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June 2017 Giveaway

Kala U-Bass, Fretted - Exotic Mahogany Reviews

4.5 stars based on 19 customer reviews
Questions about the Kala U-Bass, Fretted - Exotic Mahogany?

Questions about the Kala U-Bass, Fretted - Exotic Mahogany?

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  • from Mississippi May 8, 2017Music Background:
    Minister of Music, musician

    Great little bass

    This little uBass is fantastic. It is fun to play. In my opinion, it sounds just like an upright acoustic bass. Easy to carry around and easy on my back. I love the way it plays and feels. The quality, fit and finish is excellent. And of course dealing with the guys and gals at Sweetwater is always a pleasure.

  • from S.F. East Bay December 23, 2016Music Background:
    I've played every day for 50 years.

    Kala U-Bass

    I'd heard one of these played in a crowd at a local festival, and had to add one to my menagerie. It's beautiful, extremely well engineered, and overall an XLNT modern instrument. The day after I received it, I played it in a gig (amplified) with a jazz band. The guys and gal loved its sound. I've been using it, both amped and unplugged for recording projects, and haven't touched either of my Fender basses since! Its sound is about midway between my Mariachi "Guitarron" and my big, upright "doghouse" bass. Run through my inexpensive bass effects/mixer box and into my little GK bass amp, it's as mean and lean as my Fender JB and much easier on the fingers!

  • from April 14, 2016

    The ONLY Truly Portable Bass to Buy

    Each type of Kala bass is different, but they all sound fantastic through a good bass amp, and the playability is unmatched. You do have to fret more precisely on fretted models to get pure tones, due to the shorter scale, but once you are used to it, the sound is deep and resonant. I could not ask for more in an electric bass, and I have owned Fender PBs, Gibsons and other great basses. Get one and really enjoy carrying and playing it at every opportunity. Thanks, Sweetwater, for excellent service!

  • from tennessee June 1, 2015Music Background:
    casual player of country, blues, gospel, ...clubs, studio , churches.

    Kala ubass

    This is a fantastic, powerhouse of a little bitty instrument. It blows the minds of everyone when I fire up and tear down the blues. But still mellow , soft and gentle enough for gospel, and rough enough for country.
    Tones are exactly what I was looking for....Without all the heavy gear to lug.
    Having a constrictive disease in my fretting hand , this UBass has allowed me to still play, and am confident it'll last me till the rest of me gives out. Love it so much I just bought another one !

  • from Indianapolis January 3, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Musician, Recording and Sound Enthusiast

    Amazing sound and value

    Wow! I just can't believe the quality of sound of this instrument in the studio and the authentic acoustic bass quality. And it is all happening in a compact package that travels and stores well. And it's incredibly fun to play!! I highly recommend this to friends.

  • from Detroit Michigan November 22, 2014Music Background:


    Awesome service awsome item.

  • from Missouri September 15, 2014Music Background:
    picker, song leader, etc.

    Smiles all around

    I was playing guitar in a country/bluegrass band and our bass player was going through chemo. I'd been toying with buying one of these, and when her fingers got too sensitive to play with us, I bought it. I took it to their house and said, "just play with it a little and see what you think." Our next gig day was two one hour shows in the morning and afternoon, and a two hour at a restaurant in the evening. She played them all, and ordered a Ubass for herself. She's a big gal. And her favorite joke when asked, "Is that thing a little bass?" she says, "no it's regular size, does it make me look fat?"

  • from Oshkosh, Wisconsin August 12, 2014Music Background:
    Weekend warrior. Upright bass, electric bass, accordian. Acoustic folk, bluegrass, Americana.

    The Kala U-Bass is King!

    This bass kicks some serious %$#@. I play upright bass in a folk/bluegrass band and I brought this thing to a gig a few weeks ago. My band mates couldn't believe their ears! I ran it through my Ampeg Porta-Flex 500 rig with an HE210 cabinet and if you didn't know any better, you would have thought it was the doghouse!. Kala quality is top notch. I love this thing so much that I just ordered a Kala Concert Uke. Sweetwater customer service is the best in the business. I ordered my U-bass on a Monday morning, and it was at my door step Tuesday afternoon! To top it off, I even received a phone call from a Sweetwater sales professional thanking me personally for my order. How often does that happen these days?
    Thanks Sweetwater - you guys Rock!

  • from Woodstock, NY August 3, 2014Music Background:
    giging musician, session player

    my new Kala U Bass

    It is predictable and amazing the response to this instrument. You take it out to get ready to play and see a sea of odd faces.."what the heck is that?". The you start playing and you watch the jaws drop! No one can believe the amazing sound that comes out of this little guy! I've been playing bass for fifty one years. I own more basses than I could ever use. This was the happiest purchase I've ever made. I've only had it a short time...about a half dozen gigs so I have no idea how it will hold up or what can go wrong with it. All I can say is I'm VERY HAPPY with it!

  • from Ol' Virginny, United States May 6, 2014Music Background:
    Semi pro player with 40+ years experience in jazz, classic country, rock, Bluegrass, and Old Timey.

    They laughed when I picked up my Ubass...

    Then their mouths dropped open!

    I bought my Kala Exotic Mahogany Ubass a couple of weeks ago after eyeing the cute little basses for some time, reading reviews, and watching video clips. I had tried an earlier edition at a local music store but was less than impressed due to dicey intonation and a lack of onboard pre-amp. The one I bought was on a one week long sale and was too pretty to leave alone. My wife, who occasionally suggests that I might own enough basses and guitars, was taken in by the figured wood and the cuteness factor. She left the room and I plugged it into a bass amp and she asked, "is that your new toy? How does it sound like that?"

    The sound is nothing short of remarkable. I've played it with my jazz quintet at an outdoor gig, with a classic country band in a fairly huge dance hall along side pedal steel, keyboards, electric guitar, fiddle, and drums, and after the initial laughter everyone in both bands told me how great it sounds. The fiddler, who used to play with Bluegrass legend Don Reno, literally cracked up when he saw what I was playing. It is a little instrument with a huge bass sound. It is, indeed, very close to an upright or an early Pbass with old strings ala James Jamerson. Even at dance hall volume I experienced no feed back issues.

    Since I already own both 4 and 5 string fretless bass guitars, and a 4 string upright, and a 6-string EUB (maybe my wife has a point?), I don't mind the frets on this bass. Also, the feel of the strings, they are not slick, would make intonation micro-corrections a challenge. Keep in mind, I have not played a fretless Ubass, your results may differ.

    Would I buy this bass again? In a heart beat. Any down sides? The gig bag is just that. The zippers are OK, but not totally smooth. I'll probably get a hard shell case.

    If you are interested at all in expanding your bass pallette, buy one of these cute little basses. Then let them laugh until you plug it in!

  • from ME June 5, 2017

    Really like my new Kala U-Bass

    I wish I'd bought this sooner because it has a big sound and great look. I'd say if you are tempted, you should definitely get one. A very minor issue with the loose combination strap button/output jack upon receipt but it can be easily remedied if you know what you're doing, potential trouble if you don't.

  • from Longview, TX January 3, 2017

    Fun Bass Guitar!

    I have had more fun with this bass than any other guitar I own! Perfect for sitting on the couch and noodling while watching TV. This is the bass I used for most of my practicing at home. It is great for travel! I have taken it as my carry-on on many occasions. It is also fun to play on stage. I save it for those more acoustic songs in our setlist. When I get it out the looks on people's faces is priceless. They don't expect it to have as much bottom end as it does! My only suggestion: my fingers sometimes get caught up on the polyurethane strings, so I often spray them down with a string lubricant, especially when playing live.

  • from Toledo, OH USA March 25, 2014Music Background:

    Huge sound in an amazingly small instrument

    This is an outstanding instrument. My family enjoys playing music together. With three children aged 7-12, I was looking for a way to get all of the kids involved. Enter the UBass. With the compact size and urethane strings, even the smallest hands can play for hours without fatigue or sore fingers. My son(12) now plays Ubass for the youth band at church and is doing an amazing job. It is fun to play and sounds great. Only room I see for improvement is that we get a lot of noise from the body and strings because the pickup is very sensitive. Maybe compression will take care of that. Either way, we love it and I love watching my kids make music as a family.

  • from April 16, 2017

    U Bass

    I'm loving this new bass! Fun and small enough to take anywhere.

  • from Texas January 24, 2017Music Background:
    Semi pro


    I really like this. I was afraid it would be a "toy". No, this is a nice instrument. Takes a day or so to get used to then you can't put it down. So easy to practice while sitting in chair watching tv. But, you can gig with this. Especially anything that needs a round upright bass sound. Works through all my bass amps. No feedback. I'm really glad I bought it. As always Jason at Sweetwater makes it easy.

  • from Torrance, Ca October 20, 2015Music Background:

    Great Sound In A Small Package

    I take long road trips, so I wanted something I could play around with on the road. Ever try pulling out a full size bass guitar in the back seat of a car? Doesn't really work. This U-Bass has amazing low tones for its size. Without amplification you can hear it, but it really shines when hooked up to a Fender Rumble amp or through some VOX headphone amp.

    I would love to give this U-Bass five stars, but I can't. It's made well, but there are things you need to know. The sound is awesome, but you have to make sure each string is properly seated in the saddle to provide uniform volume. The audio jack kept coming loose, solved that problem with a little nail polish on the threads. The built-in tuner works, but there are more accurate external tuners that yield better tuning results.

    This U-Bass has me divided. It has a stand-up bass tone, but it's a lovely tone. The strings are easy on the hands. Part of me says this is a nice toy, but limited as an instrument. Kind of great for folk type music. You can't slap it, well, you can, but that's not its strength. Then I play the bass line for Stand By Me and it sounds better than my Fender bass.

    One thing I know. Kala is on to something here. It's fun, it sounds good, and you can easily transport it. Which means you'll be practicing and playing a lot more. There's something to be said for that.

    Would I buy it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. Something tells me I'm going to try one of the solid body basses Kala has come out with too. By the way, it does look beautiful in the mahogany.

  • from Tamp! Fl August 27, 2013Music Background:

    Great Little Bass

    Performs as advertised. Full acoustic sound, and amazing when amplified. Strings are easy to play. Beautiful little instrument. One negative comment- hard to keep in tune.

  • from Buffalo, NY March 5, 2014Music Background:
    Bluegrass Family Band

    Nice Sounding Bass

    Just purchased this bass. I was looking for a portable instrument that would make a full acoustic upright bass sound. We use the bass in a country/bluegrass group. You have to plug it in in order to be heard up against the other acoustic instruments as unplugged the sound is too soft to cut through. We like the instrument so far mainly due to the sound it makes. There are a couple things that I can't help notice that kept my overall rating lower. The instrument does not seem like it is worth the amount you pay for it. Don't get me wrong, I like the bass but there is some sloppy workmanship to it. The glue inside the instrument was applied unevenly. You can see where the glue was overapplied on the bracing. Also, the frets are a little jagged to the touch on the sides of the neck. They were not filed down to make them smooth. It's a little thing but when you go up and down the neck you notice it. I think that Kala has a nifty instrument here that has few competitors but a more reasonable price would be a hundred dollars less than everyone is charging. Again, I recognize the novelty of the instrument and the sound that it produces. The case that it comes with is also nice. Once last thing- with the fretted version you have to be really careful about where you place your fingers in relation to the frets. If you don't make sure they are placed perfectly behind the fret, if not it will buzz a little bit.

  • from United Kingdom November 24, 2014Music Background:
    Session Musician

    service good from sweetwater but a few things need addressing from Kala

    Aaron from Sweetwater was superb in looking after my order. He kept me informed at all stages and I was most pleased. I do have 2 problems however with the instrument! The case for the Ubass zipper has broken and also I will need to have the instrument set up a bit better as i do have fret buzz at the 1st fret becasuse the 2nd fret hasnt been filed down enough.

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