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More U-BASS, Less Space

Discussion in 'News & PR' started by TalkBass, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    Kala adds more bass with less space with the addition of five new models to the U-BASS™ line of Acoustic Electric 21” scale bass instruments. New models include Sunburst, Gloss Black, Solid Spruce Top HH (Hutch Hutchinson Model), Spalted Maple, and Exotic Mahogany. The Sunburst, Spruce Top HH, and Gloss Black all come with solid spruce tops and mahogany back and sides. The Spalted maple features a solid spruce top and maple back and sides while the Exotic Mahogany body is assembled from Kala’s exotic looking mahogany wood.

    The Hutch Hutchinson model incorporates special features that include a cutaway neck design and custom louvered sound hole openings on its spruce top. Hutchinson is the longtime bass player for Bonnie Raitt and a renowned session player. About the U-BASS™ Hutch states, “The U-Bass is a true innovation in the world of bass. They are really fun to play, sound great live or in the studio, and are extremely portable."

    Each bass is available in 4 string fretted models and feature Kala’s proprietary Polyurethane Strings, a custom Shadow pickup system, Rosewood fingerboard and bridge, custom tuners, and solid mahogany neck. U-Basses meet all airline carry on requirements and include a deluxe custom gig bag with every model. The new basses will be available early in 2012

    Kala UBASS Ukulele

    Attached Files:

  2. bryanspkr


    Mar 25, 2011
    Here is a letter I wrote to aquilla about the thundergut strings:

    About the strings. There are some differences with the Kala Polys.
    Here is my view of the Thundergut:

    -Better balance of feel between the strings.

    -Better tuning stability

    -More volume

    -More sustain

    -More high frequencies

    -Less string roll

    But in this case, these are not all advantages. Let me explain.

    Balance of feel is an improvement over the polyurethane strings---
    The problem I have with the polyurethane strings is that there is a
    qualitative difference between the E and A compared to the D and G
    Maybe the Kala poly strings were designed to be more balanced out of
    the box, I'm not
    sure because I recieved my basses with the D and G already streched. It
    seems the thinner strings are more unstable and become relatively more
    thin and so looser. I tuned up until they felt right, then checked the
    pitch change, then calculated the diameter change necessary to feel
    balanced. The G needing more diameter change than the D.
    Unfortunately, Owen Holt does not make incremental diameters.

    Tuning stability is much better with the Thundergut, although
    stretching was a little more
    I assumed. I had to re-do the stringing. I realised a small amount of
    stretching the strings while putting them on the post is necessary. On your video it also might be
    better to show a closer view how you tie the D and G string.

    Volume is only an improvement when playing acoustically and this
    instrument is really not usable acoustically anyway.
    The volume of your strings in the lowest fundamental is not louder
    though, and having more highs tends to "kill" some low frequencies.
    This is a Psychoacoustic effect. We hear frequency response relatively.
    I have tested speakers with and without a high frequeny filter and
    people swear that the filtered example has more lows. With the
    Thundergut, what some people call Thud or thump, or maybe low
    frequency articulation is at a higher frequency than the polys too.

    The higher tension gives more volume, but it also seems to increase the
    resonance peak that the Kala bass has at about 140Hz and actually
    raises it a little. Effectively raising the Q and therefore a highQ
    resonance. So there is a little more over ring and less control over
    this resonance.

    More sustain is only a plus, But I find that with the lower tension
    polys, If I remember to keep my light touch, I can coax some more
    sustain out of them. Your strings I find harder to create a subtlty of
    tone with different touch an the use of flesh or fingernail. They are
    harder to manipulate. And though it says on the package about the
    thundergut that they are less sticky than the silicone, I find them
    more sticky than the Kala strings. I have only had problems with the
    Kala strings in cold weather. The Kala strings still retain
    a good balance with strong lows and still very little high frequencies
    even with fingernails. And with the nails I am able to have a fast
    articulation, no string rolling and the stickyness is not a problem.
    The left hand sliding with the Kalas is still better than The Thundergut strings even in cold
    conditions. My Kala basses are fretless by the way. I find it much
    harder to left hand slide on the Thunderguts. What would you recommend
    as a
    lubricant? Also I have to press a bit harder with the harder
    Thunderguts to make them sound right on the fretless board. I'm sure
    there is no problem with the fretted.

    As far as more high frequencies, this is NOT an advantage with the
    Qualitatively, much more plastic sounding. And much more inharmonicity.
    I call this short/fat string syndrome. If the Kalas had any upper
    harmonics, i'm sure they would have the same problem. I constantly feel
    like I am out of tune. Complex and ugly. and like I said, a loss of
    warmth. I'm sure with the right E.Q., there can be an improvement, but
    then you might have to make sure you have your own amp. The polys seem
    work with almost any amp as long as it reproduces the lowest 2 octaves.
    One tip though is that when using with an amp with a high impedance
    input designed for Piezo, there will be more subtones that can cause
    excessive cone excursion. sometimes with almost a DC current requirement
    the amp. Slap your hand on a Piezo and see what happens.

    Anyway, I tried the thundergut with both hi and low impedance inputs
    and still don't get the right balance. Aside from the other problems in
    the time and frequency domain.

    So, in conclusion:
    For me and my professional requirement, I would not choose the
    Thundergut strings. The disadvantages for me outweigh the advantages.
    The evenness of feel and sound between the strings is the only thing I
    really miss with the Kala Strings. The Kalas are much easier to
    manipulate especially if I remember to concentrate on not overplaying
    them and keep a very subtle touch. With the right amplication I have
    done even high level Jazz gigs although I had a complaint about the
    lack of harmonic content.
  3. hopturn


    Sep 19, 2010
    Charleston, SC
    wow. well stated and investigated. personally, i LOVE the stock strings. everybody who touches the instrument loves them...they are a part of its fun factor, and what will makek the instrument a great tool for bassists for years to come. through my fishman preamp into my genz-benz shuttle 6.0 there lurks a mighty and majectic dub beast.
  4. bryanspkr


    Mar 25, 2011
    I added a little more. Check the string review section

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