View Full Version : Newbie - Kala Tenor KA TEM Flame Mahogany

09-28-2009, 02:23 PM
Hi everyone - I just joined today...and am wishing I found you all yesterday, before I purchased by first Uke, but I think I did ok, although it is laminate.

I bought the KA TEM from MGM - I was impressed with the services he provides.

I know there has been much discussion about solid vs laminate, and I saw the contest that MGM did guessing the different ukes, but as a brand new player, will the KA TEM be fine? I am so excited, and can't wait to get it, and I am in northern Canada, so it will take a while to get to me, lol....must learn patience.....

Just tell me that I didn't make a typical new uke player purchase....I love the way the uke looks, and I heard the sample of it, and from my inexperienced ear it sounded lovely, but then I worry that I may be tone deaf (perhaps why I have never taken up an instrument).

Oh - one last question - as it is very dry and cold up here, would the solid uke's be effected? Would they dry out and crack more than they would in a moister environment? Maybe a laminate is better in that case?

Do Uke players look at other Uke players with laminates and laugh?

Thanks everyone!!


09-28-2009, 02:37 PM
Welcome Sarah!

I went to MGM's store and looked at that uke....it is really good looking! Mike will take care of you for sure!

I don't laugh at anyone with a laminate uke! I doubt people who frequent U.U. would laugh at anyone's uke out of malice. IMHO, I think you are going to love that Kala, and I don't think it is a "newbie" purchase at all. Remember that the best uke in the world is the one that you play and enjoy the most! If you have worries about cracking because of dryness, get a humidifier for your case and it should be fine.

Also, you will need several more uke's as time goes on.....UAS seems to hit us all. I can come up with all kinds of reasons you should treat yourself to more ukes......you live in Canada....all Canadians deserve several ukes, you are new to the uke, you need another uke to play different songs. You are afraid one might crack.....you need another uke just in case one cracks and then you have a back up.....I could go on and on.:o

Hey, enjoy your new uke!!

09-28-2009, 02:49 PM
Thanks Ryan - I really appreciate the feedback.

I can't wait for it to arrive - and already, I can see that I could find many a reason to have more ukes - this could be a serious habit. :cool:

09-28-2009, 03:15 PM
I think I read that MGM recently said that he has sold a bunch of ukulele's to people in cold, dry climates and he sells them laminates because they are much less likely to crack. He knows his stuff.....so looks like you did great on your purchase!

09-28-2009, 03:38 PM
MGM shipped my uke on a monday, arrived in Toronto on thursday. Enjoy!

09-28-2009, 05:10 PM
Do Uke players look at other Uke players with laminates and laugh?

No way. When watching youtube videos, at the local uke club, or seeing uke performed somewhere.. I have never wondered if their uke was solid or laminate. Don't worry about it especially for you first uke. You made an excellent purchase for a first uke. Most of us bought some $40 Mahalo that got played for a week, then upgraded to a Kala. So you skipped a step and saved yourself some money in most of our books.

By the way, welcome to UU. Happy to have you here.

09-28-2009, 05:17 PM
Welcome to UU, Sarah!! I think you made a great choice for a first (of many) uke. I still play my Lanikai LU21 soprano quite regularly (and it's laminate). The only thing that really matters is that you like it. Enjoy your new uke and play the heck outta that thing. :shaka:

09-28-2009, 06:36 PM
Those look amazing. I've been tempted to get one... just for the look. so far Kala's have been pretty consistently decent for me. Not the greatest ukes on the block, but very good for the money. And MGM has been great to me. I've purchased a couple Kala's from the guy and I've got zero complaints. Both of the Kala's I got from MGM were supposed to be thrasher/travel ukes... but they are both better than I expected for their price. I'd bet that yours is pretty good too... especially as a "starter uke"... AND the cool looks is a bonus. Congrats!

09-28-2009, 06:41 PM
Welcome Sarah, you did fine. Enjoy the uke, and if you have any questions at all, someone here will help you.

09-28-2009, 09:27 PM
Hi Sarah,

My first uke was a Kala. I bought it a few years back..and even though I have a number of cutoms ukes now...I still play it!

Those flame mahogany ukes just came out.
I think they look and sound gorgeous...so much so that I am giving one away in a contest here.

No one laughs at anyone's ukes here.
We just drool over them! :)

You will love her forever!!!

09-28-2009, 10:23 PM
Hi Sarah,

Welcome to UU. :)

You did fine. Kalas are perfectly good ukes. My gigging uke is a Kala tenor.

As for laminate... in a dry place you're going to have a lot less to worry about than someone with an expensive solid uke. There is a difference in sound between solid and laminate, but that difference is often small, and there is nothing inherently bad about laminate ukes. I have a couple! I believe Kiwaya use laminates in some of their ukes, so laminate isn't just for cheapo entry level Makalas and Mahalos!

Laminates are stronger and more able to stand up to casual handling and environmental changes.

You may want to try Aquila strings, if Mike didn't already fit some. They are well known for having the strength to drive good sound and volume from laminate ukes.

No one will laugh at you. You're good to go with what you have. :)

09-29-2009, 02:37 PM
Thank you all for the wonderfully friendly replies - I really appreciate all of your support.

I can't wait for it to arrive!

10-02-2009, 07:44 AM
i just bought the same uke from mgm. arrived two weeks ago and i'm loving it. it's a fantastic uke!

10-12-2011, 03:11 PM
Sorry for bumping a very old thread. I am looking at buying one of these ukes. Do you guys still own/play one of these? How has time treated them?