The Secret is in the Strings

Jon Liebman of For Bass Players Only interviews Kala's Mike Upton about the origin of the uBass.

Jon Liebman of For Bass Players Only interviews Kala’s Mike Upton about the origin of the uBass.


The uBass is all about the strings. Or, to put it another way, the strings (specifically the original Pahoehoe strings) are what made the uBass possible.

That’s according to Mike Upton of Kala, in a new interview with Jon Liebman of For Bass Players Only. Liebman interviews Mike in a video entitled “The Story Behind the U-Bass,” which you can watch on YouTube Here. Intercut in the interview is footage of Abraham Laboriel and Bakithi Kumalo playing during what looks like the recent Bass Player Live uBass clinic.

According to Mike, the uBass is a success with professionals and amateurs alike. He told Liebman that Kala has sold about 15,000 uBass instruments in the past five years. The Spruce-top acoustic is arguably the company’s most popular uBass, Mike notes.

Today, Kala has two solidbody uBass lines (California Series and imported) and the original acoustics and the USA acoustic/electrics. The solidbody uBasses are a different animal altogether, Mike says, being “a lot more focused and a lot less woody” sounding then the acoustics.

But that’s not the biggest news from the interview.

Mike says Kala is developing an upright uBass! That’s right, a uBass on a monopod stand that can be played upright, or quickly flipped over and played like a regular uBass. No word on when they will be available or how much. But I do know that I definitely want one. That will definitely be my next uBass purchase.

I can see the ads now: “Much More Bass. Still Less Space.”