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View Full Version : Kala KA-15S for total beginners



ukemunga
05-13-2014, 04:43 PM
That was my first one a few years ago to test the waters. I still have it.

I have always touted it as a good beginner's uke but it's been a few years. It actually hangs from a makeshift hook attached to a floor lamp by my desk within arm's reach.

I've been noodling with it again and I still think it's a great #1. I looked it up online and it's available for about $55.00 shipped, usually.

Just throwing this out here if you're researching.

KevinV
05-13-2014, 05:14 PM
It's pretty ironic that you posted this thread as I was thinking about starting one about the same uke. I've got one of the older KA-15S models with the water slide rosette. I see the newer ones have an etched rosette. I haven't played one of the new ones, but I sure hope the only thing they changed was that. I love mine the way it is.

I have a few other ukes in higher price ranges, and the 15S still gets lots of play time. In fact, I was just playing mine when I decided to look for a 15S thread. I have mine strung with Aquila strings and really like the tone and response. In short, I second the OP's comments. The 15S is a real bargain.

Inksplosive AL
05-13-2014, 09:35 PM
I have a Kala KA-SEM I picked up in the marketplace for around $85 IIRC with a case and a few sets of extra strings. I would have to believe it is more or less the same instrument with a slightly nicer plywood used in construction. While I am still a beginner it has become my daily player and sits within arms reach in an open case. I had set up my smiley and was happy with him until I heard the Kala, now smiley although a nice player sounds really dead.

dickadcock
05-14-2014, 11:27 AM
The KA-15S is a sweet little gem, as far as I'm concerned. My wife picked it for herself as a starter - brand, price, & the brass frets. She is allergic to nickel in the regular frets, & outside of this and the Makala line, they are hard to find.
I am not a big soprano fan, but after playing my tenor, purchased around the same time (about a year ago), & later, a concert, my fingers have adjusted from years of guitar, & the soprano is surprisingly roomy now. The tiniest bit of nut work & I love it -- but like the tenor size better. - but what a bargain!

river_driver
05-14-2014, 01:10 PM
The KA-15S was my second uke - and a lot of ukes have come and gone in my collection over the years, but I still have that one. I got it out the other night (before ukemunga started this thread) and was reminded of what a nice player it is. Nothing fancy, but a good starter and a nice uke to keep around.

Ukejenny
05-14-2014, 01:44 PM
One of the great things about ukulele is that you can get such a great instrument to get started on, and not break the bank doing it.

What is the water slide rosette?

river_driver
05-14-2014, 01:48 PM
What is the water slide rosette?

Actually I wondered that too. Mine just has the world's cheeziest white circle decal.

KevinV
05-14-2014, 02:26 PM
That cheesy decal is what I was referring to. It looks to me like a water slide decal…you get them wet and they slip off the backing onto whatever you're putting them on. I was referring to the circle around the soundhole as the rosette. Since it's not a flower design and only a pair of white circles I misnamed it. Sorry about the confusion.

Inksplosive AL
05-14-2014, 05:48 PM
I know apples and oranges. The SEM's black binding is painted or silk screened on.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=63707&d=1391991938

~Al

Nickie
05-15-2014, 05:31 PM
Al that looks like the back of a much more expensive uke....I never woulda known....

river_driver
05-16-2014, 02:55 AM
That cheesy decal is what I was referring to. It looks to me like a water slide decal…you get them wet and they slip off the backing onto whatever you're putting them on. I was referring to the circle around the soundhole as the rosette. Since it's not a flower design and only a pair of white circles I misnamed it. Sorry about the confusion.

Oh, I see what you mean. Does anyone know of a way to remove that thing without doing any damage? It looks so crappy.

lomafootSD
05-29-2014, 11:35 AM
I agree it's a great uke. My daughter has that same model and I find myself picking it up and practicing with it.

Nickie
05-29-2014, 02:13 PM
My Kala had that cheesy soundhole decoration, and I covered it with a fake MOP rosette. It looks awesome (from a distance) now.

ukemunga
05-29-2014, 04:15 PM
Aw, I like my cheesy water slide decal soundhole decoration non-rosette hole surrounding circular brickabrack bling. It's kind of appropriate... ;)

KevinV
05-29-2014, 04:42 PM
I don't mind mine at all, only referred to it as cheesy for thread continuity. Mine's flaking a tad at the top of the soundhole where my nails tap the top between the strings for a percussive effect on occasion. A non issue as far as I'm concerned.

I find the 15S to be a great bedtime uke. It's quieter than my solid wood ukes but still has nice tone. I can play it next to my wife while she sleeps without it interrupting her slumber.

river_driver
06-05-2014, 06:20 AM
I noticed the water slide decal on mine was flaking a little last night, and I was able to tease the whole thing off, gently, just using my fingernail. Left behind a little bit of non-sticky glue residue. Haven't tried to remove the glue, but it's not really noticeable unless the light hits it just right.

Walden
06-12-2014, 05:09 AM
Yeah, I held out on getting the 15s till they changed the rosette, because it looked like it would wear off badly. I like the new laser etched one better.

Captain America
06-12-2014, 05:35 AM
I agree with the OP.

Now, for another $100 you can get something nicer.

But this is the old WhatChaGonnaDo? challenge. . . how do you know you'll like playing the uke. . . until you do it? So a lower outlay makes sense for most folks. I've been around and seen a lot of starter ukes, and the OP's talking about one of the best starters.

vick2121
07-13-2014, 05:19 AM
I agree with the OP.

Now, for another $100 you can get something nicer.

But this is the old WhatChaGonnaDo? challenge. . . how do you know you'll like playing the uke. . . until you do it? So a lower outlay makes sense for most folks. I've been around and seen a lot of starter ukes, and the OP's talking about one of the best starters.

This kind of thinking get get you in trouble REAL fast! At least, that's what I've heard......

Just ordered this Kala today for my porch uke!