Townfoot Estate, Brampton, Cumbria

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Countryman

Countryman UB Electro Acoustic Bass Ukulele

£184.99 £148.00

Countryman UB Electro Acoustic Bass Ukulele

Manufacturer: Countryman

3UBCOUB

£184.99 £148.00

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This product qualifies for free mainland UK delivery - Scottish Highlands and Islands contact us for details

'Hello', said the sales rep. 'We've got some bass ukuleles if you are interested'. 'Right', I said, wondering where another new UBASS equivalent would sit with the ranges we already have. 'And you'll be able to sell them at this price', was the next remark. 'WHHHAAAAA?' came my less than intelligable reply. The reason I was so flummoxed was that this is such an incredible price for a bass ukulele that whatever they were like, I had to have them, and lots.

When the Countryman UB came in, however, I was in for an even greater surprise. This bass ukulele sounds really good! I had expected a far inferior performance to other, much more expensive instruments, but in terms of sound, the rich, contrabass-style sound is excellent. There is a little acoustic volume making it ideal for practice, but through an amp, it was very good indeed. The amp I tested it on next to my desk was a tiny little guitar amp of no real quality, but the rolling bass coming through the speaker certainly didn't give that away.

Further conversation with the sales rep followed and he said, 'now no ukulele group need be without a bassline because of the price', and this was my exact though too. It opens up the bass ukulele world to an audience that previously (and perhaps sensibly) had been put off by high cost.

So where have the corners been cut? Surely something must be wrong for it to be so radically different in price from more established brands? Well, not really. Sure, the finish if fine, but not spectacular - it is smart, but not utterly gorgeous, and even then it has nice binding and a soundhole rosette. So the strings then, it must have cheap strings? Well again, no, it has Aquila Thunderguts. Tuners? Very robust. Pickup? Sounds good through an amp, and the bass, middle and tone controls give good flexibility in the differences in tone you might want to achieve. And it's got a built-in tuner too.

The gig bag is very poor however, in fact, it doesn't exist. So at least there's an explanation there as to how this is so inexpensive! It will fit in baritone uke bags.

So, for once, perhaps something that looks it on first glance isn't too good to be true!