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Orton Pearson
10-03-2018, 08:34 AM
Would it be fair to state that the Kala Makala has a similar relationship to the main Kala brand as there is between the (Fender) Squier and the main Fender guitar brand?

I.e the Makala and the Squier are simply economy brands of respected main brands.

One day there may be a Sherlock and a Mycroft brand

Croaky Keith
10-03-2018, 08:43 AM
Basically, yes, it's their starter line. :)

UkerDanno
10-03-2018, 08:48 AM
That would be fair...:D:shaka:

DownUpDave
10-03-2018, 10:06 AM
Yes that is accurate. Have you purchased a uke yet or are you still "Ukeless"?

Graham Greenbag
10-03-2018, 10:41 AM
Would it be fair to state that the Kala Makala has a similar relationship to the main Kala brand as there is between the (Fender) Squier and the main Fender guitar brand?

I.e the Makala and the Squier are simply economy brands of respected main brands.



Maybe. The Makala Ukes are simply trimmed back versions of the basic Kala Ukes. The tuners arenít as fancy, they arenít trimmed, the laminate material isnít quite as showy and the frets are Brass. However the Makalas work well enough and I think that the Makala MK-C is a bargain. My own MK-C works and sounds just fine for Uke Club playing; I set the Uke up, fitted Martin strings and replaced the saddle (better plastic saddles are available). I also have a Makala Dolphin that I bought for not much second hand, itís now a great knock about Uke too.

IMHO the Makalas are a great place for beginner to start.

Orton Pearson
10-03-2018, 10:48 AM
I shall be moving house in the next couple of months and there are other matters needing attention. Thus it will be early January when I buy a ukulele. I would like an electro-acoustic but I am also totally ignorant about connecting up. Financially I wish to be very cautious, just getting enough power to fill a living room, mainly so that my anticipated numerous errors will be very clear to me.

There is thus plenty of time to absorb the knowledge on here before I buy anything.

At the moment I favour the electro-acoustic version of a Kala Makala concert or a similar Brunswick. But I do realise how ignorant I am, so this can easily change in the given time scale.

Astein2006
10-03-2018, 02:35 PM
i have both the Makala Dolphin and Concert Shark. They are both serviceable ukuleles. I have them on my couch for whenever I sit down. My kids use them. So yes I think you are right, they are the Squier versions of the USA Strats. Good instruments.

Graham Greenbag
10-03-2018, 08:36 PM
I shall be moving house in the next couple of months and there are other matters needing attention. Thus it will be early January when I buy a ukulele. I would like an electro-acoustic but I am also totally ignorant about connecting up. Financially I wish to be very cautious, just getting enough power to fill a living room, mainly so that my anticipated numerous errors will be very clear to me.


To me your stance is rather puzzling and, without wishing to be rude, I believe that it’s unhelpful to you.

A normal acoustic ukulele should be plenty load enough for you to hear all your errors, we’ll for anyone who doesn’t use hearing aids. Amplification is an unnecessary cost and complication.

Moving home is expensive, it’s expensive if you’re renting somewhere and very expensive if you’re a home owner. Compared to the basic cost of moving and the unpredictable extra costs that you’re almost certain to incur a hundred pounds spent on a Uke is barely noticeable. IMHO it’s pointless delaying and playing might be a useful stress reliever later.

Concert Sharks and Concert Dolphins aren’t available in the U.K. , only Soprano Dolphins can be got here (well that’s all I’ve ever found). A second hand Soprano Dolphin can be had for £20, that’s not much and it will be plenty loud enough for you to hear your errors. It will be loud enough to hear yourself at the Uke Cub too where you’re surrounded by bigger and more expensive instruments (once you get the Dolpin set-up, change the saddle and sort the strings - that doesn’t cost much really and can be done over time). Don’t be Ukeless, shell out twenty quid and be happy.

Arcy
10-03-2018, 09:24 PM
Adding to Graham's point, you'll need to budget for an amp (or audio interface for your computer) to plug in your electric. If you're on a tight budget you'll end up paying far more to plug in than for the base ukulele. Unless you're performing or recording you probably won't get much use out of plugging in, and you can fairly readily add a clip on microphone or pickup later if you decide you need one.

I strongly recommend recording and listening to yourself as a training aid--it's been a tremendous aid for me--but you don't need a pickup for this. Your phone should be fine for this use.

Whatever else you do, you'll be far better in January if you get a Uke now and start playing it than if you wait!

Croaky Keith
10-03-2018, 10:41 PM
I've moved house twice in the last 11 years, & having something else to focus on at times is a great stress reliever, get one now, even a cheap one that you might not take with you will be worth the money.

(I had my computers as my distraction.) ;)

Orton Pearson
10-04-2018, 08:19 AM
I am beginning to feel that I am being cared for on here. Thanks very much everyone. :)

I appreciate Bill Sheehan informing me that the word 'cosseted' that I originally wrote is not much known outside the UK. There it means 'cared for'. Bill informs me that in the context of this post it might be interpreted as "picked on". Thanks very much to Bill.

I am most assuredly being cared for on here and I thank everyone for that.

Orton Pearson
10-07-2018, 12:28 PM
Are the Kala Makala Hricanes decent for a complete novice? This range has Soprano, Concert and Tenor instruments. I am in Spain at the moment. For delivery within Spain Amazon has zero charge. The respective prices are 54.99, 65.99 and 69.99 euros, each of these with a bag as illustrated.

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/rQEAAOSwupRatbmw/s-l640.png



https://www.amazon.es/dp/B0746DR6SM/ref=twister_B07F7SLBYZ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Nickie
10-07-2018, 04:35 PM
Hi Ukeless-not-much-longer,
The pic you sent is not of a Kala or Makala uke. Whatever it is, I've never heard of it, which ins't unusual, because it seems a new seller comes out of China every week.
I'd recommend you stay away from any uke sold on Amazon. You could wind up unhappy.
See, we do care!

Orton Pearson
10-07-2018, 06:36 PM
Oh indeed my mistake Nickie, thanks for that, Hricane is not a sub sub brand of Kala Makala. It is a distinct brand of its own. The mistake that I made was to do a search within Amazon for 'Kala Makala' and assumed that the search results would be only 'Kala Makala'.

Does anybody have one of these Hricanes? Are they known internationally?

I will probably get a beginner variant of a well known brand, likely to be Kala or Kala Makala of some sort.

Rakelele
10-07-2018, 08:09 PM
A lot of the "brands" you're looking at come from the same Chinese factory anyway, so what's crucial is that you get your instrument from a place that does a good setup, like Southern Ukulele Store in the U.K. This is the main reason why people will tell you to not buy a uke via Amazon.

To be honest, my advise would be to skip the entry level altogether and go strictly to a decent midrange instrument. There is a fair chance that you will like it and stick to playing it, so you will feel the need to upgrade eventually. A decent instrument in the range of 300-400£ will certainly not turn you off the instrument, it will motivate you to practice, and it will eventually save you the money of going through an endless cycle of upgrading from the bottom. And by decent, I don't just mean in terms of build quality, but also working conditions and environmental considerations.

Rakelele
10-07-2018, 11:02 PM
Just like Bill said, I wouldn't push the Fender comparison too far. Basically, Kala started out as a spinoff of Lanikai, then owned by Hohner. Like many other brands, they put their "Kala" name on instruments imported from China. My feeling is that they use the "Makala" name for cheaper products they don't want to associate with their relatively well regarded "Kala" brand name. Their last endeavour was to establish their "Elite" line which is made in California and costs accordingly. So to some extent, Kala went the opposite direction from Fender. And while they have been leading the world's ukulele market for years with their imports, their American line is more at a boutique shop level in terms of output.

Graham Greenbag
10-08-2018, 02:50 AM
There is actually a store in Carlisle, UK, that looks like it will offer a good set-up. Its called World of Ukes and is located on Cecil St according to the blurb. After seeing some of the promotional material for the store, it does look like a place for a beginner to pick up a good uke. I have not seen it mentioned on UU before, but that does not mean it hasn't been mentioned.


As it happens I know a couple of people who have used World of Ukes, they were visiting the Lake District and dropped into the (sort of nearby) shop. Iíd always associate W o U with high end instruments but my club mates found some inexpensive ones available in the shop. A couple of purchases were made and they were pleased with both Ukes and service. The owner used to work at Omega music which, at one time, had a good reputation for Ukes.

hendulele
10-08-2018, 09:32 AM
You might consider the used market as well. I bought a Makala MK-CE off eBay for $60 and — other than the cheap tuners, which I replaced very easily — I love it. The "E" indicates electric, and it's a passive pickup, so you need an amp to electrify it, but it plays just fine without any extra amplification. The only reason I got it was to see how a plugged-in uke would sound. I figured I would end up rehoming it and get a better uke with a pickup because it was so cheap, but I play it quite often now.