Happy Birthday To Us!


The uBass Appreciation Society is Celebrating its Sixth Birthday Today.

The uBass Appreciation Society is Celebrating its Sixth Birthday Today.


Today is August 23 and it’s our Sixth Birthday.

On this day in 2010, the uBass Appreciation Society sprang to life, celebrating everything that is the Kala uBass. As with our first post, our singular focus was then, and still continues to be, the uBass that Kala brought into this world in 2007.

So sit back, pop a cold beverage, get out your uBass and read a few of our previous posts to celebrate our birthday. Click on any month in the Archives links to the right and relive the past of the uBass.

Not to toot our own horn or anything…well, OK, to toot our own horn…We’ve seen our traffic steadily increase over the past six years. We’re not talking Google-size traffic or anything, but it’s pretty good for a little ad-free blog covering a very narrow subject area.

WordPress tells us that in the past six years we’ve had more than 55,000 visitors and more than 182,000 views of our 254 posts. So far we’ve got 31 followers (with a number of them with us for five years). And that’s to say nothing of the people who pop in and out at various times.

I’d just like to say thank you to everyone for your loyalty. Keep reading. And we’ll keep writing.


New Book Teaches You How to Play the uBass

The cover of Magnus Sjöquist's new book "Learn to Play the UBass".

The cover of Magnus Sjöquist’s new book “Learn to Play the UBass“.

Our friend Magnus Sjöquist of Playubass.com has been hard at work putting together a book for novice uBass players called “Learn to Play the UBass.” It’ll feature video lessons, TABs and his musing on the art of bass playing with a uBass.

Magnus says initially the book will be available on iBooks for iOS devices like the iPad, but he may eventually do a version in ePub for PC users.

According to Magnus:

“With my different Lesson Packs I will share the knowledge I’ve gathered throughout the years. It could be anything from my thoughts and experiences about how to hold the Ubass to genre specific tools; things I think the player will benefit from when they want to play a certain style of music or get a grip on a certain technique.”

He also noted that he has considered offering uBass lessons over Skype for some time. If you want to learn how to play the uBass, there’s no one better to teach you than Magnus.

Learn to Play the UBass” is in preview now and should be available for purchase soon. Check it out HERE.

Changing Strings? Try Metal.

The packaging for Kala's new metal round wounds uBass strings.

The packaging for Kala’s new metal round wounds uBass strings.


Let’s face it. Sometimes you just need to change things up. You need to try something different. Well, if you’re about to change the strings on your uBass, or are getting bored with your Pahoehoes, why not try Kala’s new metal round wound strings.

The strings are constructed with a nylon core with silver plated windings. In a video touting the new strings, Mike Upton says while the strings are “boomy” like the Pahoehoes, they do tend to offer a bit more treble than the other strings. So if you want your uBass to sound more like an electric/acoustic bass and less like a double bass, these may be the strings for you.

“These round wound strings provide a warm booming sound that the U-Bass is known for,” Kala notes. “They feature lower tension compared to traditional built bass strings, making them easy on the fingers with a great overall feel.”

The new strings feature the following:

  • Nylon core with Silver-plated windings
  • Specifically constructed for use with the Kala U-Bass
  • Provides player with extreme playability
  • Warm, powerful sound with clear note articulation
  • String construction and gauging gives player very accurate intonation

The new strings are very responsive and very articulate, according to Mike Upton. They still feature the “boomy” sound the uBass is known for, but with a bit more clarity and top end.

These new strings should not be confused with Kala’s Silver Rumbler strings made by Aquila. The Silver Rumblers feature Nylgut and a proprietary formula and are not metal strings.

Check out a video with Mike demoing a set of the strings HERE.

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.

There’s a Rumble in Petaluma Tonight*

*With apologies to Brian Setzer and The Stray Cats

01.21.13RumblerIt looks like the new Rumbler uBass is having a major influence on Kala’s Acoustic uBass line. Apparently the entire line is being refreshed with the same EQ and tuner electronics as the Rumbler.

The company’s uBass Web Site sports the new models. Updated photos should get posted soon.

The original solid Mahogany uBass is getting the Rumbler electronics, as does the Exotic Mahogany model. The Hutch Hutchinson Signature also is getting the Rumbler electronics and tuner.

It’s nice to see a refresh of the uBass line. Since the Rumbler sells for $399, it would be nice if Kala would lower the price of the updated models. Though I doubt they will.

I’m looking to get my hands on a Rumbler soon. Then again the Hutch Hutchinson with an EQ sounds really, really interesting. It would be a nice compliment to my acoustic HH.

Hmmm…Decisions, Decisions.

UPDATE: According to Mark Milazzo, Kala’s Branding Manager, the entire line of Acoustic-Electric uBasses will be updated with Rumbler-like electronics – that’s EQ, Shadow pickup and tuner – for 2013.

The Rumbler, however, features slightly different electronics than the other models. Its electronics package is proprietary to Kala, Milazo said.

He also noted Kala plans to hold the line on pricing for the updated models. They should have the same street prices we see now.