PDA

View Full Version : Makala MK-C vs. Kala KA-C



ukuhippo
08-01-2012, 11:08 PM
So I almost made my mind up about my new concert. I found the right store (kudo's to Courtney and Walker: the best e-mail conversation I ever had with a vendor, very detailed answers to all my questions from Paul Walker himself).
And I decided that Kala is the way to go for me, I just am wondering if I should save and go for the Makala MK-C instead of the Kala KA-C.

The main diference seems to be the laminate agathis vs. the laminate mahogany, the slightly longer scale and wider lower bout on the Makala, the binding on the Kala and a bit more bling in general on the Kala.

I don't care for bling, I do care for sound and playability. And my budget is even more limited after I received a nice blue envelope (that means taxes in my country). A little money math (including taxes and strings): the Kala is about 30% more expensive than the Makala. Is the Kala worth that extra 30%? Your input is and will be appreciated.

Louis0815
08-02-2012, 12:51 AM
Thx for explaining the "blue letter" - in Germany it usually means very bad news from school.....

Anyway, BTT.

As you can see below I only have a Makala Soprano to compare so I can't say too much about different sound. The KA-C has a more "adult" sound - but in comparison to a Soprano I guess a lot is due to sheer size, only part of it is the wood as such. Which brings us to the laminate: you only know what is on top (Agathis vs Mahogany), the interior layers could be anything...
In any case the Agathis is very soft, you can get dents almost by looking sharply at it - I once had a string slipping through the bridge (bad knot didn't hold the tension) and it left a mark on the soundboard immediately.... The harder Mahogany will for sure make a difference, not only in bling. (BTW: my MK-S is a very dark reddish brown with hardly any visible wood grain/texture - the Kala looks much more like a wooden instrument to me; picture (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?1732-Ukulele-Porn-(post-your-uke-pics-here-)&p=985928#post985928) is in the Uke porn thread)
Playability is equally good on both, the action might need some setup (as usual in this price range).
AFAIK the Makala comes with some black (GHS?) strings; you might well need a set of Aquilas to get a lot more/nicer/brighter sound out of it. Strings are for sure a matter of personal preference, but swapping the factory strings to Aquilas was one of the best things I've done with the Makala so far. Sound improved significantly.

Bottom line: I never regretted having chosen Kala instead of Makala - and I assume the Kala will pay off for you in the long run as well. (You know the old saying "buying cheap means buying twice"?)

Ambient Doughnut
08-02-2012, 01:30 AM
I've got a Makala MK-C - it's a very good uke for the money, especially once you put better strings on it.
However, if you can stretch to the Kala I think it will be well worth the extra few $$.

spookefoote
08-02-2012, 03:33 AM
Love my two Makala Concerts. Great with Aquilas and I've got the action ultra low. However if you can afford it, buy the Kala.

kenikas
08-02-2012, 05:08 AM
I've played them side by side and in my opinion the Makalas with Aquila strings win hands down in the sound. I have a couple of Makalas that I loan out to new players and they hold up just fine. Definately less bling than the Kala but I think the Makalas are unbeatable in their price range.

Coconut Willie
08-02-2012, 07:09 AM
Love my two Makala Concerts. Great with Aquilas and I've got the action ultra low. However if you can afford it, buy the Kala.

I agree 100%. The Makala with aquila strings is awesome for the money!!! But...if you want to spend the extra money then the step up to Kala is the one to buy. You will not be sorry with the Makala (gotta have aquila strings on it!)

ukuhippo
08-02-2012, 09:20 AM
What was I thinking? More confusion, arrrrrgh. I can't still decide which one to buy, so please keep the confusion coming.

Louis0815
08-02-2012, 09:33 AM
So far I see a certain tendency towards "if you can afford it, get the Kala"... Can you afford the extra Euros? (Don't forget to add a set of Aquila strings to the MK price when comparing the financial impact - Kala comes with 'em OOB)
And as a side effect you might eventually reach a point where you will enjoy the Kala bling (nicer grain, closed vs open tuners, ...)

cantcook1
08-02-2012, 09:42 AM
I have a Makala T purchased from the same vendor you mentioned. Exellent purchase, quick delivery and pleasant to talk too. No regrets. During my research the Makala has been favoured on some reviews to Kala. Your choice. LOL

spookefoote
08-02-2012, 10:10 AM
I love the sound of my Makalas but the Kala is prettier.

ukuhippo
08-02-2012, 10:12 AM
So far I see a certain tendency towards "if you can afford it, get the Kala"... Can you afford the extra Euros? (Don't forget to add a set of Aquila strings to the MK price when comparing the financial impact - Kala comes with 'em OOB)
And as a side effect you might eventually reach a point where you will enjoy the Kala bling (nicer grain, closed vs open tuners, ...)

Good question, at the moment I can but really shouldn't. I could wait and save up, but you know how it is. M u s t b u y n o w. My question about the 'certain tendency' is: why besides the bling and better build quality? Soundwise the options vary.


I have a Makala T purchased from the same vendor you mentioned. Exellent purchase, quick delivery and pleasant to talk too. No regrets. During my research the Makala has been favoured on some reviews to Kala. Your choice. LOL

So you think it's funny? ;)
But I must say it again, I never had such a pleasant experience before with any shop/vendor. Very detailed answers to my questions, not the slightest detail was left unanswered. On my questions about the work they do on instrument before shipping them out I got a very detailed explanation and on top of that they actually sent me the workshop guide they use.

Louis0815
08-02-2012, 10:46 AM
Soundwise the options vary.Because this is the most personal affair on the whole thing.:rolleyes:
If you or your budget are really not in for the bling and build quality, get yourself the Makala with Aquila or Living Water strings NOW and never ever again (at least not in the near future) spend a thought on the Kala KA-C. It's more or less a coinflip decision....

we tigers
08-02-2012, 08:50 PM
I'd like to throw a Korala concert in to the confusion.
Mine really amazes me every time. The sell them for 70,- in Rotterdam at Ukulele Paradijs.
Good value for me. The laminate concert Islander is also excellent (about 100,-)

Between the two you mentioned my choice would be the Kala.

molokinirum
08-03-2012, 09:38 AM
Makala Concerts are incredible sounding ukes, especially for the money!!! I have one and play it quite often. If it does not come with aquila strings on it, just order a set and put them on yourself. My Makala came with aquila strings already on it....purchased it from MGM!!!

UkerDanno
08-03-2012, 01:01 PM
I don't care for bling, I do care for sound and playability. And my budget is even more limited after I received a nice blue envelope (that means taxes in my country). A little money math (including taxes and strings): the Kala is about 30% more expensive than the Makala. Is the Kala worth that extra 30%? Your input is and will be appreciated.

I just got a Kala KA-CEM last week and it's a nice instrument, the workmanship and feel is superior to the Makala. I went to a Sam Ash store and played them both, the Kala just has better quality and feel...sound is probably a toss-up, the the Kala is mellower, or as some say grown-up.

I'm in a uke club and sat next to a lady last night with a Kanilea, bad idea, that thing will make anything look and sound terrible...'course it's $1000.

But, I like my Kala, just upgraded from a Lanakai soprano.

ukuhippo
08-03-2012, 11:51 PM
I decided to go for the Makala. Or maybe the Kala.

Louis0815
08-04-2012, 10:01 AM
Well, actually they're both Kala somehow.....

Asrafrate
08-04-2012, 10:16 AM
I had to make the same decision in June. I went for the Kala KA-C and haven't regretted it. Sound is just beautiful and it handles well. Yes bling isn't supposed to be important, but every time I walk past it, my eyes get captured and then my heart sings "PLAY HER!"
In fact, I have trouble putting her down, even when my fingers are hurting!

Edit: And that just came out sounding so wrong... but it wasn't intended to be! :o

Louis0815
08-04-2012, 10:42 AM
c'mon, ukuhippo, you can squeeze the extra ~25 Euros out of your pocket....


http://youtu.be/F1ILPl5FQaM
See: KA tells you to trust....
"slowly your senses will cease to resist"
:nana:

ukuhippo
08-04-2012, 11:11 AM
That's mean Louis, you're all mean,

Asrafrate
08-04-2012, 12:28 PM
BAHAHAHAAHHA... classic! XD

Louis0815
08-05-2012, 12:58 AM
That's mean Louis, you're all mean,No, we're not. We're simply as honest as we could possibly be - and it was YOU who started all this because you're looking for some good reasons to buy the Kala :p

"trussssst in meeeeeee......"

ukuhippo
08-05-2012, 01:10 AM
I postponed my decision and let it depend on the outcome of my appeal regarding the letter from my good friends the tax-people. In the mean time I'm going to dust of my baritone, I'm expecting southcoast strings in the mail (highDGBE unwound) sent to me by a not so mean uu-member.

kissing
08-05-2012, 03:01 AM
Well in the big picture, some Makalas may sound better than Kalas, and vice versa.

Of course Kala is the company's "higher end" models, whereas Makala is the "budget" models.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the Kala sounds better.

From my personal perspective, it's like this.
They're both inexpensive laminate ukes. This doesn't mean that they don't sound good - some laminate ukes sound better than some solid ukes to my ears.
However, laminate uke sound is somewhat "generic", especially within Kala and Makala, which are sorta the same company.

If you want a "better" inexpensive laminate uke, go for the Kala.
If you want another great, cheap beater uke without spending extra, go for the Makala.


Personally, I don't think it is possible to generalise which is inherently "better sounding" than the other.
It's also a matter of taste I guess.

ukuhippo
08-15-2012, 08:25 PM
A Makala MK-C is on it's way to me. Thanks all for your input.

ukuhippo
08-26-2012, 03:15 AM
Big surprise. The Makala arrived AND my better half bought me a Kala, it may be time for a new 'best wife ever'-thread. Allthough she asked me to get rid of at least one of them after I decided which I liked best. The Kala is somewhat better finished and looks different. I was going to say nicer, but I kind of like the plain looks of the Makala.
Soundwise they actually are pretty equal, and I'm still deciding on my preferred concert uke.
Big surprise number two: I keep grabbing my Dolphin when I want to play something, call me stupid, but I think I really like that one the most. The same thing happened when I still had my tenor, allthough I thought it was due to the size.
The playability and fun-factor on the Dolphin is just fantastic. I'll see what the next few weeks will bring and which one will be played the most.