Tonal Variation: It’s All in the Wood

Kala Tonewood Chart.

Kala Tonewood Chart.


So, you’ve decided to buy an acoustic Kala uBass, but you are not sure which model to get. It’s a tough choice, for sure.

There are a number of considerations when you’re in the market for a new uBass. What sound are you going for? What type of strings do you plan to use: Pahoehoe or Roundwound? What look are you going for?

These are all important considerations. But probably the most important consideration should be what kind of wood do you want your uBass to be made from. While there has been a debate for years in guitar/bass/ukulele/mandolin circles about which tonewood is “better” for a particular instrument, the type of wood doesn’t really matter much in an electric instrument. But an acoustic instrument is another thing entirely.

When you are looking to buy an acoustic instrument, the type of wood used to make that instrument is probably the number one consideration. Do you want a light and airy tone? Or a dark, rich tone? The type of wood used will have a major effect on the sound of the instrument.

So, now that you want to buy an acoustic Kala uBass and you know that the type of wood it’s made of is important, which do you choose? Ask three musicians their preference and you’ll get three different answers. But fear not. Kala has got you covered.

As you can see in the above photo, Kala has categorized the tonewoods it uses and the sound you can expect from a uBass made from it.

For example, Spruce will give you “crisp, consistent note articulation.” While Mahogany will give you a “soft and warm balance” with a lot of mids. Koa, on the other hand, is “sweet, mellow and warm.”

So there you have it folks. Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Kala has taken all the guesswork out of which tone wood gives you what sound.

Now go out and buy that uBass!