First developed by Road Toad and subsequently bought out and made incredibly successful by the Kala company, the Ukulele bass works on a principle first used by the Guild Ashbory bass, with elastic polyurethane strings amplified by piezo pickups. Using a Baritone uke body the acoustic versions have just enough volume to practise with in a quiet room acoustically, but make a huge bass sound amplified. They have become popular in Hawaiian bands, cabaret bands, wedding bands – any lineup playing long gigs where a double bass or heavy solidbody bass guitar becomes hard work. My design uses a couple of extra measures to enhance the tone profile. Small soundholes or ports maximise bass air resonance and bamboo/rosewood tine resonators simulate the air resonance of a double bass. There are also solidbody and 5 string versions of this instrument, but I stick to the acoustic ones.
Acacia Ukulele Bass
Acacia leaf soundholes, Black Acacia Body, Wandoo fretboard.
Black Acacia body, Wandoo fretboard.
Black Acacia. Side port replacing front soundholes.
Mango wood body, Wandoo fretboard.