Mahalo MEAB1 Electro Acoustic Bass Ukulele
The Mahalo MEAB1 is the best of the more generic UBASS alternatives that I've found. It isn't that widely available, suffering from two drawbacks. Firstly - Mahalo, while a common name in the ukulele world, isn't associated particularly with the sort of quality this instrument it... and secondly, they were a bit slow to the market in producing their equivalent of the elecro acoustic bass uke.
Neither of these two factors are really valid. Mahalo is the name on the headstock, but the company that make this clearly know what they're doing and the bass, and quality gig bag, is well worth the money. With lots of competition out there, and some cheaper too, it hasn't made as big an impact as some models too - after all, you can spend less on a bass uke than this - so why go for the Mahalo MEAB1?
Well because I say so! (Ha - I wish THAT would work, I'd be rich). No, in all seriousness it is well made, well finished, has an above average acoustic volume (in the bass world we're talking - it needs to be plugged in still when working in uke groups), and feels good to play. Compared to something £40 cheaper? Well the tone and finish make this well worth the extra. It also has the option of an XLR input - if you’re plugging into a desk, negating the need for a DI box. It has a jack socket too if that’s what you prefer.
It comes with Aquila thundergut strings, good tuners, nice little aesthetic touches like binding and a spiky headstock. And the build quality is really something for this sort of price.
So, ideal for beginners on account of the relative low cost, but one for people who appreciate a bit of extra care in the way their instrument has been made.