View Full Version : Kala KA-KT opinions?

Kid Bowery
05-12-2009, 04:58 AM
Started playing uke about 6 months ago and I'd like to add a tenor to my very modest collection (I have a Kelii soprano). Looking for peoples' thoughts specifically on the Kala KA-KT.

Other suggestions for a tenor (koa preferred) in my price range of $200-$250 are welcome.


05-12-2009, 05:14 AM
Kala's seem to be well made.

The model you mention is, I believe, a laminate koa ukulele rather than a solid wood one. With some laminate instruments the main top wood may be something else, such as spruce, with just a cosmetic koa (or mango or mahogany or whatever) veneer. That said, it could be made entirely of layers of koa for all I know (although I don't know why they would do that) - I can't say what form of laminate or ply Kala uses.

Suffice to say that some people on UU have said that there is not a huge difference between the sound of laminate Kala's and the solid ones - at least where the mahogany ones are concerned. Personally, I think can usually hear some difference between a solid top and a laminate/ply one.

So, if it is the look of koa you're after, then that Kala could be a good bet, as the sound of the laminate ukes is still supposed to be good. If it's an authentic koa sound that you're looking for... well, I'm not sure laminate can deliver that. You'd need to try it and see.

If you really want the koa sound you may have to save a little longer and get a solid koa uke.

05-12-2009, 06:36 AM
I have the solid mahogany Kala tenor (Ka-Asm-Tec)
My friend has the KA-KT.

I have the pleasure of directly comparing the two :) !

The Kala solid uke does have a richer, fuller sound than the Koa laminate.
But the Koa laminate (KT) does have a brighter, crisper quality to it.

I prefer my solid Mahogany, but my friend prefers his laminate Koa.
I think both are really good, and neither will disappoint.
It is very hard to say whether one is better than the other, because the laminate Koa has a sweet, brightness that the solid Mahogany lacks.
But the laminate Koa doesn't have quite the loudness and fullness of the solid uke.

In this video, I briefly sample the KT in comparison with my Mahogany
This was when I first got my ukes, so my playing is not so good though xD

05-12-2009, 07:00 AM
Kissing I liked the Video great Job explaining the differences

Kid Bowery
05-14-2009, 03:34 AM
Thanks to both of you for very helpful responses. Kissing, your vid was very informative and indeed, even through my crappy computer speakers I could hear the tonal differences you speak of between solid mahogany and koa laminate. I am now intrigued by the KA-ASM. It appears Kala only makes the cutaway version of the ASM with the onboard pickup?? Do you find that the electronics dampen the sound any when your not plugged in?