View Full Version : Islander MAT 4

12-26-2015, 11:25 AM
Really want to get the Islander MAT 4 Spalted maple in a tenor scale, just a few things that i need a heads up (or down on). First off the saddle profile makes it look as though it'd be difficult to get a very low action. I like it around 2.5mm at the 12th and worried i may not be able to achieve that with this saddle configuration?!
Also i've had mixed reviews on the bridge pins causing annoyance, snapping strings etc. I play a half step down so i doubt i'd have as much trouble as others but just making sure I'm buying the best instrument for my very modest budget of 200 whilst trying to satisfy my aesthetic desires! I know people rave about ponos i just find them abit bland to look at.
Also how do people find the wider nut width? what kind of an impact would it have on barring chords if any?

Thanks for the advice

12-26-2015, 02:58 PM
Here is what I got and returned to the seller....


12-26-2015, 03:36 PM
Kalas ukes are not talked about much on here but I'm impressed with the sound of this one. This is spalted maple. Have a listen and see what you think with Spruce.


12-26-2015, 05:53 PM
The reason im funny about Kala is about 6 months ago i orderer one of there older reso models and the build quality was absolute sh@#! I was living in Aus at the time and had odered from an apparent reputable local music store...it wss terrible under the cone piece where random screw holes where they'd messed up alignment, the saddle piece had glue bubbles on and the grooves look like theyd been cut out with a stanely knife, the underside of the cone the metal had been grinded and fitted poorley with razor sharpe rough patches, random sized screws the tie though underside tail bridge was so cheap...even tuned down a semi tone the wood split and the strings pulled through, the action was crazy high and it sounded terrible!
i couldnt even send it back as it took so long to get to me ...i had to fly home to the uk the next day...i was do annoyed i vowed never to purchase a kala instument again.
Am i doing myself a great injustice?

12-26-2015, 06:01 PM
I've had an Islander MC-4 and have an AC-4 they are great ukes, I like the bridge pins, never had any problems and string changes are simple. Also like the wider nut width, it's only 1/8" really can't tell much difference switching back and forth to and from the more common width. I think you should be able to lower the action like you want. I have about 3mm on my Islander.

12-26-2015, 06:56 PM
Compare the two sounds of the ukes. Do you like the Kala or the Islander sound?



Which one has the look you like. The Kala has the abalone around the sound hole which is very nice in my opinion.

If you like the look and sound of the Kala, I would choose it. Even if I had a bad experience like yours with the Resonator. This is a ukulele not a resonator.

The two samples are played by the same person with the same sound setup. Listen closely and see if you love the sound of a one of them.

12-26-2015, 08:10 PM
Good advice i'll check them out. Excuse my ignorance but where on the link find the sound samples?
sorry if is is obvious!

12-27-2015, 03:43 AM
Good advice i'll check them out. Excuse my ignorance but where on the link find the sound samples?
sorry if is is obvious!

Direct link to videos

Kala https://vimeo.com/117250943

Islander https://vimeo.com/50334434

12-27-2015, 04:42 AM
I have an Islander RWSPT - rosewood and spruce tenor. The quality and finish are excellent. The action is 3mm at the 12th fret, but it would not be difficult to lower the saddle, and there seems to be enough clearance above the lower frets for this not to be a problem. Barre chords are no problem but I find that the string spacing is just slightly too wide for me to use the end joint of my middle finger for a half-barre over three strings.

Like the model you are looking at, mine is all laminate, which is fine as I keep it in my classroom as a beater. If I was to prioritise sound over resilience I would try to go up an extra 50 and get the SA-4-T:


12-27-2015, 06:51 AM
Thanks for taking the time guys, made my christmas contemplation a clear, cake walking cush!