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View Full Version : Kala arch top suburst jazz uke.....any good ????



uketanzon
11-22-2015, 11:05 AM
Intrigued by this Uke. Ken Middleton gave it a good review. Swore I would never buy another laminate. Buts it's cool looking. Would be a neat addition to my group.

Anyone have one to comment on, pro and con before I do a search on the net for a used one.

Thanks

igorthebarbarian
11-22-2015, 11:28 AM
They certainly look cool for what that's worth! I am interested too in anyone who has actually played or owned one. I know MIM has had them in the past in case you are looking for one new.

spookelele
11-22-2015, 12:28 PM
Ukulenny on youtube plays one.
https://www.youtube.com/user/ukulenny

There was one at the Milwaukee Uke festival yesterday in the raffle.
The archtop part.. wasn't as arched as I thought it would be.
The palm tree inlay was nice.. but kinda seemed out of place as the only bling on it.
Also..maybe it was the lighting, but the paint seemed matte and kinda.. cheap.
The sound seemed a little dull to me, but I admit I didn't spend alot of time with it and it was a far from ideal sound check cuz it was noisy, and I was kinda rushed with other people wanting to check it out.

river_driver
11-22-2015, 12:42 PM
Are you talking about the model with the tailpiece and floating bridge specifically? Or just the Kala archtops in general?

I haven't played the tailpiece/floating bridge model, but I have an older fixed-bridge one that I got in a trade here on the forums. The electronics were roached on it, but I don't play plugged in anyway, so I pulled them out...which left a gaping hole in the side. No matter, I think it sounds great - not terribly loud, but loud enough, and I think the "side port" helps. I have it strung with Oasis brights. If something happened to it, I think I would buy another one to replace it.

Captain Simian
11-22-2015, 01:21 PM
Are you talking about the model with the tailpiece and floating bridge specifically? Or just the Kala archtops in general?

I haven't played the tailpiece/floating bridge model, but I have an older fixed-bridge one that I got in a trade here on the forums. The electronics were roached on it, but I don't play plugged in anyway, so I pulled them out...which left a gaping hole in the side. No matter, I think it sounds great - not terribly loud, but loud enough, and I think the "side port" helps. I have it strung with Oasis brights. If something happened to it, I think I would buy another one to replace it.

Ha! I have one again. This one works just fine although initially I found the piezo was way too harsh. After I restrung her with some D'Addario nylon strings it scaled back that harshness quite a bit.

WhenDogsSing
11-23-2015, 01:18 AM
My Kala archtop with the tailpiece and pick guard looks cool and it plays nice and easy. It doesn't have a lot going for it sound wise.

river_driver
11-23-2015, 04:08 AM
My Kala archtop with the tailpiece and pick guard looks cool and it plays nice and easy. It doesn't have a lot going for it sound wise.

Do you mean in terms of volume, or in terms of tone? Or both?

Kimosabe
11-23-2015, 05:17 AM
Yes, I actually had two. One was for visiting friends to play. I loved the look and the neck. Easy to play, like my Kanilea tenor. Sometimes, however, the pick up seemed to have problems and I couldn't identify the off and on sound.

Also, when feeding into recording devices you begin to realize that you're picking up sounds other than just the notes you're playing, because it's a hollow body.

My solution: I sold them and miss them occasionally but my Pono solid body tenor electric is much nicer, has a beautiful tone, a fast neck and was only a couple hundred bucks more and won't get crushed in its case.

When you play it acoustically, it certainly is loud enough not to need an amp.

Good and bad news. I love the look.

WhenDogsSing
11-23-2015, 05:42 AM
Do you mean in terms of volume, or in terms of tone? Or both?

Mine is an acoustic only, no pickup. It lacks volume and projection. The tone is thin and trebly, slightly punchy/snappy. It doesn't sound as good to me as most other tenors I have. I don't dislike it but it isn't my favorite instrument by a long shot. Others may like it and that is fine.

Kayak Jim
11-23-2015, 06:54 AM
I borrowed one at a jam a few days ago and, like others have said, it had very low volume unplugged.

uketanzon
11-23-2015, 07:53 AM
Thanks to all....appreciate it. I formulated my decision based on all the input.
i do not want it any more. I am going to take a pass. Thanks

kissing
11-23-2015, 03:05 PM
I have owned two. The current one I own is on loan to a close friend.

It's a love it or hate it uke. I find the volume is OK, with the right strings. Aquila are the wrong strings. I find that it really comes to life with D'addario Pro Arte Concert strings with low G.

Mine has been greatly modified - high action lowered at the saddle.. replaced the crappy Shadow pickup system with a passive Artec undersaddle and carved where the preamp used to be into a sound port.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/20140827_2142001_zps8b9887a2.jpg

After these mods, it sounds and performs just as well as any other laminate uke on the market. The side port helped to open up its sound.