Guild Debuts New Travel Bass

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Guild’s new Jumbo Junior Acoustic/Electric Travel Bass. Photo: Guild Guitars

Guild Guitars at Summer NAMM introduced an acoustic/electric travel-sized, short-scale bass. The oxymoronically (is that even a word?) named Jumbo Junior Bass is a 23 3/4 inch scale four-string bass in the company’s Westerly Collection of guitars and basses.

The company says the Jumbo Junior Bass features a Sitka Spruce top and arched Flame Maple back, with a Maple neck and Ebony fingerboard.

Guild notes:

We chose a solid Sitka spruce top and arched flamed maple back to mirror the tonewoods that have been used in upright bass construction for centuries, resulting in a clear, tight bass tone that is impressive for its reduced size.

The Specs include:

Scale: 23¾″
Body Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Body Back and Sides: Layered Flamed Maple
Bracing: Scalloped Sitka Spruce
Rosette: MOP and ABS Ring
Finish: Satin polyurethane
Body Binding: Cream ABS
Top Purfling: Black and White ABS
Neck: MapleNut Width: 1 5/8″ / 41mm
Nut Material: Bone
Fingerboard: Ebony
Fingerboard Inlays: 5mm MOP Dots
Frets: 19
Tuning Machines: Guild Closed Gear Bass, 18:1 Ratio
Hardware Finish/Plating: Chrome
Truss Rod: Dual Action
Bridge: Ebony
Bridge String Spacing: 2 1/8″ / 54mm
Saddle: Bone
Bridge Pins: Ivory Colored Plastic with Black Dot
Strings: Coated Phosphor Bronze Nylon Core .037-.090
Endpin: Endpin Jack
Pickguard: Tortoiseshell
Pickup: Guild AP-1 Active Acoustic Piezo Pickup
Case: Guild Deluxe Gig Bag

Check out Guild’s video of the new bass HERE.

The Last of its Kind

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Once this Kala Solid Koa Acoustic U-Bass is gone, that’s it for the current California Series models. Photo: Kala Facebook Page

 

Like the dinosaurs, the original Kala California Koa Acoustic U-Bass is going extinct.

Kala posted on its Facebook page photos of the last California Koa Fretless available, saying once it’s gone, they will be gone forever. Only to be replaced by a new, improved series coming in 2018.

Kala had this to say about the California Koa:

Our finest creation in the acoustic U-Bass world. Meet the All Solid Koa Acoustic U-Bass made right here in Petaluma, Ca. Our manufacturing team has put a lot of effort into making sure this bass is everything you want it to be. Extravagant wood grain figure, a neck formed perfectly to your palm, the highest quality components and electronics, and hand finished for the best natural finish you’ve ever witnessed.

And this about its future:

This the LAST available model of this instrument EVER after this final fretless U-Bass sells this series will be discontinued and those wanting a California acoustic U-Bass will have to wait until 2018 for the next development in the U-Bass series.

Even though we have to wait a year for the new series to emerge, I’m sure it will be worth it. It’s hard to see how Kala could improve on the California Series, but then, not many people could envision a U-Bass in the first place, then Kala introduced one, so we’ll wait with great anticipation.

Win the One That Started it All

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To celebrate 100,000 Facebook followers, Kala is giving away an acoustic Mahogany uBass.               Photo: Kala Brand Music Co.

 

In celebration if it’s gaining 100,000 followers on Facebook, Kala is giving away a Fretted Solid Mahogany Acoustic uBass. The one that started it all.

Begin your Father’s Day weekend with the boom of the U•Bass. The Original U•Bass model—the thundering Solid Mahogany U•Bass—is where it all started. With the sound of an upright bass in a compact package, what better way to celebrate dads!

For a chance to win, check out Kala’s Facebook page. There’ll be a post there with all the details on how to enter.

Good Luck!

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.

There’s Good News. And Bad News.

 

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Mike Upton says Kala is working on a Ubass newsletter. Photo: Kala

 

The good news that now there’s a new source of uBass information you can sign up for.

The newest entry is from none other than Kala themselves. They’ve been sending out an Ukulele-centric newsletter for years. Now they’ve decided to do a uBass-centric newsletter as well.

Really, Kala?

Just kidding. We welcome the company.

Besides, what could be better than getting the info from the horse’s mouth, as it were.

According to Mike Upton:

We received feedback requesting a separate newsletter solely focused on the U-Bass. We took your advice, and you can now sign up to receive our brand new U-Bass newsletter.

You can sign up for just the uBass newsletter, just the Ukulele newsletter, or for both. At the bottom of every page on the Kala web site there’s a sign-up box. Just put your email in and you’re good to go.

If you’re already a subscriber to Kala’s Ukulele newsletter, you can update your preferences to include the new newsletter on their web site.

We can’t wait for the first issue to hit our mailbox.

And now the bad news: Kala says they are discontinuing the acoustic California Series uBasses, in order to make room for new and improved models.

In a note on the Kala Facebook page, the company had this to say:

The Kala Acoustic California UBasses will be discontinued and production on these beautiful basses will cease to exist as we put our heads down and start work on the development of our next generation of Kala California Acoustic UBasses over these next six months.

The company notes it has two fretless and one fretted Koa model available for purchase. Get them while you still can. Once they are gone, that’s it for the current Acoustic California uBasses.

Kala uBass on Display at MIM

 

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This spruce acoustic Kala uBass is on display at the Musical Instrument Museum in Arizona. Photo: MIM

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona, has a 2012 spruce Kala uBass on display as part of its collection of instruments. The uBass was a gift from Kala to the museum.

The MIM, which has more than 6,500 instruments on display from more than 200 countries around the world at any one time, boasts more than 16,000 instruments in its permanent collection. The organization says all of its instruments have artistic and historic merit.

The display card for the uBass reads: “U-Bass (plucked Lute). China 2012. Mahogany, Spruce and Ebony woods; metal. Kala Brand Music Co., maker. This 21st-C[entury] version of the ukulele generates a rich bass tone when amplified. Gift of Kala Brand Music Co.”

Sales/Marketing Mgr. Rick Carlson Leaves Kala to Join Phil Jones Bass

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Rick Carlson is leaving Kala to become head of marketing at Phil Jones Bass. Photo: Rick Carlson

Rick Carlson, head of sales and marketing at Kala Brand Music, has left that position and will join Phil Jones Bass/Pure Sound as Director of Sales and Marketing.

Carlson was instrumental in the introduction of the Kala uBass. No stranger to the bass market, Carlson also worked at SWR Engineering Inc. and ACE Products Group.

Phil Jones, head of Phil Joes Bass, said,“Rick brings a proven industry track record along with a pedigree in the bass world that fits perfectly with our plans for the future and the expansion of our brand.

Carlson said he is happy to work with Phil Jones, whom he noted creates bass amp designs that “are at the cutting edge of engineering in bass amplification.”

Carlson did not say why he left Kala.