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View Full Version : New Kala Butterfly series have arrived



MGM
06-23-2010, 03:48 PM
Kalas latest model is now out in striking bicote wood grain. I reallylike the black headstock overlay and the rope binding. features a new deep arched back forbetter sound i willpost a you tube soon
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/koalohaconcert010.jpg
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/koalohaconcert022.jpg
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/koalohaconcert002.jpg

Ahnko Honu
06-23-2010, 03:59 PM
Solid or laminate?

cletus
06-23-2010, 04:03 PM
Ka-ching! UAS gland throbbing...
Those sure are pretty.

Gmoney
06-23-2010, 04:14 PM
Its gorgeous! Maybe I'll have to save up for one as my next uke.

MGM
06-23-2010, 04:55 PM
These are laminate..Fit and finish is getting better with every new model they produce and the arched back is great....First ukulele Kala has made with rope binding
heres the u tube of the tenor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H91QdIizg8

Skitzic
06-23-2010, 04:56 PM
I found a wood I like better than spalted mango!

Sambient
06-23-2010, 05:23 PM
I need one of these. It compliments my puppy dog's brindle coat. I want a puppylele! I want a puppylele!

uke552
06-23-2010, 05:46 PM
Oh man....these are awesome!

arashi_nero
06-24-2010, 07:59 AM
great looking wood. really like it. never been a fan of the rope binding, tho.

RevWill
06-24-2010, 08:06 AM
Wow, those are gorgeous!

Melissa82
06-24-2010, 08:19 AM
I can't say I like the look of these. May look better to me without the rope binding and a different colour headstock.

tuscadero
06-24-2010, 08:32 AM
I like the headstock and I like the wood, but the rope binding seems like too much. You know the old Coco Chanel saying, "before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." I think without the rope binding you'd have something dark and different and kind of elegant, with it, the uke gets a bit busy.

That said, I am intrigued.

mokai
06-24-2010, 08:39 AM
It's a shame they only use rope binding on the front

you can't tell from the pictures posted, but the back binding is white

Mim
06-24-2010, 09:17 AM
That is georgeous! Amazing wood grain!

Coconut Willie
06-24-2010, 09:35 AM
Not too crazy about this one. :(

haole
06-24-2010, 09:47 AM
It looks awesome. I love grain with a lot of character. It might border on 70s faux-wood paneling, though, so I'd have to see it in real life to decide.

luvdat
06-24-2010, 09:53 AM
I can't say I like the look of these. May look better to me without the rope binding and a different colour headstock.

In the minority here with Melissa...they look like the Rorschach series...

happyslappysoong
06-24-2010, 07:10 PM
WOW. that grain and finish are seriously amazing.

AC Baltimore
06-24-2010, 07:15 PM
LOVE LOVE LOVE IT, gonna buy buy buy it. But not with Aqulias.

Link
06-24-2010, 09:15 PM
Stunning. Would love a concert rigged with misi pup. UAS....

pulelehua
06-24-2010, 10:14 PM
Bit busy for me, as well. And it's sad to think that somewhere lurking beneath that ornate curl is a strip of cheap, ugly laminate gunk.

dkcrown
06-25-2010, 01:15 AM
I'm with you on this one Melissa. As I said before when these first surfaced, it looks like a piece of stained exterior grade plywood. Not my cup of tea.

baumer
06-25-2010, 06:44 AM
The black headstock, tuning pegs, and nut look quite ninja to me. Thankfully, my UAS is in remission due to the ongoing attic remodel...

ichadwick
06-25-2010, 10:36 AM
Wow. Stunning wood. One of the most attractive ukes I've ever seen. I'd buy one today - were it solid wood.

AC Baltimore
06-25-2010, 11:16 AM
Wow. Stunning wood. One of the most attractive ukes I've ever seen. I'd buy one today - were it solid wood.

I just don't get the affinity of solid wood. I concur that it has a better overall tone, but unless you are doing commercial recording, isn't it just more money and maintenance for a hobby?

freedive135
06-27-2010, 05:15 AM
I like it, I want it!!!

I am so over solid wood ukes ....

I now had 2 of 3 suffer wood movement (my Pono soprano the back opened up from the side and now my beloved KoAloha soprano is doing the same thing) Plus my spruce solid top would be cracked if it didn't have backer wood at the neck.
Yes there are kept in the case with humidifers.

ichadwick
06-27-2010, 06:11 AM
I just don't get the affinity of solid wood. I concur that it has a better overall tone, but unless you are doing commercial recording, isn't it just more money and maintenance for a hobby?
It's like 100% agave tequila. Life's too short and precious to waste time on the impure stuff. ;-)

casarole45
06-27-2010, 07:11 AM
It's like 100% agave tequila. Life's too short and precious to waste time on the impure stuff. ;-)

yup, couldn't have said it better =D

In the UK solid woods need zero maintanance as we don't really get extreme temperatures, so its not even a thought, you can chip and bang solid wood and it still looks good with some minor sanding... or just left (ref. my solid wood bookshelf with rabbit bites), whilst chipping laminate finishes can be pretty savage (ref. my kitchen worktop =D ). But the main factor for me laminate always feels like its pretending to be something its not... this is why I like solid, I'm sure people love laminates for just as legitimate and justifiable reasons. Hey ho each to there own, Who would we spend our time arguing with if we all had the same opinions ;D

Anyway, back to the thread in hand I'm liking the rope binding look at the moment too.

mokai
06-27-2010, 07:52 AM
I just don't get the affinity of solid wood. I concur that it has a better overall tone, but unless you are doing commercial recording, isn't it just more money and maintenance for a hobby?

these are priced higher than some all-solid wood ukuleles
using MGMs store I can give you some examples
Kala laminate bicote concert 269 shipped
Ohana w/solid cedartop, soild rosewood back/sides 259 shipped (digital tuner instead of a pitch pipe)
Kala all solid mahogany concert 219 shipped
Kala all solid mahogany TENOR 229 shipped

With that in mind, I wish it had solid woods, for the price.

mokai
06-27-2010, 08:02 AM
Let me ask you this, Ac Baltimore..
would you pay 299 for a laminate bicote tenor knowing you can have the solid acacia slotted headstock Kala for only $11 more (which includeds the digital tuner that MGM sells alone for 22 shipped)

AC Baltimore
06-27-2010, 02:29 PM
Let me ask you this, Ac Baltimore..
would you pay 299 for a laminate bicote tenor knowing you can have the solid acacia slotted headstock Kala for only $11 more (which includeds the digital tuner that MGM sells alone for 22 shipped)

Yes I would and will. For a few reasons. I am not a fan of slotted headstocks, I do not want the maintenance of solids for a instrument that is hobby for me, and I like the bling of the bicote.

luvdat
06-28-2010, 12:08 AM
Wasn't going to respond, was going to stay out of it, but here goes. I think at the $200-350 price point everyone needs to be humble. The solids which folks love at that price point, fine, glad they're happy. But having played, test run most of the ukes mentioned here which are granted head and shoulders better status over lams...I say slow down. This price point in solids IMO features some of the most tonally imbalanced options out there as well as issues of projection suprising for solids. Also, and the comments get made here and there, that a good number of these same solids, even when cared for, do have issues with durability. Ironically, folks that own higher end stuff Kamakas, etc. and who actually play out regularly beyond a hobby do have more openness to less expensive lam options.. But really, not that suprising. With sometimes 30 plus years under their belt playing out and having been around the block as musicians (and not simply members of clubs) and knowing the realities of plugging in in different venues, they are less stressed by the lam option, esp. when having pretty good amplification. In short, and suprisingly, when it comes to solids, I am probabably really a gear snob and can perfectly understand why folks save up and get a K-brand. However, around 500bucks or more IMO solids do start gaining BALANCE esp with options like Honu and LoPrinzi. But at the price point in this discussion and in so many threads where people stand on imagined peaks of instrument superiority...slow down. Let's be humble here. Frankly, for use with vocals I actually prefer lams over solids for playing out. Lams like Kiwaya (for solids and concerts) blow away solids in the same price point IMO esp. for tonal balance. The durability issue is NOT a non-issue. And I don't wish this on anyone, but honest forum members do and will return, comments will trickle in about solids cracking, etc...the solids at the discussed price point are simply lower end solids.

Melissa82
06-28-2010, 09:33 AM
Wasn't going to respond, was going to stay out of it, but here goes. I think at the $200-350 price point everyone needs to be humble. The solids which folks love at that price point, fine, glad they're happy. But having played, test run most of the ukes mentioned here which are granted head and shoulders better status over lams...I say slow down. This price point in solids IMO features some of the most tonally imbalanced options out there as well as issues of projection suprising for solids. Also, and the comments get made here and there, that a good number of these same solids, even when cared for, do have issues with durability. Ironically, folks that own higher end stuff Kamakas, etc. and who actually play out regularly beyond a hobby do have more openness to less expensive lam options.. But really, not that suprising. With sometimes 30 plus years under their belt playing out and having been around the block as musicians (and not simply members of clubs) and knowing the realities of plugging in in different venues, they are less stressed by the lam option, esp. when having pretty good amplification. In short, and suprisingly, when it comes to solids, I am probabably really a gear snob and can perfectly understand why folks save up and get a K-brand. However, around 500bucks or more IMO solids do start gaining BALANCE esp with options like Honu and LoPrinzi. But at the price point in this discussion and in so many threads where people stand on imagined peaks of instrument superiority...slow down. Let's be humble here. Frankly, for use with vocals I actually prefer lams over solids for playing out. Lams like Kiwaya (for solids and concerts) blow away solids in the same price point IMO esp. for tonal balance. The durability issue is NOT a non-issue. And I don't wish this on anyone, but honest forum members do and will return, comments will trickle in about solids cracking, etc...the solids at the discussed price point are simply lower end solids.I'd take a solid mahog Mainland any day over a lam at the same price.

Captain_Lovehandles
06-28-2010, 09:41 AM
They should make a pocket uke and call it the butterfly shrimp.

luvdat
06-28-2010, 10:49 AM
I'd take a solid mahog Mainland any day over a lam at the same price.

Hey, glad you're happy with that choice.

Paul December
06-28-2010, 11:13 AM
I'd take a solid mahog Mainland any day over a lam at the same price.


Hey, glad you're happy with that choice.

Melissa, I thought you were unloading/unloaded your Mainland...
...I may be confusing you with someone else.

Melissa82
06-28-2010, 12:31 PM
Melissa, I thought you were unloading/unloaded your Mainland...
...I may be confusing you with someone else.Nope, not me.

luvdat
06-28-2010, 12:49 PM
Melissa, I thought you were unloading/unloaded your Mainland...
...I may be confusing you with someone else.

The tenor neck was "too thick" for awhile? But I think that was as far as negative went in her posts (not really that negative) and that's understandable. I think it's fair to say that even intial objections can vanish or be resolved while initial attractions can sour.

I do think, however, that concerns about tonal balance take a back seat in most people's considerations at lower end solid price points with concerns about "volume" and "projection" right up at the top. Even a Mainland fan might say a hog is "nothing to write home about" while the bright and louder red cedar more consistently earns honors.

Frankly I think the way to go for a solid is to wait and spend around $400-600...

The notion of "blown away" is too frequently attached to volume and not frequently enough to balance...

How many threads have been started on this forum about "looking for a tonally balanced uke?"

casarole45
06-28-2010, 01:20 PM
I wasn't gonna get involved in this one either, but you've opened a whole batch of worms now ;)

I can only speak from guitars and ukulele's, but as a generalisation, I have found no difference in sound quality or intonation between mid and high priced solid ukes. The high price ones generally have much better quality of workmanship and more expensive ukes can be as simple as more expensive woods used, i.e. Koa seems to be one of the most expensive woods when I look at ukes from an individual brand.

But as for sound and intonation.... I've not seen a difference.

Melissa82
06-28-2010, 01:37 PM
The tenor neck was "too thick" for awhile? But I think that was as far as negative went in her posts (not really that negative) and that's understandable. I think it's fair to say that even intial objections can vanish or be resolved while initial attractions can sour.I was just being a whiny bitch because it's what I do best. I change to worth clears strings and it changed everything. :) I love my Mainland and I really want a soprano or concert pineapple red cedar now.

luvdat
06-28-2010, 01:50 PM
I was just being a whiny bitch because it's what I do best. I change to worth clears strings and it changed everything. :) I love my Mainland and I really want a soprano or concert pineapple red cedar now.

Melissa, please watch your language on this forum, LOL...

I do think one of the main difference at the $400-600 price point is better balance. Examples: Honu, LoPrinzi...

Recently I tried out a bunch of guitars...I think the real mid price for steel string is around $799...

Melissa82
06-28-2010, 01:56 PM
Melissa, please watch your language on this forum, LOL...Can I blink now? :P

Ahnko Honu
06-28-2010, 02:14 PM
I was just being a whiny bitch

That's the best kind. ;)

didgeridoo2
06-28-2010, 02:24 PM
Even a Mainland fan might say a hog is "nothing to write home about" while the bright and louder red cedar more consistently earns honors.
I'm not one of those folks. I tried them side by side at Mainland and my wife closed her eyes to listen with me and we both thought the mahogany to be exceptional. The cedar was beautiful and I might get one still, but the mahogany is very nice and a steal at that price point. I see myself having it for a long time. That being said, I also have the Kiwaya KS1. It has great tone and balance for a laminated soprano. It is built extremely well and suits me as a fine, durable little soprano. I do find these Kalas to be a bit pricey to not be solid wood. But they are built a little differently than other Kalas, so who's to say really? Play one and see for yourselves. The wood is enticing because it's different and maybe beautiful to some. I was enamored by a laminated zebrawood uke when I bought my first. I think I spent too much for it, but I guess I know more now.

luvdat
06-28-2010, 02:44 PM
That's the best kind. ;)

One of several options...

just like this thread...

AC Baltimore
06-28-2010, 05:34 PM
I will tend to agree with luvdatuke on most counts. Lower priced solids are mostly lower end instruments just as a lam. I have not played a Mainland, but I have played other low end solids and I have yet to find one that struck me in tone or feel superiority. I would guess that just like guitars, you get what you pay for. An inexpensive factory instrument is just that... despite the package it is in.

DustinCasler
01-21-2011, 06:43 PM
Ok. So I saw this thread pretty late. But I kind of dig the look of these. I'm with the people on not liking the rope binding. But I could possibly deal with it. What would draw me to this over the solid Acacia model with the slotted headstock is that it has the built in EQ. I love my concert that I just got. But i'm thinking for my next uke I want an acoustic/electric tenor with low g. I like some of the eleukes coming out but they seem so hard to find the pricing of online. Plus I kind of want to try out the MGM experience next time. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE my Kamoa. But they don't offer an acoustic electric as of now and I want to try out different sellers/setups....

TCK
01-21-2011, 08:59 PM
I don't like the look of these ukes, and own a pretty nice solid wood Uke myself (a Martin, 1940 3M)...but I go back and play this one at the local every week. The sound that comes out of this, lam or not, makes sense to my ears.
Someday I may buy it because it sits unsold-I am waiting for "the deal" as they know I love it at the shop, but as noted, I think it looks like exterior plywood as well. I think the tonal quality of this little ugly duckling is outstanding compared to what I have played (at much higher price points), and it haunts me, even though the one I play regularly is a Soprano (a size I am often not attracted to).

pdxuke
01-21-2011, 09:56 PM
Well, to each his (or her) own, and that's what not only makes horse racing but the hobby of uke collecting. I happen to think my Ohana SK35 sounds better than the laminates in the same price range. I happen to think that my Kiwaya KTS4 is a masterpiece of uke making, and I can hear a difference from the KS1, which is in and of itself, very good.

But I've also played really, really nice laminates: the above mentioned Kiwaya, some Ohana's, even good old Makala's. Humbly, I still prefer the woods.

Last thought: I have 80 year old wood ukes. Perfect condition. You can buy a vintage wood uke for the cost of some laminates. To me, that's the real bargain!