Kala Ukuleles Review | Best of the Brand [2019]

Since 2005, Kala Brand Music Company has remained steadfast in fulfilling the needs of music enthusiasts who want well-designed, high-quality Ukuleles at an affordable price. One thing we love about Kala Ukuleles is that they are hand-crafted with carefully selected wood and high-quality structural pieces.

These instruments are durable, affordable, and available in a wide range of models, so you can get something that suits your individual needs regardless of your skill level. Let’s explore some of the brand’s top-rated instruments to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Our Top Pick

If we had to recommend one instrument from this Kala Ukuleles review, the Kala KA-ASAC-T8 would be it. It’s an eight-string instrument that delivers the best of both worlds in terms of performance and aesthetic appeal. It features a solid acacia construction with a striking reddish brown color and high-quality features like Aquila strings to match the looks.

The Best Kala Ukuleles Reviewed

Kala KA-ASAC-T8 Solid Acacia Tenor 8-String Ukulele – Best Overall

This model is the best Kala Ukulele you can find on the market today. The Kala Solid Acacia Tenor 8-String Ukulele is a jaw-dropping piece made from premium materials. It has some of the best features you can find in a ukulele.

 

Key Features

  • Eight-string tenor
  • Solid acacia top, back, and sides
  • Maple binding
  • Herringbone purfling
  • Satin finish
  • Walnut fingerboard
  • Mahogany neck
  • GraphTech NuBone saddle and nut
  • Slotted headstock
  • Super Aquila Nylgut strings
  • 17-inch scale
  • Eighteen frets
  • 26.125-inch overall length

 

What I like

This instrument features solid acacia construction. Solid acacia is a quality tonewood with a range of benefits. To begin with, it radiates an enchanting pattern in dark and light brown stripes. It also gives the instrument a great tone, so the Kala KA-ASAC-T8 sounds as beautiful as it looks.

The Kala KA-ASAC-T8 also features high-quality hardware, making it easy to handle and play. With the eight strings, you should expect to hear extended chords much better than what a 4-stringed instrument would deliver.

 

What I don’t like

Despite its great attributes, this ukulele is not without some downsides. While it sounds great for slower tunes, it may sound somewhat blurry on fast songs. It also doesn’t come with a carrying case, so you may need to buy one separately.

 

 

Pros

  • Amazing sound and beautiful intonation
  • Easy to learn
  • Sturdy construction
  • Attractive design

 

Cons

  • Getting used to eight strings may be challenging for some players
  • Sounds a little blurry on fast songs

 

Made with solid acacia, the Kala KA-ASAC-T8 ukulele radiates a striking reddish-brown color. With eight strings instead of four, this tenor uke delivers a remarkably rich, full sound that is unmatched by other instruments in its class. It is a worthy investment.

 

Overall Rating: 4.8/5.0

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KALA-LTP-S Learn-to-Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit – Best Entry-level Uke Bundle

If you’re looking for a Kala ukulele that offers everything you need to get started with uke playing, you should consider the Learn-to-Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit. The instrument is one of the best ukuleles for beginners on the market today.

 

Key Features

  • Four-string soprano
  • Mahogany top, back, neck, and sides
  • Walnut fingerboard
  • Fingerboard inlay dots
  • Twelve frets
  • 13.63-inch scale
  • GraphTech NuBone nut and saddle
  • 1.37-inch nut width
  • Aquila Super Nylgut strings
  • Satin natural finish
  • 20.87-inch overall length
  • Custom logo tote bag included

 

What I like

This starter kit package also comes with a free tuning app, free online lessons, and a quick start guide. With all these, you’ll have an easy time learning to play the ukulele. The sixteen-page quick start guide has every piece of information you need to get started with your Kala Ukulele.

Moreover, you can take advantage of the free lessons available on Kala’s Music website to easily and quickly learn to play songs. The KALA-LTP-S ukulele comes with a tuning app, which is highly convenient as it saves you the need to carry an electronic tuner. You just need to install the app on your phone.

This instrument features Aquila Strings, which make it easy to tune. Other remarkable features that help the instrument deliver a gratifying experience include Graphtech Nubone nut and saddle that offer an enhanced tone and sustain. The included gig bag makes the instrument easy and convenient to carry, especially when traveling or taking your child to the music classes.

 

What I don’t like

While all the above sounds great, the sound quality on this model is a bit underwhelming—of course, it is a beginner’s model.

 

Pros

  • Exceptionally easy to learn with
  • High-quality strings and tuners
  • Free tuner app and online lessons

 

Cons

  • Overall quality is somewhat wanting

 

Overall, the Kala Learn to Play Starter Kit is an excellent option for a self-starter or aspiring ukulele student. The kit includes a well-playing soprano ukulele that features a rich mahogany body and neck, as well as an articulate walnut fingerboard. The instrument is equipped with an advanced nut and saddle, among other features that make it an excellent choice for the price.

 

Overall Rating: 4.7/5.0

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Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uffuxRXK2_s

Kala MK – S Makala Soprano Ukulele – Best for Beginners

If you are looking for a beginner-friendly ukulele that offers exceptional playability and sound, and a vintage appeal, you might want to look at what the Kala MK –S Makala Soprano Ukulele has to offer. The MK –S Makala is a standard soprano size ukulele that is ideal for kids, beginners, and anyone who’s into classic ukulele sound.

 

Key Features

  • Mahogany top, back, neck, and side
  • Walnut fingerboard
  • 13.625-inch scale
  • Plastic nut and saddle
  • Open-gear tuners

 

What I like

The MK – S Makala is a well-built instrument, especially considering the price. The craftsmanship is exceptional with no visible flaws. It has great playability, and you should expect it to play perfectly right out of the box.

The strings aren’t too high, and the notes ring out clearly up to the neck. This instrument has a short fingerboard and close frets, typical of soprano ukuleles. This aspect may be somewhat challenging for you to navigate if you’re blessed with large hands or fat fingers, but you can adapt to it with time.

While most beginner ukuleles have a thin, tinny sound, devoid of notable resonance, the MK – S Makala is rich and lively with excellent projection. It’s a great-sounding uke for the price. The tuners also work fine.

Unfortunately, the MK – S Makala comes with plastic nut and saddle, which are not very effective in transmitting the strings’ vibration to the instrument’s body. Nonetheless, the material is quite standard for ukuleles in this price range.

 

What I don’t like

This ukulele comes with lightweight slipcover, made of thin, delicate material. The case may be better than nothing, but it may not protect your instrument from anything else apart from dust. You may need to also invest in a gig bag when you purchase this ukulele.

 

Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • Great combination of woods
  • Good performance

 

Cons

  • Doesn’t hold tune quite well
  • Poor case

 

The MK – S Makala is a reliable option for anyone looking for a beginner ukulele. Featuring sturdy mahogany construction, in addition to a mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard and bridge, this ukulele has awesome sound and durability. It is affordably priced to suit the budget of novice uke players.

 

Overall Rating: 4.6/5.0

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Kala KA – S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Package – Great Value for Money

The Kala KA –S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele is packed with features that help it deliver greater value than most other ukuleles in its price range.

 

Key Features

  • Four-string soprano
  • Mahogany top, back, and sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • Chrome diecast tuners
  • Position marks: dot
  • GraphTech NuBone nut and saddle
  • Aquila Super Nylgut strings
  • White binding
  • 13.625-inch scale
  • 20.875 overall length
  • Satin natural finish

 

What I like

The Kala KA-S ukulele is a well-built ukulele, producing a rich, crisp sound whether you’re playing high or low notes. It is a standard soprano size uke with an eye-catching look. Some of its remarkable features include the white binding on the top and chrome diecast pegs on the headstock.

The Kala KA-S comes with an Austin Bazaar polishing cloth so that you can keep your instrument in great condition. It also comes with a hard case, to ensure your ukulele is protected whenever you’re on the go.

 

What I don’t like

This instrument can hold its tune for a significant period. You’ll find that convenient if you’re still learning to play. However, the G and Strings at times do not hold their tune as long as the other strings. Fortunately, the two strings are quite easy to tune.

 

 

Pros

  • Easy and fun to play
  • Attractive design
  • Sturdy mahogany construction
  • Incredible tone-sustaining ability

 

Cons

  • The strings may have some intonation issues

 

Overall, the Kala KA-S is an excellent ukulele for beginners. With a traditional mahogany body and a striking white binding, you get a classic ukulele look (like the ones from Lanikai) at an exceptional value. Despite the minor string intonation issues, this ukulele is worth buying if you want to enjoy quality tones.

 

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Kala Mahogany KA-15S Soprano Ukulele – Limited Edition Soprano

The KA-15S is a fantastic ukulele for new players. It can also be an excellent option for veterans looking for a budget-friendly, high-quality, attractive soprano ukulele to add to their collection.

 

Key Features

  • Mahogany top, back, neck, and sides
  • Walnut fingerboard
  • GraphTech NuBone saddle and nut
  • Super Aquila Nylgut strings
  • 13.625-inch scale
  • Satin finish
  • 20.975-inch overall length

 

What I like

This instrument comes equipped with Aquila Nylgut strings, which deliver a sharp sound. These strings are also great at keeping your instrument in tune. The KA-15S has its frets position on the 5th, 7th, and 10th marks, making it easy for beginners to practice with.

The instrument features geared tuners, allowing you to regulate the sound and ensure the tuning is as accurate as possible. Another remarkable feature of the KA-15S is the rosette design that makes it look as lovely as it sounds.

 

What I don’t like

The major setback of this ukulele is that you may need to have it set up properly before you can use it and while the strings sound great, you may find it too flat if you are an experienced player.

 

Pros

  • Awesome sound
  • Holds its tune exceptionally well
  • Great build quality for an entry-level uke
  • Nice aesthetic appeal
  • Competitively priced

 

Cons

  • Tuning can be difficult without a tuner
  • May need proper tuning after purchase
  • Might be too flat from a seasoned player’s perspective

 

Overall, the KA-15S is an outstanding instrument as a beginner model. However, even those who are more experienced will find this limited edition ukulele to be a great bang for the buck. It can hold its ground against some high-end ukes available on the market today.

 

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Kala KA – CEM Mahogany Concert Ukulele

If you are into big volume, the Kala KA-CEM concert ukulele may tickle your fancy. This instrument features a mahogany construction, which is known for producing a beautiful tone. It also features a stunning look, thanks to the charming blue finish.

 

Key Features

  • Mahogany top, back, neck, and sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • 14.875-inch scale
  • GraphTech NuBone saddle and nut
  • Super Aquila Nylgut strings
  • Die-cast chrome tuners
  • Black binding
  • Amber satin finish

 

What I like

Whether you are a new or seasoned player, this high-quality instrument will give you an electrifying musical experience and an awesome value for your money. Besides the solid mahogany body that delivers an exceptionally bright and warm tone, this instrument is also equipped with diecast chrome tuners.

The tuners are effective in keeping the instrument in tune. This ukulele’s neck is meticulously designed to ensure you can play it comfortably no matter the size of your hands. The playability is exceptional, delivering uniquely great tones regardless of where you are.

Also worth mentioning are the legendary Aquila Nyglut strings, which are known for their great sound and durability.

 

What I don’t like

Unfortunately, this ukulele doesn’t come with a carrying case. So, you’ll need to spend money on a case in addition to the price of this instrument.

 

Pros

  • Sturdy mahogany construction
  • Aquila Nyglut strings.
  • Striking blue finish

 

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case

 

Overall, the KA-CEM Exotic Mahogany Concert Ukulele is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a great sounding, user-friendly ukulele with striking looks. Exotic mahogany top, back, and sides provide great looks and bright, warm sound. Advanced diecast tuners and quality Aquila Nylgut strings ensure exceptional playability.

 

Overall Rating: 4.4/5.0

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Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele

If you are looking to buy a high-quality baritone ukulele with a great tone without having to break a bank, you might want to try the Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele.

 

Key Features

  • Four string baritone
  • Mahogany top, back, neck, and sides
  • Cream binding
  • Walnut fingerboard
  • Dot fingerboard inlay
  • 20.25-inch scale
  • Chrome diecast tuners
  • Eighteen silver nickel frets
  • GraphTech NuBone Nut and Saddle
  • Aquila Super Nylgut strings
  • Satin finish natural
  • 30.5-inch overall length

 

What I like

This baritone ukulele features a traditional mahogany construction, so you’re assured of great sound. That also means the instrument can stand the test of time. It is reasonably priced as well.

When it comes to looks, the KA-B is somewhat plain compared to other instruments in its class. Nonetheless, it is still good looking with a timeless non-cutaway baritone body. The instrument’s neck is also made of mahogany, featuring either a walnut fingerboard or rosewood fretboard, and eighteen silver nickel frets.

You’ll feel comfortable playing this ukulele, especially if you have larger hands. It offers great playability right out of the box, with low action and a sleek feel. It’s premium quality geared tuners also function great.

 

What I don’t like

However, you may need to have the instrument set up properly as it tends to have some string buzz when new.

 

 

Pros

  • Minimalist, attractive design
  • Great performance
  • Stays in tune
  • Comfy for players with larger hands

 

Cons

  • Simplistic hardware for the price
  • Quite expensive for beginner level uke

 

The Kala KA-B is an excellent ukulele for anyone looking for a portable ukulele that delivers a perfect baritone tone. This instrument plays and sounds fantastic. It comes with quality geared tuners to keep it in tune. It is an instrument worth buying if you want a gratifying baritone uke playing experience.

 

Overall Rating: 4.3/5.0

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Kala KA-ASAC-TE/C Electro Tenor Ukulele – Top-of-the-Line Model

If you want a loud volume and a more refined bass end, the Kala KA-ASAC-T Electro-Acoustic Ukulele would be a great choice for you. This tenor sized ukulele comes equipped with a Shadow PW1 active pickup, which allows for perfect sound transmission to an amplifier.

 

Key Features

  • Tenor cutaway body
  • Solid acacia top, back, and sides
  • Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
  • Dot fret markers
  • Eighteen Frets
  • Mahogany neck
  • Shadow PW1 Active Pickup
  • Tone and volume controls
  • Premium Aquila Nylgut strings
  • Chrome hardware and diecast geared tuners
  • White binding
  • Satin natural finish

 

What I like

This instrument features a solid acacia construction, a slotted headstock, an attractive white binding, and herringbone purfling and rosette. The result is a beautiful looking and great playing instrument. When it comes to sound, you get it two ways – acoustic and electric.

 

What I don’t like

Acoustically, this ukulele produces a sweet tone that’s not too complex but pleasant and warm. The string balance is excellent. However, you’ll need to play it a little harder if you want a louder sound.

Fortunately, the Shadow PW1 pickup is there to make things easier for you. When plugged in, the pickup works fine. The string balance is incredible, and the tone control delivers a variety of sounds without going overboard.

Overall, this is a well-designed and great looking ukulele that would be great for stage performance.

 

Pros

  • Has a clean, effective pickup system
  • Nice, subtle, distinctive bling
  • Attractive and durable construction
  •  Beautiful headstock

 

Cons

  • Quite a low sound when played acoustically
  • Body finish doesn’t look so natural

 

Featuring a timeless combination of a solid acacia body and rosewood fingerboard, the Kala KA-ASAC-TE/C is one of the top-of-the-line models Kala has to offer. It can be a great investment for someone looking to transition from guitar playing to uke playing. It is a versatile instrument that can be perfect for casual, live, and studio use.

 

Overall Rating: 4.2/5.0

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About Kala Ukulele Brand

Kala Brand Music Company was founded in 2005. The company is headquartered in Petaluma, California. The brand has rapidly gained popularity in the ukulele market in recent years for offering high-quality instruments at unmatched prices. They easily could be a close competitor to Cordoba.

 

The brand’s products are popular for their sweet and mellow tone. Besides the great sound, the instruments also look great with innovative details such as geared tuners. The instruments are available in a fantastic range of options, from the budget-friendly options that are ideal for beginners and casual players to deluxe, solid hardwood models for the refined and professional players.

Here’s a look at some of the major Kala Ukulele Lines:

Kala Elite

This product line includes the brand’s most elite ukuleles. All of the Kala Elite ukuleles are hand-crafted at the Petaluma-based factory. Each instrument is treated as an individual with every material needed for its construction carefully handpicked.

These ukuleles come in a variety of wood types, including Mahogany and Koa. Kala Elite ukuleles go for at least $1,000, and the models include;

  • Luthier
  • Doghair
  • Koa

 

Makala

If you’re looking for entry-level ukuleles, you should search under this collection. While Makala ukuleles are sold as entry-level instruments, they still uphold quality in terms of construction and sound. These ukuleles are affordably priced and make for a great starting point for beginners.

They’re available in a variety of designs and colors to suit different personalities. Under Makala series, there are the following ukulele collections:

  • Classic
  • Dolphins
  • Sharks

Waterman and Ukadelic

This series encompasses the brand’s plastic ukuleles. While they are plastic, Waterman and Ukadelic ukuleles are durable. They are also very portable, versatile, and easy to maintain.

 

Learn to Play the Ukulele

This series encompasses reasonably priced starter kits that are geared to help beginners get started with ukulele playing. The packages include:

  • The Kala learn to Play Ukulele Starter Kit
  • The Kala Learn to Play Color Chord Ukulele

 

Final Thoughts

The California-based Kala brand offers a wide range of quality ukuleles and is constantly innovating and improving its products. That’s one of the reasons why it is one of the best-selling uke brands. Whether you are looking for a simple entry-level ukulele or a professional grade model, you’re sure to find a kale ukulele that’s right for. We hope this Kala ukulele review article helps you find just what you’re looking for.

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