View Full Version : KALA KA-KC-CT Koa/cedar top concert

07-07-2010, 11:36 PM
I picked up this koa/cedar top concert size uke from Good Guys Music in downtown Honolulu over the last week-end, as MGM was closed for the holiday. I was looking for an inexpensive tenor to have Jake sign at a concert on Sunday, and I didn't bring my soprano or tenor with me on this trip. After talking to MGM on the telephone I headed to Harry's Music to see what they had in stock; nothing except big $$ solid koa. Nice, but I knew better than to try one. They recommended Good Guys so I called and they had some mahogany Kala's in stock. I tried the tenor and the thinline travel tenor, not too impressed with the sound of those particular instruments but it might have been the strings; generally, I find the Kala mahogany lam instruments pretty good sounding for the money. They handed me the concert koa/cedar to try and I loved it right off. It's much lighter than my mahogany/spruce tenor and a lot louder, even without Aquilas. Fit and finish are really good, the binding is beautiful and the inlay is quite attractive. Great tone, good intonation, action is just a bit high but I will shave the bridge a bit when I get home. I believe it will sing even better when I put the Aquilas on. A comment on the ease of switching to the smaller concert from tenor; I went to the tenor after the soprano as I found it easier to get up above the 7th fret with my fat fingers. The concert is a bit more squeezed, but not bad, very playable for tenor folks. I got a good price from Good Guys Music, very satisfied with the deal on uke, case and strings. I spent more that I planned to, but that's the danger of walking into a music store with cash in the pocket. Ah, well. Maybe the solid koa next trip...

The uke is so beautiful I couldn't bring myself to have Jake autograph it, lol. My wife is convinced I'm nuts. Jake was just awesome as usual and he had an 8 year old keiki named Aiden play with him who sounds like he'll be giving Jake a run in 10 years or so. Great concert, I didn't expect to see him again this year. I'll be more prepared next visit and bring my mahogany soprano along for him to sign.

Back to the uke review; for someone wanting to move up from the Kala mahogany/spruce top, I really recommend this koa/cedar top. A nice warm, bright sound that's smoother than the spruce top. I guess you have to play it to get that last line, but I've always found cedar top guitars to be warmer/smoother sounding than spruce tops. A nice incremental step on the way to that custom built koa dream axe.

07-07-2010, 11:48 PM
I've played both the concert and tenor Kala cedar tops: a very nice uke indeed. This is the uke IMO of a now discontinued line? that is and was better (again IMO) than the solid acacias.

07-13-2010, 06:32 AM
... Back to the uke review; for someone wanting to move up from the Kala mahogany/spruce top, I really recommend this koa/cedar top. ... A nice warm, bright sound ...

I bought the same model but w/Gloss finish & "limited edition" purfling, etc. (AKA bling!) I LOVE this uke! It is my first & only (currently) but it is really sweet & sounds great! The solid cedar top does seem to really add compared to my daughters all-laminate soprano. And I got the Concert size thinking that the soprano would just be too small for my larger hands. I MAY get a tenor for my next purchase, but its going to have to really impress me to get me to want to play it more than this little Kala.

07-17-2010, 06:34 AM
I also bought the Kala Concert Cedar top koa w/gloss finish. I got it form MGM, fantastic service as always. The uke has a great sound and is easy to play the action is nice and easy to fret a chord.