View Full Version : Kala vs. Mainland (which is better quality for around 300$)

07-18-2009, 06:31 PM
which is better quality for around 300$

07-18-2009, 06:41 PM
i own a concert mahogany from mainland and a tenor mahogany and i can't say enough postive things about them, non uke players and uke players alike ALWAYS comment on how warm and bright the tone is on my mainlands, and its really true...warmest fullest resonating sound i've heard on any uke in the price range and i've played kamakas and koalohas i don't like nearly as well...never played a kala, though i know the sound quite nice...but i would go mainland, you're also supporting a UU members wonderful business, i can tell you first hand HoosierHiver, Mike is absolutely wonderful to deal with, and will answer any questions you have about his instruments. I'm not done. The gloss finish is unbelievably nice on the mahogany and the rope binding gives a very unique and charming look. i've never met an un happy mainland owner. the One downside is that the action is a tad high, but that is a cheap fix for a music shop, or a brave owner....MAINLAND all the way

07-18-2009, 06:43 PM
I personally would go Mainland or maybe look into the Mele ukes. I think they have some sales on their site right now. http://www.meleukulele.com/

07-18-2009, 06:56 PM
what is a matte finish?

07-18-2009, 07:01 PM
You know what glossy is? Matte is not that.

07-18-2009, 07:17 PM
You know what glossy is? Matte is not that.

Such a scientific answer.LOL

Mainland ukes are great and inexpensive. Not a bad option. I will own one one day. With your price reange you can get these


Or some of Meles other ukes. Otherwise go with the mainland over the kala.

07-19-2009, 12:35 AM
I don't think you can go wrong with either brand in the price range. It really comes down to what you are looking for in a uke.

I just bought a Mainland Mahogany Pineapple last week and love it.

There are plenty of other folks here who are happy about their purchase of instruments from both manufacturers and some who own both. Search the site, listen to samples on youtube and take your time and enjoy making your decision.


07-19-2009, 12:36 AM
Go Mainland, you won't be dissapointed.

07-19-2009, 12:39 AM
Dont know about the other brand, but I do know about mainland. And I cant say enough of good things about the crew there and most important the ukulele!
Got the concert and just love it! It has a REAL loud sound, and I can almost compete with guitars! :D

So I would go mainland any day.

07-19-2009, 01:13 AM
Kalas are some of the only ukes that shops carry here in Southwest Florida. I played as many as I could. I even drove a few hours to try more models in Orlando. Just my opinion, but the Kalas didn't do it for me. Then I bought a Mainland mohagany concert based on reviews and Mike's reputation. I couldn't be happier with my decision. Great uke and great guy.

07-19-2009, 01:59 AM
Mike Upton from Kala Ukes is a really nice guy and a straight shooter. Kala has a broad line of ukes and a good many people I know have them and love them. They are good performers at nice prices.

Mike from Mainland is also a really nice guy and a straight shooter. He stands behind his product and while his pockets are not as deep as Kala Ukes pockets, he is becoming a solid competitor in the ukulele world. I like the options that he gives ukulele players considering his products.

At this point, I have not played a Mainland, but a lot of people here are thoroughly satisfied with their investment and that is a good thing for everyone. At some point, I hope to review one in Ukulele Player Magazine.

Competition is a good thing for all of us. When Mike (HH) started Mainland I was thrilled because it was another ukulele maker with high-quality products at reasonable prices that many people could afford. It has been exciting watching Mainland's growth and popularity gaining traction. Mike, well done.

Either uke, you won't lose. Buy one of each. :D

07-19-2009, 02:06 AM
Both are excellent instruments. I have two Kalas and have played many more in shops. I personally think the Kala cedar is one of the best of the ten I own. The spruce is also good, but I have others I prefer. Both have clear, crisp sound, good build quality and good intonation.

I prefer my Mainland cedar over the Kala spruce because it's louder and brighter and has better sustain. Comparing the two cedars is a little more complex, but they both rate very highly in my estimation. I tend to play the Mainland more, however, and it ranks up there in my top two or three spots (the order of popularity changes with the day and the phase of the moon..).

If neck size is an issue, go with Mainland. Kala has a narrower fretboard, which some players don't like and find a little restricting. I don't have a problem with it, but a few people have commented on it.

You won't go wrong with either.