Happy New Year! And Enjoy Some uBass Goodness

Kala's uBass Lineup at Bass Player Live 2011

For those of you who just can’t get enough of the goodness that is the Kala uBass (and you know who you are), here’s a nice compilation video put together by the Kala Brand Music Co. featuring their uBass at Bass Player Live 2011.

Enjoy the video.

And a Happy and a Healthy New Year to all you uBass enthusiasts out there.

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Acacia uBass Reviews

I’ve seen precious little reviews of the Acacia uBass online. To me, Acacia is one of the prettiest and best-sounding woods for a musical instrument.

Dr. Guitar with his Acacia uBass

Anyway, I found two recent reviews of the Acacia uBass.

The first, by DrGuitar001, is a generally positive review. He bought the Acacia for his wife but says he had to make extensive repairs to it for it to be playable. I guess it helps to know what you’re doing if you’re going to attempt extensive repairs like he did.

By the way, the repairs and tweaks he made are applicable to any uBass, so if you are having problems with yours, take a look at his Video Here. You may pick up a

Sam reviewing the Acacia uBass

pointer or two.

Personally, if I was having so much trouble with my new uBass, I would have sent it back where I bought it and gotten a new one.

The second review is a short review by Sam at Grayson’s Tune Town in Montrose, Calif.

Check of that Video Here.

Oh My Aching Back!

Bass Musician Magazine has been all over the uBass lately.

Bass Musician Magazine's January Cover

They picked the diminutive dynamo as their “Holiday Idea #4,” part of their “12 Days of Christmas” series of gifts that any bass player would love.

Here’s what the magazine thinks about its 4th Holiday Idea:

What do you get for that  aching back?

Perhaps a way smaller, lighter, more portable but still great sounding Bass…….

Have a look at U-Bass!

The magazine also wrote about the new Cherry Burst SUB uBass on its web site. Since there is nothing new with the Cherry Burst, other than the color, I don’t expect to see any reviews of the new Solidbody. What would be the point?

Kala Adds New Model to SUB Lineup

Kala Brand Music Co. has added a new model to its SUB line of solidbody uBasses.

Kala's new Cherry Burst SUB uBass

The new bass–actually a new color–is Cherry Burst.

According to Kala:

The Kala S-U-B U-BASS series is available in four string fretted models that also include Sunburst, Red, and Black finishes. Kala has begun producing all colors in the S-U-B series in a gloss finish. All Kala U-Basses are inspected and set up in the USA and are Kala Technician Approved.

The new Cherry Burst model joins the Black, Red and Sunburst SUB models. Kala has not added the new model to its web site yet. The company did not say how the new model will be priced, but I suspect it will be similar to the Sunburst model, which is priced at $649, compared to $549 for the non-burst models.

No word yet on when the new model will begin shipping to retailers.

Gollihur Music Features Solidbody SUB in December Newsletter

Kala uBass SUB Series

Not only that, but they have a nice page on their web site dedicated to the Solidbody SUB.

For those of you that don’t know them, Gollihur Music specializes in upright bass instruments and accessories. They’re also a major East Coast distributor of Kala uBasses in their various guises.

According to their newsletter, the SUB:

…looks and feels like a real pro-level instrument, basically a small electric bass guitar. The 2 solid colors (and the sunburst) finish on each instrument looks very sharp, and the overall fit and feel is very good. The amplified sound is round and fat, but with definition and with a good and full frequency range.

They also note that while it doesn’t sound exactly like an upright bass, the uBass SUB certainly has the upright vibe.

Does it sound like an upright bass? Not really, but it’s a lot closer to the URB “vibe” than a typical electric bass. It’s got a big, round, warm sound thanks to the unusual strings.

Gollihur also compares the SUB to the Ashbory bass–particularly the Guild and D’Armond versions. However, they conclude that the SUB is a better bass all around than the Ashbory. Having owned an Ashbory I can agree totally with that conclusion. The Ashbory was hard to keep in tune, the strings would break while the bass was stored in its case and it wasn’t very ergonomic to play.

Curiously, on the web page Gollihur says the SUB is “even more like the old Ashbory basses” than the acoustic versions of the uBass–because it’s a solidbody, small-scale and had polyurethane strings–but then goes on to say it really is nothing like the Ashbory. Huh?

Still, it’s a glowing review of the SUB uBass.

And better yet, Gollihur has the uBass SUB in stock in all three configurations.

R.I.P. Bill Tapia – 1908-2011

Bill Tapia in 2007

The great Bill Tapia has died at the ripe old age of 104.

Tapia, known affectionately as “Uncle Bill” was a musician since tha age of 10. While well-known for his ukulele, Tapia was also an accomplished Jazz guitarist.

Ukulele Bartt has put together a nice tribute page to “Uncle Bill.” Check it out Here.

Rest In Peace “Uncle Bill.”

UPDATE 12/12: The New York Times has written an obituary on Tapia. Read it Here.