The Last of its Kind


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.


Need to Tweak Your uBass?

Then Kala’s got you covered.

The company just announced that it has started a Service Department–called Kala Custom Services–which is run out of its Custom Shop. Kala also set up a dedicated web site for its Custom Services Department.

Kala says that basic service for the uBass (which includes cleaning, conditioning and restringing) costs $55 plus the cost of strings. You can have them put on any set of strings Kala sells.

Other services include:

  • Fine tune nut slots to optimum depth $10
  • Install premium Graph Tech Tusq nut $15
  • Fret Leveling, crowning, and polish on entire fretboard $60
  • Install black, gold or chrome strap button $15

The Custom Service guys also offer services for Kala Ukuleles.

According to Kala:

Every instrument that comes to the Kala Custom Shop for service receives a thorough cleaning and polishing using a high-quality instrument polish. The turn-around time for most services is within 2-3 weeks, although some services can take a little longer.  

All services include shipping to the Kala Custom Shop in California and shipping back to the customer.

For uBass service, fill out the Service Form on Kala’s web site. Once they receive your instrument they’ll evaluate it and get back to you with an exact price for the service required. You’ll also get a shipping label by email so you can send your instrument to Kala postage paid.

The Custom Service Department will perform repairs and upgrades on both the acoustic and Solidbody uBasses.

“We have been getting a lot of people asking us for info on getting their instruments renewed, upgraded or customized,” says Kala’s Lead Product Technician Jason Villa. “Some of our dealers are setup to provide these types of services, but there are still many folks who play our instruments that don’t have easy access to a skilled technician.”

All services will be performed at Kala’s Custom Shop in California by the same technicians who customize and set up the uBasses and Ukuleles for the company’s endorsing artists.