Why are uku-basses so damn expensive!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Morosini, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Morosini


    Nov 2, 2018
    Bob E and saabfender like this.
  2. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    You can still put good materials and a lot of labor into something small.

    You should see how much some restaurants get for a one-bite dish.
  3. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Why do you think they should cost $150? Can you do the math for me?
  4. Morosini


    Nov 2, 2018
    Yeah, but there are some decent 100 buck guitar/basses out there, and the uku bass isn't necessarily some fine work of craftsmanship. Its an electric ukulele thats a bass, and nothing more.
    GreyMark likes this.
  5. Morosini


    Nov 2, 2018
    At most 150 if nicely made. Its basically a glorified gimmick, feels like a ukulele, only a tiny bit bigger.
    andruca likes this.
  6. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    It seems you don't understand the basics of manufacturing. For every ukulele bass sold, there are probably 500 of those acoustic basses sold (and that's a conservative estimate). The more you make of a certain product, the lower the price point can be. Larger production runs means a lower amount of labor put into manufacturing an instrument. But when you make one of those ukulele basses, you have to set up a production line for maybe a few dozen instruments. That means the labor and setup time per instrument is much higher. This all adds up to a higher priced instrument.
  7. There is a very simple solution. If you think it's too expensive, then don't buy it.
    Warpeg, sing-modulator, JLY and 16 others like this.
  8. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    contact Wishbass, I'll bet he'd make a killer uke bass for probably $200 max. it'll be unique as hell and he goes for great tone, plus he uses aged exotic reclaimed woods to make very playable folk art.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    If you know how to make one for $150, share the knowledge, bro! Edumacate us.:thumbsup:
    MattZilla, Mastermold, Dean N and 2 others like this.
  10. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    On top of the economic part, I would think that a uke is not as easily made as a bolt-on solid body guitar or bass. The uke body is very similar to that of an acoustic guitar. It will definitely require other and perhaps more work.
  11. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I own a 140€ Harley Benton (thoman) uke bass and it bugged me enough even to pay such price. I wish I had paid less, for sure, because it's one of the most useless pieces of gear I've ever owned. I know there can be top materials and quality put into a uke bass. I just think it's pointless to do it on an instrument's that's mostly useless in the real world of bass besides sofa play (for anything else I'd take a real bass guitar, not a toy).
  12. seilerbird


    Apr 12, 2012
    You are looking for love in all the wrong places. I bought my Hadean uke bass two years ago for well under $150. It plays and sounds fantastic.

    BBox Bass and Erik herman like this.
  13. davelowell2

    davelowell2 I’m not superstitious. Maybe a little stitious. Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    sing-modulator likes this.
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

  15. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa

    Seriously? Go get one of those new $100 acoustic guitars or basses that you think is decent. Bring it to me, and if I think it's decent, I'll give you $150.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    ibasso likes this.
  16. "I want a thing but don't want to pay for it"- a novella.
    TrustRod, twinjet, HaphAsSard and 6 others like this.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    A bass uke is still a uke at heart. If it’s not your thing it’s not your thing. Doesn’t really go much deeper than that.
    Natasha Bass, Haroldo and Frank77 like this.
  18. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    It's what the market bears.

    You know, every year the diamond industry extracts 28,000 TONS of diamonds out of the ground. From that perspective, that little tiny stone in the engagement ring costs almost nothing. But with polishing, cutting, setting, and 100 years of advertising saying it's "precious" --people are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for it.
    TrustRod, sing-modulator and 40Hz like this.
  19. I don't know how "useless and gimmicky" they are. A (fretless) Kala u-bass is the closest you'll get to sounding like an upright bass without lugging the actual thing. That alone makes me curious about them.
  20. I think I get where the OP is coming from. It’s like charging $600 for a kazoo.
    Bob E, FloridaTim, Morosini and 2 others like this.