View Full Version : kala elite koa series vs Loprinzi koa concert

08-07-2017, 08:44 AM

I'm contemplating between the 2 concert ukulele, Kale Elite series or Lorprinzi concert Koa. Has anyone have tried and used these 2 ukuleles. Im just new in this hobby.
Any feedback will be highly appreciated..thanks

08-07-2017, 09:22 AM
This is a touchy subject for some of us. I live in LoPrinzi territory, the LoPrinzis have sponsored our club, TBUS since its inception. Each member gets a discount from Donna. She has worked on some of our ukes that she didn't even build. She is a top notch gal. I would love to be able to afford one of her beautiful ukes, and most of the "moneyed" or professional musician type people that play uke around here own at least one.
Kala is also a sponsor. Kala is a mainstay in the ukulele world, as you probably know. I love my Kala uke, but probably will never buy another.
Fortunately, the Elite Series is built in the US, not China.
I'd say buy whatever plays best and sounds best (never mind the looks, unless that's really important to you).
Keep this in mind.....a uke such as a "K" brand from Hawaii, or a LoPrinzi will hold its value, for a long, long time. A Kala is a great uke, sure, but it's a Kala, and will depreciate the moment you own it.
I don't want to sway you, but I know what I'd do....
Good luck, let us know what you choose!

08-07-2017, 09:58 AM
thanks for the reply. Yes you are right, Kala depreciates. I will let you know what will I choose..

08-07-2017, 09:59 AM
I am intrigued by both Kala Elite and Loprinzi Ukuleles. I have owned several Chinese made Kalas and Córdoba Ukuleles. i have been happy with all of them. I have reached a point in my ukulele life that my next ukulele should be an upgrade. I like the fact that both LoPrinzi and the Kala Elites are built in the United States. I have not had an opportunity to play either one. I can't offer advice but I will follow your decision process with interest.

P.S. I know the K brands are built in the U.S. as well but they are clearly beyond of my budget.

08-07-2017, 10:03 AM
thanks for the reply. Yes you are right, Kala depreciates. I will let you know what will I choose..
I am not sure the Kala Elite Ukuleles will depreciate. I think they are a different animal then the Chinese made Kalas.

Ukulele Eddie
08-07-2017, 11:08 AM
HMS (www.theukulelesite.com) carries Kala Elite and, from time-to-time, LoPrinzi's. They have a tenor and a concert LoPrinzi in stock now. I have played several Kala Elites and they are wonderful instruments. I have also owned a gorgeous LoPrinzi longneck soprano that I wished I had not sold.

The neck profiles are very different, the LoPrinzi being thinner and the Kala chunkier. Some folks prefer one, some the other. Also, the Kala'a have a 1.5 inch fretboard, which is wider than the standard width of the LoPrinzi.

08-19-2017, 04:18 AM
I'm starting to think about an upgrade to my concert as well, and the Loprinzi caught my eye on a quick cruise around the HMS website. I live in Utah, but I'm a native of Florida and grew up in the Clearwater area, so that struck a chord with me so the speak. It's a beautiful ukulele at a really nice price for a solid koa. The Loprinzi solid mahogany ukes look very nice also in the $500-$600 range.

Right now I have a laminate concert with the 1 3/8 nut, and I just got a tenor with the 1.5 nut. They both have their pros & cons. I do have to say that overall, the concert size seems to be more comfortable for me. I've only had the tenor a few weeks, so I'll keep playing to see what I think about the nut size for a new concert. Being a female, the thinner neck of the Loprinzi might be a plus???

Since my new tenor is solid spruce top/flame maple back & sides, I'd like either a koa or mahogany concert. My only definite requirement is a satin finish, no gloss.

08-19-2017, 04:17 PM
As someone who's had a LoPrinzi (custom spruce-top soprano) since 2003, I can tell you that the LoPrinzi will not only hold its value but also hold its tone and playability. You can see from my signature that I'm lucky enough to own a couple of Moore Bettah Ukulele, but when I get the urge to play a soprano, switching from the MBU to the LoPrinzi is never a disappointment. I admire the Kala, but for true love for the years ahead, I'd go with the LoPrinzi.

Of course, the downfall is that my LoPrinzi is *so* nice that I was monogamous with that one ukulele for ten years before getting an urge for another instrument. That may be a good thing for you, or a disappointment since you''ll not have a reason to get another! ;)

08-20-2017, 12:54 PM
I am not sure the Kala Elite Ukuleles will depreciate. I think they are a different animal then the Chinese made Kalas.

I agree. The California-built Kala Elite line seems to be right up there with Hawaiian K-brands. I think the fact Kala is known primarily for more affordable ukes affects the way the Elite brand is perceived.... but they are obviously looking to change that.

09-06-2017, 12:57 PM
I have been wanting to try a Kala Elite based on good experience with their Chinese made solid wood ukes (Kala KA-ASOV spruce top sop and ATP-CTG cedar top tenor), the Elite soundbites on HMS videos (wow!), and great looking build (although I would recommend you play or at least see a photo of the actual instrument - I don't think the wood sets are all equal on the Elites.)
However, I've not tried a LoPrinzi either. And I didn't know Loprinzi was woman-owned! There doesn't seem to be many woman luthiers representing, so I might just divert my plan if the right one comes along...

09-12-2017, 07:37 AM
I have a Loprinzi in the pipeline - just put down the deposit and I believe Donna started working on it. They are great to work with and are indeed a woman-owned business, as ukeinfused said.

With that said, I too would be interested to hear from someone who has played both a Kala Elite and a Loprinzi.

I was thinking of getting one or the other before going with Loprinzi.

However I'm still very curious about Kala Elites. They are in the same price range as Loprinzis. Loprinzis cost a little bit more, but considering that they are customized, the price honestly evens out.

My biggest skepticism regarding Kalas is the geared tuners on all models. I've played concerts and sopranos with geared tuners, and on instruments that small and light, you truly can feel the added weight of the gears. Geared tuners on sopranos and concerts are kind of silly, and it makes me less inclined to take Kale Elites seriously. Even though, from what I hear, they seem great.

Anyway, I'd be curious to hear someone compare the two brands in terms of sound, feel, etc., as the OP originally suggested.

09-12-2017, 04:41 PM
The questons are, what are you looking for in a Uke, tone, woods, craftsmenship, etc...?

LoPrinzi is certainly more of a boutique high-end Luthier, that also offers some lower-end models/prices...

Oh by the way, I do know that some music stores, when they know you are serious about an instrument will bring the model or a few of the models in for you.

If a music store won't bring in a Kala Elite for you, contact Kala and express your desire, and maybe they'll ship some out to a dealer free of charge for you to check out.

I know this, because in the past as example, Kanilea was willing to ship over for me free of charge to the music store a Uke of theirs to check it, so try it.... ;)