PDA

View Full Version : Do Kala ukes ship pretty well set-up or should I order from a place that will do it?



Tycho Brahe
03-30-2012, 11:06 PM
Hey guys I'm looking to upgrade from an LU21 soprano to a "real" uke today. I'm pretty much in love with the looks of the Kala Acacia concert uke and after looking online, I saw that TheUkuleleSite.com does extensive setup work before shipping. However they charge at least $25 to ship and I'm assuming it'll take a while to arrive since they ship from Hawaii.

My question is simply, is it worth it to order from them and get the setup work done for extra time + money or do most places do this anyway?

For example, I can get it from George's Music for cheaper and free shipping.

Thanks much!

kvehe
03-31-2012, 12:24 AM
Funny you should ask... I can't speak to Kala and George specifically, but here's my two cents' worth: I've recently purchased two ukes from HMS (The Ukulele Site). One arrived in about 13 days beautifully set up. Zach called the day it was shipped to explain the delay, and I was fine with that. It arrived seven days later (HI to CA to KS to MO). It's a Pono acacia concert deluxe and I love it. A few days ago I ordered a Pono mahogany baritone, which was shipped on Wednesday and will arrive next Wednesday. Those folks are the best! Now to part two: one of my first ukes was a Makala Dolphin. Everything I had read about the Dolphin said it was great as long as you put Aquila strings on it. I ordered it through Amazon, along with the Aquilas. It came in two days. I put the Aquilas on and thought, "Okay, this is nice," but I had very little to compare it to. About a month later, curiosity got the better of me. Would a properly set up Dolphin sound different? I ordered ordered one from Uke Republic, it came in (I think) three days and OMG. You wouldn't know it was the same model. I realize that different instruments from the same model can be different, but this was so dramatic, I have to attribute it to the set up. So - yes, it takes longer to come from Hawaii (depending on where you are!), but HMS is great and it's worth it - and yes, set up is important (assuming, as I have been doing, that you can"t do any necessary tweaking yourself and don't want to take it to a luthier for adjustment right out of the box). That reminds me - I ordered one once (not from HMS or Uke Republic) that came with a pronounced buzz on the C string. It cost about $ 150. I took it to the guitar shop, and they said that it wasn't worth fixing. So - HMS and Uke Republic are great!

seneystretch
03-31-2012, 12:54 AM
[QUOTE=Tycho Brahe For example, I can get it from George's Music for cheaper and free shipping.

The dissatisfaction of an inferior purchase remains long after the satisfaction of best price fades. If price is your only consideration, you're in the wrong place.

I have a colleague who selected a key phone system on price. She's finding the setup provided by a competent dealer means everything for usability. Same here, we call playability.

efiscella
03-31-2012, 12:55 AM
I got a Kala last summer in waikiki at PuaPua Ukulele and it was not set-up. I find the action to be very high and not easy to play. it is my least favorite to play, not because of the sound, but just because of how high the action is- and I believe the string heights are uneven. Ever since then I have only purchased ukuleles that have been professionally set up.

efiscella
03-31-2012, 12:59 AM
I got a Kala last summer in waikiki at PuaPua Ukulele and it was not set-up. I find the action to be very high and not easy to play. it is my least favorite to play, not because of the sound, but just because of how high the action is- and I believe the string heights are uneven. Ever since then I have only purchased ukuleles that have been professionally set up.
Also-- all of the 3 ukes I got from HMS came withing a week of shipping. Once actually got here to the east coast in three days. it generally took HMS 2 to 3 days to set-up and ship so figure about a week.

Kayak Jim
03-31-2012, 01:58 AM
I got my Kala online through George's. The set up wasn't too bad, frets all level, no buzzes etc., and action was acceptable but slightly high. I went a head and lowered the action a bit (1 mm or so) so see the impact (and I'm a bit of a tinkerer). Made a slight improvement in playability.

That was my starter uke, like your LU-21. When I knew I was going to keep playing and was ready to upgrade though I bought from one of the "preferred" dealers (i.e, with set-up). It arrived ready to play although I'm dissappointed they didn't suggest strings other than the stock Aquilas for a solid mahogany instrument.

bazmaz
03-31-2012, 02:32 AM
Any ukulele can arrive needing a setup adjustment, even high end ones. The only way to be sure is order from a reputable store who understand them. Call them speak to a real life person and ask them to check it over. If they refuse, I'd shop elsewhere.

I've seen many beginners try to save a couple of bucks getting absolute best price only to have a dog of an instrument arrive and weeks of frustration trying to sort it.

Support your local expert shop!

fernandogardinali
03-31-2012, 02:34 AM
Tycho Brahe,

Kalas are coming with crappy setup. A while ago, they were OK, but now the action is so high, intonation is gone on the 1st fret.

You should buy from someplace that setups it, absolutely.

1931jim
03-31-2012, 03:09 AM
Any ukulele can arrive needing a setup adjustment, even high end ones. The only way to be sure is order from a reputable store who understand them. Call them speak to a real life person and ask them to check it over. If they refuse, I'd shop elsewhere.

I've seen many beginners try to save a couple of bucks getting absolute best price only to have a dog of an instrument arrive and weeks of frustration trying to sort it.

Support your local expert shop!
Yes Yes support your local people and try before you buy or to say another way play before you pay.

Tycho Brahe
03-31-2012, 07:38 AM
thanks guys. looks like I'll be ordering from Hawaii Music Supply!

OldePhart
03-31-2012, 08:35 AM
All of the "factory" ukes like Lanikai, Kala, etc. need to be checked / set up. It's not that you can't get a good one out of the warehouse, just that there's a fairly significant chance it won't be set up very well. That's part of what separates Mainland from ukes made in asian factories - they all go through Mike and his wife up in Indiana for final assembly and setup so you know they're going to be inspected and set up right.

I wouldn't buy anything short of a Hawaiian uke via places like Amazon.com or ebay mass retailers unless you have the tools and know-how to set it up. There are some dealers active here on UU that are a safe bet...sellers like HMS, Mim, Uke Republic, etc. Generally, if they're active with a good rep here you know they actually care about ukes and the people who play them.

John

Tycho Brahe
03-31-2012, 12:06 PM
Thanks again everyone, I just placed the order! Looks like I'll have to be patient but it seems like it's definitely worth it. Keep your eyes open for my New Ukulele Day thread soon :)

Hawkshaw
03-31-2012, 03:54 PM
MGM and the crew at Hawaiian Music Supply do a wonder set up. I bought a Kala Tenor from them and couldn't have been more pleased. MGM is very conscientious about selling and shipping ukuleles. I highly recommend them.

Tycho Brahe
03-31-2012, 05:07 PM
What is MGM's website? I already ordered but I'd like to bookmark it for future reference.



Side note: I sent an email to HMS asking that if I buy a couple sets of Worth Browns if they'll string her up with them for me since I heard that the stock aquilas don't suit this uke well. Hopefully they'll do it for me.

mds725
03-31-2012, 05:57 PM
What is MGM's website? I already ordered but I'd like to bookmark it for future reference.

Side note: I sent an email to HMS asking that if I buy a couple sets of Worth Browns if they'll string her up with them for me since I heard that the stock aquilas don't suit this uke well. Hopefully they'll do it for me.

MGM now works at HMS, so his website is the HMS website, http://www.theukulelesite.com/.

Nickie
03-31-2012, 06:05 PM
I bought a Kala last year from Mim, and I just love it. Best of all my ukes, and the only one I play now!

uke2020
03-31-2012, 06:25 PM
I got a solid acacia tenor from Kala without a set-up and it ended up being pretty nice. The intonation was spot on up and down the board according to my chormatic tuner. I think it can be hit or miss (usually miss) but I didn't know any better when I got that one and happened to get a good one. That being said, I've gotten other ukes afterwards from Mim and Kent at NCUA with set-ups and they are awesome. My set-up Dolphin sounds almost as good as the solid acacia!

lancemanion
04-01-2012, 04:32 PM
Kalas come from the factory with the action all over the place. I have bought four ukes from Music Guy Mic and one from Hawaii Music Supply on the North Shore on Oahu and they were all set up nicely. Mike is working with Hawaii Music Supply on the North Shore now. His website is theukulelestore.com and his email is askmusicguymic@theukulelesite.com

ukuloonie
04-01-2012, 04:43 PM
Dont waste time or money get it from one of the above mentioned dealers Mim, Ukerepublic, Hawaii Music Supply, not sure of the other ones
but EVERY Ukulele needs a proper setup from someone who knows and understands how a Ukulele is set up properly and knows what they are doing.
I bought some Ukes from a reputable Music store here in Canada, they are a good store
but they don't set up any Ukuleles right away they just get them out of the box and stick them up on the wall and sell them that way.

Kekani
04-01-2012, 06:16 PM
Boy, all these years discussing setups, and we STILL have threads like this talking about purchasing an instrument with a query on how it's setup before it gets in the hands of the buyer. What Mike does is the exception, and not the norm. And what he started by doing so has created a monster that won't stop.

Aaron