|Price||Around $170 – Available on Amazon.com|
|Pros||Limited edition, Comes with preamp, Aquila Nylgut strings|
|Summary||This extremely portable bass is a pleasure to use and offers great sound, great play ability, and a great price!|
While most are very familiar with the standard ukulele, a smaller portion of people are aware that bass versions exist. And while it’s easy to assume that a bass ukulele would have the same kind of smaller and more niche sound as its smaller counterpart, that’s not the case at all.
In fact, although bass ukuleles seem like a novelty instrument, they could not be any more opposite. These small, compact basses are capable of putting out a rich and full sound, whether that’s in an acoustic setting, or when running the uku through an amp or sound system.
With that said, the Donner DUB-1 electric bass ukulele is an overly impressive example of what a bass ukulele is capable of, as it provides a massive bass sound in a very small package.
The Donner DUB-1 is one of the most surprising ukuleles of any type that we’ve ever come across in our buying guide for best ukuleles. We aren’t the only ones either: if you take a look at the reviews section for this uke on Amazon, you’ll find a video one reviewer took of world renown bassist André Nkouaga playing on the bass inside a store, and having an awfully good time in the process.
Once you play it, you’ll understand why as well. This bass has a fantastic sound, is easy to play on the neck, and in some ways provides some shortcuts that enable you to cover more ground in a faster manner than you would on a full-size bass.
It all starts with the size, material, and setup. This is a 30-inch ukulele, which is the same size as a baritone uke. Furthermore, it uses the same tuning setup as a normal bass, with the typical E-A-D-G tuning.
The body of the Donner DUB-1 is made using African mahogany, which helps to enhance the warmer sound that comes with this size, while still offering a good amount of projection and attack. In an acoustic setting, it will definitely cut through, while rounding out the low end.
The strings have a unique setup as well. Rather than the usual condescending density of normal bass strings, the Donner DUB-1 uses Aquila Nylgut bass strings that all have the same density, which gives the ukulele continuance on each string, and just makes it easier to play in general.
Now for the electric part. The Donner DUB-1 has a built-in input jack for a cable, so you can play it through an amp, or just run it directly into a PA or sound system instead. The ukulele has three main EQ settings as well, so you can adjust the treble, mid, and lows when plugged in.
You also get a built-in tuner in the preamp, so you can always keep the bass in tune without having to clip on an external tuner. All of this is integrated, and very simple to use when needed.
The Donner DUB-1 comes with a bonus gig bag too, with full padding and a rigid structure on the outside. This gives you an easy way to transport the ukulele in between gigs, or when you’re storing it at home. A front compartment offers plenty of room for other accessories, such as a strap, or other cables.
The small size and easy playability of this bass ukulele makes it incredibly versatile, and suitable for a number of different gig types. It’s honestly a little hard to believe what this uku is capable of, especially when using an amp. The rich, full sound is definitely noticeable, and the uke is a total joy to play in general.
This ukulele is fun, bottom line. But again, this is not some novelty uke, or something that’s only good for certain settings and uses. This really is a huge bass sound trapped in a small body, and it never gets old, every time you play it.
The benefits go beyond that. The neck size and fret spacing is conducive for accurate and easy playing, and it makes you feel like a giant playing a mini bass in some ways. The same size string density is a unique feel, and something you get used to quickly.
Another good aspect is the included preamp, and the EQ settings. This really allows you to dial things in perfectly, and adjust until you have the ideal sound for the environment or type of music you’re playing.
The case included with the Donner DUB-1 is actually a great case, not just some cheap add-in. It’s sturdy, is made from thick, quality material, and the compartment provides enough room for your essential accessories.
The Donner DUB-1 is gig-ready in every way, and the total price makes it a steal. Traditional bass players and standard ukulele players can both appreciate what this ukulele provides.
It’s honestly difficult to really find anything wrong with the Donner DUB-1. With the price, and for how good the ukulele sounds, it seems petty to ask for anything more.
If you plan on using this in an amplified setting, we do recommend getting the uke its own set of cables to use exclusively with it, and perhaps a small amplifier too. You’ll also probably want to get a strap if you’re going to play while standing up.
Felt picks give the Donner DUB-1 a cool sound as well, much different from playing with your hand, so feel free to give those a try..
The Donner DUB-1 electric bass ukulele has a lot of appeal on so many different levels. It’s perfect for bass players, those wanting to learn bass, ukulele enthusiasts, or really just anyone looking for a fun and unique instrument to add to their inventory.
The construction, design, and extra accessories all combine to make the Donner DUB-1 an excellent purchase — even more so when you consider the price.