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Top 6 Best Bass Ukulele On The Market 2019 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

If you’re in the market for a bass ukulele, then you, most likely, are either a ukulele player or a bass player. Or you could even be a player of both instruments. Anyway, as the name probably already suggests, a bass ukulele is the love child of a marriage between a ukulele and a bass guitar.

To understand bass ukuleles, therefore, it makes sense to study them in the light of their two parents. Experienced players most likely already have a brand they patronize. However, if you’re a beginner, you might be a little in over your head with the plethora of options available.

So, our article today will be cutting through the junk and getting right to the straight goods on bass ukes. Read up and get the full gist on things to look out for in a bass ukulele as well as our top 6 favorite ones.

best Bass Ukulele

Top 6 Best Bass Ukulele To Buy 2019 Reviews

NameBack/SidesTopFingerboardStringsFretsColorDimensionsWeight
Back/Sides
Exotic Mahogany
Top
Exotic Mahogany
Fingerboard
Rosewood
Strings
Polyurethane
Frets
Fretted
Color
Natural
Dimensions
31.9 x 32.3 x 11.8 inches
Weight
2.49 pounds
Back/Sides
Mahogany
Top
Mahogany
Fingerboard
Rosewood
Strings
Aquila (polyurethane)
Frets
Fretted
Color
Satin
Dimensions
36 x 12 x 4 inches
Weight
5 pounds
Back/Sides
Mahogany
Top
Spruce
Fingerboard
Rosewood
Strings
Flatwound
Frets
Fretted
Color
Classic Black (Gloss)
Dimensions
5 x 8 x 34 inches
Weight
4.23 pounds
Back/Sides
Mahogany
Top
Spruce
Fingerboard
Rosewood
Strings
Flatwound
Frets
Fretted
Color
Natural
Dimensions
5 x 8 x 34 inches
Weight
5 pounds
Back/Sides
Zebrawood
Top
Zebrawood
Fingerboard
Not specified
Strings
Aquila Nylgut
Frets
Fretted
Color
Natural
Dimensions
32.5 x 13 x 4.2 inches
Weight
4 pounds
Back/Sides
Swamp ash wood
Top
Swamp ash wood
Fingerboard
Rosewood
Strings
Aquila Nylgut
Frets
Fretted
Color
Natural
Dimensions
Not specified
Weight
4 pounds

1 Kala UBASS-EM-FS Exotic Mahogany U-Bass

First off, we check out Kala’s Exotic Mahogany U-Bass Ukulele. Kala is a trusted brand in the ukulele making industry. So, we are totally confident about this ukulele. It’s also earned quite reputation for performing so excellently.

Alright, this ukulele isn’t exactly cheap but it doesn’t cost a fortune either. It’s definitely a bass ukulele for the pros though.

The first thing that attracted us to this piece was its attractiveness. This is one fine ukulele. The rich grain and fantastic finish of this uke makes it one that anyone would be proud to own. With its exotic mahogany body, this bass looks high quality. And, of course, it also sounds really nice too.

Still about sound, this comes with two types of strings which allows you choose your sound. There’s the round wound strings which sounds more like an electric guitar. If you play the electric guitar, this might be your choice.

Rubber strings, on the other hand, are much warmer and brighter sound which is also great.

Keep in mind though that round wound strings are easier to slap and support harmonics better.

The pickup here is pretty great too. It does pump out a huge dose of bass once you set it up.

What does this bass ukulele come with? Well this bass comes with two accessories which are a padded gig bag as well as a built-in tuner.


Kala UBASS-EM-FS Exotic Mahogany U-Bass

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros
  • Quality mahogany build.
  • Beautiful instrument.
  • Can pick between round wound strings or rubber strings.
  • Pickup powers a lot of bass.
  • Comes with built-in tuner and gig bag.
Cons
  • Pickup isn’t great for live settings especially around the mids.
  • A and E strings tend to come out flat with round wound strings.

2 Oscar Schmidt Comfort Series Bass Ukulele

The Oscar Schmidt Comfort Series Bass Ukulele is a quality bass ukulele which also comes a bit high end. Well, it’s not as high end as the Kala bass ukulele though. It sells for about $200 right now, but it is super durable with a beautiful finish, and an excellent build.

The Oscar Schmidt Comfort Series Bass Ukulele is made from solid wood with an asymmetric design and a gentle rosewood fretbaord construction. The quality hardware here also makes this uke super easy to tune.

Now, the strings here are plastic which some players might find to be a pro or a con, depending on their skill level. Plastic strings don’t sound so bad, but they don’t sound so great either. What’s definite though is that you will definitely find it a lot easier playing on plastic strings than on other string types.

Most skilled players will restring this uke after getting it, but there are also many that will find them tolerable. Beginners, though, will love the strings on here because the action is much easier. It does require a bit of time to get used to this ukulele, by the way. So, keep that in mind.

This is part of the Comfort Series because the manufacturers shaped this ukulele such that it’s comfortable for everyone to hold. So, you’ll surely enjoy playing on this.

The Oscar Schmidt Bass Comfort Series Bass Ukulele comes with a complementary gig bag. You can store and transport your uke with it. All in all, it’s a great instrument well worth the price.


Oscar Schmidt Comfort Series Bass Ukulele

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros
  • Great build quality.
  • Beautiful satin finish.
  • Comfortable to hold.
  • Easy-to-play strings.
  • Comes with a gig bag.
Cons
  • Plastic strings don’t sound so great.

3 Luna Guitars Bass Ukulele

The Luna Guitars Bass Ukulele comes in about the same price range as the Oscar Schmidt Bass Ukulele. So, it isn’t exactly pricey but it isn’t exactly cheap. One thing is sure though, it boasts a high quality. It’s a Luna ukulele after all.

Now, first things first, this ukulele looks show-stopping in its fine, glossy black finish. We particularly love it for its differentness. While ukuleles typically come in a natural finish, here’s a ukulele killing it in glossy black. The design and finish just make this uke outstanding in its class.

The top, back and sides are made from premium quality materials. But that’s not all, these materials come together in an excellent build process which makes this uke durable. It’s not just durable, it also sounds great too. As you know, quality materials/quality build make quality sound.

Okay, now to the strings. The strings here are flat-wound which is really great. However, here’s the problem with flat-wound strings. Flat-wound strings are great for intermediate or pro level players. Problem is, they are not so great for beginners.

So yeah, the Luna Guitars Bass Ukulele isn’t really a ukulele you want to gift a beginner. Plus, it isn’t so affordable, at least not just yet for the beginner.

However, if you’re an intermediate player who’s a sucker for good-looking instruments, look no further than the Luna Guitars Bass Ukulele. It will blow your mind.


Luna Guitars Bass Ukulele

Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros
  • Looks lovely.
  • Quality strings better for intermediate and professional players.
  • Quality materials.
  • Excellent build.
Cons
  • The flat-wound strings are a bit difficult for beginners to play on.

4 Luna Uke Bass TAT

It’s a back-to-back Luna bass ukulele episode here and we are loving it! Luna is well-known for making beautiful ukuleles. We just saw a hot number in glossy black and now we’re going a little more traditional with the Luna Uke Bass TAT.

The Luna Uke Bass TAT comes in a natural finish with beautiful tats on the body. This gives a truly traditional Hawaiian feel to this uke. And that’s something we truly love – how this connects to the Hawaiian culture.

Besides its “to-die-for” looks, this uke gives a solid ukulele performance when it comes to sound. But we’ve got to be honest with you, the Luna Uke Bass TAT is more popular for its looks than for its performance. And that’s just us giving you the straight goods about this ukulele.

That said, this ukulele looks well-constructed. It features a spruce top, a rosewood fingerboard, and a mahogany body. The hardware is also top quality as you’d expect from Luna. And coming in black, they make this uke look even more outstanding.

This ukulele is a bit higher in octave than other standard ukuleles thanks to its thin, flat-wound strings. Overall though, in sound, this uke kills it.

Many reviewers seem to agree that though this ukulele is almost inexpensive, it still isn’t great for beginners. This is especially because of the strings which many newbies might find a tad difficult to play at first.


Luna Uke Bass TAT

Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros
  • Quite affordable.
  • Beautiful tattoo design.
  • Quality build.
  • Great sound.
  • Quality strings.
Cons
  • Metal strings are a bit too dense and hard for beginners to play.

5 Hadean Acoustic Electric Bass Ukulele UKB-22

The Hadean Acoustic Electric Bass UKB-22 is one of Hadean’s older ukulele models in the UKB series. The ukulele is popular for its traditional looks and design. Plus, its sound performance is excellent which gives this ukulele the total package it comes with.

This is a pretty affordable ukulele, at least in comparison to the ones we’ve been seeing so far. However, thanks to the amount of work the makers put into this uke, it doesn’t feel low end. The build quality is really good which makes this ukulele super durable.

All materials here are sturdy and high quality, from the zebrawood body to the rosewood fretboard. Everything here looks pretty good.

Now, this comes with a preamp, of course. It’s a pretty good one too. The preamp does a good job of pumping up power in the midsection, treble, bass as well as in the volume section.

Its Aquila Nylgut strings are easy to play and quite easy to tune too. Of course, you’d have to make allowance for the stretching and all. Nonetheless, Aquila strings hardly go out of tune, and they are also well-known for their preciseness. Plus, they sound beautifully too.

Another thing we like about this uke is its built-in tuner. This makes it super easy to keep your instrument in tune. It works hand in hand with the machine heads to make tuning easy and efficient.


Hadean Acoustic Electric Bass Ukulele UKB-22

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros
  • Great sound.
  • Durable, quality construction.
  • Preamp works fine.
  • Comes with an easy-to-use, built-in tuner.
  • Great for beginners.
Cons
  • Expect a minimum level of fret buzz.

6 Hadean Acoustic Electric Bass Ukulele UKB-24

Last but not the least, we have another Hadean bass ukulele on review. This is also quite affordable, although not as affordable as the last Hadean ukulele we reviewed. This is to be expected though as the UKB-24 is a newer model than the UKB-22 and it comes with a few improvements.

Now, keep in mind that we said “few” improvements. The improvements here are not so many or so substantial.

Alright, first difference is in material. Here, Hadean swapped out zebrawood for swamp ash wood. They both share the same fretboard material which is rosewood though.

The only other difference here is the tuner. While the UKB-22 uses a standard built-in tuner, the UKB-24 uses a chromatic tuner. This chromatic tuner is obviously of higher quality and also comes with an LCD display.

Besides these differences, every other aspect of these two ukes is virtually the same. They both use the same preamp. The preamps also function pretty much the same way enhancing the volume at the trebles, bass, and mids.

The strings on both ukuleles are also the same – Aquila Nylgut. These strings are easy to play and easy to tune.

As you can see, there aren’t so many significant changes to the UKB-24. However, you could say that it’s a step up to the UKB-22, sort of.


Hadean Acoustic Electric Bass Ukulele UKB-24

Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros
  • Quality materials and build.
  • Comes with a high quality, built-in tuner.
  • Preamp works great.
  • Pretty affordable.
Cons
  • Not so many improvements to the old model.

Also Read: Top 8 Best Ukulele Capos For The Money Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Bass Ukulele Buying Guide

Here, we will be discussing 6 important factors to consider when getting a quality bass ukulele. Let’s get straight to it.

Size

One of the biggest reasons many people love bass ukuleles is the sound they bring. Like, they’ve got this teeny body (not as teeny as soprano ukes, though) but they produce a really big sound. Now, exactly what size do bass ukuleles come in?

Well, in comparison to bass guitars, bass ukuleles are smaller. However, they are the biggest ukuleles in the range. Typically, you find them between the lengths of 30 to 32 inches. This is about the same size as a regular baritone ukulele.

Bass Ukulele reviews

Body Type

Bass ukuleles can either come in a solid body or hollow body type. This body type, of course, affects the way your bass ukulele would look. Of course it affects the way the ukulele would sound too as with every instrument.

So, how do these body types sound?

Hollow body bass ukuleles tend to sound like an upright bass guitar. Solid body bass ukuleles, on the other hand, sound more like electric bass guitars.

You want to keep this mind when you settle on a bass guitar because your sound has to match your style of music.

Strings

Generally, to make your notes sound lower, there are three routes you could go. You could make the strings longer, thicker, or you could make them looser. That’s actually commonsensical, isn’t it? Alright, problem is none of these work for bass ukuleles.

If you try to increase the length of the strings, the ukulele itself is too short to accommodate that.

Thickening the strings won’t work either. Why? Notes would come out sounding lifeless and dull because the action of the internal dampening action on the fat strings.

Now, the last option, loosening the strings… That doesn’t work either because it would make the strings too floppy to be playable.

However, there’s one more route to go: you could make the strings denser. This is how manufacturers manufacture strings that produce super deep notes on a teeny instrument like a bass ukulele.

Most brands claim to have their own patented string technology. Nonetheless, most strings are polyurethane which kinda feels like a rubber band. Popular options are Aquila Thunderguts, and Kala Silver Rumblers.

Bass Ukulele review

Now, you want to be patient with your polyurethane strings, they do take their sweet time breaking in. Plus, they also require an additional 2 weeks to completely stretch.

There are other less popular models which come with a nylon/silk core and a variation of silver/copper plating. These feel more like bass guitar strings. But, as you might expect, they cost about 3 times more than regular bass polyurethane strings.

A few good ones are the Kala Metal Round and the Pyramid Strings.

Octave Range

There are two variations of bass ukuleles – the bass ukes and the contrabass ukes.

Bass ukuleles are a bit smaller (about 30 inches in length) than contrabass ukes. They play the same notes as a regular bass guitar (i.e. EADG). Nonetheless, they come an octave higher than on bass guitars.

Contrabass ukuleles measure at 32 inches in length. They also play the same notes as a bass guitar but this time on the same octave.

Pickups

Bass guitars usually come with a form of active electronic pickups or the other. For most ukuleles, it’s the Piezo microphone pickup. Still, the choice of pickup you for should depend on the body type of your ukulele.

If it’s a hollow body type, then it will most likely need Piezo pickups. If it’s a solid body, then it will most likely use active pickups.

Frets

Most bass players play fretted instruments rather than fretless, and the same goes for bass ukuleles. However, just before you decide on a fretted bass uke, you should know that fretted bass ukes are not without their advantages.

  • Fretless ukuleles allow you play higher up the neck of your uke without the fear of going off tune. You know ukuleles are popular for going off tune.
  • With polyurethane strings and their knack for unpredictable stretching, you can compensate for flat tuning using fretless ukes.

Now, don’t go crazy. You don’t want to start on a fretless instrument if you already know how to play a fretless instrument.

Conclusion

Our best bass ukulele is obviously the Kala UBASS-EM-FS Exotic Mahogany U-Bass. It is quite high end. However, its features are the best of all the bass ukes we saw in our reviews.

From build to performance, to giving us a choice of strings, Kala did a fantastic job here. And we’re not surprised. It’s Kala after all.

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