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View Full Version : Kala Solid Mahogany or Mainland?



Banjo
02-18-2010, 09:21 AM
I got my first ukulele, an Ibanez UKC10, less than two weeks ago and I'm already looking for a new ukulele. From my experience with bluegrass banjo I know that I really like the sound of mahogany. So I want my next uke to be solid mahogany. Because of all the suggestions I've read on here, I've had my eye on a Mainland. However, I'm also interested in a Kala solid mahogany ukulele as well. It seems I can get a solid mahogany Kala w/ a hardshell case from MGM for about the same price that i could get a Mainland w/out a case. What is the difference between these two ukes in construction? Is the higher price of the Mainland at least in part because of the rope inlay? To be honest, I really don't like the rope inlay. For some reason it makes me think of Woody from "Toy Story," but I could deal with it if it sounded better than the Kala. Watching videos of the two models on YouTube, I seem to slightly prefer the sound of the Kala, but I know thats not really a good way to judge. For people that have played both, how would you describe the differences in sound?

Thanks,
John

Mouthy1
02-18-2010, 09:39 AM
I have both and like both but the Kala Thinline is a very sweet loud instrument and I think just about anyone would be happy with one of these inexpensive ukes. I also LOVE Ohana. They make very lively and sweet ukes and I seem to end up playing them the most.

Either will work very well(sorry I got sidetracked on my answer).

Paul December
02-18-2010, 09:39 AM
:eek: My gosh, you're right! :D

http://di1.shopping.com/images1/pi/60/d1/d0/45171733-260x260-0-0_Hasbro+Toy+Story+Pull+String+Woody+12+Action+Fig ur.jpg?p=Bd1QEyeqtE&a=2&c=44&l=3055020&t=02%2F18%2F10%2003%3A37%3A24%20PM&r=1&d=

bbycrts
02-18-2010, 10:02 AM
I got my first ukulele, an Ibanez UKC10, less than two weeks ago and I'm already looking for a new ukulele. From my experience with bluegrass banjo I know that I really like the sound of mahogany. So I want my next uke to be solid mahogany. Because of all the suggestions I've read on here, I've had my eye on a Mainland. However, I'm also interested in a Kala solid mahogany ukulele as well. It seems I can get a solid mahogany Kala w/ a hardshell case from MGM for about the same price that i could get a Mainland w/out a case. What is the difference between these two ukes in construction? Is the higher price of the Mainland at least in part because of the rope inlay? To be honest, I really don't like the rope inlay. For some reason it makes me think of Woody from "Toy Story," but I could deal with it if it sounded better than the Kala. Watching videos of the two models on YouTube, I seem to slightly prefer the sound of the Kala, but I know thats not really a good way to judge. For people that have played both, how would you describe the differences in sound?

Thanks,
John

Both of those ukes are great choices. I agree with you that I'm not a fan of the rope binding - however, Mainlands are the darling of UU at the moment, and deservedly so! They are quality instruments, very reasonably priced for what you get, and the owner of the company is a frequent contributor here (hi, Hoosierhiver!).

Kalas are fine, fine ukes, too. I really think whichever one you decide on will serve you very well!

buddhuu
02-18-2010, 10:16 AM
Yup, both have plenty of fans.

I had a Kala solid mahogany tenor and absolutely loved it. A lovely comfortable uke to play.

Andruke
02-18-2010, 10:17 AM
I'd like to throw in my 2 cents...I believe Nalu Ukuleles are made of solid mohagony as well. They're a fairly new company but I've been reading nothing but good-great reviews about them. The only thing is I'm not sure of their prices so I don't know how the Nalus would compare to the Kala/Mainland prices. Could be something to keep in mind. Good luck finding your new ukulele. BTW, they look amazing!

Banjo
02-18-2010, 11:04 AM
Thank you all for replying. So far, the impression I am getting is that there really isn't a big difference between the Kala and the Mainland solid mahogany. I think I'm leaning more and more towards the Kala. The main reason being the good price MGM has on on the Kala solid mahogany concert uke w/ case (210$). I'm trying to keep the cost down since I know I'm going to need a humidifier as well since I move between west Texas and New Mexico.

Banjo
02-18-2010, 11:10 AM
I'd like to throw in my 2 cents...I believe Nalu Ukuleles are made of solid mohagony as well. They're a fairly new company but I've been reading nothing but good-great reviews about them. The only thing is I'm not sure of their prices so I don't know how the Nalus would compare to the Kala/Mainland prices. Could be something to keep in mind. Good luck finding your new ukulele. BTW, they look amazing!

I took a look at the Nalu ukulele and they sure do look nice. I didn't see a price, but I would bet they are above my price range.

mailman
02-18-2010, 11:30 AM
I'm told Mailnland will soon be offering some models without the rope binding....Plain Jane, if you will. Not sure what that will do to the price. One thing I do know....Kala from MGM or Mainland from Hoosierhiver....either way you'll get superior customer service.

Banjo
02-18-2010, 12:21 PM
I'm told Mailnland will soon be offering some models without the rope binding....Plain Jane, if you will. Not sure what that will do to the price. One thing I do know....Kala from MGM or Mainland from Hoosierhiver....either way you'll get superior customer service.

Thanks Mailman. I left a message on hoosierhiver's page asking him about this. I'll post in here when he gets back to me..

bongofury
02-18-2010, 12:42 PM
I unfortunately haven't played a Mainland so I can't speak of that but it would be hard to be disappointed with Kala. They are a tremendous value. The only reason I sold mine is that I wasn't a fan of the tenor size but I still regret selling it.

Melissa82
02-18-2010, 12:42 PM
Hey did anyone mention Ohana??

mcnilly
02-18-2010, 01:13 PM
I agree with melissa - I have 2 ohanas, Fantastic Ukes, I love my CK35GS

ukeskywalker79
02-18-2010, 04:50 PM
I personally own the Kala solid mahagony concert. I've been playing on and off for about 6 months now. You can see pics in my profile. I absolutely love the sound that comes out of this uke. Very warm and resonant. I tried several strings on it but went back to the aquilas. I've never tried a mainland so it would be unfair for me to compare but based on all the reviews everyone seems to be happy with their mainland. It will all come down to personal preference. Either way you go I'm sure you'll be a happy camper. Good luck.

mds725
02-18-2010, 05:04 PM
I personally own the Kala solid mahagony concert. I've been playing on and off for about 6 months know. You can see pics in my profile. I absolutely love the sound that comes out of this uke. Very warm and resonant. I tried several strings on it but went back to the aquilas. I've never tried a mainland so it would be unfair for me to compare but based on all the reviews everyone seems to be happy with their mainland. It will all come down to personal preference. Either way you go I'm sure you'll be a happy camper. Good luck.

What he said about the Kala solid mahogany concert, except that my solid mahogany concert still has the Aquilas MGM strung it with. I've also never played a Mainland, but getting one is on my list of things to do. Maybe I'll get to try one at this year's Napa Ukulele Festival.

pdxuke
02-18-2010, 05:13 PM
Kalas are fine instruments. Many don't like the look of the bridge, so--OHANA.

If the look of the Mainland leaves you cold, I would not hesitate to tell you to RUN TO YOUR COMPUTER and order an Ohana SK35. In the first place, I believe they must be similar factory to Mainlands. They are a tremendous value. That uke is a "new classic." It simply sings.

MGM has them, and you get your case.

ukeskywalker79
02-18-2010, 07:18 PM
Ken Middleton's reviews definately make me want to buy an ohana.

Banjo
02-19-2010, 06:12 AM
Aww shucks. Any progress I thought I was making towards a specific model have been shattered, but in a good way (maybe). I just did my taxes and i'll be getting back double what I got last year. This means my price range has expanded a bit. I now feel comfortable spending up to 300$. There are two more models that I have added to my list. The first is an Oscar Schmidt, solid mahogany. I don't know a lot about these but they look and seem nice. The second, and the one I am most interested in now, is a Mele Mahogany Standard.

Can anyone give me any information or opinions on these two models?
Thanks