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johncaudrey
09-01-2009, 03:32 AM
Hi
I am looking at buying a new uke, upgrading from my cheap red Mahalo soprano.
I really like the look of the KALA KA-FMS Soprano. But as there are no stores local to me stocking it (I am based in Berkshire.UK), I will have to buy on the internet without getting the chance to play it (scary). Has anyone got any good/bad feedback on this uke and also about the quality and consistency of Kala ukes in general.
Many thanks
John

ksquine
09-01-2009, 03:51 AM
I bought a cheapie Kala pineapple uke from an online store. The uke arrived with no damage and it was quite good quality overall. Nice set up, clean finish work, straight and true neck, etc. Pretty impressive for the price...they make 'em inexpensive but not junky
You'll need to replace the strings but that's a personal choice anyway

ukantor
09-01-2009, 04:58 AM
I have not played that particular model, but have tried a tenor version in the spalted maple/spruce top Kala range. The build quality and finish were very good indeed, it played very nicely, and it sounded brilliant. I own a Kala soprano travel uke, and am most impressed with it on all levels. Three of my friends own Kalas, and are well pleased with them.

Ukantor.

Lori
09-01-2009, 05:59 AM
I have the KA-FMSLN which is the same model except a longer neck. I love that uke. Excellent finish, a bright uke sound, nice tuners. I have 3 Kalas and they are all different woods and prices. And I would definitely recommend them. Experiment with different strings. My KA-FMSLN came with Aquila strings, but I have changed them to Worth Clear mediums, which I think soften the upper tones, but maintains a nice sweet brightness. But if you are just going to strum, the Aquilas might be the ones to stay with.

–Lori

harpman
09-01-2009, 06:22 AM
I moved to a KALA solid spruce top ukulele after a poor Vintage cheapo model and have found it to be great fun and very playable. enjoy it but it wont be the last ukulele you will buy beware UAS. :)

CountryMouse
09-01-2009, 06:29 AM
I have the KA-FMSLN which is the same model except a longer neck. I love that uke. Excellent finish, a bright uke sound, nice tuners. I have 3 Kalas and they are all different woods and prices. And I would definitely recommend them. Experiment with different strings. My KA-FMSLN came with Aquila strings, but I have changed them to Worth Clear mediums, which I think soften the upper tones, but maintains a nice sweet brightness. But if you are just going to strum, the Aquilas might be the ones to stay with.

–Lori

I'm going to be getting a Makala MK-S soprano (one with the dolphin bridge) from MGM. If I want the softest-sounding strings, what ones should I ask him to install? I am going to just strum, and I don't have a very big voice.

Thanks!

CountryMouse

Lori
09-01-2009, 06:56 AM
I temporarily had a Makala Dophin Bridge and I put Aquila strings on it. It was a gift we were giving to my sister-in-law. I played it for a day or two to stretch out the strings, and I think it sounded really good. Check out Ken Middleton's video on Aquila verses Worth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5yU85FM8Fg

The bottom line to my ear:
Strumming= Aquila
Picking= Worth

MGM will be happy to put the Aquilas on for you.

–Lori

Lori
09-01-2009, 07:14 AM
I'm going to be getting a Makala MK-S soprano (one with the dolphin bridge) from MGM. If I want the softest-sounding strings, what ones should I ask him to install? I am going to just strum, and I don't have a very big voice.

Thanks!

CountryMouse

I don't know if I answered you question properly. When you say "softest-sounding" do you mean volume or tone? The nice thing about stringed instruments is that you can change the volume very easily by controlling the pressure on your strum. Light or low tension strings will also give you quieter sound. In my opinion, the Aquila strings are a little more harsh in tone, but with the Makala Dolphin it might not be too harsh... just bright and lively. The Aquilas have a nice sustain to the notes, which works well with chorded strumming.
Worth Browns are supposed to be mellower. I haven't tried those yet. The Worth Clears are less harsh than the Aquila, and sound bright.

–Lori

CountryMouse
09-01-2009, 09:44 AM
I temporarily had a Makala Dophin Bridge and I put Aquila strings on it. It was a gift we were giving to my sister-in-law. I played it for a day or two to stretch out the strings, and I think it sounded really good. Check out Ken Middleton's video on Aquila verses Worth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5yU85FM8Fg

The bottom line to my ear:
Strumming= Aquila
Picking= Worth

MGM will be happy to put the Aquilas on for you.

–Lori


I don't know if I answered you question properly. When you say "softest-sounding" do you mean volume or tone? The nice thing about stringed instruments is that you can change the volume very easily by controlling the pressure on your strum. Light or low tension strings will also give you quieter sound. In my opinion, the Aquila strings are a little more harsh in tone, but with the Makala Dolphin it might not be too harsh... just bright and lively. The Aquilas have a nice sustain to the notes, which works well with chorded strumming.
Worth Browns are supposed to be mellower. I haven't tried those yet. The Worth Clears are less harsh than the Aquila, and sound bright.

–Lori

I think what I was trying to say was volume. :o In which case I would probably try using a very soft felt pick (which seems even softer than my thumb!) on certain songs.

At the moment I am using my index finger for strumming, but that gives a bit louder sound than I want sometimes.

So since I have Worth brown light tension on my Mahalo now, maybe I should go ahead and let Mike put the Aquilas on the Makala Dolphin, since that's what he normally upgrades to anyway, and I haven't heard what those sound like in person at all. It's so hard to tell the difference in a video! Thanks for the link, though!

I guess I'll also ask Mike before ordering, to see what he thinks would go best with my voice.

Thanks!!

CountryMouse

DoodlesMcDeezleLippy
09-01-2009, 06:52 PM
I've haven't tried the soprano, but i have the kala flame maple tenor. And its a great uke, great construction (both durability and sound). The only thing i would recommend considering is since the uke is maple with a spruce top it has a very lively sound so each note stands out and will cut through any other instrument playing if your playing with a band. If your looking for a more mellow sound than you miht want to look and koa or mahogany. If you wanna hear what my tenor sounds like here's my youtube site and you can listen to some songs: http://www.youtube.com/user/DoodlesMcDeezleLippy

johncaudrey
09-02-2009, 09:37 AM
Thanks folks for all your advice. I just couldn't wait any longer so I've bitten the bullet and just ordered this uke. I will let you know the outcome!

Thanks again

John

johncaudrey
09-04-2009, 10:10 AM
She arrived this morning and I have had to resist the temptation of blowing out a days work to play her.
Ive just spent the last two hours getting to know her. She is small and perfectly formed, very pretty and sings like an angel. I think I'm in love.
Thanks again for the advice
A happy man!

Lori
09-04-2009, 05:46 PM
So, let's see some photos!

–Lori

smiler
09-30-2009, 10:46 AM
Steven Sproat on Youtube demoing The Kala KA-FMS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTZyHCY2nyY

HeYjOe
10-02-2009, 12:23 AM
Only just read this, I wanted to upgrade to a decent uke , I too settled on that one and as you say it's a little beauty. Well made, stays in tune, bright plus it looks so gooooood

Rainhill
10-02-2009, 09:30 AM
I'm going to be getting a Makala MK-S soprano (one with the dolphin bridge) from MGM. If I want the softest-sounding strings, what ones should I ask him to install? I am going to just strum, and I don't have a very big voice.

Thanks!

CountryMouse

Hi, MGM has a good deal on for those Makalas with Aquila and setup included, check out his vid MGM Ebay Makala (http://cgi.ebay.com/MAKALA-Orange-Burst-SOPRANO-UKULELE-aquilas-HEAR-VIDEO_W0QQitemZ330364187146QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item4ceb3d720a&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14).

Hope it helps

CountryMouse
10-02-2009, 03:42 PM
Hi, MGM has a good deal on for those Makalas with Aquila and setup included, check out his vid MGM Ebay Makala (http://cgi.ebay.com/MAKALA-Orange-Burst-SOPRANO-UKULELE-aquilas-HEAR-VIDEO_W0QQitemZ330364187146QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item4ceb3d720a&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14).

Hope it helps

I did get a white Makala soprano from him, and he put on Aquilas and did the set up and all. I love it. :)

CountryMouse

Rainhill
10-03-2009, 02:46 AM
I did get a white Makala soprano from him, and he put on Aquilas and did the set up and all. I love it. :)

CountryMouse

Sorry, should've checked the date on this thread :o . Glad you love your Makala :)

CountryMouse
10-03-2009, 06:11 AM
Sorry, should've checked the date on this thread :o . Glad you love your Makala :)

Oh no problem. :) Did you get a uke yet? What kind, etc. etc.!?

CountryMouse

Rainhill
10-03-2009, 10:18 AM
Oh no problem. :) Did you get a uke yet? What kind, etc. etc.!?

CountryMouse

No uke yet, I'll be booted off this site if I dont get something soon lol!

Hoping to get a Kala at the end of the month, unfortunately vet bills are starting to add up with a very sick doggy :( . Dont worry, there'll be pics on here as soon as it arrives haha!

CountryMouse
10-03-2009, 12:09 PM
No uke yet, I'll be booted off this site if I dont get something soon lol!

Hoping to get a Kala at the end of the month, unfortunately vet bills are starting to add up with a very sick doggy :( . Dont worry, there'll be pics on here as soon as it arrives haha!

Poor doggy! I hope s/he's all better SOON!

I got a Makala soprano with the dolphin bridge from MGM--with shipping in the US it was around $50. Probably not that much more to the UK. You could ask. If you got the black one, you wouldn't see the dolphin as much, if that worries you. My Makala sounds lovely!

CountryMouse

Rainhill
10-04-2009, 09:11 AM
Poor doggy! I hope s/he's all better SOON!

I got a Makala soprano with the dolphin bridge from MGM--with shipping in the US it was around $50. Probably not that much more to the UK. You could ask. If you got the black one, you wouldn't see the dolphin as much, if that worries you. My Makala sounds lovely!

CountryMouse

Thanks. I think I priced up those Makalas from MGM (just for the fact they're ex MGM and have been set up with Aquilas) I think it worked out just about double what I'd pay over here. I'll get a uke soon enough :).

I finally got over the dolphin bridge too, much like I got over having to wear white "sports" socks back in 1978......well, I was 5 years old!!

CountryMouse
10-04-2009, 10:49 AM
Thanks. I think I priced up those Makalas from MGM (just for the fact they're ex MGM and have been set up with Aquilas) I think it worked out just about double what I'd pay over here. I'll get a uke soon enough :).

I finally got over the dolphin bridge too, much like I got over having to wear white "sports" socks back in 1978......well, I was 5 years old!!

Ah, okay. Whatever is a better price. :)

I like the dolphin--it looks happy and is a nice mascot for me. :)

CountryMouse

Rainhill
10-04-2009, 10:57 AM
Ah, okay. Whatever is a better price. :)

I like the dolphin--it looks happy and is a nice mascot for me. :)

CountryMouse

Oh yeah, it looks real happy. I think there was another thread on here about certain (male) members not wanting to be seen playing a pink dolphin.......I swore never to let anything like that bother me again after spending 2hours outside in the rain, just because I wouldnt watch a "girls" film (Annie) as a kid :D. Yet to buy a uke, but my wish list aint half clocking up looking at stuff on here!

WhenDogsSing
10-04-2009, 12:18 PM
No uke yet, I'll be booted off this site if I dont get something soon lol!

Hoping to get a Kala at the end of the month, unfortunately vet bills are starting to add up with a very sick doggy :( . Dont worry, there'll be pics on here as soon as it arrives haha!

I hope your sick doggy gets better real quick...:D

Rainhill
10-04-2009, 12:25 PM
I hope your sick doggy gets better real quick...:D

Hey thanks guys, such a caring community :). Unfortunately the countdown has begun.....we wont dwell on it in such a happy forum tho ;)

CountryMouse
10-04-2009, 03:22 PM
Oh yeah, it looks real happy. I think there was another thread on here about certain (male) members not wanting to be seen playing a pink dolphin.......I swore never to let anything like that bother me again after spending 2hours outside in the rain, just because I wouldnt watch a "girls" film (Annie) as a kid :D. Yet to buy a uke, but my wish list aint half clocking up looking at stuff on here!

The dolphin sopranos come in black, even. :)

CMouse