Kala Ubass Quality

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jeffbassos, Jan 6, 2022.

  1. Hey Y’all,

    Would anyone share their experience with the Kala Ubass? I went to try one at Sam Ash, and I was super displeased. Also didn’t realize they were Chinese-made. I tried the spalted maple one ($299) and the mahogany one ($370). There were electronics issues, fret issues, and general hardware issues, though that could have just been a symptom of playing the floor models. I really just want one to have something to noodle around with while sitting on the couch, something a little louder than an unplugged electric bass.
    First post on TB, thanks in advance!
  2. Almost all are Chinese made except the American made ones from Kala, which are above $600. The Chinese ones from around $450 to $600 are usually very good as well. You can find some good ones for less but be selective. Try to stay with ones that have neck truss rod adjustment.
  3. I have played and owned several different Ubasses made by: Kala, Hadean, and Harley Benton. Kala is the "brand name" of Ubasses, but I haven't found them to be any better than the knock off brands, and they are way more expensive. I have been very impressed with the Hadean and HB ubasses (which cost <$200 each), which look great, and in my opinion play better and have lower action than Kala.
  4. spatters


    Mar 25, 2002
    If you want a regular size Ubass, I'm with @funkmasterron : get a Hadean from Rondo Music.

    Gold Tone makes 23" and 25" scale instruments that, to my ear, sound a lot better than the regular 20" scale Ubasses, and more like an upright.
    Basses | Gold Tone
    funkmasterron likes this.
  5. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I agree. I went down a ubass rabbit hole a couple years back and most Kala ubass were not worth the money IMO.
    The biggest disappointment was the solid body Ubass by them that top a grand. They just are not worth it. I bought Rondos Hadean as well and for the money it’s a good solid ubass that sounds decent. It didn’t take long for the novelty of ubass to wear off.
    spatters and funkmasterron like this.
  6. grandstick


    Feb 19, 2018
    I first picked up a Carlo Robelli U-bass when Sam Ash first released them. More recently, I found a used fretless Kala U-bass. The workmanship and materials are about identical, with only the Kala having a trapdoor on the back to facilitate string changes.

    The used Kala was about 4x the price of the new Carlo Robelli, though I see that they have boosted the price on the CR by over 200% since I originally bought it.
  7. StephenR


    May 21, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    Don Lopez of the Hawaiian ukelele jam band Kenakoa plays a Kala U-bass and it sounds fantastic, excellent bass player. Great band with some serious chops, original tunes plus lots of interesting covers. They are doing another Pink Floyd tribute show this weekend on Maui then headed to the mainland for a tour.
    HOME - Kanekoa

    Plenty of videos up on youtube, recommend the 9/11/21 pro-shot stream from the Maui Arts Cultural Center. About half hour in they go from a cajon solo into a Fur Elise tease into a great version of Whipping Post.

    I doubt I could play a U-bass due to the small size, I have big hands would never be able to play a mandolin either.