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View Full Version : NUD: Kala KA-ASOV-S (on sale last week)



Ukecaster
03-27-2017, 12:26 PM
These are the all solid Spruce/Ovangkol sopranos that were on sale for $94.00 on ebay last Friday, all 14 sold out. Mine came today too, same kind of single ply box, no padding. I was kinda shocked, as I just ordered on Friday and I wasn't expecting it until NEXT Monday! Looks sweet, 1st few strums were great, gotta spend some time with it tonight, A/B with my Kamaka sop. I expect it'll open up nicely over time.

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Camsuke
03-27-2017, 12:40 PM
Congratulations John, it looks like a little beauty and you certainly can't complain about the price.

-E-
03-27-2017, 12:53 PM
I'm glad it survived from the look of the box. I sold a travel soprano to a site member that didn't survive. Never shipping a uke with USPS again.

Ukecaster
03-27-2017, 01:16 PM
My box was fine, although just a flimsy single ply box, no padding. Real lucky it didn't get trashed in transit. The pic of the crushed box was another member's.

clark-kentski
03-27-2017, 01:42 PM
Looks really nice ! I got in on the deal too , Ill post up when it arrives.

Mivo
03-28-2017, 02:46 AM
That was an amazing deal!

I'm surprised at the flimsy packaging. All ukes I bought, new or used, came extremely well packaged, but those were all bought from specialist stores or other players. Heck, when I sold some of mine, I spent two hours packing them in, using enough tape to span the globe. I suspect these discount places have to save money somewhere. And then there's the postal service. I've come to really prefer courier services, even if they cost more. I got some regular post parcels (not ukes) that looked as if very passionate elephants had mated on them.

ukatee
03-28-2017, 05:05 AM
I tried one of these in a shop a few weeks ago and thought it had a gorgeous sound even with stock Aquila strings. I was very tempted but the intonation wasn't good enough and I don't like geared tuners. I might yet go back to the shop, though!

clark-kentski
03-28-2017, 09:56 AM
Got It ! survived the USPS with only a rip on one side of the box , Looks gorgeous ,built very sturdy lots of bracing probably twice as much as my Martin sopranos, hoping that's not a bad thing, Really like the gold Grover tuners and inlay work, side fret dots,. Sound is a bit dull but hoping some Martin strings and some play time will improve that ,did I mention how pretty this uke is ? WOW

Ukecaster
03-28-2017, 10:54 AM
Got It ! survived the USPS with only a rip on one side of the box , Looks gorgeous ,built very sturdy lots of bracing probably twice as much as my Martin sopranos, hoping that's not a bad thing, Really like the gold Grover tuners and inlay work, side fret dots,. Sound is a bit dull but hoping some Martin strings and some play time will improve that ,did I mention how pretty this uke is ? WOW

Which Martin strings will you use? I have a couple of sets of M600 in the drawer, haven't tried them on anything yet. Any other string recs for a spruce top soprano are welcome.

clark-kentski
03-28-2017, 11:47 AM
Yes the M600s are the strings I use on all 6 of my sopranos I cant say they are the best out there but they are the best I've found. Also being consistent is the only way for a fair comparison .

ukeinfused
03-28-2017, 01:42 PM
Hey, I ordered mine the night before you guys but they haven't reached the twin cities yet - you must be closer to the shipper.

UFF-DA! Overstock.com clearly does not know how to pack a stringed instrument... For Pete's sake, they sell dinnerware, you'd think they'd wrap these.
But I suppose a regular dealer couldn't have sold these so cheaply either. Do they show indications of dryness (sharp frets, etc.) from sitting in a warehouse?

So far OK is good to hear.
Let me know how the Martin strings sound, I haven't owned a spruce top before... wondered if it would call for warmer strings or ?

For those that purchased, here's an inspirational video from Corey: http://www.theukulelesite.com/kala-spruce-ovangkol-soprano-asov-s.html

Ukecaster
03-28-2017, 02:01 PM
It shipped out of NY, I'm in MA, explaining why mine came so quickly on Monday when I only ordered on Friday. Bet yours arrives tomorrow!

clark-kentski
03-28-2017, 02:30 PM
Florida for me ,there is a paper in the box for full refund for 30 days . The uke looks great, the action is a little higher than I like but an easy fix, also now that I've tuned it half dozen times the strings have brightened up a bit,still going to swap them for the M600s soon.

UkerDanno
03-28-2017, 03:03 PM
Now I'm a little disappointed I didn't take advantage! The Martins should work good, if not try Worth browns...:shaka:

Nickie
03-28-2017, 05:20 PM
Congratulations on your new Kala. They make nice ukes. I have one that is 6 years old that I still play.

Ukecaster
03-28-2017, 06:14 PM
.....Do they show indications of dryness (sharp frets, etc.) from sitting in a warehouse?

They have that padouk fretboard binding covering the fret ends, so you couldn't tell dryness by sharp fret ends. Mine seems fine, but I'm gonna humidify anyway (with my makeshift soap holder/sponges below), just to be sure, especially after seeing the lackluster shipping packaging. Who knows what the conditions were in the warehouse, and during shipping; I doubt they were too concerned about humidity.

Another thing, I never noticed how thin my Kamaka neck is, until I put the Kala sideways next to it; the Kamaka is way thinner by comparison. Cool though, how you can tell the Kamaka neck was hand carved by the imperfections in the back edges.

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onyx725
03-28-2017, 08:42 PM
I got the last one on eBay and mine just left MA today. I'm in WA so I'll be lucky if I get it on Friday. Getting really excited as I start seeing the rest of the buyers post pics of their new soprano :)

onyx725
03-30-2017, 11:50 AM
Mine arrived today, just in a standard Kala box, no padding whatsoever. It has nice low action and is loud. I'm liking it! Just not a big fan of the Aquila strings. I'll try the Martin M600s or maybe Fremont Blacklines.

It is a beauty!

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johnnyn2o
03-30-2017, 01:50 PM
Mine arrived today,

I ordered the same day. I'm in OR. Checked the tracing number and they have no info. Carrier changed from UPS to DHL. Maybe tonight or tomorrow!

ukeinfused
03-30-2017, 04:54 PM
Mine came, as did three others in town. (I also sent the sale link to my player's group and three jumped on the deal, LOL!)
Everyone is happy. Such fancy little things. It's a little canon - such SUSTAIN for a soprano! I adore the Grovers - anyone know what they are?
One of the two I ordered could maybe use a set-up for better intonation - but the sound of this uke makes it totally worth it. I suppose I should try new strings first?

Ukecaster
03-30-2017, 05:57 PM
Mine came, as did three others in town. (I also sent the sale link to my player's group and three jumped on the deal, LOL!)
Everyone is happy. Such fancy little things. It's a little canon - such SUSTAIN for a soprano! I adore the Grovers - anyone know what they are?
One of the two I ordered could maybe use a set-up for better intonation - but the sound of this uke makes it totally worth it. I suppose I should try new strings first?

Yes, they are little cannons! I'm thinking of losing the stock Aquila strings, and trying a set of Martin M600. The intonation is off a hair on mine too. I believe the Grovers are called Sta-Tite, which are modeled after the super expensive Waverly tuners. Rather difficult to find these online for ukes.

ukeinfused
03-30-2017, 06:13 PM
Yes, I'm thinking of losing the stock Aquila strings, and trying a set of Martin M600. The intonation is off a hair on mine too. I believe the Grovers are THESE (https://reverb.com/item/2401549-new-grover-sta-tite-3x3-tuners-tuning-pegs-gold-18-1-guitar-parts-tk-7918-002?gclid=Cj0KEQjw2fLGBRDopP-vg7PLgvsBEiQAUOnIXK2diFOLUwh2u3yaCRPRtjhdOXjG6sl5E WWLADfR47UaAhqs8P8HAQ&pla=1) Whoa..almost as expensive as the whole uke!

Sure looks like'em! $63, yi!
I wish my 2007 Koaloha concert had them - those fat friction tuners, as cool as they look, make me nuts. Also the friction tuners on my 1960's Martin O soprano...

Ukecaster
03-30-2017, 06:39 PM
The link I posted was for guitar tuners, so removed it. Same idea though. I haven't found them for ukes in gold, but probably $30-40 per set, based on the 6 tuner guitar sets I've seen. Mght be exactly the same, just 4 of them. I used those on an acoustic guitar, they were excellent, and very classy looking.

onyx725
03-30-2017, 07:41 PM
I just strung mine with Aquila reds. So much better than the stock strings and there's even more clarity and sustain. The nylguts were just brash. Bonus is how beautifully they match the red padauk binding.

Debussychopin
03-30-2017, 08:08 PM
Dayum.

But I'm glad you guys all took advantage of it and got a great deal.

ukeinfused
03-30-2017, 11:20 PM
I just strung mine with Aquila reds. So much better than the stock strings and there's even more clarity and sustain. The nylguts were just brash. Bonus is how beautifully they match the red padauk binding.

The red and brown strings in your photo match the uke's binding and soundhole perfectly...
I don't know the reds, might have to check out their sound. Where is best place to purchase?

I bought two of these, so I could be real nerdy and compare and contrast several sets... If only I loved changing strings, LOL.

UkerDanno
03-31-2017, 04:56 AM
tuners...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grover-Sta-Tite-Geared-Ukulele-Pegs-Set-of-4-Metal-Buttons-Gold-Finish-8G-/132074549495?hash=item1ec041b0f7:g:eeMAAOSwTuJYn5c W

Ukecaster
03-31-2017, 05:27 AM
tuners...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grover-Sta-Tite-Geared-Ukulele-Pegs-Set-of-4-Metal-Buttons-Gold-Finish-8G-/132074549495?hash=item1ec041b0f7:g:eeMAAOSwTuJYn5c W

Yeah, those are nice too, but don't have the cool Waverly style button shape.

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ukeinfused
03-31-2017, 06:19 AM
tuners...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grover-Sta-Tite-Geared-Ukulele-Pegs-Set-of-4-Metal-Buttons-Gold-Finish-8G-/132074549495?hash=item1ec041b0f7:g:eeMAAOSwTuJYn5c W

JohnM is right. The tuners on this uke have the slender butterbean keys. They *feel* great (almost remind me of small bass guitar keys).
Subtle differences in the plate as well.

The Grover guitar tuners he found earlier are the closest I can find - the same except the color of the screw head.
These in nickel appear more affordable than gold and do have the black screw...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/401296115665

I'm getting all nerdy about tuners, LOL.

johnnyn2o
03-31-2017, 07:45 AM
I think I've found why these were discounted. On mine, the seam on the back is off by about a quarter inch. The seam runs off-center on the bottom diagonally to off-center on the top.

Still sounds nice.

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ukeinfused
04-01-2017, 06:45 AM
I think I've found why these were discounted. On mine, the seam on the back is off by about a quarter inch. The seam runs off-center on the bottom diagonally to off-center on the top.

Still sounds nice.

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While mine don't have that off-set, there are a couple of minor finish issues of different kinds on a couple that landed with my uke group. (Nevertheless, for the price and sound, everyone is happy.)

Of course, finishing errors like this would never make it through quality control at the top uke brands who charge two to three to four times as much for a handmade instrument.

I wonder if these blems just represent the hazards of Chinese mass produced instruments rather than actual Kala "seconds" (which would be stamped as such). I also wonder how these compare them to other solid body uke makers in the same original price bracket of two to three hundred dollars (Ohana, Mele, etc.), esp ukes with lots of finicky bling like this one (binding, rosette, inlays, etc.)

Ukecaster
04-01-2017, 08:51 AM
Yes, they probably all had some type of minor fit/finish issue, but someone decided not to label them as seconds, which they probably should have been. Even then, they probably would have sold for $94.00, or slightly more. No biggie for me, a great solid uke at a bargain price.

jjdejd
04-03-2017, 06:58 AM
Noticed a few people have changed strings. Has anyone made adjustments to the saddle? I've never adjusted a saddle, any thoughts on how much to sand off if I feel the action is to high?

Ukecaster
04-03-2017, 09:09 AM
I'd just take saddle out, stand it up on the bottom, and run a pencil all along the bottom edge, then sand it on some sandpaper until that line is gone (needs to be absolutely flat), reinstall, check it out, then repeat as necessary until you get it to your preferred height.

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/LowerAction/loweraction01.html

jjdejd
04-03-2017, 09:41 AM
I'd just take saddle out, stand it up on the bottom, and run a pencil all along the bottom edge, then sand it on some sandpaper until that line is gone (needs to be absolutely flat), reinstall, check it out, then repeat as necessary until you get it to your preferred height.

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/LowerAction/loweraction01.html


Thanks for the link

clark-kentski
04-04-2017, 05:24 AM
If you are nervous about this, search ebay for ukulele saddle, for a couple dollars you can buy a few to whittle on without worries .

actadh
04-04-2017, 05:50 AM
Mine has still not arrived. I believe it is because DHL is not a carrier in my area and it needs to be handed off to FedEx, UPS, USPS etc. eBay still showing as in transit, although the estimated delivery date has passed (03/31/17).

Thanks for the saddle information. I have another uke I might try that with.

Ukecaster
04-04-2017, 06:08 AM
Tried some Martin M600 strings on mine, and noticed a nice improvement: more rich bell-like tones. I'm not sure what it is about the stock Acquila strings most new ukes come with, they sound ok, but never great, at least to me, on the sopranos I've restrung with the M600.

johnnyn2o
04-04-2017, 06:41 AM
DHL...still showing as in transit, although the estimated delivery date has passed (03/31/17)

The tracker on the front page of DHL.com wouldn't work for me. I contacted DHL and they referred me to an "ecommerce" tracking page. FWIW, final delivery of my ukulele was by the USPS.

I think this is the, URL https://webtrack.dhlglobalmail.com/, if not use the email address on the same page.

actadh
04-04-2017, 08:06 AM
Thanks, johnnyn2o

jjdejd
04-04-2017, 08:36 AM
Tried some Martin M600 strings on mine, and noticed a nice improvement: more rich bell-like tones. I'm not sure what it is about the stock Acquila strings most new ukes come with, they sound ok, but never great, at least on the sopranos I've restrung with the M600.

I have M600's on my LoPrinzi and love them. They have a soft touch. Bought a set for this uke and also picked up a set of Aquila Reds.

jjdejd
04-08-2017, 04:17 AM
I finally got to spend a little time with this uke. Really like the big sound. The only issue I noticed is the " C " string sits a little above the nut and doesn't easily slide through when tuning. There is a difference in the overall sound. I plan to change the strings to M600's, but wondering if I need to file the nut? If so, any recommendations on files. Thanks.

Mivo
04-08-2017, 05:42 AM
Most fluorocarbon C strings are a bit thinner than the Nylgut one, so I'd check first before filing, unless you are set on the Martin strings as they are the exception. (Or maybe that's just the tenor set.)

1931jim
04-08-2017, 05:57 AM
I finally got to spend a little time with this uke. Really like the big sound. The only issue I noticed is the " C " string sits a little above the nut and doesn't easily slide through when tuning. There is a difference in the overall sound. I plan to change the strings to M600's, but wondering if I need to file the nut? If so, any recommendations on files. Thanks.

If the string does not slide through the nut then you have to set up the action. Just measure the size of the C string with your micrometer and buy the necessary file at Stew Mac.

jjdejd
04-08-2017, 06:10 AM
If the string does not slide through the nut then you have to set up the action. Just measure the size of the C string with your micrometer and buy the necessary file at Stew Mac.

Lol. I guess I'll have to buy a micrometer first.

1931jim
04-08-2017, 07:51 AM
Lol. I guess I'll have to buy a micrometer first.

Not necessarily. If you are half-way handy and do not want to know the exact diameter of each string, then just get a small needle point file at the local hobby shop, and gently with precision ease the C string until it slides in the groove of the nut.