New newsletter with lots of…news!

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I’m just about to send out my next newsletter…the first one this year…

My goal was to keep these going in a more monthly or bi-monthly faschion. But time kind of rushes past too quickly…

Anyway if you don’t already subscribe now!

From the newsletter:
Education material for the Ubass
In this next issue of the newsletter I will finally let you try out a portion the educational material I’ve been working on for quite some time now.

These so called Lesson Packs is aiming towards different topics and since I haven’t been able to play with my right hand because of a hand injury (more in the newsletter) the first thing up is part of a lesson focusing on the hammer-on and pull-of techniques from a future Lesson Pack 3 ”Etudes and dexterity” lesson.

In the lesson you will be able to try out the interface. I will start by releasing these Lesson Packs in the iBooks format.
This format is available only via the AppStore/iBooksStore so iPhone, iPad and Mac users (Yosemite 10.10 and up) will be able to uses these.

To check ”the market” I have made a little survey trying to find out how many of you that have access to any of the above mentioned platforms. If demand is high, I might put time into transforming/developing versions of these lesson packs for other formats/platforms.

Please fill in this survey (will take 1-2 minutes tops!)

The first lesson pack to be released is Lesson Pack 1 ”Basic techniques”.
I’m still in the process of making the video portions of these lessons, and it takes a lot of time to get these right. Can’t yet let you know about an exact date for the release but my goal is the beginning of 2016.

Model comparison chart – Kala Ubass acoustic/electric models 2015

model-comparison-chart

Hi everyone!

I get a lot of question about different Kala Ubass models so I decided to make a little chart. In this first chart the focus is the acoustic/electric models.

If you download this pdf The-Kala-Ubass-acoustic-electric-models-2015 you can also click on different model names to get to the corresponding details page of that model at kalabrand.com

All the best, Magnus

NEW DIY Video! How to change the preamp in a solid body UBass

How to change the preamp in a Kala Solid Body Ubass

 

The second video in my DIY series is finally done!!! It sure took a while to get it done. Mainly because the lack of time.

This spring have been extremely busy. Besides my work as a music teacher and IT-pedagogy I have toured Sweden and just got back from a trip to Brazil…

Anyway, now it’s done! I hope it will be informative and could work as a guide if you want to perform this DIY!

If you have any questions please drop me a line at: ubasslessons@gmail.com

To help out even more please feel free to use this guide in PDF-format!

The next DIY video will be the first in a series of post. This is quite a big project in probably ten parts. More about this soon!

/Magnus

RMI Basswitch and acoustic/electric UBass – impedance settings!

RMI Basswitch including the impedance switch.
RMI Basswitch including the impedance switch.

Hi!

Time for a new video. This time I’m exporing the difference between the 1MΩ and 10MΩ settings on my RMI Basswitch. Read more about the Basswitch here and here.

One of many great things with the Basswitch is the option to choose between two impedance settings on the first channel (INST A). My acoustic/electric UBass hasn’t got any onboard preamp so in order to get a great sound I need to use an outboard pre before plugging into a bass amp, PA, sound card or mixing console. I have tried a few and you can read about my thoughts here and here.

You will of course benefit from using the Basswitch even if you have an onboard pre but in that case you will probably get tge best sound using the 1MΩ setting. The quality of the components are super good and the built in DI is very good. Played a show this past weekend and the sound guy was very impressed with the sound from the DI and that’s not the first time.

More about how I use the RMI Basswitch in future posts.

Read more at the Ruppert Musical Instruments homepage.

String Review of the Aquila Thunder Reds

Thunder Reds on UBass
Thunder Reds about to get stringed on my fretless spruce Kala UBass

Hi,

It’s time for another string review. This time we will check out the quite new string, the Thunder Reds.

Aquila Corde Armoniche Srl is an Italian string manufacturer that has made strings since 1983. They make gut strings and strings to mimic the sound and feel of gut strings for ukulele, guitar and early music instruments like the lute. Mimmo Peruffo is the founder of the company and the inventor of the nylongut strings. Read more about him here.
Around 2012 they started making strings for the Ubass called Thundergut. I have used them on my acoustic/electric UBass from about that time. I did a previous test/review of these strings compared to the stock, black, pahoehoe strings.
Besides the Thundergut they also make the Silver Rumblers that comes stock on the Rumbler Ubass.
The newest string from the company is the Thunder Reds. These strings do have a new feel to them compared to previous Ubass strings on the market. In the Kala UBass ”String Store” you can find most of the different string choices on the market.

The string gauges are a bit different compared to the Thunderguts. See gallery.

I feel it’s the E-string that really stands out the most. It is significally thinner and sounds and feels really focused, with a nice tone. The added copper powder in the blend really makes a difference and this is extra pronounced in the E-string. I believe the copper also takes away a lot of the sticky feeling compared to other strings on the market.

How playable different strings are is mostly in the mind of the player. I remember the first time I played a UBass, I thought it would take a long time getting used to the new feeling but it didn’t and all the strings I have played so far has only taken me a minimal time getting used to.

Please check out this stringing guide for one way of putting a set of Thunder Reds (or other ubass strings) on your UBass.

Check out the YouTube video below to hear them compared to the Thunderguts. I really think the Thunder Reds are a serious string to consider trying out on your UBass!

Ubass Cases: Different options for the acoustic/electric Ubass

Hi!

If you want to get a new case for your acoustic/electric UBass there are a few options.
You can read about some of the options here at kalaukulele.com

Rectangular Diamond Black Hard Case for U-BASS (HCUB)
Tweed Rectangular Hard Case for U-BASS (HCT-UB)

 

Besides these very nice hard cases you can also use the case designed for the Baritone Ukulele!
You can find it here.

Ukulele Case Baritone (UC-B)

I’ve used one of these Baritone Cases for a while now and it works really well.
It’s super light and still quite sturdy. It’s not as sturdy as the hard cases above but still a good lightweight alternative. You can also use it as a back pack or side carry with the supplied straps.

Some more photos below!

Happy Ubass Summer to everyone!
/Magnus

Inside Case
Inside Case
Tuning pegs gets quite close to the side of the case so be careful when you put the ubass in the case!
Tuning pegs gets quite close to the side of the case so be careful when you put the ubass in the case!

Tips and tricks: Maintenance – tighten the output jack

Hi!

Here’s a little quick tip for every Ubassist that plays any of the acoustic/electric models.

If you use a strap the output jack can sometimes unscrew itself and become loose. To avoid further problem it’s important to solve this problem quickly. If not you can run into more serous problems with the output jack maybe even break the cable from the piezo pickup!

Here is a little guide how you can fix this!
If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself please let a professional repairman help you out!

1. Open the back cover (depending on when you bought your Ubass this cover is either attached with four screws or magnets.)

2. Loosen the actual strap button. Be careful so you don’t turn the whole output jack. This might break the cable that comes from the piezo! Through the open hole you can hold on to the output jack to prevent it from turning while you loosen the strap button.

3. While still holding the output jack tighten the nut with a proper tool.

If you can’t tighten the nut enough you might have to make even further adjustments. If you unscrew the nut you can remove the output jack and change the location of the fixed nut to shorten the thread length on the tip of the jack. Make small adjustments to find out the best position of the fixed nut.

4. Now fasten the nut and then the strap button while still holding the output jack through the opened back cover.

5. Put the back cover back.

Done. Play Music! 🙂

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