No More Rosewood

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Kala said it will no longer use Rosewood in its instruments.

 

As we noted in February, Kala has been informing its customers outside the U.S. that due to new restrictions on the importation of Rosewood and other exotic wood species, there will be delays in shipping its Ukuleles and uBasses.

Now Kala notes on its web site that it plans to discontinue using Rosewood in its domestic and imported instruments.

In a note on its web site, Kala said:

Because of the CITES prohibition on all species of Rosewood (Dalbergia), Kala will no longer be using Rosewood on our imported and USA-made instruments as of July 2017. We will still be shipping the remaining stock of Kala instruments with Rosewood to dealers until they are cleared out of our warehouses. You may see Kala instruments with Rosewood in stores for some time after our remaining stock has been sold. As early as February 2017 we began importing instruments with Walnut fingerboards and bridges. Along with Walnut, we will also be using Pau Ferro (Morado) and other non-CITES regulated woods to replace any components formerly using Rosewood.

So if you’re a fan of Rosewood fretboards, check your local dealer’s inventory for what’s left that can still be sold. Pretty soon Rosewood in Kala musical instruments will be a thing of the past.

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Coming Soon to a Computer Near You…

 

Kala plans to launch a blog on October 13.

 

…Is the brand-spanking new Kala Blog, featuring all things Ukulele, uBass and, of course, Kala.

The company says the blog is scheduled for launch on Friday October 13. Friday the 13th. Hmmm. They’ll initially post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Daily posts may come eventually.

Kala says: “The blog will feature news and updates on everything Kala, including Ukulele, U•Bass, and Artists. There will also be how to’s, tips, demonstrations, behind the scenes going-ons, and much more.”

So mark your calendars folks. The new Kala Blog on October 13.

Nik West Drops New Single

Nik West Purple Unicorn

Nik West and her signature uBass on the cover of her new single, “Purple Unicorn.”

Ubass endorsing artist, superb bassist, friend of this blog and all-around great person, Nik West, just dropped a new single.

The track, called “Purple Unicorn,” features MonoNeon on guitar, Nik on bass and Lil John Roberts (Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, among others) on drums.

Check the song out on iTunes, Spotify or Tidal.

If, after listening to the song, you say to yourself: “Hmm. That sounds a lot like Prince.” Well, that’s probably because Prince was a mentor to and a friend of Nik’s. And a big musical influence on her.

Also, check out the new Nik West Signature uBass in all its purple goodness on the cover!

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.