Playable Works of Art

 

A uBass-sized bass from Ray’s Rootworks. Photo: CraigsList posting.

 

Found this for sale on Craigslist in Portland, Ore. It’s made by Ray Vincent, who runs a company called Ray’s Rootworks out of Canada.

Apparently it’s a bass. Looks more like a work of art than a playable instrument, but, who knows. I haven’t been able to find any videos on this model so I don’t know how it sounds.

The seller wants $650 for the bass, which apparently is a bargain. By the looks of the custom instruments on Ray’s Etsy shop, his stuff goes for way more than that.

This one looks suspiciously uBass-sized and even has a set of Dreads on it.

If nothing else, it’ll look good hanging on the wall.

The Polls Have Now Closed

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Nearly 90% of respondents voted for us to expand coverage to non-Kala uBass models, so that’s what we’ll be doing.

 

The people have spoken.

The votes are in. The ballots have been tabulated. And we have a winner.

By a significant margin, with 45 votes cast, you have voted for us to expand coverage to include non-Kala brand uBasses. The poll closed at 40 votes Yes and 5 votes No. That breaks down to nearly 90% of respondents voting Yes.

So there you have it folks. Democracy in action.

Look for the new and improved uBass Appreciation Society real soon.

Should We? Or Shouldn’t We.

For almost seven years, we’ve been writing about the awesome Kala uBass. We started this blog in 2010 because the uBass rocks, and it was unique at the time. If you wanted an affordable little bass based on a ukulele, there wasn’t much choice back then.

But that’s changed. Today, Kala has plenty of competition in the uBass field.

So that’s why I’d like your feedback on whether or not we should expand our coverage to include non-Kala brand uBasses, very short scale travel basses and similar instruments like the Kala Paddle bass. We’ll still provide coverage of Kala and its uBass models, but we think there might be an appetite for coverage of non-Kala products as well. This will not only give us other brands to write about, but also compare how the competition fares against Kala.

Our main focus will still be on the Kala uBass, but we’ll also let you know about those instruments that are trying to compete head-to-head with them.

So we’d like to hear from you. Send us a comment about whether or not you think expanded coverage is a good idea, or if you’d rather keep things the way they are.

Or use the poll above and vote for how you want us to proceed. The poll will be live for a week.

So vote early and vote often. (Actually you can only vote once, just like in real life.)

Hmm…Where Have I Seen This Before?

 

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Kala Koa California Solid Body U-Bass ad featuring Nathan East.

Look familiar?

It sure did to us.

Spotted this two-page spread ad for the Koa California Solidbody U-Bass featuring the amazing Nathan East.

You Now Have (String) Options

 

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Kala uBasses (from left) The Rumbler, Bubinga and Exotic Mahogany are now available with string options.

 

As pointed out by Bass Player magazine, Kala is now offering its uBass models with different string options.

In an article on their online site, they point out that Kala is now offering Road Toad Polyurethane Pahoehoe, Aquila Silver Rumbler and Kala Roundwound strings on some models.

Not exactly new, the uBass models have been available for a while (all except the Bubinga, which is fairly new) and you could get the strings separately and restring your uBass if you were so inclined. Still, it’s nice to know Kala is offering options if you are not a fan of the original Pahoehoe strings.

You can now get The Rumbler U-Bass with Aquila Silver Rumbler strings, which are designed “with increased density and stability for a clear, resonate low end.”

You can buy the The Bubinga U-Bass strung with Road Toad Polyurethane Pahoehoe strings, which gives “it a deep, punchy low end.”

Or you can buy The Exotic Mahogany U-Bass with Kala Round Wound strings that adds “treble while retaining the immense low end.” Pahoehoe also are available on the Exotic Mahogany if you prefer.

Magnus Takes His New uBass Out for a Spin

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Magnus Sjöquist poses with his new Kala California Series Acoustic/Electric uBass.

Magnus Sjöquist (I think by now I can just refer to him by his first name and you’d know whom I’m talking about) just posted a photo to his Instagram of himself and his new California Series fretless uBass.

Apparently he’s played his first gig with the new uBass and it went very well. Nice to hear Magnus! But how could you not love the uBass?

While you’re at it, why not follow Magnus on Instagram?

Paddle Bass First Look

 

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Magnus Sjöquist demonstrates Kala’s new Paddle uBass at Winter NAMM 2017.

 

Last month we told you that Kala introduced a new type of uBass called the Paddle Bass, aimed at the educational market and first-time bass players.

We mistakenly told you that it was not a uBass. Well, according to Mike Upton, it indeed is a uBass.

Thanks to Bass Musician magazine, we have a video of Mike and our friend Magnus Sjöquist demonstrating the Paddle Bass at Winter NAMM.

Click Here to watch the video.

As usual for Bass Musician, the camerawork is not the best, but the video is still watchable and informative. Besides, they are a bass publication, not a video publication, so I guess I should cut them some slack.

Mike says the Paddle Bass is the “most simple uBass” that Kala has created.

He explains that the new uBass is a one-string instrument meant for new players and kids. It comes in three tunings: the keys of “E,” “F” and “G.” It also features magnetic fretboard overlays for each tuning marking the notes at each fret.

The Paddle is meant to be played in your lap, mountain dulcimer style. But it looks like it would be a lot of fun to put a strap on it and play it like a one-string bass guitar.

If you belong to a mountain dulcimer club or a ukulele club, I can see this as being a fun addition to the group, enabling you to lay down some simple bass accompaniment.

No word yet on availability or price. But stay tuned. As soon as we know anything, we’ll let you know.

I’d love to get my hands on one and do a proper review for you guys and gals. Keep it tuned here for more information as it comes in.