The Best Bass Ukuleles Of 2023

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The ukulele bass is a unique hybrid instrument, combining the full-bodied tone of a bass guitar with the nimble nature of a ukulele. In 2023, there are exceptional models hitting the market that’ll appeal to both novice and expert musicians. This article will guide you through the best bass ukulele models available, shedding light on their key features, pros, and cons.

Whether you’re a seasoned bass player looking for a portable option or a beginner wanting to try out the world of bass, our comprehensive overview will help you make your choice. Let’s explore how these compact powerhouses can add a new dimension to your musical journey.

The Hadean UKB­23 Bass Ukulele

Hadean UKB­23 Bass Ukulele


The Hadean UKB­23 is a bass ukulele that is highly regarded for its excellent value for money.

It boasts a unique construction featuring walnut, which not only makes it aesthetically different from other models within its price range but also influences its sound quality. The instrument is robustly built, with binding all around the top and back. It possesses a functional fretboard with standard inlays and a soft finish, making it a well-crafted piece of musical equipment.

Key Benefits

  • It is made of walnut, which lends it a unique sound and look.
  • The hardware, including a solid rosewood bridge and die-cast tuning machines, is top-quality.
  • It comes with a built-in preamp featuring a three-band EQ and a tuner, which is an advantageous feature considering its cost.
  • The all-walnut construction gives a sharper sound output, appealing to those who enjoy a brighter tone.


The Hadean UKB-23 Bass Ukulele is an affordable option in the bass ukulele market. It can be purchased for around $100, with additional costs for accessories such as a gig bag.

Pros & Cons

The Hadean UKB-23 Bass Ukulele is an impressive instrument, especially when considering its reasonable price. One of its main advantages is its similar tuning to a standard full-scale bass. This makes it an exceptional practice tool for musicians. Also, its acoustic-electric sound and three-band EQ and tuner add to its functional appeal.

Additionally, it is designed to be comfortable and easy to use. Despite its larger size compared to a soprano ukulele, it is lightweight and comfortable to play, with solid strings and short frets to prevent finger catching. The preamp and tuner are built-in for convenience during amplified use and precise tuning, and a rear access panel allows for easy string changing.

However, some issues were noted. The bass ukulele seems to have some difficulty registering sharp and flat notes, which might necessitate an additional clip-on tuner. The default strings might also need replacement with more flexible options for a smoother playing experience.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the Hadean UKB-23 Bass Ukulele is considered a perfect instrument for bass players on a budget, beginners, or those with small hands. It certainly commands a lot of sentimental value, providing a means of playing during a recovery period after surgery, for instance.

Overall, the Hadean UKB-23 Bass Ukulele is a high-quality, affordable instrument with a unique sound and design, ideal for both beginners and experienced players.

The Kala Wanderer U-Bass

Kala Wanderer U-Bass


The Kala Wanderer U-Bass has gained popularity in recent years for its distinctive sound and portability. This bass ukulele features a laminated mahogany body with a satin finish, a 20.875″ scale length, and 16 frets.

It comes with a piezo pickup and Kala UK-500B preamp for amplified sound, along with Aquila Thundergut strings. The Wanderer U-Bass is well-regarded for maintaining the booming sound of the U-Bass with a clean look, which earned it the title of “Best Non-Guitar Fretted Instrument of 2018” by Music & Sound Retailer.

Key Benefits

  • Unique, rich and woody sound
  • Portability with a stylish case for easy transport
  • Durable construction suitable for gigging
  • Provided with Kala Metal Round Wound Strings
  • Equipped with the UK-500B chromatic tuner and pickup
  • Includes a Custom Deluxe Padded Gig Bag


The Wanderer is among the more affordable options of bass ukuleles, priced at $229. This makes it a great choice for those looking to experiment with playing bass or are seeking an affordable ukulele bass.

Pros & Cons

I find the compact and stylish case that resembles a violin case quite convenient for transport. The case also has a pocket for storing accessories which is useful. While the short scale length and the rubbery feel of the Thundergut strings might take some time to get used to, especially for players accustomed to standard bass guitars, they do produce a rich and woody sound that many players, including myself, appreciate.

Although some players might prefer using round wound strings for easier playability, the Thundergut strings give the U-Bass its unique sound. The instrument is well-made and durable, making it suitable for gigging and it also features a magnetic strip on the back for easy access to the instrument’s interior.

However, one potential downside is that the neck may need adjustment upon arrival. Some players, myself included, have experienced buzzing on certain frets, but this can often be resolved by adjusting the truss rod.

Overall, the Kala Wanderer U-Bass is a great option for bass players looking for a portable and unique instrument. It offers a rich and woody sound, and its compact size makes it easy to take on the go. With its affordable price and durable construction, the U-Bass is a solid choice for both beginners and experienced players.

The Oscar Schmidt Comfort Bass Ukulele1

Oscar Schmidt Comfort Bass Ukulele


The Oscar Schmidt Comfort Bass Ukulele, a unique hybrid instrument, manages to capture the essence of a bass ukulele and presents it in a high-quality and aesthetically pleasing design.

This bass ukulele is tuned to the same pitch as a standard bass, producing a sound strikingly similar to an upright bass.

It’s equipped with a mahogany top, back, and sides, a rosewood comfort rest on the lower bout for added comfort, and a rosewood partial cutaway for access to the upper frets. The integrated electronics make the Comfort Bass Ukulele a great performance instrument, enhancing its bass overtones and full, rich sound.

Key Benefits

  • Mahogany top, back, and sides for a resonating sound
  • Rosewood comfort rest for enhanced comfort during play
  • Partial cutaway for easier access to higher frets
  • Integrated electronics great for performances
  • Comes strung with Aquila Bass Ukulele strings


The Oscar Schmidt Comfort Bass Ukulele is priced slightly higher than other models in its category, reflecting its high-quality construction and the use of durable materials. It also includes a gig bag for easy storage, further enhancing its value.

Pros & Cons

From the design perspective, the Comfort Bass Ukulele delivers. Its mahogany body produces a resonating sound, and the rose comfort rest and partial cutaway make playing more comfortable, especially when accessing higher frets.

The design aesthetic is also pleasing, with die-cast tuning machines adding a touch of class and ensuring precise playing. The lack of a built-in tuner may be a drawback for some, but the instrument shines when plugged in, thanks to its Fishman Clasica II active preamp system.

Despite its higher price point, the Comfort Bass Ukulele is a worthwhile investment. It offers not only a visually appealing design but also punchy lows, full tones, and effortless playability. Its solid construction and use of durable materials give it an edge over more affordable alternatives like the Luna Bass or the Call a Wong u base.

One minor issue is the lack of built-in tuner, but this is offset by the amplified sound and adjustable tone provided by the Fishman Clasica II active preamp system.

When compared with other bass ukuleles, the Oscar Schmidt Comfort Bass Ukulele stands out. For instance, the Hey Dan acoustic electric bass ukulele, although well-crafted and portable, does not match up to the Oscar Schmidt in terms of sound quality and design. Similarly, while the Acoustic Electric Bass Ukulele K 24 by Hay offers good tone and acoustic qualities, it is a bare-bones model that lacks the refined custom-engineered electronics of the Oscar Schmidt.

The Kmise Electric Ukulele Bass

Kmise Electric Ukulele Bass


The Kmise Electric Ukulele Bass is a top-selling beginner ukulele. It stands out for its impressive build quality, great tonal quality, and overall value for its price.

Made with tight and clean craftsmanship, it features a lightweight, laminated mahogany body, lending it better resonance and a warmer sound. The traditional, vintage look of the ukulele, retaining the natural color of mahogany, adds to its visual appeal. Its tone is sweet and mellow, with excellent projection and sustain. The action or string height on the ukulele is commendable, ensuring clean and clear notes. The nut and saddle are crafted from ox bone, a high-quality material that is known to enhance sound quality.

The tuning machines are functional and precise, allowing for quick and accurate tuning. The package includes a gig bag for protection, a strap, a clip-on tuner, and an extra set of strings. Additionally, the pack offers high-quality instructional materials, including a comprehensive guide and chord chart.

Key Benefits

  • High-quality build with tight and clean craftsmanship
  • Lightweight, laminated mahogany body for better resonance and warmer sound
  • Sweet and mellow tone with excellent projection and sustain
  • Good action ensures clean and clear notes
  • Nut and saddle made of high-quality ox bone
  • Precise and efficient tuning machines
  • Comes with a gig bag, a strap, a clip-on tuner, and an extra set of strings
  • High-quality instructional materials included


The Kmise Electric Ukulele Bass is priced at $134.99, offering great value for its quality and the range of accessories included in the package.

Pros & Cons

The standout features of the Kmise Electric Ukulele Bass are its unique design that melds the portability and playability of a ukulele with the deep and rich tones of a bass guitar and its solid mahogany body and maple neck that lend a warm and resonant sound. The presence of a built-in preamp and pickup system is a major advantage as it enables plugging into an amplifier or PA system for live performances or recording. The ukulele bass has a shorter scale length compared to a traditional bass guitar, making it easier to play, especially for those with smaller hands or less finger strength.

The four strings of this instrument are tuned to the same notes as the top four strings of a standard bass guitar (E-A-D-G), allowing bass players to transition easily to the ukulele bass. This makes the instrument quite versatile, and suitable for a wide variety of musical styles, from jazz and blues to rock and pop.

On the downside, the gig bag provided, while decent, might not provide sufficient protection for the instrument, especially during frequent travel. Despite this small drawback, the Kmise Electric Ukulele Bass remains a versatile and convenient instrument, ideal for both beginners and experienced players seeking to expand their musical repertoire.

The Kala Exotic Mahogany U-Bass

Kala Exotic Mahogany U-Bass


The Kala Exotic Mahogany U-Bass is a compact yet powerful instrument that has gained widespread popularity due to its unique sound and portability. It sports an exotic mahogany body and neck, with the option of either a rosewood or walnut fingerboard, and is complemented by custom hip shot tuners. The U-Bass can be ordered with either round wound or rubber strings, catering to diverse playing styles and preferences.

Key Benefits

  • Versatility in string choice: round wound for an electric bass guitar-like sound and rubber for a warmer tone.
  • Compact size with a short scale length of 20 inches, making it smaller and more portable than a traditional electric bass.
  • Comes equipped with a Shadow pickup that delivers strong low-end frequencies.
  • Features volume and tone controls for adjusting the sound to suit individual preferences.
  • Includes a built-in tuner, offering convenient and easy tuning.
  • Comes with a padded gig bag with backpack straps for easy transportation and protection.
  • Fast adjustment to playability, suitable for bass guitarists transitioning to U-Bass.


The street price for the Kala Exotic Mahogany U-Bass is $399.99, placing it within a moderate budget range for professional and hobbyist musicians alike.

Pros & Cons

A major positive of the Kala Exotic Mahogany U-Bass is the unique tonal versatility it offers through its option of round wound or rubber strings. The round wound strings allow for slapping, tapping, and harmonics, providing an electric bass guitar-like sound. On the contrary, the rubber strings offer a warmer, more mellow tone.

The Shadow pickup on the U-Bass delivers a strong low-end, and the included volume and tone controls allow for a personalized sound experience. The built-in tuner simplifies the tuning process, adding to the instrument’s overall convenience.

The short scale length and compact size make the U-Bass highly portable. Its compact size, combined with the gig bag that comes with the instrument, make it easy to carry and protect while on the move.

While the U-Bass offers a variety of benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to be aware of. Sliding on the E and A strings can be challenging due to the thickness of the strings and the larger ridges on the round wound strings. Additionally, bending the strings can be a bit different, as they tend to roll instead of bend.

The Shadow pickup, while delivering plenty of lows, lacks midrange in a live setting, which might result in a slightly thin tone.

Nevertheless, the Kala Exotic Mahogany U-Bass remains a high-quality instrument that offers a unique sound and portability. It is suitable for musicians of all levels and provides a fun and versatile playing experience.

What Does A Ukulele Bass Sound Like?

Despite its small size and somewhat unconventional string materials, a bass ukulele can deliver a sound quality that’s impressively close to a double bass. Also known as the U-Bass, it’s about the size of a baritone ukulele, but it’s tuned like a double bass and bass guitar (E A D G). This tuning, along with strings made of polyurethane or sometimes flat-wound steel strings and round-wound strings, gives the bass ukulele its unique and full-bodied sound.

You might mistake the sound of a bass ukulele for a double bass, and that’s one of the reasons it’s becoming more popular. But it’s not meant to replace a double bass; it’s just a sound-alike variant. Its portability and user-friendly size make it a great choice for you if you’re a kid or an adult who finds handling the size and weight of a double bass or bass guitar challenging.

With the variations in types of bass ukuleles, including electro-acoustic and solid body models, and the choice of strings, the sound each instrument produces can vary slightly. So, it’s a good idea to try out different models and get advice from professionals before you buy one. Your decision to buy a particular bass ukulele will ultimately depend on your personal preference and budget, as there are various brands and price points to choose from.

What Is A Ukulele Bass?

A ukulele bass, or U-Bass as it’s often called, is basically a bass guitar that’s got the size and shape of a ukulele. It’s a unique mix of the convenience and portability of a ukulele with the deep, rich tones of a bass guitar. It’s crafted to be smaller and lighter than traditional bass guitars, making it a favorite among musicians for its easy transport and comfortable playability.

What sets the ukulele bass apart are its strings, usually made from rubber. This choice of material gives it a distinctive sound, making you stand out on jam nights and open mic performances. Since it’s electrified, most ukulele bass models can be plugged into an amplifier, letting you unleash a full-band sound that defies the instrument’s small size.

The ukulele bass is versatile, fitting into a variety of musical styles – from acoustic and singer-songwriter genres to jazzy tunes. But it might not be the best fit for heavier genres that need a more powerful bass sound. With its unique characteristics, a ukulele bass can add a massive bass sound to your music and is a great tool if you’re looking for a straightforward, simple yet distinctive instrument. Its portability makes it a favorite travel companion for musicians and a popular choice if you’re just starting out on bass.

Yes, Get A Bass Ukulele

The world of bass ukuleles is a captivating one. It’s a thrilling musical realm that blends the rich, deep tones of bass guitars with the portability and easy playability of ukuleles.

As you’ve seen from our exploration of various models, from the Hadean UKB­23 Bass Ukulele to the Oscar Schmidt Comfort Bass Ukulele, the Kala Wanderer U-Bass, and many others, each instrument brings its own unique mix of design, sound quality, and affordability.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, you’ll find a bass ukulele that not only matches your skill level but also fits your budget and aesthetic tastes.

Each model we’ve talked about offers different perks – whether it’s the restorative Aquila Thunder Gut strings, the handy built-in tuner, the unique walnut construction, the warm African mahogany body, or the comfy rosewood comfort rests.

Sure, each model might have its minor drawbacks, like difficulty registering sharp and flat notes or the lack of a built-in tuner, but these small obstacles hardly overshadow the many benefits these instruments offer.

If you’re a seasoned musician in search of a new sound, a travelling musician after easy portability, or a beginner eager to explore the deep, resonant tones of the bass, a bass ukulele is a great investment.

Remember, choosing an instrument is a personal journey, one that should echo your musical preferences and aspirations.

Andrew Scrivens

Andrew Scrivens

I am a live musician and guitar teacher from Brisbane, Australia, with extensive experience playing live, in the studio and for TV shows. I play in many venues, studios, music shops and with my students and as such am exposed to a lot of different gear. I form my opinions based on my experiences playing instruments in these locations.

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