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View Full Version : Got a Kala Pocket Uke - Review



garywj
06-24-2011, 10:39 AM
An acacia Kala Pocket Uke arrived yesterday. My first two impressions: small and well made. It is more than a toy. Nice tuners, finish and wood. The soft case is above average for the price of the instrument.

To sum up: It does not sound good when tuned GCEA - strings are too loose and it has no punch or ring. The fretboard to too small for me to play on. With very small fingers maybe, but a chord like a Dm or Fm is impossible for me. String spacing for finger picking isn't bad, but my fret fingers kill adjacent strings.

It was nicer than I anticipated, but I returned it because of the tuning and fretboard issues. If you have small fingers and don't mind not being in tune with everyone else when jamming, it may work for you.

Tubamancha
06-24-2011, 02:13 PM
At first it sounded like you didn't realize it's supposed to be tuned like a Baritone only an octave higher (dgbe) but then when you said the bit about not being in tune with everyone when jamming...but actually it might be easier, well especially if you were thinking like a guitar player because those are the 'chords' you'd be using. So you wouldn't not be in tune just that you'd have to play guitar oriented chords. I'm a little surprised you gave up on it because to me the attraction would be getting that higher pitched tuning sound.

Interesting though to hear your feedback on this and on the fretboard perhaps being a little tight to play chords without getting crowded.

garywj
06-24-2011, 02:57 PM
I found it interesting that the uke came tuned GCEA out of the box. I didn't try the other tunings because I play with a group for fun and would end up sharing with other players. Also, I am already confused enough when switching between uke and guitar. I thought this uke would be a great travel option when I wanted to practice on the uke (not the guitar). IF the fretboard had NOT been an issue I would have probably kept it. Both things together killed the deal for me. However, I can understand why some would love this little instrument.

strumsilly
06-24-2011, 03:40 PM
don't know why you would need anything smaller than a standard soprano. I just toss my dolphin in my carryon between my clothes. works for me.

garywj
06-24-2011, 04:48 PM
strumsilly,

I agree. I don't have a soprano I'd do that with, but will be getting one.

Skottoman
06-24-2011, 05:13 PM
While the pocket uke may be too small to really use the fretboard, I'll disagree that the Soprano is all you need for "Small".

I have an Ohana Sopranino, and I can play anything on that that I can play on a Soprano, and fretboard is totally useable.

Anything smaller than the sopranino, and I think it wouldn't really be of use to me.

Your results may vary. :)
Cheers,
Skottoman

garywj
06-24-2011, 05:56 PM
While the pocket uke may be too small to really use the fretboard, I'll disagree that the Soprano is all you need for "Small".

I have an Ohana Sopranino, and I can play anything on that that I can play on a Soprano, and fretboard is totally useable.

Anything smaller than the sopranino, and I think it wouldn't really be of use to me.

Your results may vary. :)
Cheers,
Skottoman

I couldn't have said it better than that. I have a soprano, which is about as small as I can get around the fretboard on. I would not pack my soprano in my travel case for fear of damage. I've never played anything smaller till the pocket uke. It may work for some, but not for me. The coolness factor of the little uke is (on a scale of 1 to 10) a 10.