The history of the Bass Ukulele
The Ukulele Bass was invented by Owen Holt, an American luthier, who teamed up with Kala's owner, Mike Upton, in 2009, to create the first mass produced Bass Ukulele, the "U-bass". The first U-bass was famous for its polyurethane strings, and punchy double-bass-like-tone.
Since then, Kala has since produced many iterations of their U-bass, to compete growing competition in the entry-level price segment (such as Aiersi, Mahalo, Lanikai, Kmise and Oscar Schmidt). Each of these ukulele brands, including Kala's U-Bass have polyurethane strings and a passive, under saddle pickup, and a significantly smaller 21" scale length, compared to a full scale 34" bass.
Why buy a Bass Ukulele?
The Ukulele Bass was popularised due to its portability, fun-nature, and the ability to give ukulele groups, and one-man-band ukulele players, the ability to expand their repertoire into jazz, blues, funk and rock.
What's unique about Pono's Bass Ukulele?
Bass guitars are heavy, cumbersome, and hard to transport, and bass-ukuleles are often thin in tone, toy-like, and not suited to professional applications. The Pono Bass Ukulele thus sits somewhere in-between a Kala U-bass and a professional full scale length bass. It has a professional passive Jazz Pickup (with excellent sound output), a volume and tone control nob, and a longer scale length (30"), compared to a traditional U-bass (20"), meaning no more cramped fingers, and full-scale-length-playability! We can't wait to share with you more videos! Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like more information about this superb instrument.
Note: photos below are of a Pono B15 (Mahogany)