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rogerthedodger
09-20-2015, 10:15 AM
am now looking at a Kala KA-C Concert from HMS. Any comments on it?
Roger

Nickie
09-20-2015, 02:16 PM
I just sold one, Roger. It was one I had one at our festival. I had a side soundhole put in it, played it for almost 3 years. I think I had a good one, once it was set up, it played pretty well. A woman at my church wanted a uke, and I wasn't playing it, so she has it now, and really likes it. I really did like the neck, it fit my hand well. The fretboard wore quickly, and I'm pretty sure the wood was a softer wood dyed black, not rosewood. But heck, they don't cost much.

rogerthedodger
09-20-2015, 02:57 PM
According to their website the fretboard is rosewood. Thanks for the input.
Roger

kypfer
09-20-2015, 09:21 PM
... and I'm pretty sure the wood was a softer wood dyed black, not rosewood. But heck, they don't cost much.

I can confirm this. I trimmed the sharp corner as I was catching my thumb on it when playing clawhammer and had to get the black felt-tip out to hide the scar !!

Other than that, mine came with Aquila strings and "NuBone" compensated saddle, plays really well and needed very little adjustment (setting up) until I changed to "low-G" Aquila "reds".

Excellent value for money :)

Mivo
09-20-2015, 10:08 PM
Sometimes usually dark woods come in lighter colors and builders dye it. Forgot who mentioned that recently -- Chuck of Bettah Moore, I believe, but not sure! May have been another luthier.

Anyway, the Kala KA-C is what I'd buy too if I started out now and wanted a concert size model. A step up would be a KPK (Koa Pili Koko) for a little more money. Kala seems to lead the quality field in the entry level segment these days; good choice. I'd only buy one (or any inexpensive ukulele) with a setup, though, but HMS, Mim, Uke Republic all offer this for free.

I like it and I think you'll be happy with it for a long time. :)

rogerthedodger
09-21-2015, 04:51 AM
Thanks to all replies. I am checking prices before I order.
Roger

pbagley
09-21-2015, 06:07 AM
One more positive recommendation for the Kala KA-C. I bought one from a local shop in July. Excellent setup, good tone for a laminate, and not to bad looking for something in the "beginner" class. I gave this as a gift to my cousin and she loves it. Price was around $105 which was about the same as Amazon at the time. With a case and sales tax I paid just over $130. I hope that helps.

rogerthedodger
09-21-2015, 07:10 AM
One more positive recommendation for the Kala KA-C. I bought one from a local shop in July. Excellent setup, good tone for a laminate, and not to bad looking for something in the "beginner" class. I gave this as a gift to my cousin and she loves it. Price was around $105 which was about the same as Amazon at the time. With a case and sales tax I paid just over $130. I hope that helps.Thank you, Roger

j102
09-21-2015, 01:11 PM
I assume you saw this:

http://www.theukulelereview.com/2013/05/27/6-concert-ukulele-around-100/

Nickie
09-21-2015, 01:30 PM
that was a great video, no talk, just playing. I liked the sound of the Fender and the Kala the best, the Cordoba is the looker of the bunch!

rogerthedodger
09-22-2015, 02:42 PM
I assume you saw this:

http://www.theukulelereview.com/2013/05/27/6-concert-ukulele-around-100/WOW. I had not seen that one, I have been playing the individual ones. Thank you, it will help with my decision, maybe even change mind.
Roger

j102
09-23-2015, 04:20 AM
WOW. I had not seen that one, I have been playing the individual ones. Thank you, it will help with my decision, maybe even change mind.
Roger

To me the Islander and the Gretsch sound the best, but that's purely opinion.

I was looking for a concert for my daughter a while back - Andrew @ HMS told me they have had consistency problems with the lower end Gretsch & Cordobas. HMS goes thru and culls out instruments with significant defects.

(Ended up getting her the "peace sign" Luna. not my style but she loves it and it's got a pretty mellow sound for a concert.)

jollyboy
09-23-2015, 05:41 AM
To me the Islander and the Gretsch sound the best, but that's purely opinion.

Yeah, I pretty much agree with this. I also really like the Luna as well. The Kala sounds okay.

I'm currently looking at concerts in this price range too. The friction tuners put me off the Gretsch although I really like the overall design (looks kinda cool). The bridge pins on the Islander make me nervous (never had to deal with those before) and also I believe it has a non-standard neck/fretboard (wider) and I'm not sure that I want my beginner's muscle memory 'tuned' to a non-standard size (if that makes sense).

Yay I am the voice the doom! :) It's not my intention to sound overly negative I'm just a deeply neurotic consumer who likes to take all minor details into consideration before making a purchase.

I would certainly be tempted to consider the Luna, if I was buying from HMS (I suspect that their set-up process has a lot to do with making it shine). I wouldn't buy one off Amazon (of course).

rogerthedodger
09-23-2015, 05:20 PM
Yea, I'm now looking at the Islander, so many choices, so little $$.

vanflynn
09-23-2015, 05:25 PM
Don't overthink it. Any of these will be a great first uke and in time, maybe not your last.

Go with the gut and just do it!

rogerthedodger
09-24-2015, 04:08 AM
One more question. Concert or tenor for a beginner?

Mivo
09-24-2015, 04:24 AM
I think the size is irrelevant to the ease of learning, at least in the long run. I'd make it dependent on the sound you want, the looks and footprint that appeal to you, and perhaps a bit on what you want to play.

For myself, I had to try out all sizes for a while to get a vague idea of what I like, and even then it wasn't very consistent. I enjoy both of the instruments in my signature. It also depends on the instrument itself, and things like fretboard width, thickness of the neck, etc - ukuleles of the same size can be vastly different.

But anyway, I think a concert is a good start. It is roomier than a soprano, but doesn't need as large stretches as a tenor. It also sounds uke-y with good volume (but there are sopranos that are as loud as some tenors). The experience with it will also give you a better idea for your second ukulele. I'm currently smitten by a longneck pineapple soprano, which I had never even considered until it was suggested to me based on preferences I had posted.

You gotta start the journey somewhere, though, and I think a concert is great for that.

jollyboy
09-24-2015, 04:27 PM
The Gretsch concert has geared tuners, not friction tuners.

Looks like they updated the model. The only issue now is that I can't see any UK specialist suppliers who stock Gretsch. I'm actually tempted to buy one from HMS and suck up the shipping/duty/VAT charges. Hmmm...

To the OP I would recommend concert over tenor as a first instrument.

rogerthedodger
09-24-2015, 07:10 PM
Thanks to all! I bit the bullet and ordered the Islander MC-4 Concert from HMS today.
Roger:)

Mivo
09-24-2015, 09:03 PM
Thanks to all! I bit the bullet and ordered the Islander MC-4 Concert from HMS today.
Roger:)

That is a great choice! Islander is a brand of KanileĎa, so really nice pick. :)


Looks like they updated the model. The only issue now is that I can't see any UK specialist suppliers who stock Gretsch.

Thomann carry Gretsch ukuleles, but I think only the mid range models: Gretsch ukes at Thomann (http://www.thomann.de/gb/ukuleles.html?filter=true&manufacturer%5B0%5D=Gretsch). While I like Thomann as a vendor (I buy most of my mics, cables, accessories, etc there), they are a generic retailer who do not perform any setup. You get what's in the box, though they do have an extended return policy (30 days, no questions asked).

j102
09-25-2015, 01:37 AM
Thanks to all! I bit the bullet and ordered the Islander MC-4 Concert from HMS today.
Roger:)

an excellent choice of instrument and vendor :)

The two ukes I have gotten from them have been set up perfectly.

vanflynn
09-25-2015, 03:01 AM
Congrats and enjoy.

Now to watch the Fed Ex tracker!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMyCa35_mOg

JohnnyBeeUke
09-30-2015, 05:25 AM
I have been learning on a Kala KA-T. It has been a very good instrument and fairly easy to play. I am waiting to pick up my Kamaka HF-3 from the

Strum Shop in Roseville California. Good luck and keep on "ukin"

rogerthedodger
10-06-2015, 04:36 PM
FedEx came thru today and I received my Islander. It is awesome for a beginner Uke. Now to practice practice practice. Thanks to all for the help.
Roger

vanflynn
10-06-2015, 04:45 PM
Congrats and enjoy. You picked a good one.