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View Full Version : Luna or Kala? HELP!



SpeckTacular
12-18-2010, 03:07 PM
I've been doing some Christmas wish list shopping lately, and while searching I came across two very intriguing ukes;

The KALA KA-JTE/2TS Archtop ukulele
http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/KAJSB.htm

and

The Luna High Tide Tenor Ukulele
http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/httuke.php

They both have everything I want for a uke, they're around the same price range, and I can stinkin' choose myself! Can anyone help?:confused:

TCK
12-18-2010, 03:20 PM
I played the Kala Archtop next to my Flame Spalted Maple Tenor (also Kala) and my cheapie Makala and noted while it had a nice tone, it was painfully quiet compared to both of them. It is VERY mellow in tone, and I have an ear that tends toward brightness (I really like spruce tops), so it could just be me. DId not get a chance to play it plugged in because I moved on to the mango- pretty sure that is next on my list.

Have not played the Luna, so I have no clue on that one.

fitncrafty
12-18-2010, 03:23 PM
I have not played the kala.. and I own the luna concert floral.. its LOUD! It's also on sale at overstock.com! (the tenor that is) Good luck with your decision.. You can also check on you tube. Luna has set up a channel and you can see demo of their ukes and guitars...

Doug W
12-18-2010, 03:39 PM
Never played a Kala. I bought my daughter the Luna Dolphin concert. It doesn't have the projection of my Mainland but the intonation is good. If you were asking between a Mainland and a Luna I would say Mainland but that wasn't the question.

SpeckTacular
12-18-2010, 03:43 PM
Never played a Kala. I bought my daughter the Luna Dolphin concert. It doesn't have the projection of my Mainland but the intonation is good. If you were asking between a Mainland and a Luna I would say Mainland but that wasn't the question.

Is the mainland similar to the kala?

OldePhart
12-18-2010, 04:06 PM
Is the mainland similar to the kala?
The Mainland is miles ahead unless you're talking about a solid-wood Kala that's been set up by an expert.

The Mainland ukes are made overseas but the final setup is done by Mike and his crew here in the states and they do amazingly good work. I couldn't believe it but my $300 Mainland tenor has perfect intonation at the first fret and lower action than my $700 KoAloha concert. (That's not to say it beats the KoAloha, though, because the projection and tone of the KoAloha is better). Still, I've only received three instruments in my entire life that were set up as well as the Mainland - my custom-ordered hand-built SG electric guitar, my KoAloha concert uke, and the Mainland mango tenor.

If you decide on the Kala, make sure you order it from someone who will do a proper setup - otherwise it's kind of a crap-shoot; you might get one set up well or maybe not (nothing against Kala, that's fairly common at the price point).

John

austin1
12-18-2010, 07:03 PM
Kala, definitely

kissing
12-18-2010, 11:35 PM
Luna are better set up on the shelf, directly from the factory.
The action is slick, as though it was professionally set up. They sound pretty decent, and the electronics work well.
I used to have a Luna Koa-concert. It was the best action-setup uke I bought off the shelf at that price range.

The Kala is only better if you purchase it from Musicguymic eBay store, where it's setup by him.
The action on a Kala-fresh-off-the-shelf is not as good as a Luna. It's often a bit high, quite typical of Made-in-China ukes at that price-range (not that they're 'bad'. they're terrific, but the factory action setup is typically a bit high).
And I've had quite a number of Kalas throughout my UAS, and tried many at stores. MGM's the way to go for Kalas - an MGM Kala is much better than a factory Kala, unless you get it setup yourself.

At least this is my personal opinion with both brands of ukes.

But I'm only comparing a Luna to a similarly-made Kala (ie: laminate, acoustic-electric). Kala has a much wider selection, with solid-wood ukes too.
Luna are all laminates - but they're well made laminates. Luna also have more flashy designs and cutaways by default, whereas Kala models tend to be a bit plainer in comparison and most look quite traditional.

nickman2
12-19-2010, 07:13 AM
I'm a huge kala fan. I played the archtop and although it had a great sound It was a little quiet. I would get the Luna because 1) Luna has a great sound 2) this specific Uke is very unique and 3) it looks really good

SpeckTacular
12-19-2010, 11:46 AM
Luna are better set up on the shelf, directly from the factory.
The action is slick, as though it was professionally set up. They sound pretty decent, and the electronics work well.
I used to have a Luna Koa-concert. It was the best action-setup uke I bought off the shelf at that price range.

The Kala is only better if you purchase it from Musicguymic eBay store, where it's setup by him.
The action on a Kala-fresh-off-the-shelf is not as good as a Luna. It's often a bit high, quite typical of Made-in-China ukes at that price-range (not that they're 'bad'. they're terrific, but the factory action setup is typically a bit high).
And I've had quite a number of Kalas throughout my UAS, and tried many at stores. MGM's the way to go for Kalas - an MGM Kala is much better than a factory Kala, unless you get it setup yourself.

At least this is my personal opinion with both brands of ukes.

But I'm only comparing a Luna to a similarly-made Kala (ie: laminate, acoustic-electric). Kala has a much wider selection, with solid-wood ukes too.
Luna are all laminates - but they're well made laminates. Luna also have more flashy designs and cutaways by default, whereas Kala models tend to be a bit plainer in comparison and most look quite traditional.

Thanks for the advice, Its really detailed, I am going to order the Luna today

J_Tay81
12-19-2010, 11:54 AM
Kala, definitely

LOVE your signature. That movie was over-the-top ridiculous!

13down
08-24-2012, 05:55 AM
I recently bought a Luna (the concert "wave") at Sam Ash in Manhattan. There were several Lunas and several Kalas. To my surprise, the gaudily decorated Lunas sounded brighter and louder.

Before I made my decision, I asked the manager in the store which ones he personally preferred. He said he preferred the Lunas, which surprised me because the Kalas were more expensive. In his words, the Kalas were "Just not trebly enough."