Some thoughts about the UBass that may help you decide what version to try/buy!
I’m doing this post as a response to a couple of emails I got!
Thanks Stefan and Aron!
About the difference between the fretted and fretless UBass:
I haven’t played the fretted version more than once in a music store. So my experience with that bass is very limited. Since I’m used to play the fretless bass I opted for the fretless because I wanted to come as close as possible to the sound and feel of the upright bass. The construction of the UBass and the string material (solid polyurethane) is the biggest part of it’s sound and the ”tone-sculpturing” is very limited. It’s a fast attack and not that much of a ”mwah” (that’s more easily achieved on a regular electric fretless and an upright bass) so having frets is more of a” feel thing”. Of cause doing long ”glissandos” (slides) will benefit from a fretless board. Using a fretted will obviously render more fret noise.
In conclusion I would say that choosing version is more about what you’re used to play (fretless, fretted or upright) and the feeling you’re after sound vise. BUT as I said I haven’t played the fretted version much at all…yet 🙂
I have (as you’ve probably seen!?) the spruce version. The fretted UBass I tried was with the mahogany top. And if I remembered right the all mahogany version sounds a little bit darker and woodier…But deciding what the sound color is of the different models is really up to everyone to explore and make up by themselves!
One final thing and it’s quite important as well. Since the scale is 20 inch compared to 34-35 on a electric bass and about 42 on a upright you RELLY have to adept to the substantially shorter scale. At first it feels strange and really, really tiny. But after awhile it’s quite comfortably and the benefits (the biggest of them size – not having to lug a heavy bass or a big space consuming upright) is rewarding!
…And watching people go from…haha that’s not gonna work to…that tiny thing really sounds huge…You know you play a great instrument and not some toy store junk!
Hope this will help you a bit on deciding what version to buy!