UBASS - Your Thoughts

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dogdays, May 10, 2018.

  1. dogdays


    Mar 30, 2018
    Novelty, noodling only, gigworthy?
  2. heynorm


    Oct 21, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    Very gig worthy. Tight fingering, though. Always a conversation piece and people can’t believe how big it sounds. Very light weight as a backup.
    Mpike, Uncle Hanky and dogdays like this.
  3. Gigworthy. It was a novelty when it first came out, but now there are several companies making them and folks just keep buying them. It is the one bass I have that can be described as fun to play. :laugh:
    G Aichele and dogdays like this.
  4. FloridaTim


    May 29, 2013
    Kissimmee, FL
    Can't do it. Just can't.
  5. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Bought one, really wanted to like it. Alas, my hands are too big to navigate such a small fretboard.

    But for many it's certainly gig worthy.
    dfoehr and dogdays like this.
  6. Checkout Goldtone's Microbass series. They feature 23 and 25 inch scales and are bigger bodied to boot!
    Chuck King, 40Hz, TL23NC and 2 others like this.
  7. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Tried 2. Fun, but I couldn’t take it seriously.
  8. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    If you want what is possibly the closest thing to a double bass sound but want to be able to put your bass in a backpack then there's nothing better. :roflmao:
    dalkowski, heynorm, BassManKK and 3 others like this.
  9. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ
    Totally gig worthy!

    - John
    dogdays likes this.
  10. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Nice in a pinch, pretty fun and especially if portability is an issue BUT
    Playing on one is a little akin to living in a small efficiency studio apartment in San Francisco- switching back to a regular sized bass is like having all the space and comfort of a 4 bedroom ranch house with acreage .
    dogdays, Gabbs, inthevelvet and 3 others like this.
  11. I went to a jam where somebody brought one. Since I was there with my bass they left the bottom end to me and played mandolin. During a long break between songs I picked up the U-bass and I have to say it was a real gas to play! The rubbery strings take a lot of getting used to but it sounds great. It does need to be plugged in. There's no dimensional volume to give you any auditory volume. The next time I unload something a U-bass may come along to fill that vacuum.
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  12. Flippy


    Jun 9, 2017
    I recently took my u-bass to a small music pub for a rehearsal for a Neil Young tribute gig. It was great for the tiny stage they have there, sounded just like on the records and people often complimented it.

    On the flip side, you won't play faster stuff like punk rock or some hard rock songs on it, and obviously it takes time to get used to play on such short scale and high action.
    dogdays likes this.
  13. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Mine doesn't see much play time besides sofa time (best "bass" for sofa). A toy, not serious really (even after switching from the gummy crap to proper wound strings). That's why I own a cheap one (thomann), would never drop 500€ for a Kala, that's the kind of money I'd only drop for a real bass. Just for reference, I also think an ABG is a total waste of money, can't even get heard playing together with an acoustig guitar (plus zero lows really), so pointless. For acoustic bass seriousness there's only one way, the upright way (maybe the Bace too?). An acoustic instrument should be loud enough for real use, if you need an amp the "acousticness" is pointless. I've had ABGs, and I have this UBASS and let me tell you if I need to plug in I'm much better server with a hollowbody electric (i.e. my Epiphone Viola) and eventually flatwound strings.
    dogdays likes this.
  14. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The black strings that come with the Kalas are what make them special. I'd love a full size acoustic with pahoehoes. But plenty of people fig with them.
    ak56 and dogdays like this.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Don't need one.
    gebass6 and dogdays like this.
  16. Uncle Hanky

    Uncle Hanky Guest

    May 10, 2017
    I have a nice acoustic-electric Kala UBass that I got as part of a trade. I was really just interested in the novelty aspect, as I wasn’t giving up any coin. I was pretty surprised at how fantastic it sounds, both unplugged in my office AND plugged in through my rig. I have huge hands, BUT I’ve also been noodling around on guitar for twenty years or so, so it’s really not that bad to play. People seem to get a real laugh when they see me playing the wee thing.
    dogdays likes this.
  17. Macch5


    Nov 8, 2014
    Hudson Valley
    I wound up getting a frettless Goldtone Microbass. It sounds great, and the scale is just a bit longer which makes it easier to play than the Kala(in my opinion). I have a weekly gig where we set up in a very tight space and having a smaller bass made it a much smoother gig. At this point I've played all sorts of gigs and rehearsals with it. Rock, jazz, country, gypsy, almost everyone loves it. I have one guitarist friend who kept referring to it as a toy but he can be kind of close minded about some stuff.
    dogdays likes this.
  18. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    dogdays likes this.
  19. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Back when they came out, I bought an Ortega for 500 bucks. It came in a sweet lil' case that looked like snakeskin leather and was beautifully made. I really wanted to keep it.
    The sound unamplified was enough for playing on the couch, but naturally, it was not enough to accompany anyone with another acoustic instrument. The amplified sound was huge, more like a fretted double bass than anything else.
    My main problem was that you have to get used to those fat rubbery stings on those tiny frets. Place your finger just a fraction off the center and you will get fretbuzz. The piezo system will amplify that buzz.
    The result for me was that I returned it - I could not justify spending serious money on a toy bass - and I was not willing to put in the practice needed to play that small thing effortlessly without said fretbuzz.
    dogdays likes this.
  20. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    That's my experience too, for the most part. Also owned 2. An electric, and an acoustic that I still have. If you have a band that it works for, great, but if you're in any kind of seriously gigging cover band it's not a good choice. At least not for me. There are things you can do on a regular bass that will take a LOT of experience on a Ubass, and still won't sound right - IMO.

    Gig worthy, certainly. Tweaked properly they can work well in a mix. "Totally," I totally disagree :). Don't try to start a RHCP tribut with a Ubass. Nor a tribute for about 1000 other bands I can list.

    IMO the Ubass is a bass producing instrument, but fits/works best when treated as something completely different. There are upright basses, electric basses, cellos, piano basses, bass VIs, and Ubasses.

    As fer traveling and fun - yeah, they can't be beat for that. That's why I still hang onto mine.

    This song was recorded entirely on a Ubass and a tiny little Boss recorder, while vacationing in Florida. Fit great in the overhead. I ordered an SX Strat and had it sent to where I was going and used that for the guitar :), then left it there to be returned by family their next drive to NY. I'll add that I'm very proud of my guitar work in the 2nd half of this song (1:15 on). Nobody else is, but that's OK :).

    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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