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View Full Version : Kala KA-KCGE-C vs Mitchell MU100CE vs Kala KA-ZCT-C Ziricote?



RelaxedPenguin
07-24-2017, 02:55 PM
Hello All :cool:

I was wondering which do you think is the best between those in your opinion. And what are your opinions on each of the instruments. Or are there better concert ukuleles you can get for that price you could recommend?

I'm pretty adamant on it being concert, and lean towards Koa but I could be persuaded otherwise

Also what would be the best ukulele you could recommend in the 150-200 (or best Ukulele under $260) price range?

I'd very much appreciate the help, thanks :D

Nickie
07-24-2017, 03:52 PM
Personally, I don't think you could go wrong with either Kala uke. I'd steer clear of the Mitchell, though.

Jim Hanks
07-24-2017, 04:07 PM
I agree the Mitchell's I've seen were unremarkable. Truthfully in this price range, your vendor is at least as important as the uke itself if not more so. I'm assuming you are in the U.K. so I'd recommend calling someone like SUS that does a proper setup of their instruments.
http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/Category/142ea16d-3cd6-4c1d-87c7-1fa2476fd708/Concert

In this price range, I'd say the solid top Kala and Ohana models or the all solid mahogany Ohana would be great choices.

By the way, any "koa" you get in this price range is going to be a laminate. That's not necessarily a bad thing but totally different animal than from the major Hawaiian makers.

deznuchs
07-24-2017, 04:08 PM
Personally, I don't think you could go wrong with either Kala uke. I'd steer clear of the Mitchell, though.

I agree with Nickie. In your price range kala might be the way to go. I'm not sure if you tried playing any of these ukes that you are thinking about, but I remember playing with some Mitchell ukes at GC and remember them sounding like tin cans and pretty heavy/dense (like you could use it to defend your home against an intruder). Not sure if they have changed the design in the last few years or maybe it was just he models that they had but that is what I remember. I also have a Kala Ziricote (back and sides) tenor and it is pretty awesome for the price. Kala has really raised the bar on their ukes over the years.

RelaxedPenguin
07-24-2017, 04:21 PM
I agree the Mitchell's I've seen were unremarkable. Truthfully in this price range, your vendor is at least as important as the uke itself if not more so. I'm assuming you are in the U.K. so I'd recommend calling someone like SUS that does a proper setup of their instruments.
http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/Category/142ea16d-3cd6-4c1d-87c7-1fa2476fd708/Concert

In this price range, I'd say the solid top Kala and Ohana models or the all solid mahogany Ohana would be great choices.

By the way, any "koa" you get in this price range is going to be a laminate. That's not necessarily a bad thing but totally different animal than from the major Hawaiian makers.

Thanks for the reply. Yeah I thought it would be hard getting a solid wood koa, but from the videos I've seen I like the sound. I'd prefer to get an all solid one, but at my price range I feel it would be difficult.

I've got a Faith guitar which is spruce top and mahogany so I kind of wanted something a little different (though I realise that ukes and guitars are different instruments. Maybe if there's a good cedar top that people could recommend?

Could you give some of the names of the models of solid top Kala and Ohana or solid top ohana's that you could recommend. I do admit I'm a little shallow, I like my instrument to look good (and I want to eventually perhaps play it on youtube), hence the looks of the Zirc did interest me,but worried it might be a bit too expensive for what it offers sound wise.

I haven't had much experience of the : Kala KA-KCGE-C but I like the sound and the look from videos, and koa ukulele's in general.But found it difficult to find a store to test one out in UK, and as you said there aren't an awful lot of koa ukes in that price range I could.

Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

RelaxedPenguin
07-24-2017, 04:27 PM
I agree with Nickie. In your price range kala might be the way to go. I'm not sure if you tried playing any of these ukes that you are thinking about, but I remember playing with some Mitchell ukes at GC and remember them sounding like tin cans and pretty heavy/dense (like you could use it to defend your home against an intruder). Not sure if they have changed the design in the last few years or maybe it was just he models that they had but that is what I remember. I also have a Kala Ziricote (back and sides) tenor and it is pretty awesome for the price. Kala has really raised the bar on their ukes over the years.

I've only played the Ziricote, I've heard the other two mostly from videos, and like the koa sound. I'll stay away from Mitchell then. Difficult to buy in UK anyway.

My concern with the Ziricote while it sounded good, it is a laminate, and since I eventually want to use it on youtube, might be a little dark so it won't show up on the video as well. Sounds a bit petty I know, but I did see one in the store and it looked amazing. I've tested out some luna ukes which were of similar price which looked nice, but I really didn't like the tone of them. It's difficult to compare the Ziricote one as I can't find many in that wood, but it's good to hear that you think that one's good, it's actually the easiest one out of the three to buy I can just go to my local store and pick one up. Rest I have to order online sadly.

RelaxedPenguin
07-24-2017, 04:28 PM
Personally, I don't think you could go wrong with either Kala uke. I'd steer clear of the Mitchell, though.

Will do then. Thanks Nickie :).

deznuchs
07-24-2017, 05:04 PM
My concern with the Ziricote while it sounded good, it is a laminate, and since I eventually want to use it on youtube, might be a little dark so it won't show up on the video as well. Sounds a bit petty I know, but I did see one in the store and it looked amazing. I've tested out some luna ukes which were of similar price which looked nice, but I really didn't like the tone of them. It's difficult to compare the Ziricote one as I can't find many in that wood, but it's good to hear that you think that one's good, it's actually the easiest one out of the three to buy I can just go to my local store and pick one up. Rest I have to order online sadly.

lol we all have our taste in what we want. Here might be another option for a Cedar solid top with acacia laminate sides. Not sure if they have them where you are. http://www.theukulelesite.com/kala-ka-acp-ct-solid-cedar-top-concert-slothead.html
This is a pretty popular line for Kala right now. I also wouldn't disregard the ohana recommendation.

Good Luck!

RelaxedPenguin
07-24-2017, 05:21 PM
lol we all have our taste in what we want. Here might be another option for a Cedar solid top with acacia laminate sides. Not sure if they have them where you are. http://www.theukulelesite.com/kala-ka-acp-ct-solid-cedar-top-concert-slothead.html
This is a pretty popular line for Kala right now. I also wouldn't disregard the ohana recommendation.

Good Luck!

Looks really nice, the tone is beautiful, but does look quite loud, and I want one which I can sing over. Feel I could probably get the most out of that instrument, what I'm used to (and best at) are classical guitars and fingerpick strumming, but want to branch more into singing and strumming.

Jim Hanks
07-24-2017, 05:59 PM
No concert uke is going to be too loud for you to sing over. Honestly, at this point, you're overthinking it. It's your first uke. You're not going to know what you like until you dive in. You say you've played the Kala Zircote. If you liked how it played and sounded, just go with that.

Also keep in mind that you can get quite different sounds from different strings and the stock strings probably aren't the best choice. So if you even liked how those sounded, I'd say you have a winner.

RelaxedPenguin
07-24-2017, 06:31 PM
No concert uke is going to be too loud for you to sing over. Honestly, at this point, you're overthinking it. It's your first uke. You're not going to know what you like until you dive in. You say you've played the Kala Zircote. If you liked how it played and sounded, just go with that.

Also keep in mind that you can get quite different sounds from different strings and the stock strings probably aren't the best choice. So if you even liked how those sounded, I'd say you have a winner.

Yeah you're probably right. Think I'll probably go with the Ziricote. Thanks for the help.

Booli
07-24-2017, 09:17 PM
I'd like to offer another vote to avoid the Mitchell...(I know that build and sound can very, especially from factory-made ukes)

I was in Guitar Center last month, and of a dozen ukes they had on the wall that I played, I found the Mitchell to be heavy, overbuilt, and lacking definition in note clarity (i.e., 'muddy') and lacking sustain. I can get a more pleasing sound from a rubber band stretched over a 2x4...

Mitchell seems to focus more on eye-candy than the sound, with the faux abalone binding and rosette and faux tortise binding...just seems like lipstick on a pig to me...

Having said that, in this random sampling that I played of others, at this sitting with the Mitchell - I found that the Luna tattoo tenor actually had the most resonant and pleasing sound even compared to the Gretsch, Cordoba, Kala and Diamond Head ukes that I played that day. I was VERY surprised because Luna is not highly regarded here on UU.

However, the intonation on the Luna was WAY off, sharp about 10 cents from the 1st fret all the way up the neck, so this would have required a setup done to modify the saddle and nut. When I inquired about setup work at GC, I was met with blank stares and when I pressed further I was met with 'we dont do that here' - so but of course I can do it myself, but my time is worth more to me than the handful of hours of incremental tweaking necessary to dial it in so the instrument would PLAY in tune.

So my advice, aside from AVOIDING Mitchell, is to get a uke from a vendor that will do a SETUP and make sure that:

a) the fret ends are smooth so that you do not cut your hand when playing
b) a setup is done to perfect the intonation as much as possible

Without a setup, especially as a beginner, you are in for a bad time since the instrument can physically cut into your fretting hand, as well as ruin your ear-training by never being in tune, and will never sound right, feel right or play right, ALL of which can be easily fixed/avoided by getting an instrument that has had a setup done.

You can also learn about doing setups yourself, it's not hard to do and requires only a few tools, but this will slow down your ramp up time to actually playing the instrument, but will teach you how string geometry works and how the instrument works from an audio-physics perspective.

Whatever you do, I am sure that you can count on UU for support.

Please report back when you find something you like, as there are many folks here who can offer assistance. :)

JackLuis
07-25-2017, 11:01 AM
I'd vote for a Cedar top in that price range. Ohana does some concerts in that range. Kala does too.

Choirguy
07-25-2017, 03:59 PM
Have you considered Mainland Ukuleles? There are a number of them in that price range.