"Get Solid" with the new Kala Brand UBASS.

Posted: May 3, 2024
Kala - Ubass - Guitar Thrills Magazine
Most of us will be using the bass to lay down standard bass lines for backing tracks.  Plugged in the Kala sounded much bigger than you would think. 

Photos provided by: Eric Dahl

Every guitarist needs at least one bass guitar around the house or studio to workout parts, lay down tracks for recording or for when your bass player stops by and doesn’t bring his.  A great option is the new Kala Brand Music Company Solid Body U-BASS.  You might already be aware of their popular Acoustic/Electric U-BASS line that features instruments that look like oversized Ukuleles but sound like upright basses when plugged in.  The newly released Solid Body U-BASS line includes 4-String Fretted (as tested), 4-String Fretless, , 5-String Fretted, 5-String Fretless and a Left-Handed model.  Guitar Thrills reviewed a Candy Apple Red 4-string Fretted Solid Body U-BASS.  The Kala bass full length is 33.25” but you wouldn’t know it when plugged into an amplifier. The neck is Maple, and the body is constructed of Okoume a hardwood derived from Africa. 

The hardware on the Kala Solid Body U-BASS is all blacked out including the strap buttons, bridge, tuners, knobs, pickguard screws, and neckplate.  Cosmetically this works out nicely with the white plastic pickguard and Candy Apple Red finish.  The neck has 22 frets, and the fingerboard is made of Laurel.  The bridge is a top loader instead of a through body configuration, but you do have an individual saddle for each string to dial in intonation.  Adjusting the truss rod is simple since the adjustment is at the bottom of the neck.  The Kala Solid Body 4-String U-BASS has Passive split coil pickups with volume and tone control.  At the bottom of the body is the ¼” input jack.  The body design of the Kala isn’t a typical copy of any other popular bass shapes instead it is ergonomic and curvy, so it is comfortable to play standing or sitting. 

I would compare the neck to a J-Bass style since the nut width is only 1.625” making it negotiable for guitarists or people with smaller hands.  Many of the videos showcasing the Kala 4-String Fretted bass show musicians playing the standard NAMM show slap bass technique.  Most of us will be using the bass to lay down standard bass lines for backing tracks.  Plugged in the Kala sounded much bigger than you would think.  I found that rolling back the tone slightly really helped bring out the low-end on this model. And played wide open you can still do slap bass techniques on it too.  Personally, I would probably change the strings to flat round wound and lower the action a bit, but that is a personal preference and yours might vary.  At only $349 for the Kala Solid Body 4-String Fretted U-BASS this is an expensive route to have a nice portable bass around.  The 5-String U-BASS models jump up to $449 which is still a steal, and they are usually sold out online.  Kala makes great playable and affordable instruments, and the new 4-String Solid Body U-BASS definitely checks all of these boxes.  Besides the Candy Apple Red that GT reviewed Kala also offers the new U-Bass in Sunburst, Jet Black, and Powder Blue.  Included with the purchase is a Kala branded gig bag.  If you or your bass player are in the market for a fun, portable bass guitar that sounds great and will surprise listeners check out the new Kala Solid Body U-Bass line for yourself!

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