Kala U-Bass Rumbler

4-String Ukulele Bass

  • Tuning: E, A, D, G
  • Body dimensions: Baritone ukulele
  • Top: Mahogany
  • Bottom and sides: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Black walnut
  • Bridge: Black walnut
  • GraphTech TUSQ nut
  • 16 Nickel silver frets
  • Scale: 533 mm
  • Total length 720 mm
  • Black, open machine heads
  • Shadow Acoustic U-Bass pickup
  • Shadow U-Bass NFX Electronics
  • Strung with KALA Silver Rumblers by Aquila
  • Finish: Natural matte
  • Deluxe gig bag included
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Further information

Body Mahogany
Top Mahogany
Frets 16
Neck Mahogany
Pickup Yes
11 customer ratings:
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4.1 / 5.0
  • features
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9 written ratings Read all reviews
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features
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Great uke but lose the strings!

PhilPugh, 18.11.2017
I came across this uke being played by Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention and other bands) at a local gig. I couldn't believe the rich bass sound it produced, talking to him afterwards he said that the 'secret' was to ditch the supplied strings and fit Pyramid strings - he preferred the flat-wound variety.

As a bass player myself I liked the idea of a very portable instrument for small venues that needed only a small amp to get the best out of it - I have a Roland BASS CUBE amp that turns out to be just right for this instrument. I ordered the U-BASS from Thomann and took delivery of it a couple of days later. The supplied strings are truly dreadful - I don't understand why KALA would degrade such a lovely instrument with such poor strings. It is virtually unplayable as the strings don't allow your fingers to slide over them.

I ordered the Pyramid strings (also from Thomann -Pyramid 509.200 Bass Ukulele Set) and after fitting them was impressed by the rich sound and 'attack' which makes it sound like my usuall short-scale bass.

I highly recommend the product - but do change the strings!
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Total
features
sound
quality

Solid instrument

carlfriedrich, 13.07.2017
I usually play bass, but I wanted to buy a small bass for small acoustics. Although the selection is quite clear, I have not found any good comparisons between the different models, so I just ordered three of them to choose from. My tested models:

- Ortega Caiman-BS-GB
- Kala UBASS-SMHG-FS
- Kala U-Bass Rumbler

One point ahead: From the Caiman and the UBASS-SMHG I had also the Fretless version since. But I have not gotten warm with them at all. Compared to a fretless bass guitar (which I like every now and then), absolute precision is necessary with the basses. The smaller scale makes it a much bigger tone difference, if you lie 1 mm beside it. In addition, slitting is difficult or impossible due to the string material, and that is what makes Fretless Bass the most fun. For this reason, I now present here only comparisons between the three bundled models.

And another thing: the strings have a very decisive influence on both the playing feeling and the sound, much stronger than the electric bass. Although there is limited choice in the market for the strings, all three U-Bass models come with different sets at the factory. This makes the comparison of the actual instruments a little more difficult. I have tried all three models only with the works.

The U-Bass Rumbler is a solid instrument. In terms of equipment, it is virtually identical to the other Kala model. Both have a jack socket with integrated belt pin, Fishman-preamp with built-in tuner, battery compartment for 2 CR2032 button cells, buttery tuning mechanisms and on the back a detachable cover for the string change.

The Tuner reacts quickly and is an absolute plus compared to Ortega Caiman. Likewise, the cover on the back, which is attached to the Kala models with magnets and can therefore be removed without tools (Caiman requires a screwdriver). Both Kala models are thus superior to the Caiman in terms of equipment alone.

The works on the rumbler are the gray Aquila Silver Rumbler. Compared to the black Pahoehoe on the UBASS-SMHG they have significantly more sustain and overtones. From Feeling they are somewhat less labberig, but the friction resistance is also somewhat larger, ie Slides go worse here. All in all, they are still pleasant to play after a short familiarization. On the subject of Slides, it is noted that these are, in particular, very difficult to achieve, especially over long distances, since the intonation of the target tone suffers. The strings are so elastic that they are automatically stretched or compressed when slipping. Thus the sound after the slit on a covenant is no longer the same, as if the string had been pressed down directly on the covenant.

Since the contrabass comparison is always connected with the basses: Of the three tested models, the rumbler comes closer to a double bass sound (which I think is mainly due to the strings).

The enclosed Gigbag is nice-to-have, but protects the instrument only very rudimentarily. The upholstery is very thin. In the alternative model UBASS-SMHG-FS is a significantly higher-quality case, which would probably endure, if one put on it. In between are worlds. In view of the lower price but comprehensible, so no point deduction for it.
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