You Now Have (String) Options

 

kalabassesnew

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.

Bakithi Covers Bass Player Magazine

Bakithi Kumalo and his signature uBass on the cover of the October 2016 issue of Bass Player magazine.

Bakithi Kumalo and his signature uBass on the cover of the October 2016 issue of Bass Player magazine.

 

Bakithi Kumalo and his signature Kala uBass cover the October 2016 issue of Bass Player magazine.

It should be hitting the newsstand any day now, so run out and pick it up.

Actually, Size Really Doesn’t Matter

Bass Player Magazine listed the acoustic uBass in an online roundup of short scale basses.

Bass Player Magazine listed the acoustic uBass in an online roundup of short scale basses.

 

And the uBass is proof.

In an online roundup of short scale basses headlined “Size Matters: A Roundup of Short-Scale Basses,” Bass Player magazine mentioned the Kala uBass. Not surprising since the magazine has been a fan of the little guy from the beginning. But what is surprising is that the magazine added the uBass in with the likes of a $9,000 Alembic Stanley Clarke Standard 4 bass, a $4,800 Callowhill OBS bass and a $2,000 Birdsong Corto2 bass.

Now that’s pretty good company to be in.

Here’s a taste of what they had to say about the acoustic Mahogany uBass:

While the U-Bass is nothing like the other instruments listed here, it certainly offers a short scale and, most important, sounds just as capable as much more traditionally designed basses. Most every person that’s picked up a U-Bass remarks at the incongruity between the instrument’s big sound and tiny size.

They’re absolutely correct about the uBass. It’s nothing like the others: it’s the shortest scale, it’s acoustic, it uses polyurethane strings, it’s at the bottom of the price scale and it sounds the most like an upright of all of them.

Not to mention, the little uBass can hold its own pretty well among the other basses listed.

First Look at Kala’s New Upright uBass

Frescia Belmar playing the new Kala Upright uBass.

Frescia Belmar playing the new Kala Upright uBass.

It looks like Kala brought a prototype of its new upright uBass to Bass Player Live this past week.

Bass Player magazine posted a short clip of Chilean bassist Frescia Belmar playing one. The magazine says they will be available sometime in 2016.

From This Clip, it looks like the new uBass upright may have taken some inspiration from the Hofner Beatle bass. It also looks to be a solidbody. From the clip, the scale looks to be about the same as a short scale bass, possibly 28″ or 30″. This one looks to have Pahoehoe strings on it.

I bet it would sound great with metal strings.

The Anniversary Celebration Continues

Kala's ad for the fifth anniversary of the uBass.

Kala’s ad for the fifth anniversary of the uBass.

I noticed a new ad for the uBass in the April 2015 issue of Bass Player Magazine. Looks like Kala is continuing the instrument’s 5th Anniversary celebration.

It’s a nice, simple ad that gets the point across.

Happy Birthday uBass.

Bass Player Live 2014 uBass Clinic

Abraham Laboriel Sr. and Bukithi Kumalo on stage at Bass Player Live 2014.

Abraham Laboriel Sr. and Bakithi Kumalo on stage at Bass Player Live 2014.

 

If you were lucky enough to be at Bass Player magazine’s 2014 Bass Player Live show on November 8-9 in Los Angeles, then you probably saw the uBass clinic live. If you weren’t there, you can still enjoy the clinic thanks to Kala, which posted the highlights in a vide on its YouTube channel.

The clinic was hosted by Abraham Laboriel Sr. and Bakithi Kumalo. Those in attendance were treated to a duet by the two bass greats, with Laboriel on an acoustic uBass and Kumalo on his signature Solidbody.

Check out the video Here.

Highlights from the show include:

The presentation of Abraham Laboriel’s Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award, followed by a performance by Open Hands, with Abraham, keyboardist Greg Mathieson, saxophonist Justo Almario and drummer Bill Maxwell.

A VSOP clinic performance by Abraham Laboriel, Bakitihi Kumalo (Paul Simon) and Hutch Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt), presented by Kala.

If you play bass, then the Bass Player Live event is like heaven for you. All that bass talent in one place would make anybody want to immediately run out an buy a uBass – or two.

Bass Player Does the uBass

The cover of the Nov. 2014 Bass Player magazine

The cover of the Nov. 2014 Bass Player magazine

 

Bass Player columnist Ed Friedland has a nice two-page spread on the Kala uBass in the November issue of Bass Player magazine. The article goes into the history of the uBass and its development by Owen Holt of Road Toad Music and Mike Upton of Kala Brand Music Co. It also gives a rundown of the different strings available for the uBass.

The article isn’t posted on the Bass Player web site yet, so you’ll have to go out and buy a copy of the magazine to read it.

Here’s a taste of what Ed “The Bass Whisperer” Friedland has to say about the classic uBass thump:

While the electronics, wood and construction all play a part in the big picture, the basic character of the U-Bass is greatly influenced by the string – and with several types of string available, it is possible to tailor the instrument’s response and feel several ways.

The article also includes a timeline of the development of the uBass and the various models available.

Ed concludes the piece this way:

This instrument is no joke: It is capable of delivering all the low-end punch you can handle, and based on my personal gig experiences, I consider it not only a serious addition to the bass family, but a welcome one.

And with that, the uBass continues its winning streak: yet another positive article about our little friend, with nary a negative review in sight.