PDA

View Full Version : Kala Acacia Tenor - Just Ordered



jazzbo
01-25-2010, 10:17 AM
I've been lurking for a while and decided to join up and get into the mix. I've been shopping about 2 weeks for a concert/tenor Uke. I finally decided on the Kala acacia tenor, and bought one from MGM a few minutes ago.

I was circling a Lanikia CK-C which was cheaper and would've been a fine sounding Uke, from the videos I've heard. I honestly didn't have a real preference between a concert and a tenor, but I have very long fingers and am used to playing fingerstyle guitars with big necks.

So, the thing that finally swung me was the unique slothead. I've noticed that lots of these Asian made Ukes are using guitar style tuners, and that the tuner posts are very tall with high post holes. I've noticed that the string break angle across the nut is shallow on some of these Ukes. The slothead design takes care of this issue by creating a sharp break angle and it also allows the tuner shafts to point downward, which I prefer.

I also find it interesting that this particular Kala has an ebony saddle and nut. The acacia wood, which I'm not familiar with, must need to be toned down a bit. I'll probably experiment with a bone saddle just to compare the tone.

Anyway, this forum has helped me greatly in my quest to purchase a Ukulele and I hope that at some point, I can contribute to the forum. btw, I'll post a review when the Kala arrives. I sure hope I like it.

Jazzbo

Ukeffect
01-25-2010, 11:02 AM
I haven't tried the Kala's with the wooden saddle (yet, get thee behind me UAS!) but I do have a KPK with a rosewood saddle, and it was a little quiet (subdued), until I found out the saddle had some burrs along the bottom edges that must have been acting like insulation, I touched them up slightly with a fine sandpaper(just enough to deburr them)...my gosh did that open up her throat! She screams now (in a good way) when I pluck her strings!:cool:

boundless
01-25-2010, 11:03 AM
I sure love MY Acacia tenor. Definitely gets the most play of all I own.

wfwhitson
01-25-2010, 11:40 AM
I just got mine last Friday, I did have Mike put Worth BT on it before he shiped. Now that they are finaly streaching out and staying in tune I am loving it.

jazzbo
01-25-2010, 12:18 PM
I sure love MY Acacia tenor. Definitely gets the most play of all I own.

Hey Bob, I reckognize your pic from videos I watched when comparing the Ukes. You are very talented and your demos helped me decide........thanks


I just got mine last Friday, I did have Mike put Worth BT on it before he shiped. Now that they are finaly streaching out and staying in tune I am loving it.

I'm not familiar with Worth BT strings, should I contact Mike and have them installed, and is there an upcharge?

thanks, Jazzbo

johncaudrey
01-25-2010, 12:45 PM
I am guessing it will come as standard with Aquilla strings (which I personally prefer). See if you like them, you can always switch to Worths later. You've picked a very nice uke and I am sure MGM will set it up very nicely for you!

austin1
01-25-2010, 12:54 PM
I have the acacia tenor as well (which I love), restrung with worth strings after I decided I wasn't a huge fan of the aquilas on it. I don't own anything koa, but I think acacia is koa's cousin, and they apparently sound very similar

mik55
01-26-2010, 05:58 AM
I also changed to bone on my KA-ASAC-T - my main reason was the odd string spacing - but, as already mentioned here, the bone brings down the harsh sound of the factory equipped Aquilas a bit. Not enough for my taste, so I changed them for Ko'olau Golds. I think Worth BT are also a good choice on that kind of wood.

Here you can see the enlarged string spacing I achived by sligthly slotting the bone.

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff281/n6kvH938z67Rg/KA-ASAC-T-Saddle-Detail.jpg

jazzbo
01-26-2010, 06:41 AM
I also changed to bone on my KA-ASAC-T - my main reason was the odd string spacing - but, as already mentioned here, the bone brings down the harsh sound of the factory equipped Aquilas a bit.

Lots to digest here for a newbie. From my experience with steel stringed guitars, bone saddles tend to brighten and add more volume, rather than "bring down" the tone. MGM is so fast, I'm supposed to get the Kala tomorrow, and I'll have a lot to study.

Also, you mention the bridge string spacing, as if it's not as wide as other Ukes. You definitely got some extra width with that notched bone saddle.

fromthee2me
01-26-2010, 06:47 AM
I think it is a value for money solid wood instrument.

Chris Tarman
01-26-2010, 06:41 PM
I love mine. It was my first solid wood uke and my first tenor. I play it a lot, but not quite as much as my Kala ASKS flamed koa soprano I got a couple of months later. I really like the slotted headstock, and that was what attracted me to it in the first place.

thejumpingflea
01-26-2010, 07:00 PM
Put Savarez Alliance strings on it. Trust me.

austin1
01-26-2010, 07:27 PM
Put Savarez Alliance strings on it. Trust me.

These ones? http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Savarez+-+Alliance+HT+Classic+Nylon+Guitar+Strings/8163328.p?skuId=8163328&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=8163328&ref=06&loc=01&id=1218010174050

Did you just take the strings you needed out of the full set?

rogue_wave
01-27-2010, 03:43 AM
I'll chime in as a fellow Kala acacia owner. It is my first solid wood ukulele and I would add that the sound out of the box (in November) vs the sound it has now is dramatically different. Before I changed anything, I would jam on it for a while and get a feel. It seemed like it took forever for the strings to settle in. There is no question about it, the sound is big. One day when I was playing on it, I really noticed a change in the sound. I started laughing because I remembered thejumpingflea's review where he described how loud the ukulele is. I said out loud to nobody- "So that's what he meant".

Enjoy it!. It seems like there are so many of us here- there must be an owners group.

thejumpingflea- I am intrigued by the string suggestion- have you recorded anything with them? I'd love to hear what the sound is like.

paraclete
01-27-2010, 03:59 AM
I haven't tried the Kala's with the wooden saddle (yet, get thee behind me UAS!) but I do have a KPK with a rosewood saddle, and it was a little quiet (subdued), until I found out the saddle had some burrs along the bottom edges that must have been acting like insulation, I touched them up slightly with a fine sandpaper(just enough to deburr them)...my gosh did that open up her throat! She screams now (in a good way) when I pluck her strings!:cool:

After reading your experience with your KPK saddle, I inspected mine yesterday while I had the strings off to file the fret edges. Sure enough, there were a few burrs on mine too, which I touched up with sandpaper and the sound now is definitely stronger. Thanks for sharing!

jazzbo
01-27-2010, 11:42 AM
Big Brown delivered my Kala Tenor today and when I get some time, I'll give my opinion of the Uke and MGM.

fizgig
01-27-2010, 03:51 PM
I'll chime in as a fellow Kala acacia owner. It is my first solid wood ukulele and I would add that the sound out of the box (in November) vs the sound it has now is dramatically different.

That is good news. I've heard before that there is a big volume difference after the initial break-in period.
I just received mine and I think it sounds quiet in comparison to the Lanikai CK-T that it's replacing. I'm hoping it will open up more in the coming weeks.

rogue_wave
01-27-2010, 04:27 PM
Definitely wait it out. It is so loud now that I have a hard time playing at night without waking the kid!