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View Full Version : Makala ukuleles, anyone have a review on them?



Bao
11-15-2011, 09:59 PM
I'm currently hoping to buy my first baritone ukulele which is a Makala baritone made with agathis wood.

I'm curious as to if anyone has a review on the exact ukulele or just the brand in general.

Also i've read that agathis wood is actually a really bad wood for instruments tonally, is that true?

I'm just using this as an uke i can bring out and not worry about since my other ukulele is much more expensive than this.

Pete Beardsley
11-15-2011, 10:16 PM
There are a few reviews of the MK B on YouTube. Search on Makala Baritone. :)

Bao
11-15-2011, 10:26 PM
I've only found one so far made from a fellow UU member. It does help me decisin in buying it and it sounds pretty good on some of the performances played with it. But i'm still kind of concerned about the agathis body and how a lot of guitar players say that agathis body guitars sound the worst out of all woods.

Ambient Doughnut
11-15-2011, 10:45 PM
Not played the baritone but I had a concert size in agathis. Very good uke IMO, nice sound and very well set up.

Pete Beardsley
11-16-2011, 12:14 AM
I have had a brief experience of one and heard it played by someone else quite a bit and to be fair, as long as you aren't expecting it to play like a solid Koa Uke then its pretty good. The general fit and finish was very good for a budget instrument and the intonation was close to spot on. A decent set of strings (this one had Aquilas) and its money well spent IMHO. I'm far from an expert but I could see or hear little appreciable difference between the 50 MK B and my 150 Ohana in terms of quality and playability.
Try to look past the fact that it is constructed from Agathis, it may not be the ideal tonewood, but it was selected for its tonal qualities which are doubtless far superior to many other woods.

Bao
11-16-2011, 01:55 AM
Ah i see, thank you everyone for clearing up my decision.

kissing
11-16-2011, 02:01 AM
A Makala baritone is a laminate instrument anyway.
So it will have a generic, laminate ukulele sound.

Which is not a bad thing at all at the price.
Makala's ukes ALL sound fabulous.

Nuprin
11-16-2011, 02:05 AM
I had a Makala bari that I got new on eBay for about $70. I thought it played fine and sounded pretty good for the money. I liked it more than the Lanikai LU-21B which is a little more expensive. I ended up giving it to a friend as I'm not a baritone guy but I thought it was a good buy for the money.

zac987
11-16-2011, 03:04 AM
To be frank, it's going to sound decent at best. For the price, it shouldn't treat you too badly. I wouldn't really worry about the tonewood, as it's a laminate.

strumsilly
11-16-2011, 03:35 AM
I had a concert Makala and I think the Makala line is the best bang for the buck, excluding Kala Dolphins [soprano only]. But for under $200 you could get a Lanikai S-B, solid spruce top. I just got the S-T [tenor] , and this line has got to be the best at their price point. gloss finish, nice binding top and bottom, and sounds great. You can get fancier ones but I don't think you can get a better sounding one until you go up to 3x their price.

kenikas
11-16-2011, 01:37 PM
I agree with strumsilly the Makalas are the best bang for the buck. My first uke was a MK-T and although I have quite a few other ukes now, it's still one of my favorite players. For the money you can't go wrong.

ukuhippo
11-16-2011, 08:33 PM
(...)I think the Makala line is the best bang for the buck, excluding Kala Dolphins [soprano only](...)

I have to disagre, I never had so much fun for so little cash as I had and still have with my Dolphin.

mr moonlight
11-16-2011, 09:15 PM
Makala is Kala's lower end line. I've played a couple Makalas and they are decent for the price. You can't really expect much, but if they are set up properly, they play okay and do the job. If you're used to a nice high quality uke, I'd opt for something a little higher end than a Makala. If you do go with a Makala I suggest changing the tuners. $15 will make it a much more pleasurable experience to play. I have a Kala Soprano that came with what looked like the same tuners as the Makalas and they barely stayed in tune.

Bao
11-16-2011, 11:28 PM
This is going to be just a baritone i can try out to see if I actually like it, if not, i'll just string it to GCEA and keep it as an uke i can bash so I won't need to bash my more expensive one.

Ambient Doughnut
11-16-2011, 11:31 PM
Makala is Kala's lower end line. I've played a couple Makalas and they are decent for the price. You can't really expect much, but if they are set up properly, they play okay and do the job. If you're used to a nice high quality uke, I'd opt for something a little higher end than a Makala. If you do go with a Makala I suggest changing the tuners. $15 will make it a much more pleasurable experience to play. I have a Kala Soprano that came with what looked like the same tuners as the Makalas and they barely stayed in tune.

Surprised to hear that - the tuners on my Makala concert are very good indeed. Not super high quality but good, geared tuners which work very well. In fact I've a few Kala/Makala ukes and tuners is one thing I can't knock. I even like the friction tuners on the pocket uke!

molokinirum
11-17-2011, 03:53 AM
I have a Makala Concert and it is a great uke for the money. I play it a lot even though I have higher priced ukes in the stable. The set up is important as well as the strings.

Huna
11-20-2011, 03:20 PM
I have or have had all the Makalas. I have a Makala Baritone and had a Silvertone. I like the tone of the Makala better than the Silvertone (mahogany vintage identical to the Harmony). I have not played any other Baritones but these two.