and rehearsals will be starting soon, so I hate to be without it for so long.
    Find someone locally who can repair it. -- I know a few people who are excellent repair and set up folks but they haven't worked on anything like this.

    Will this rondo music case fit the Journeyman bass? It sure looks right.

    With as cheap as those rondo music basses are, I could order the rondo bass + case. Then ship the Ubass off to Kala in the rondo case and have the Rondo bass for rehearsals.

    Thanks, folks
  7. ellipsis

    ellipsis Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    It stinks that Kala is being so difficult.

    I'm not sure if this would help with the specific problems you are encountering, but there is a fairly well known modification to the bridge that seems to help with some Ubass E-string issues. Here's a warts and all look at how to do that modification:

    UbassDanno likes this.
  8. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    Well mine has tone problems unamplified or amplified -- and my saddle falls right out with the strings removed. So I think that must surely be part of the problem.
  9. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    I always recommend Rondo over Kala for the standard basses. I bought a Journeyman a while ago and also had problems, mine was the A string. Had to send it to Kala in Petaluma, then I sold it since I already had a few good Rondo Hadeans. As best as I can tell, the Rondo bass ukes that look like the Journeyman are very likely the exact same ones coming out of a Chinese factory and Kala just has its name added.

    The video showing Stephen fixing his pickup assembly was inspired by a post I made. He did it a little awkwardly, but the fix works, I've done it to 5 of my bass ukes.
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
    bpmben likes this.
  10. Jhalb

    Jhalb Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2018
    St. Louis
    I work at a music store that sells Kala Ubass ($400). I ordered the Hadean uke bass through Rondo for about $150. The neck on the Kala is a little better but I prefer the sound of the Hadean. I just use the uke bass around the house. I am happy with the quality of the bass and love the Thunderblack Aquila strings. Pickup and tuner work as advertised.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  11. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    Kala sells some very questionable products. Those new ukes are absolutely from the same factory that all of the other inexpensive uke basses are from. And the California 5 string I had was embarrassingly poorly made. The lr bags pickup and electronics sounded great, but the quality of the actual instrument was very low.

    I can also say that I never found Kala all that welcome to feedback about their products. I’m sorry that you are having issues with them.
    kohanmike likes this.
  12. UbassDanno


    Nov 9, 2018
    Sun City, AZ
    A Musicians gear baritone ukulele case works too, sometimes they're on sale...
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  13. Jhalb

    Jhalb Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2018
    St. Louis
  14. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    The E string on my Journeyman was having issues tuning when I first got it. But after setting the witness points (on all strings) and replacing the tuner batteries, everything works as expected now. But I didn't have the wolf tones or string response issues.
  15. Hello!

    I bought the Musician's Friend case...the headstock doesn't fit, it's too wide for my Journeyman.

    You guys made yours fit? How did you do that?
  16. UbassDanno


    Nov 9, 2018
    Sun City, AZ
    It just went in! I've had 4 Kalas and they all fit. So, either Kala is using wider tuners, or, the case got a little smaller. It was a tight fit...
  17. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    You implied that the case is too wide at the headstock for your Journeyman, did you mean to say your Journeyman headstock is too wide for the case?
  18. Hi sorry. I didn't express myself well. I meant that the Kala Journeyman headstock is too wide for the case. thumbnail_IMG_0678.jpg thumbnail_IMG_0679.jpg

    Here are the pics. This is what happens to the headstock with both my Journeymans. The body is in, it's damn tight, but it fits. However, the headstock(s) doesn't.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  19. UbassDanno, your Kalas are (were) Journeymans?
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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