View Full Version : Kala against Ohana

07-08-2009, 12:33 PM
First of all, hallo to everybody..
I'm Marco from Italy and new on this great site.
I ask you which one you consider best between Ohana and Kala,:confused: speaking about a solid wood (or at least solid top) tenor, and taking in consideration as elements to value:
1) Sound: tone, volume, sustain
2)How easy to play (action, fretboard, ecc)

Thank you for your opinion

Gud Uk 2 all

07-08-2009, 01:01 PM
I haven't played the Ohana, but I really like my Kala. There are a lot of them out there, and I wish I could say they are crap...but damnit I really like mine.

07-08-2009, 01:10 PM
Hey Markulele, Welcome to UU.

I have both Kalas and an Ohana. They are very similar in price and quality. Different sizes and woods with give different results, of course.

My experience has been that the Kalas are very easy to play, and have very good craftsmanship. I bought 2 of my Kalas in person, at a music store.

My experience with Ohana is, at the music store, the instruments were not set up for comfortable playing. The action was set too high. When I ordered my zebrawood Ohana on ebay with musicguymic, it was adjusted properly and there were no problems. So, if you get an Ohana, plan to have it adjusted. Other than that, the craftsmanship was very good.

I don't have a comparison of the two, comparing like woods and sizes. I would suggest you look for geared tuners on whichever uke you choose. I have found the friction tuners harder to handle.

Hope that helps!

07-08-2009, 03:14 PM
Thanks for helping..! :)
To be sincere, I expected a result like that, I have already read about some Ohana that had high action..
About the sound, I recognize that they both have a beautiful voice

By the way, Lori: how is your Kala Mango Tenor ? It is a laminate, if I don't go wrong.. Sounds good?

07-09-2009, 06:03 AM
By the way, Lori: how is your Kala Mango Tenor ? It is a laminate, if I don't go wrong.. Sounds good?

I am loving my Kala Mango Tenor. Yes, it's a laminate. It was the first one I bought. After having it a couple of weeks, I went out to shop for another uke... thinking of maybe spending around $500. I went to a music store, and played several ukes in that price range. I was expecting to hear a great difference. But, on that day, in that store, they didn't have anything I liked better. So I went home happy with my Mango Tenor. It is still my only tenor. New strings make a difference on that one, so if you get the Kala Mango, see if you can get some Worth Medium Clear strings for it.

My next Tenor will probably be a Kanile'a or some other high end Hawaiian made uke.


07-09-2009, 07:36 AM
I dunno about Ohanas having high action. I have a sopranino and it's low and lovely. I test-drove about 5 different Ohana soprano models last night (one was the zebra) and didn't see that the action was high on any of them, either.

Maybe it's the larger models?

But in any case, buying from someone who will adjust knowledgeably is always good.

07-14-2009, 11:16 PM
Thanks again for your opinions.
Sure the Mango Kala is very good looking, and now I discover also about the sound.. Anyway, for that price, i prefer to have a solid body, even if less beautiful in appearence. I think that the sound difference between solid and laminate must be recognizable (at least i hope: I bought a solid body! :smileybounce: ) , indipendently on the strings, even because you can put quality ones on both. But I give you reason: mango wood is gorgeous!!

Nice day to all

07-15-2009, 01:06 AM
Both make excellent ukuleles for the price.

Ohana tends to make ukes in traditional designs and woods, Kala has more modern designs and uses different woods.

Sicne I started with Kala, I have a soft spot in my heart for them. But also consider Mainland as an option in the same price range.

07-15-2009, 01:08 AM
I test-drove about 5 different Ohana soprano models last night (one was the zebra) and didn't see that the action was high on any of them, either.
I was there too - and felt the same about the selection of Ohanas presented. Wasn't a model I had any problems with, except the sopranino - and only because I would have bought it right then and there, but someone beat me to it. Nothing wrong with it, of course, except the "sold" tag.

07-15-2009, 06:34 AM
The Ohonas are usually made in the same factory in China as the Bushmans and Mainlands. As mentioned before they're very good for their price range. They come from the factory with the action erring typically on the high side and then the uke company usually brings it down if necessary when they set them up. My Bushman tenor felt high when I bought it and I took it down a little. Made a huge difference.

A friend has a Kala tenor and for the few times I have played hers I'd put it on par with those from the Ohana factory.