I have a standard bass guitar (a Yamaha) but I wanted to try out a U-Bass for several reasons - the unique sonics (sounding close to an acoustic double bass at a fraction of the size), the portability, the ease of play (no blisters or calluses with this bass...), sheer curiosity to how it would play and of course the eye-turning form factor...
My uses are mainly sofa playing in front of the TV as well as recording in my home studio.
So how did this U-Bass fare regarding my above expectations? Basically it excelled in most of them.
- Great sound.
- Easy to play once you get used to the rubber strings.
- More that acceptable pickup which works well both with an amp as well as plugged in direct to the mixers insert.
- The ADG strings sound fantastic and stay in tune all the way up to the 22nd fret.
- Turns head...
- The E string is problematic. It sounds different than the other strings. It's distinctly softer. It also feels muted and not as bright as the other 3 strings. And worst of all - it goes out of tune beyond the 5th fret, so basically you can go up from E to A and that's about it. Takes time to adjust playing style so that it blends with the rest of strings seamlessly.
- Tuning is weird, but that's due to the rubber strings. Basically - you have to turn the tuners several turns for even a slightest change in pitch.
- It doesn't stay in tune very well. Maybe this will improve over time as the strings settle.
- You need to adjust playing style slightly when recording in order to minimize finger noise (which can be rather loud through the pickup).
So overall - a great U-Bass definitely worth the price with a more than capable pickup for recording purposes.