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pdxuke
01-26-2013, 12:53 PM
On the advice of the locals, I ventured forth today to the local shops and played the Kala KA B. I was very impressed that such a low priced, laminate uke, could sound so good. It was lovely.

I imagine with a set of Southcoast or Living Waters strings on it it would sound even better.

This was out of the box. I asked the shop if they did any set up, he said no. He mentioned maybe 1 out of 10 needed some adjustment, but they were pretty high quality right from factory. The action was great, the frets were smooth, it was comfortable. The nut is 1.5" I think, a bit wide for my taste, but still comfortable. The uke played in tune all the way up, the harmonics at the 12Th(?) fret were bell like. It was very pleasing.

There you have it. My first venture into the Barry World. It was nice using guitar chords again :-)

didgeridoo2
01-26-2013, 01:24 PM
Hey Thom.
You should try to find a Pono baritone used or keep your eye open for a 2nd. 1 3/8" at the nut and a wonderful resonant uke.

pdxuke
01-26-2013, 01:25 PM
Hey Thom.
You should try to find a Pono baritone used or keep your eye open for a 2nd. 1 /38" at the nut and a wonderful resonant uke.

Thanks. Yes, that narrower nut makes a difference in comfort for my hands.

Or maybe this old thing, used :-)
http://www.gryphonstrings.com/instpix/39889/index.php

pdxuke
01-26-2013, 01:30 PM
Hey Thom.
You should try to find a Pono baritone used or keep your eye open for a 2nd. 1 3/8" at the nut and a wonderful resonant uke.

Just listened to the Pono Barry sample at HMS and I see now what everybody is talking about. :-)

coolkayaker1
01-26-2013, 02:36 PM
Thanks. Yes, that narrower nut makes a difference in comfort for my hands.

Or maybe this old thing, used :-)
http://www.gryphonstrings.com/instpix/39889/index.php

And, the narrower neck will pay dividends all the way up the fretboard for Barre chords.

itsme
01-26-2013, 03:54 PM
This was out of the box. I asked the shop if they did any set up, he said no. He mentioned maybe 1 out of 10 needed some adjustment, but they were pretty high quality right from factory.
I think this is probably true with most reputable factory made ukes such as Kala and Ohana.

I have to cringe every time I hear the oft-reiterated line about factory ukes needing a "setup". :rolleyes:

Seriously, if every factory uke absolutely needed a setup to be playable out of the box, it would be a really poor reflection on the company's quality control and they wouldn't have the reputation they do.

pdxuke
01-26-2013, 04:09 PM
I think this is probably true with most reputable factory made ukes such as Kala and Ohana.

I have to cringe every time I hear the oft-reiterated line about factory ukes needing a "setup". :rolleyes:

Seriously, if every factory uke absolutely needed a setup to be playable out of the box, it would be a really poor reflection on the company's quality control and they wouldn't have the reputation they do.

Of course, I'm not an expert luthier by any means, but I think what you say is right. Like most of us I've wandered around music stores, Guitar Centers, and played lots of factory ukes. Some are indeed badly set up. But some are absolutely fine. I doubt Mike at Kala could stay in business, or Ohana, if the ukes coming from the factories were not at a good quality control standard.

No doubt all ukes could be improved. Heck, the vintage Tenor I bought yesterday could probably be improved!

lambchop
01-26-2013, 05:20 PM
I think this is probably true with most reputable factory made ukes such as Kala and Ohana.

I have to cringe every time I hear the oft-reiterated line about factory ukes needing a "setup". :rolleyes:

Seriously, if every factory uke absolutely needed a setup to be playable out of the box, it would be a really poor reflection on the company's quality control and they wouldn't have the reputation they do.

Also, even if the action is a little higher, it does not matter that much with nylon strings. Hey, don't rule out the Luna Zebrawood - it's pretty amazing for its price:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx7AX3Mu1I0

HeavyDuty
01-26-2013, 06:39 PM
This Kala is definitely on my short list of baritones to consider - I've seen this model a few times now and have been impressed each time, especially for the price.

Do Kalas in this price range tend to have a lot of sample variation? I'm wondering whether they are safe to mail order, or if try before you buy is smarter.

pdxuke
01-26-2013, 07:48 PM
This Kala is definitely on my short list of baritones to consider - I've seen this model a few times now and have been impressed each time, especially for the price.

Do Kalas in this price range tend to have a lot of sample variation? I'm wondering whether they are safe to mail order, or if try before you buy is smarter.

Well, here was my experience today: two shops had them One shop it was a great set up--I had no complaints. The other shop the frets were a bit sharp on the edges. Not a lot, but a bit. Both out of the box with no additional shop work.

So, you may be fine with mail order. Or not. :(

HeavyDuty
01-26-2013, 08:39 PM
I think I'll see if my local store carries these and go from there. I've been reading up on alternative baritone tunings and have the itch to try one - why be normal? Thanks!