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View Full Version : Kala Pocket Vs Ohana Sopranino uke?



iamesperambient
06-26-2014, 07:46 AM
My gf wants to get a sopranino / pocket uke after playing one at sam ash (i have taught her a few basic chords) but she finds this very small size actually easier to play than soprano and likes the very tiny size (and by default it means i get to pretty much use it whenever i want which is cool).

So which is a better uke the pocket or ohana.
I hear the ohana can be tuned to GCEA and holds the tuning
well where the kala pocket is really set up to be tuned CFAD
I'd prefer gcea tuning or D tuning (but prefer c).

Which one in general is better quality, looking at them both
i like how the ohana looks and only played the kala at the music store
and i thought it sounded ok (but didnt like how it looked as much).

DazW
06-26-2014, 09:08 AM
Hi, not tried the Kala but I just bought the Ohana SK-21M sopranino last week. This is the vintage style model so has a very lovely, dark finish. It is, in my opinion absolutely fantastic. I tune it GCEA and have Worth clear lights on it which seems to work, though I think the Worth mediums may be a little better.
Intonation is superb and I really don't find it hard to play due to the size, I only usually play sopranos and have quite big hands but this sopranino isn't as small as I expected. If you look at the Ohana Namm 2013 video on YouTube Ken shows this one and the old style Ohana sopranino, the 21M is actually slightly bigger.
Anyway, I really can't fault it. It has the usual minor niggles with the overall finish that some Ohana's seem to have, but they are very minor, just a few imperfections here and there. I removed the sound hole label in mine as it was a little rough and off centre, it came off easily and actually looks better now, more like a vintage model.
I have three Ohana's at present and the sopranino is by far my favourite.

Ukejenny
06-26-2014, 09:13 AM
Hi, not tried the Kala but I just bought the Ohana SK-21M sopranino last week. This is the vintage style model so has a very lovely, dark finish. It is, in my opinion absolutely fantastic. I tune it GCEA and have Worth clear lights on it which seems to work, though I think the Worth mediums may be a little better.
Intonation is superb and I really don't find it hard to play due to the size, I only usually play sopranos and have quite big hands but this sopranino isn't as small as I expected. If you look at the Ohana Namm 2013 video on YouTube Ken shows this one and the old style Ohana sopranino, the 21M is actually slightly bigger.
Anyway, I really can't fault it. It has the usual minor niggles with the overall finish that some Ohana's seem to have, but they are very minor, just a few imperfections here and there. I removed the sound hole label in mine as it was a little rough and off centre, it came off easily and actually looks better now, more like a vintage model.
I have three Ohana's at present and the sopranino is by far my favourite.

Nice to see another Ohana fan on the boards...

DazW
06-26-2014, 09:20 AM
Here's a few pictures of the Ohana SK-21M

68234 68235 68236

Nickie
06-26-2014, 09:26 AM
That Ohana is so cute! I love Kalas and Ohanas both....have two of each....I don't know what to tell you! I played a Kala pocket uke once, it was too small for me, but I did like it....

DazW
06-26-2014, 09:27 AM
Hi, yes Ohana's are fantastic instruments! I really like the sopranos but at the minute I'm loving the sopranino. Tempted to get the older SK-21 model too. At around 100 they're a steal

JonThysell
06-26-2014, 10:14 AM
I have played both but own the Kala. The Ohana is more like a slightly smaller soprano, whereas the Kala is thin like their travel ukes and even tinier. I'd day get her the one closest to what she played and liked, which unless it really was a Kala, is probably closer in size to the Ohana.

katysax
06-26-2014, 10:22 AM
The Ohana is going to sound more musical and ukelike. It will also be a bit easier to play. The Kala really is very small. It serves the purpose for those who like it, but I find it is too toylike. The Ohana is actually usable.

DazW
06-26-2014, 10:52 AM
Yes I agree, the Ohana sopranino really is just as playable as a soprano. Only real difference is you don't need to press down as hard, and if you do it can cause the notes to go sharp. I'm very picky when it comes to intonation and playability and admittedly I was a little dubious about how well it would play. I was very pleasantly surprised as it's a little gem, the first 'keeper' I've ever had and I play it every day

iamesperambient
06-26-2014, 06:33 PM
Yes I agree, the Ohana sopranino really is just as playable as a soprano. Only real difference is you don't need to press down as hard, and if you do it can cause the notes to go sharp. I'm very picky when it comes to intonation and playability and admittedly I was a little dubious about how well it would play. I was very pleasantly surprised as it's a little gem, the first 'keeper' I've ever had and I play it every day

Awesome ok i think she will end up getting the ohana than :) thanks for the help everyone!

igorthebarbarian
06-26-2014, 07:52 PM
I think MIM has several in-stock. She's on vacation until Sunday though.
If you buy from her, it'll be setup and w/free shipping on the SK21M (but $10 if just the regular SK21)... Shipping's probably fast too from NC to NJ.
http://stores.ebay.com/Mims-Ukes
http://stores.ebay.com/Mims-Ukes/Sopranino-/_i.html?_fsub=1993950014

iamesperambient
06-26-2014, 08:39 PM
I think MIM has several in-stock. She's on vacation until Sunday though.
If you buy from her, it'll be setup and w/free shipping on the SK21M (but $10 if just the regular SK21)... Shipping's probably fast too from NC to NJ.
http://stores.ebay.com/Mims-Ukes
http://stores.ebay.com/Mims-Ukes/Sopranino-/_i.html?_fsub=1993950014


awesome she still thinks the pocket uke
is cuter and in guess since she played it
but I'm trying to tell her the ohana will
sound better and be of better quality
I hope she chooses wisely

OldePhart
06-27-2014, 02:21 AM
I haven't had the Ohana but I had a Kala solid acacia pocket uke a few years ago. I bought it at Sam Ash when I was in NY on a trip as I was going nuts in the hotel without a uke. It was better than having no uke, but only just barely. The Kala was very, very over-built. There was less than an ounce difference in weight between that pocket uke and the KoAloha concert that I had at the same time. It also had no sustain and the intonation was pretty bad up the neck.

John

katysax
06-27-2014, 03:07 AM
The Kala is just too small to be anything other than a novelty. It's incredibly hard to get good intonation in a soprano due to its small size. With the usual sopranino it is extraordinary to get decent intonation. With the pocket uke size; its just too small. It's pretty near impossible to get any sustain with that size either. Some people don't mind the drawbacks because they really like the small size. That's OK, but its a tradeoff.

iamesperambient
06-27-2014, 05:08 AM
I haven't had the Ohana but I had a Kala solid acacia pocket uke a few years ago. I bought it at Sam Ash when I was in NY on a trip as I was going nuts in the hotel without a uke. It was better than having no uke, but only just barely. The Kala was very, very over-built. There was less than an ounce difference in weight between that pocket uke and the KoAloha concert that I had at the same time. It also had no sustain and the intonation was pretty bad up the neck.

John

i noticed that it was rather heavy when i picked it up.
I also noticed it sounded flat and dead.

I compared the sounds on line even watched a comparison
video on both and the ohana wins in my opinion and the kala looks
cheaply made and rather hideous while the ohana looks the same
as a larger uke just smaller. I like that its small but slightly bigger than
the pocket which will being up intonation issues and still make it a little
warmer souding compared to the plink plink madness of the pocket.
I think i sold her on the ohana or maybe (brainwashed) but if somenoe
is going to start playing and their smaller and soprano neck is too big
i think the ohana is a better fix for that the pocket like someone said is just too
small and a novelty! the sopranino ohana from the videos ive seen is much bigger
and still closer in size to an actual soprano than the pocket.

DazW
06-27-2014, 07:06 AM
Just a little tip for anyone who likes soprano ukes, but finds them way too small. Buy a sopranino, play it and nothing else for a few days then go back to your soprano. Seriously, the difference is unbelievable, my soprano feels more like a concert size now!

iamesperambient
06-27-2014, 07:23 AM
Just a little tip for anyone who likes soprano ukes, but finds them way too small. Buy a sopranino, play it and nothing else for a few days then go back to your soprano. Seriously, the difference is unbelievable, my soprano feels more like a concert size now!


i prefer baritone or tenor but this is for a small lady with very very small hands.
who is 5 foot! for me yes way too small hahahah

Ukejenny
06-27-2014, 07:51 AM
I hope whatever she gets, she loves, but I have to say I hope she chooses the Ohana, I have a little SK 28 and I love that thing! It is the one I always pick up when I'm at home.

iamesperambient
06-27-2014, 08:08 AM
I hope whatever she gets, she loves, but I have to say I hope she chooses the Ohana, I have a little SK 28 and I love that thing! It is the one I always pick up when I'm at home.

she agreed to the ohana after showing her video samples of each, and for the money (about the same)
the ohana has a better quality sound why pay 174 dollars for something with crappy sound it looks cool
and its cute but so does the ohana and it actually can be played. So i should have a new baby uke to mess with
soon :) kind of cool

iamesperambient
06-27-2014, 02:32 PM
Yep I agree with this. Ohana is a better playing, sounding and looking instrument in my view.

yep agreed ohana is the winner here!

Jim Hanks
06-27-2014, 02:55 PM
I hear the Ohana really takes to Oasis warms. :p

iamesperambient
06-27-2014, 02:55 PM
I hear the Ohana really takes to Oasis warms. :p

zing!
you got me!

ukegirl
06-27-2014, 03:06 PM
I got to play the pocket uke a few times...it is really fun and the tone reminds me of a 1920's recording!

iamesperambient
06-27-2014, 03:08 PM
I got to play the pocket uke a few times...it is really fun and the tone reminds me of a 1920's recording!

those 20's recordings most likely used D tuning which is higher than modern standard C tuning
which is why it prob reminded you of that.