View Full Version : Makala Dolphins and Aquilas

Colonel Uke
01-13-2016, 03:14 AM
My wife teaches elementary music and has been teaching ukuleles with her kids for the last 6 months. She initially bought 20 Makala Dolphins which have worked out great. They came directly from the distributor with Aquila strings installed and I did just a basic setup on them all. However, last month she ordered another 12 from the same distributor, but none of these had Aquila strings. Instead they had some pretty terrible black strings which I will be replacing shortly. Does anyone know if Kala has moved away from Aquilas for the Dolphins, or if maybe this latest shipment was an old stock supply from before they started shipping with Aquilas a few years ago? (I know she would prefer to order from one of the great uke dealers we all know that includes uke setups, but purchasing through a school system is a nightmare of red tape, and sometimes you're stuck with whatever supplier is on the purchasing list.)

01-13-2016, 03:29 AM
We purchased a Makala dolphin soprano about a year ago and it also had black strings -- not sure if that was original from the mfg, since the other Makalas on the wall did not have them. We actually like the darker, warmer sound they produce. But I have no way of knowing if they are the same black strings you are seeing.

01-13-2016, 03:32 AM
I don't think Dolphins ever came with Aquilas, your "distributor" must have changed them on the original batch.

But, Kudos to your wife for buying and teaching the ukulele to her kids!!! Write to mimmo, here on UU, he might make you a deal on bulk strings.

I've bought 2 Dolphin/Sharks from Ukerepublic and for $65 they come setup and with good Aquila strings. The last one, I requested Aquila Super Nylguts for no extra cost.

Colonel Uke
01-13-2016, 03:56 AM
I don't think Dolphins ever came with Aquilas, your "distributor" must have changed them on the original batch.

I don't think the distributor would have changed them out. When I took them out of the box they looked like they had come straight from the factory in China. I do see on Kala's website that all the current Dolphins are showing with black strings and with no marketing wording about Aquilas. They may have come with them sometime in the past, but it doesn't look like they do now.

01-13-2016, 07:01 AM
Hi Paul
i sent you a PM, right now
thake care
Mimmo, Aquilastrings- Italy

Colonel Uke
01-13-2016, 07:32 AM
Thank you!!!

01-13-2016, 08:04 AM
I bought my first Dolphin in late February 2012 through Amazon. It came with horrible black strings. I believe that every one I've bought since then through Amazon has had horrible black strings, while the ones from Uke Republic and the North Carolina Ukulele Academy came with Aquilas (although IIRC, the NCUA one had the Aquilas added gratis because they couldn't obtain the color I had ordered - I don't think they usually sent them with Aquilas).

01-13-2016, 08:16 AM
maybe the first batch were just white nylon, and not actually aquila?

Colonel Uke
01-15-2016, 04:30 AM
No, when I unpacked the first batch they had the Aquila hang tags on them all promoting the Aquila strings. They came from West Music, so I doubt that anyone did any kind of setup on them and swapped out strings. I'm in communication with Kala, maybe I'll find something out. On Kala's website now, none of the Dolphins in the pictures have white strings, all black, and they don't advertise Aquila Strings as coming standard, so maybe that first batch was just a fluke, or a trial?

01-31-2016, 12:45 AM
My Dolphins never came with Aquila's. Like the Martins on them better anyway.

01-31-2016, 09:36 AM
The new web pages for Makala on the Kala Brand website shows all of them -- Agathis, Ukadelic, Dolphin, Shark, and Waterman -- with white strings. They may be something other than Aquila now, but the last new Agathis ukes I saw in a local store all had Aquila hang tags. See http://www.kalabrand.com/products/ukulele