Rockin’ the Rumbler

Mike Upton of Kala Brand Music Co. putting a new Rumbler uBass through its paces.

Mike Upton of Kala Brand Music Co. putting a new Rumbler uBass through its paces.

If you thought the new Kala Rumbler uBass couldn’t rock – or that uBasses in general don’t rock – Mike Upton of the Kala Brand Music Co. is here to prove you wrong.

In this video, Mike shows off the new Rumbler uBass. And he’s not just playing it through a bass amp – he’s playing it through a freaking Ampeg SVT Blue Line amp with an 810 cabinet!

Let me say that again. An Ampeg SVT!

You can’t get any more rock and roll than that.


2012 uBasses on Sale at Gollihur Music

Gollihur Music is Offering 10% Off Select 2012 uBass Models

Gollihur Music is Offering 10% Off Select 2012 uBass Models

UPDATE 5/23: I’d like to thank the guys at Gollihur Music for reading the blog and appreciating what I do here. Thanks for your support and keep reading!

If you’re looking to pick up a Kala uBass, there’s no better time than right now, because New Jersey-based retailer Gollihur Music is running a sale on the 2012 models.

Gollihur is offering 10% off the following uBass models for a limited time:

  • Fretted – Gloss Black/Mahogany $465 $418.50 with basic gig bag
  • Fretted – Spruce/Spalted Maple $575 $517.50 with basic gig bag
  • Fretted – Hutch Hutchinson Signature $455 $409.50 with padded gig bag
  • Fretted – Solid Acacia $650 $585 with semi-hard foamshell case
  • Fretted – Spruce Top/Mahogany Back $450 $405 with basic gig bag
  • Fretless- Solid Mahogany $550 $495 with semi-hard foamshell case
  • Fretless – Spruce Top/Mahogany Back $450 $405 with basic gig bag

You can call them at 856-292-3194 or buy from their web site. Just put the uBass you want in the shopping cart and if it’s still in stock, the discount will be applied automatically. If the uBass you want is not in stock, you can substitute any of the 2012 models in stock and still get the discount.

In case you’re worried about Gollihur not being reliable, don’t be. They are an authorized Kala dealer and one of the best retailers to deal with. I bought both my Mahogany acoustic and Hutch Hutchinson models from them on Kala’s recommendation.

Stevens Uke Bass to Take on Kala?

Stevens Uke Bass Cutaway Model. Photo © Stevens Custom Guitars

Stevens Uke Bass Cutaway Model. Photo © Stevens Custom Guitars

Recently picking up the January issue of Bass Guitar Magazine, I found an article about what looks like it could be some serious competition to Kala for uBass dominance in the market. It’s called the Stevens Uke Bass and it’s made by German luthier Stevens Custom Guitars.

Similar to the original acoustic uBass in many ways, the Stevens Uke Bass features a Spruce top and Mahogany or Rosewood back and sides. It offers a 21″ scale length, Ebony fingerboard, bridge and headplate, set neck and an under bridge Piezo.

It’s distinguishing feature are its strings. Unlike the uBass – which comes with polyurethane Pahoehoe strings – the Stevens features custom-made acoustic metal strings, made by Pyramid.

Bass Guitar Magazine concluded that the Stevens Bass Uke is an “exceptional bass” and is “addictively playable.” But, then, couldn’t this be said for the Kala uBass also?

The one gripe the reviewer had about the Little Stevens (you Bruce Springsteen fans will get the joke here) is that it lacks a built-in pre-amp. Something Kala took care of with their Rumbler series of uBasses.

At more than three-times the price of the Kala uBasses (they retail for about $1,300.00), they’d have to sound amazing to put a serious crimp in Kala’s sales.

They sound good, but amazing? I’m not so sure.

Here’s a clip of one in action.

You be the judge.

New uBass Newsletter

Issue #1 of Magnus Sjoquist's newsletter about the uBass is out now.

Issue #1 of Magnus Sjoquist’s newsletter about the uBass is out now.

It seems that I’ve been writing about my friend Magnus Sjoquist a lot lately, but, hey, he’s been a busy guy.

In addition to being a virtuoso on the uBass, recording, writing a blog and generally living life in beautiful Sweden, Mr. Sjoquist is also now producing a newsletter about himself and his uBass. It’s an email newsletter that he says will go out either monthly or bi-monthly (time permitting).

Issue #1 features news that Magnus plans to offer lesson packs covering different topics–some will be uBass specific and some will be about bass playing in general. He’s also willing to try setting up Skype lessons if anyone is interested.

And if that weren’t enough, he’s also recording a CD of uBass music featuring himself and guest musicians.

Magnus also wants your photos! Send him pictures of you playing your uBass in your favorite location. He wants to put together a poster of uBass players and their instrument.

If interested in getting the newsletter–or in anything else he’s doing–send him an email.