Happy Birthday to Us

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Happy 7th Birthday to Us!

 

Today is our Birthday!

Today, we begin our seventh year of publishing.

There have been some changes over the years and I’m sure they will be plenty more as the years roll on.

Hopefully we’ll still be here seven years from now, bringing you the best of the uBass and small, portable travel instruments.

And hopefully you’ll still be with us too.

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Need an Amp for Those Busking Sessions?

 

 

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The new Vox Adio Air BS bass amp. Photo: Vox Amplification

 

If you’re looking for a small, portable, lightweight, yet powerful amp for your subway busking sessions, or just to practice your uBass at home, you may be interested in the new offering from Vox Amplification Ltd.

Vox, well know for their guitar and bass amps, in July plans to release their Adio Air series of modeling amps in both bass and guitar versions. The bass version, curiously named the Adio Air BS, features 50 watts, two 3″ speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, battery or AC power and it weighs just over 6 pounds without batteries. It can be powered by eight AA batteries, or the included AC adapter.

The Adio series of amps feature 11 amp models built in, or 17 models with the company’s Tone Room software. They also have a built-in tuner.

The company notes that:

The unique slanted design of the Adio allows you to position it with the speakers pointing diagonally upward so that the output reaches your ears directly even at short distances. This means that you can enjoy always performing or listening in the sweet spot. The chassis is designed to minimize parallel surfaces, delivering a smooth sound that suppresses any internal resonances.

Check out Vox’s video of the Adio Series amps in action HERE.

The amps should be available in July, and retail for $299.99.

 

 

Gettin’ in Tune

Korg AW-LT100B Tuner

The new Korg AW-LT100B Clip-On Tuner is said to easily tune bass frequencies. Photo: Korg Inc.

 

If you use a clip-on tuner with your uBass, you know what a pain it can be to get your strings in tune, particularly the E string. Most clip-on tuners have a hard time handling low frequencies, so trying to tune a bass is usually an act of frustration. And forget trying to tune a bass with more than four strings.

Well, those days may be over. Korg comes to the rescue with the AW-LT100B Tuner, which it says is specifically made for tuning bass frequencies.

As the company notes on its web site:

The AW-LT100B is designed specifically for bass. It uses a chromatic mode with dedicated circuitry that boosts the detection sensitivity in the ultra-low range below 100 Hz. The capability of this tuner is particularly apparent when tuning the 5-string or 6-string basses for which stable tuning has been difficult until now.

The Specs for the tuner are as follows:

  • Scale: 12 note equal temperament
  • Range (sine wave): E0 (20.60 Hz)─C5 (523.3 Hz)
  • Precision: ± 0.1 cent (Strobe mode)
  • Reference Pitch: A4 = 436─445 Hz (1 Hz steps)
  • Display Modes: Regular, Strobe, Half-strobe
  • Power Supply: AAA battery x 1
  • Battery Life: Approximately 100 hours (tuner continuously operating, A4 input, when using alkaline battery)
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 60 mm x 60 mm x 55 mm/2.36″ x 2.36″ x 2.17″
  • Weight: 32 g/1.13 oz. (including battery)
  • Included Items: One AAA battery for checking operation

It remains to be seen if the tuner actually performs as Korg says it does. It may not be the best looking tuner out there, but if it does the job, then why complain.

The AW-LT100B tuner should be available in July and will cost $24.99.

I’m Ringo and I Play Drums

 

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Ringo Starr and Nathan East with his Kala 5-string uBass.

 

Now how’s this for a rhythm section? Ringo Starr (you know who he is–the one on the left) and Kala endorsing artist Nathan East.

I swiped this photo from Kala’s Instagram. Hopefully they won’t mind.

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.)