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View Full Version : Kala acacia tenor still looking good?



reckomstance
02-07-2010, 06:28 AM
I think this is the Uke that I want to purchase, but I have a couple of concerns. First off, the sound & playability are very good for the price, and the slothead feature is attractive. I don' t care for the f/board inlays but can live with them.

After seeing one in person, I realized that the body binding which is supposed to be rosewood, is actually a light colored wood that is stained very dark and there were a few spots that weren't colored, allowing me to see the bindings actual color. It appears that this same dark stain has been applied sporatically to the body to give the acacia a darker coloring and add dark streaks.

Maybe I'm asking too much in the price range, but I see cheaper Lanikias with very nice maple binding. I might also add that the Uke I saw was used, and there were lots of spots where the stain had been scuffed off the binding. I'm concerned that after a couple of years, it would show a lot of scuffs.

The example I looked at also had lots of broken pieces in the kerfing, where the ends of the back braces connect.

Are these kinds of issues common on these Chinese built Ukes? If I'm wanting a steak on a hamburger budget, let me know, and I'll see if I can swing a genuine Hawaiian Koa Uke, but I'd be looking at nearly 3 times the price, which I don't need to do.

Thanks much!

Paul December
02-07-2010, 06:34 AM
My tenor has none of the issues you mentioned.
I don't know if you saw a bad example, or I just lucked out.

Moondoggie
02-07-2010, 07:07 AM
I'm with Paul on this one. I got one of the early Kalas, and it still looks and sounds great. I'd just stay far away from that used Kala you saw, and if you can find out who it was that owned it, make sure they never get to touch ANY of your ukes :)

Also, just to make sure, when you mention the dark streaks on the body, you do know that a lot of acacia has dark streaks naturally, right? Though with the sound of the scuffs and such, I wonder if maybe the original owner might have tried a little touching up/repairing.

mik55
02-07-2010, 07:17 AM
What Paul & Brian said. Looking at the binding's grain it's definitly rosewood & can't see any staining on the acacia at all.

Ron
02-07-2010, 07:17 AM
I've got a cheaper Kala tenor and the stain on the edges of the fret board around the first couple of frets -where I do most of my playing - is wearing a bit. I don't mind as it is not an expensive instrument and IMO to be expected.

austin1
02-07-2010, 08:02 AM
Mine has the binding thing you mentioned, where some pieces of the binding are lighter than the rest, but it's a cosmetic flaw only and doesn't bother me in the slightest

aviezero
02-07-2010, 09:07 AM
My acacia tenor looks and sounds and even feels great. I polished it so it's glossy and it looks like a $1000 uke now. With the D'Addario ProArtes it sounds like one too. It's the best deal I've ever gotten. My binding looks perfect except for one tiny little pinhole between the binding and body on the back which you have to really look at to see.

reckomstance
02-07-2010, 09:14 AM
Thanks guys and that's what I needed to know. Like I said, there's no question that it's a very nice Uke and quite a good at their price. Thank you

slouke
02-07-2010, 12:16 PM
My acacia tenor looks and sounds and even feels great. I polished it so it's glossy and it looks like a $1000 uke now. With the D'Addario ProArtes it sounds like one too. It's the best deal I've ever gotten. My binding looks perfect except for one tiny little pinhole between the binding and body on the back which you have to really look at to see.

Polishing sounds like a neat idea. What do you use to do this? I just received my Kala acacia tenor a couple days ago from MGM. I'ts a beautiful uke! It may be that since I'm a beginner but I can't really see any flaws. I'm expanding from a Kala Koa laminate soprano I got a couple years ago and that uke still looks nice too! Just some strum marks on the front and Jake's personalized autograph on the back to give it "energy". Maybe the polishing will help erase some of the strum marks on the front. Overall, I think these Kala ukes are a great budget friendly way to go!

aviezero
02-07-2010, 04:36 PM
I used chrome polish. I got the idea from mik55. He warned me not to get the stuff for scratch repair which has silicone or something in it. He said it's bad for repairs. He suggested the Autosol brand but I couldn't find any locally so I bought Mother's brand. I don't know if it has the stuff he warned about in it, but it looks great. You just get an old t-shirt and start rubbing. Start with a 2x2 inch circle until it's glossy, repeat. It took me all night to do it. You have to be careful because any cracks or holes get this blue residue in them that's really hard to get out. Make sure you are only doing this on a perfectly smooth surface like on the satin finish of the Kala Acacia Tenor. I took off my strings and tuners and taped up my fretboard and bridge. It may actually show your scratches more so you may want to scratch something else and test first before you commit your uke. Good Luck.

ukulelearp
02-07-2010, 04:40 PM
I used chrome polish. I got the idea from mik55. He warned me not to get the stuff for scratch repair which has silicone or something in it. He said it's bad for repairs. He suggested the Autosol brand but I couldn't find any locally so I bought Mother's brand. I don't know if it has the stuff he warned about in it, but it looks great. You just get an old t-shirt and start rubbing. Start with a 2x2 inch circle until it's glossy, repeat. It took me all night to do it. You have to be careful because any cracks or holes get this blue residue in them that's really hard to get out. Make sure you are only doing this on a perfectly smooth surface like on the satin finish of the Kala Acacia Tenor. I took off my strings and tuners and taped up my fretboard and bridge. It may actually show your scratches more so you may want to scratch something else and test first before you commit your uke. Good Luck.

Do you have any pictures of the finished ukulele?

ukeCANjam
02-07-2010, 05:22 PM
Do you have any pictures of the finished ukulele?

I second that! :drool:

aviezero
02-07-2010, 06:41 PM
This isn't my picture but it's the same ukulele and mine looks just like that except it's finished not just half and half of course. This is a pic mik55 sent me. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing. As he told me, it looks way better than in the picture. It's just as good as any glossy finish you've ever seen. I can see my reflection. The hardest part is getting it to shine around the edges of your bridge and where your body and fretboard come together.
9772

aviezero
02-07-2010, 06:59 PM
I took a picture but you still can't tell very well. The reflection is from a lamp on top of my dvd shelf.

meh, I'll just link it. (http://www.aviezero.net/ukulele/kalaacaciagloss.gif)

Moondoggie
02-08-2010, 02:08 AM
I just glossed up mine last night too (thanks again, Mike!). In the process, I discovered that at some point I had nicked the bottom of my uke, right on the binding (previously, not while polishing it - I didn't rub that hard). After I returned to consciousness, I noticed that while one part of the nick had kind of cut into the binding, said cut was the same dark brown through-and through - no light color seen.

mik55
02-08-2010, 04:47 AM
Following the link will take you to my Photobucket (http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/ff281/n6kvH938z67Rg/) where you can find - among others - pictures of my buffed KA-ASAC-T.

casarole45
02-08-2010, 01:40 PM
Following the link will take you to my Photobucket (http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/ff281/n6kvH938z67Rg/) where you can find - among others - pictures of my buffed KA-ASAC-T.

Yeah this uke looks wayyyy more classey/more expensive buffed up, good job guys.... also makes it a bit more special and different.