A new Ubass has arrived!

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Hi!

I just got a new Ubass! It’s the Bakithi Kumalo signature model of the Kala California solid body series. This is a fretless only model. If you’re interested in a fretted California US made solid body Ubass there are several options too. Please check out the California page at kalabrand.com for more info.

The Bakithi Ubass is really a great instrument! It is very well built and feels really solid when you pick it up. The black original Pahoehoe string that it comes with feels really good on this Ubass.
A new addition to the 2014 solid body models (and some of the acoustic/electric models) is a new preamp. I have written about it before. It’s a collaboration between Kala and LR Baggs. The Cali models used to have a MiSi preamp. It was a great battery-less invention that you charged for 60 seconds and got about 8 hours of playing time. The LR Baggs preamp is ”old-school” when it comes to how power is supplied, it uses a 9 volt battery. Although it’s not as ”cool” as the MiSi solution I know it might be easier to use. I have heard of Ubassists that prefer battery operation over the charge-before-play MiSi.

I will do a test and DIY series of posts here at playubass.com regarding these preamps soon!

I got the new Ubass this past Friday and used it on about 90% of the songs on a gig I did the day after! Wow, it sounded wonderful through my Basswitch IQ/DI and Aguilar amp setup. Punchy with a great focused low end and enough mids and top to cut through. A lot of different styles were covered in that concert as the theme was musicals. From jazz to funk to ballads to…
The Bakithi Ubass sounded great throughout all those styles and I was able to get the different sounds I wanted to just by changing my playing style to suit the songs.

To honor Bakithi Kumalo, who has played with Paul Simon since the mid 80’s and plays bass on the iconic Graceland recording, my first jammin’ video with the new Ubass is dedicated to him!
He also happened to have his birthday at the time when I got my UBass!🙂

I think there will be a lot more Music made and many more videos with this new and wonderful Ubass. Stay tuned!

6 thoughts on “A new Ubass has arrived!

  1. Hi Magnus,
    Even without ever testing these instruments myself, I am falling in love with it. I am gettin one, but am not shure of which one to choose (solid body). As you beeing something of an expert on these, any suggestions from you will help me in my desicion.

    – Have you experienced a big difference in sound signature between the old MiSi preamp and the new LR Baggs preamp?
    – Have you experienced any significant playability or sound signature difference beween the standard California model and the Cali Exotic model? (beside better looking -> is it worth the price difference?)
    – I like the sound of the PYRAMID Superior Quality U-BASS Strings (Silver plated and copper wound on a nylon silk core). Have you experienced if there is a major sound difference between these and the Black Pyramid strings in your test?
    – I live in Noway. Any reccomendations in where to purchase from? Where do you do your shopping?

    Best regards
    Pål

    By the way -> love your site, your tests and your playing. Keep up the good work.

    1. Hej Pål!

      Kul att du gillar Ubass och min lilla blogg!
      Don’t know if you want me to write in Swedish or English.
      But since most readers on this blog don’t read Swedish I’ll continue in English.🙂

      I’m working on a preamp test between the MiSi and LR Baggs in my Exotic solid body California 5-string. Will probably take another week or so to finish it.

      The differences between the regular models and the exotic wood option models are mostly the wood. Both models are put together in the Petaluma, California Shop so it’s mainly a matter of taste in regards of finish and looks.

      I have a 5-string solid body, exotic top, as I writhe before, and a Signature Bakithi. That Ubass is based on the regular California model with a added pick guard and features the new LR Baggs pre.
      I totally love this Ubass, it’s so nice to play and it sounds amazing.

      When it comes to Ubass I personally prefer the fretless models. I have been playing fretless bass since the early 90’s and with the smaller scale I find it easier to play those compared to the fretted ones.

      The size of your hands can also come in play when deciding what to get. The 4-strings are 21 inch scale and the 5-strings 23,5 inch. If the player if used to play guitar the difference between the 5-string and a regular guitar is very small.

      The string options for the solid body versions haven’t been as diverse as for the acoustic/electric models so I haven’t tried any other strings then the stock black pahoehoe ones. I hope to get around to try more strings this fall and will try to do tests as soon as I have something new to show the Ubass community!
      I have been in contact with some manufacturers. We’ll see what that’s leads to.
      For example the black tape nylon strings by Pyramid only works on the acoustic/electric Ubass at the moment. The Pyramid ”Silver” has sets for both models. I haven’t yet tried the Pyramid ”Silver” strings but will try to do a test soon.
      A test of the Aquila Thunder Reds will come in the coming week!

      I have some Ubass friends in Norway. I will ask them when to best buy a Ubass!

      All the best,
      Magnus
      playubass.com

      1. Hi Magnus, Thank you for answering. Swedish would have been no problem for me, but as you said……

        Hope you are able to execute the preamp test pretty soon, as I am very close on aquireing a solid body nature 4 string fretted, but it has the MiSi preamp. Thus I will wait for your test before I decide.

        Tanks for all the great tests. Waiting in exitement for the Pyramid ”silver” test too.

        Kind regards Pål

      2. Hi and thanks!

        Will try to make the preamp test happen. It takes some time to make since it involves me documenting the actual preamp change🙂 Stay tuned!

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