View Full Version : Mim bugging you again! What are the "must have" Kalas?

07-14-2010, 07:49 AM
Alrighty... you know I have a tendency to do this when aquiring a new brand...
But I am really excited about this one! (Though I do seem to say this every time)...
I went to NAMM with one thing on my mind... GOTTA Have KALA!
Now, I am going to be carrying KALAs TOO!!!

My Kala Spalted Maple Concert was my first uke love! And when showing people my personal uke I hated saying, "I love this uke, but I don't carry Kalas, but I will tell you where you can buy one like this"! But now I will have some!!! Woot Woot!

That being said, because I am Goo-goo over mine so much, if it were up to me I would order 20 spalteds just to look at the different wood-grains... HA! I am a wood-grain weird-o! But alas, I need to stock what sells and sounds great in a wide variety of price ranges! And you guys have always been a great help for me! And I am looking at the miriad of options and it is SO HARD to narrow it down! If I have the money/space I would order one of each. Hehe!

So, here is where I bug you for your opinions and knowledge:

What Kalas would you say are "must haves" to have in-shop?
Which are your favorite?
Which is the best bang for your buck?
What are your favorite dolphin colors/ which have you heard look the best?

Thanks guys! Mahalo! And much love!

07-14-2010, 07:56 AM
I am so in love with my acacia tenor, I think if I were a ukulele, I would already have proposed to it. Or at least, bought it ice cream or something.

Edit: I've also played the Lacewoods in store, not really expecting to like them (because I am severely biased towards darker woods), but they were actually quite charming. The inlays are cute, and the uke is very sweet-sounding

07-14-2010, 08:02 AM
The thinline Travel concert and sopranos are both killer, and VERY reasonably priced. They have an amazing sound, bigger and brighter than most conventional ukes, including even many more expensive ones. (I've only played those two sizes, but I bet the tenor is great, too).

07-14-2010, 08:18 AM
I agree, you must have sopranos in your store, along with concerts and tenors.
I also agree, Kala Accacias are a must-have.
I tend to think the Spruce Tops and Cedar Tops are a must-have as well.

If you have the three "main" sizes in those models, you will sell. In my opinion.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a good businessman. I am not even that good at using a savings account. But, I have stayed at a holiday inn.

07-14-2010, 08:39 AM
I like all the colors of Dolphin. Have some in boy and girl colors and you'd probably sell alot around the holidays.

07-14-2010, 08:44 AM
Must haves are the items that are definitively Kala: the travel ukes, the silkscreened novelty pineapple shaped goodies (kiwi and watermelon too), and Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins.
A few solid wood models definitely; I love the tortoise binding on my lefty mahogany concert acoustic electric.

As for Dolphin colors, I own white. I covet purple. You should definitely have black, both solid and sparkle.

07-14-2010, 08:52 AM
The sparkle colors are great looking dolphins. Sparkle blue, Candy Apple Red (!), Black and White. Purple is also quite beautiful.

I agree on the Acacia models. I would also think that laminate tenors with pickups would sell well (KA-TE, KA-TEM, etc.)

07-14-2010, 09:40 AM
The cedar top concert (glosssy) that I have is wonderful! Love it in just about every way. I played a travel tenor last night & I will probably purchase a concert or tenor w/a pickup sometime soon. The Kiwi & other whimsical designs are fun as well.

07-14-2010, 09:53 AM
Favorite Dolphin colors, Metallic Blue (bright blue by far my FAVORITE), Orange Burst (just got one for demo purposes, very nice), Green is nice too.
Must have – Kala Kiwi / watermelon/ pineapple... Great, fun ukes at a good price with very good quality and sound.
I love my Kala Mango Tenor. I am a wood grain freak too, and these are great looking and offer a different tone than the others.
Must carry those travel ukes.
Need any Uke Leashes??:)

07-14-2010, 09:58 AM
I second (or third?) the thinline travels. I often come across folks who love the sound of spruce tops with mahogany, so you might want to invest in some of those. Although my vote is in for the acacia models, too.

Oh, oh, and throw another vote for the candy apple red Dolphins!

07-14-2010, 10:02 AM
Hi Mim. great idea to carry Kala! We loved our Acacia Makalas and now our new travel ukes. We usually play concerts and tenors, but most recently, we've been listening to/considering the U-bass. We also have one electric and an acoustic soprano and a baritone which are all different brands, but the Kalas are definetly our favorites. Hope this helps.

07-14-2010, 10:07 AM
Well Mim: Taking the big step to Kalas. Good move. My local music store (basically a guitar store for 30+ years) recently decided to carry the Kala line and have probably about 12-15 Kalas with bags and accessories. Only carried the line for about a month, so it will be interesting to see how they do. They carry no other line, so customers don't have much choice. If you would like their number to see how they decided their inventory would be glad to send it. Nice people. Good luck in deciding inventory. I have owned two businesses involving stocking inventory and it is a serious decision as to what to carry and not overload oneself with "stuff" that will never move. Is Kala putting the items on consignment, or do you have to outright buy your stock. I also have the spalted Maple tenor with spruce top and seriously love it, almost as much as my wife!! :) It would be a difficult decision to decide which one I would have to protect first in a tornado :). I also have a Makala baritone which I bought in Hawaii a couple of years ago, and it has a beautiful sound, but I don't play it much anymore since i changed to the GCEA world. ( I guess it is made by Kala?) Have you talked to your school district about getting ukulele started in the music curriculum. ALL schools should have ukulele in their music department (source for you to sell ukes and TEACH as well) Anyway good luck!! Lozark

07-14-2010, 10:16 AM
I'll have to second the dolphin models. The local music shop here carries Kala ukes and the owner told me they sell more of the dolphins than almost any other instrument in the shop (and it is mostly a brass instrument shop; luckily they make their money on lessons). Personally, I don't like "souvenir" instruments of any type. However, they will sell.

That being said, when I just recently ordered my baritone from them, they didn't have one in shop for me to play. I'm buying it on faith which is something I rarely do with instruments. So, I would say keep at least one of each size of either the mahogany or the acacia with examples from some of the other lines. If you plan on selling some of the higher end models, then you definitely want to keep some of those around to round out the offerings. Nothing turns a buyer off more than wanting something and not being able to test it first.


07-14-2010, 11:28 AM
Hey Mim,
Kala is a fine line to carry, but maybe you should ask the factory rep what a basic lineup would be...or maybe check out what MGM or some of the other dealers have as go to stock. The Kala lineup is so large, that carrying some of everything might be cost prohibitive for you...then there is the Makala sub line, and all the goodies to go with them...could get real expensive really quick...just saying!:music:

07-14-2010, 11:52 AM
Aloha Mim, I have to agree with what's been said about the Dolphins (all the colors are great), and the fruity Kala sopranos but don't forget the Makala MK-S MK-C and MK-T. I think they are the best uke available for the price, and there are quite a few of us who think they have a better sound than the KA models.

07-14-2010, 12:15 PM
I love the dolphin colors but detest the dolphin bridge.

07-14-2010, 01:37 PM
My favorite Kala is the tenor electric arch top in sunburst. It's so totally different from the standard shape and sound hole with the arched top and "F" holes. My next Kala will have to be the U-bass so I vote for that one too.

07-14-2010, 01:50 PM
Definitely start with some dolphins and sub-$100 pineapples. I have an orange-burst dolphin and so many people ask me about it. :D If you really want people to stare at your ukulele wall in amazement, having most or all the colors up there at once will work.

As for the rest of the Kalas, I think it depends on what your customers are usually looking for. More choices in the same price range? Cheaper ukes? Fancier ones?

The acacias and thinline travel ukes are super sweet! If your spalted maple is attracting a lot of serious attention, it probably wouldn't hurt to carry a few. I'm not sure how well the U-Bass would sell, but it happens to be my favorite Kala. ;)

Ahnko Honu
07-14-2010, 02:37 PM
Any of the solid spruce tops are nice though I wish KALA would make at least a solid spruce top pineapple. They don't seem to take pineapples seriously.

07-14-2010, 02:54 PM
Thinline...definitely. Just the basic solid spruce tops are great value.

07-15-2010, 05:26 AM
Thanks guys! I am definately stocking up on the Dolphins. The only other place in my area with Kalas is Sam Ash and I definately want to offer more selection than they do. I also like to appeal to the lower-end buyer. People just starting out who can not afford the more expensive ukes, but for an extra $10-$20 they go home with a heck of a lot better than the Hilos GC carries. Also people who want to get one for their kids. But I am also going to start advertising my uke saled more and I definately want everything from high in to low-end. So I think I will end up with a good variety. But this gives me a great base to build form. I was on the fence on ordering the thin-lines, but after all the good reviews I think thost are a "must have"!

07-15-2010, 05:30 AM
IMHO, the solid mahogany Kalas are great. The tenor particularly is a very nice uke. I loved the one I was dumb enough to sell.

07-15-2010, 09:57 AM
I'm possibly your least sophisticated responder but I'll chime in anyway. I have a Mango Tenor and love it. I couldn't accurately compare it with other instruments but the sound is good by me and it fits a large guy pretty well. Maybe it's a Chevy but I'm honored to have it! I'm also interested in the travel ukes and imagine others are as well.
BTW, I personally like the lighter colored woods. Maybe that will change.

Ahnko Honu
07-15-2010, 10:06 AM
I love the dolphin colors but detest the dolphin bridge.

Me I'm the opposite, I love that funky dolphin bridge but would prefer a natural finish sound board, and unpainted plastic body sort of a budget Flea. Paint chips, and paint on plastic chips even easier so Dolphin may be rugged but will look ugly in no time flat with a little normal kid abuse or backpacking. At least they are affordable so cheap to replace if need be.

Ahnko Honu
07-15-2010, 10:08 AM
...and free ice cream cone of choice with every 'ukulele purchased in-store. ;)

07-15-2010, 10:18 AM
The thinline Travel concert and sopranos are both killer, and VERY reasonably priced. They have an amazing sound, bigger and brighter than most conventional ukes, including even many more expensive ones. (I've only played those two sizes, but I bet the tenor is great, too).

I completely agree!

Plus, the "basic" solid mahogany models (soprano, concert, tenor)

07-15-2010, 11:11 AM
I agree about the mahoganys... I think the binding really sets them apart and makes them "pop".

07-15-2010, 12:13 PM
...and free ice cream cone of choice with every 'ukulele purchased in-store. ;)

I like the way you think!

07-15-2010, 12:35 PM
I was thinking a clip-in tuner... but maybe I can make it a package deal ;)

07-15-2010, 02:49 PM
Any of the solid spruce tops are nice though I wish KALA would make at least a solid spruce top pineapple. They don't seem to take pineapples seriously.

Compared to you, no one takes pineapples seriously.

Your passion for them is contagious and delightful by the way.

07-15-2010, 03:16 PM
Mim, if I were going to buy a Kala right now, it would be a KA-SSTU-T Travel Tenor. UkeRepublic keeps bringing one around. I played the same one Gmoney played Tuesday. It was great. And the price is very good too.

And some day I'll have to spring for a watermelon, just because.