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View Full Version : GRETSCH G9120-SM vs. Kala KA-SMHT



ukology
12-08-2012, 11:12 AM
I'm looking for a nice Tenor and am considering both of these models. Neither are here locally so I can't play them. Both are priced around the same. The Gretsch is a fairly new model and I can't find any reviews on it. The Kala seems to get good reviews and the numerous YouTube clips of it sound good. Seems like a no brainer for the Kala, but just thought I'd check in case the Grtesch has absolutely blown someone's mind or something.

Plainsong
12-08-2012, 11:54 AM
When the Gretsches first came out, there was lots of buzz about them in the forums, and they seem to like em over at Hawaii Music Supply. Past that, I haven't played one myself. But if we can be real for a sec and share real world opinions about what we really think about a brand... whether well-founded or not....

I've never had a Kala that was too great. All but one of them came from a good shop that does setups, and you could see a setup had happened, but still didn't sound great. The biggest heartbreaker was the jazz tenor. It feels sooooo nice to play, and you'd think that being one of the pricier Kalas, and the fact that it HAS to be plugged in to be heard as it should, that it'd have good electronics. Nope. That and the bridge cracked and lifted. The most open natural sounding one was the Mighty Uke Movie limited model, and that one isn't for sale anymore.

There was a time that for the price, that was the best you could expect, but now there's so many more options, like that Gretsch you mentioned, or a Mainland, or Ohana. I've had great awesome spectacular luck with Mainland and Ohana.

Now someone will no doubt chime in and tell you how what I said is a load of huey, and that Kalas are awesome. Maybe their Kalas are awesome, and you should take that into consideration absolutely. But that doesn't mean I'm wrong about the ones I've had. (4 - never again)

PhilUSAFRet
12-08-2012, 01:21 PM
Can get some Pono's in that price range. HMS Microblems and refurbished ones...neither one of those would compare favorably with one.

ukegirl
12-08-2012, 05:10 PM
I have the Gretsch....they are great for the money...heck, they are great even they were a little more! Fender owns them now and with the new line of "roots collection" instruments they are really providing some nice playable stuff at prices that won't break the bank...

Bill Mc
12-09-2012, 05:47 AM
I have the Gretsch....they are great for the money...heck, they are great even they were a little more! Fender owns them now and with the new line of "roots collection" instruments they are really providing some nice playable stuff at prices that won't break the bank...

Ukegirl, since you own the Gretsch solid wood concert it would be helpful if you could post a review. Little information is available on this instrument and speculation about its merits is meaningless to me. Thank you.

ukology
12-09-2012, 08:14 AM
I have the Gretsch....they are great for the money...heck, they are great even they were a little more! Fender owns them now and with the new line of "roots collection" instruments they are really providing some nice playable stuff at prices that won't break the bank...

Glad to hear you like your Gretsch. Now I'm looking at the Mainlands which are in the same price range, so I've got some decisions to make!

anthonyg
12-09-2012, 11:06 AM
I've played that model Gretsch ukulele in a store. I was VERY impressed with it to start with. Its very light and very alive. Just what ukulele players have been waiting for. A mass produced ukulele that's light and made by someone who has a clue. However. After a close look because I was a little concerned about the intonation I noticed that the bridge was glued on too long. Quality control.

The previous model solid Mahogany Kala's were nice mellow instruments if not that light. It seems they are using a different batch of timber these days.

Anthony

ichavis
12-18-2012, 05:14 PM
I've got a Gretsch roots concert model for a few weeks, And as this is my first uke, can say more that its a great sounding instruments, Workmanship is right up there and playability is excellent. I did play some ukes in the 100 dollar or so range and felt the extra money was a no brianer for a all wood uke, Uke is new to me as I'm primarily a classical mando player and those instruments are way up there price wise, I am overall very happy with The Gretsch

blue_knight_usa
12-19-2012, 08:39 PM
Hi Ukology, I posted a while back on the Gretsch here: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?72999-Gretsch-Grass-Root-Series-I-think-they-have-a-winner!

It's a real player and an incredible value in my opinion. Mine plugged in to my new Fishman Loudbox Mini acoustic amp is amazing. I have the G9121. Good luck!


I'm looking for a nice Tenor and am considering both of these models. Neither are here locally so I can't play them. Both are priced around the same. The Gretsch is a fairly new model and I can't find any reviews on it. The Kala seems to get good reviews and the numerous YouTube clips of it sound good. Seems like a no brainer for the Kala, but just thought I'd check in case the Grtesch has absolutely blown someone's mind or something.